Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
I am writing this letter on Pentecost Sunday morning. We celebrated both Pentecost Masses with an array of Red - vestments, banners, altar cloths and more. It is a great reminder of the tongues of fire that came on those gathered disciples that first Pentecost. It is a great reminder of the gift of the Holy Spirit that comes to us even now.
This last week, May 17 - 24th, I have been back and forth to the Harlan, Iowa Hospital where my mother has been in Hospice. My brothers and sisters, in-laws, nieces and nephews, have been at her side all of the time there. It has been a remarkable experience. As family we laughed as we told the stories again and again. We cried as we realized Mom would not be with us much longer. We remembered individually how much she has meant to us. And we rejoiced that she finally stepped into eternal life on Friday, May 22. May she enjoy the presence of all the saints. May she visit with Jesus, Mary and Joseph. May she know the love and glory of God for all eternity.
Besides traveling back and forth, I also did gather with the Liturgical Furnishings Sub-committee at the building site. We reviewed the spacing needed for the large crucifix, where statues might be placed and where Stations of the Cross would best be positioned. We met with Ron Schiller from Cosgrave's Religious Goods Store to order things that would be needed in our worship space.
Wednesday, May 20, I joined the Ankeny Ministerial Association for their monthly meeting at the Presbyterian Church. We shared the plans for our churches through the summer. That afternoon, I met with representatives from the Iowa Prison Industries who will be installing our pews come June 8 and following. They wanted to get some details worked out about their work to come.
On Thursday, May 21, the Finance Council met for their regular meeting. We received an update from the Building Committee about the costs of the building so far. It is on track for the spending. We also worked on the upcoming budget that will continue to be finalized during the coming month. Present staff and future staff and their salaries were reviewed and put into the new budget.
Saturday, May 23, we celebrated the birthday of the church with our Pentecost Celebration. Lots of cookies afterward continued that celebration. On Sunday, May 24, we again celebrated Pentecost. As we did, we also baptized Gianna Rose Funseth and welcomed her as the newest member of St. Luke’s. All were invited to enjoy a variety of muffins after the Mass.
On behalf of my family, I wish to thank all of you who have kept my mother and my family in your prayers. We could feel the prayer and love surrounding her and us during these special days. May your families be so blessed when you experience the loss of a loved one.
May the presence of the Holy Spirit touch you now and throughout the season of Pentecost.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann