Father Larry's Letters

"Father Larry's Letters" are a weekly letter/journal about the many events occurring within and around the St. Luke's community.

Songs of Praise and Gratitude

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Our Parish Picnics at St. Luke’s seem to attract the rain. This is at least the third Parish picnic that has been rained on for us. Sunday, June 14, was a wonderful celebration at the Big Creek Beach shelter # 1. Lots of families, good food and rain after we were in the shelter that ended before people left. It was great to visit with so many people.

Monday, June 15, began the last week rush to get things ready as much as possible for our Blessing of the Altar and Church on Saturday, June 20. Iowa Prison Industries came with a crew of 10 to set and then attach the pews that they had refinished and spliced for us. I love the “Burnt Mahogany” finish. That morning, the granite was placed on the altar and the ambo. Work continued on the panels for the altar ramp and the wall near the tabernacle. That evening, the Liturgical Furnishings Sub Committee met to detail their last minute work getting furniture, vessels, and plans for moving into the sacristy.

On Tuesday, June 16, the Iowa Prison Industries crew fastened the pews to the floor. Carpet was laid in front of the altar.  Day by day more details were dealt with. The fire alarm system was being tested and checked with many calls to me from the monitoring company.

On Thursday morning, I was on Iowa Catholic Radio for their 7:15 am call in. Later that morning, Tonya Eaton, our school principal, Eric Peters, officer of our St. Luke’s Home and School and parent, and myself recorded time for Bishop Pates’ Friday, June 19, 10:00 am radio show. It was great to be able to share our enthusiasm for St. Luke’s Parish and School. More punch list work was at hand that morning and afternoon. After the 5:30 pm Mass at St. Anne’s, the St. Luke’s Finance Council met for its regular meeting. The proposed 2015—2016 budget was approved. An update report for the costs of the building was given. We are very close to what we had anticipated.

Friday, June 19, I attended the morning session of the Digital Discipleship Workshop at St. Boniface in Waukee. St. Luke’s was well represented. I had to come back for last minute details with our building in the afternoon. That evening, we held a practice for our Saturday, June 20, Blessing Celebration. We all received a good feel for what was to come.

Saturday, June 20, from 1—3:00 pm, our open house was held for our new facilities. Parish Council and School Board members helped with those coming to visit the various areas of our new facilities. Then we did the last minute preparations for our celebration.

Archbishop Jerome Hanus, OSB, retired Archbishop from Dubuque, was our celebrant. Bishop Pates wanted to be with us but his voice had not recovered enough to be with us. Our celebration was wonderful! The music was inspiring. The blessing of our baptismal font, the anointing, incensing and lighting of our altar and the 1st celebration of the Eucharist reflected the three sacraments of initiation—baptism, confirmation and Eucharist. Our own baptismal font for the 1st time, incense for the 1st time, new altar and ambo blessed and used for the 1st time. It was a wonderful and inspiring celebration.

Again thanks to all who helped to make this day special. It could not have been done without you. Together, using your time, talent and treasure, we have set roots in our new home. Together we have set a few more living stones in place on the cornerstone of Jesus Christ. We are just beginning to do so. As we give thanks to our generous God and rely on the presence of Jesus with us, may we always be grateful and filled with joy.                                  

Fr. Larry Hoffmann