Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
As I write this letter, I reflect on the beauty of the day - the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. God has blessed us with sunshine and a beautiful blue sky. We know we need to give glory to God the creator who has surrounded us so with the array of his creation.
Last Sunday, May 24, I enjoyed gathering with Travis and Katie Funseth after the baptism of their daughter, Gianna Rose. Then I took a quick visit to celebrate graduations with Joseph Fisher and Tyler Mulcahy. Congratulations to you both. Following these gatherings, I went back to Panama to join my brothers and sisters in concluding our funeral plans for my mother.
There is a sense of being orphaned when your last parent dies and I think we were feeling that sense as we gathered and shared. Many of you may know that sense already. We gathered for the visitation, Rosary and Wake service on Monday evening at the St. Mary’s Parish Hall. Their hall lends wonderfully to such a gathering. Thank you to the parishioners there who were so helpful.
We gathered pictures, showed a loop of digital pictures from her 100th birthday, displayed quilts she had made, some of her crocheting, and put out a few of her favorite things. They included thimble and needles, crocheting hooks, cards, Play Nine game, dice for 10,000 and more. Thank you to all who came and shared this time with us. We concluded the visitation with her favorite prayer, the Rosary and then the Vigil Service.
Tuesday, we gathered at St. Mary’s Church in Panama for the funeral. The parishioners had things all arranged for us. My niece played the flute, my cousin and his wife led the singing, two sisters did the readings, granddaughters read the petitions and grandchildren and great-grandchildren took up and rang some of Mom’s small bell collection as part of the offertory. I was privileged to preach the homily and reflect on Mom’s life with us and to point to the consoling word of God from our readings. After the cemetery service, the parish provided a nice lunch back at the hall for nearly 200 family, neighbors and friends. Again, thank you to the people of St. Mary’s for your presence and help at the funeral. Thank you as well for your care and concern for my mother these last years.
On Wednesday, we began the process of sorting mom’s things at her house. It was good to be with all the siblings to talk about things and to select memorabilia. I returned to meet with a couple planning a fall wedding at St. Luke’s.
Thursday meant trying to catch up on all that has been going on at the building site. That evening, the Social Concerns Team held their regular meeting. We took time to discuss Chapter 9 of “Forming Intentional Disciples.” We discussed how to be more effective in the Bread for the World letter writing. We looked at the next reverse collection for Catholic Charities and decided on the Tithe of the Tithe distribution for the month.
Friday afternoon, I was back home helping with the sorting of things at my mother’s house. Saturday and Sunday, Tonya Eaton, our St. Luke’s School principal, introduced our new school teachers.
Those setting up the chairs and so forth at Ashland Ridge realized that there are only two more times to set up! May God’s blessing come to all who have been so faithful and generous in the work of preparing for our Masses each weekend.
May the blessings of Christ present Body and Blood in the Eucharist touch you always.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann