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.

Colorful Celebrations and Plans

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

The fall colors are beautiful! I suspect they are fast fading however, as happens every fall. The blessings of beautiful warm days are God’s gifts.

Last Sunday 10/16, we had fitting celebrations of our Patron Saints Day - the Feast of St. Luke. The Pasta Dinner and Silent Auction did very well as we served nearly 500 people at the dinner and made over $6,200.00 on the Silent Auction. I appreciate Bruce and Debbie Mehlhop who were the lead couple for this year’s event and to Cari Higgins who lead the Silent Auction with her niece Kelley Haaland. Thank you to all who helped serve the various dimensions of our celebration and to all who enjoyed the food and auction. It is a great way to build community and to help with our parish finances.

On Tuesday 10/18, I concelebrated the funeral for Heidi Allen at Ss John and Paul in Altoona. She was mother of Chase Allen one of our 4th grade students here at St. Luke’s. That late afternoon, I met with a couple to complete the church papers for a young couple preparing for their wedding. We also finished planning their wedding ceremony. That evening, the RCIA met for its regular session with the Topic of “Jesus in the Gospels.”

Wednesday, I took the St. Luke’s Staff out to lunch for St. Luke our patron’s feast day. The Facilities Committee held its regular meeting that evening. Reports from the sub committees were given. I appreciate all the work that was done at the rectory including re-staining the deck and trimming all the trees and shrubs. Thank you guys!

After the Facilities Committee, representatives from our Parish Council, Finance Council, School Board and Facilities Committee gathered with me for an initial gathering to set up a Strategic Planning for Phase II team. We will be looking to assess the facilities needs of our parish and to develop a plan and timetable to meet those needs. We need to plan ahead for our fast growing parish.

Thursday 10/20, I met with the 4th grade at St. Luke’s School. Our topic was the 10 Commandments. We had a lively discussion of what those commandments are and what they meant for 4th graders. After the 5:30 pm mass, the Faith Formation Council held its regular meeting. We put a focus on “Alpha” a 10 week series of Sunday evening meetings that will help us encounter Jesus. It is an effort to look at who Jesus is from an adult view. We will begin January 8, 2017. Be looking for more information and invitations to participate.

Friday, I enjoyed celebrating the 8:30 am mass with our St. Luke’s School 1st graders as liturgy leaders. Good job 1st grade! I visited the hospital that afternoon. That evening, I joined family and friends of Rick Danielson as we celebrated his 60th Birthday. Happy Birthday Rick!

Saturday 10/22 at 4:30 and Sunday 10/23 we celebrated the Sacrament of the Sick at our masses. We hold those with chronic and ongoing health conditions up in our prayers. At the 8:30 am mass, we baptized Harrison James Pierce, Son of Casey and Margery. We also welcomed Anna Grace, daughter of Kate Moore, previously baptized but completing her rites at this mass. After the 10:30 am Mass, Camden Joseph Rosenberger, son of Jerry and Mallory was also baptized. Welcome!

May we all enjoy the blessings of our creator God even as the colorful leaves fall like God’s mercy.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann