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.

Details, Details, Details!

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Not only are the days of summer drawing near, but the humidity and heat of this Sunday tells it is so. We thank God for watering the surrounding green creation. May farmers be able to do their field work and may God bless their crops.

On Monday, I was working out some of the details of my role as one of the executors of my Mom’s will. Then I had a chance to get in a nice bike ride.

Tuesday, June 2, I met with a couple preparing for marriage in northeast Iowa. The St. Luke’s Environment committee met at the building site to discuss possible ways they would help decorate and highlight the worship area at St. Luke’s. It will be a great opportunity to find new ways to enhance our liturgies. That evening, the Liturgical Furnishings sub-committee met at St. Luke’s. We saw the Icon of St. Luke painted by Mary Otis that will be displayed in our narthex. Nice work Mary! The large Crucifix and statues of Mary and St. Joseph were decided upon. New vessels for communion were also selected. The movement of the altar and other furnishings were scheduled to be moved the week of June 15.

On Wednesday, there were several trips to the building site to resolve various details. That evening, I enjoyed dinner at the Market Grill with the supper club.

Thursday after Mass, the Liturgy Committee held its regular meeting. The major focus for the meeting was to detail the liturgy for the Mass where the altar and worship space will be blessed by Bishop Pates on June 20 at 4:00 pm. We reviewed the liturgy and selected people for the various ministries involved. It will be a wonderful celebration. Thanks to Deacon Dan Gehler who met with us. He will be our master of ceremonies at our celebration.

On Friday, I celebrated the 1st Friday Mass with the residents at Vintage Hills. At 1:00 pm, I hosted the AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy) board meeting to review the expenses for the period and to approve the new budget for the fiscal year. That evening, I enjoyed the dinner at the Catholic Pastoral Center before the ordination. At 7:00 pm, I joined a large group of priests, deacons and a full church of family and guests at the ordination of Luis Mejia and Andrew Winschitl to the priesthood.

Sunday, June 7, I joined a nice crowd for lunch at Msgr. Frank Bognanno’s 50th anniversary of ordination at Echo Valley. Msgr. Frank has been in my priests’ support group for over 40 years. Congratulations Msgr. Frank! After the lunch, the Faith Formation Council held its 2nd meeting. We finished detailing our Council Charter, reviewed a possible assessment survey and looked at the study guide for the book “Our Hearts Are Burning Within Us.”

By the time you read this letter, we will have moved our offices from St. Anne’s to St. Luke’s. We wish to extend thanks to all the members of St. Anne’s, especially to Fr. Bob Kem, for their gracious hospitality. Our stay at their church for meetings and Religious Education and being able to use their chapel for daily and Saturday Mass has been most helpful. May they be blessed in this time of transition. We will be having daily Mass this week as usual at St. Anne’s.

During this week, we will need volunteers to help attach the kneelers to the pews. Look for emails about times to help. If you would like to help with the open house tours on Saturday, June 20 from 1-3:00 pm, contact the office.

All of the dreaming, planning and work to begin using our facilities at St. Luke’s is about to happen. We praise and give glory to God for all He has done for us.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann