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.

Giving Thanks and Preparing the Way

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

The Second Sunday of Advent is upon us. We wait with John the Baptist and prepare for the coming of the Messiah by repenting of our sins. John the Baptist is a great one to remind us of our need to take time these Advent days to prepare for the Lord’s coming.

Tuesday 11/22, the 8:30 am mass with the St. Luke’s School students had a thanksgiving theme. During the day, I visited the hospital and nursing home to check up on a couple of local residents. That evening, St. Luke’s was the site of the Ankeny Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service at 7:00 pm. The service of song, prayer, scripture and message by Owen Cayton from the Ankeny Christian Church was much appreciated. The joint choir special music was very well done and inspiring. We all enjoyed lots of different kinds of pies following the service.

Wednesday was a very quiet day with the St. Luke’s School off for Thanksgiving. I did meet with the Dick Timmerman family to plan his funeral for Monday 11/28. Keep him, his wife Judy and their family in your prayers. The rest of the day, I finished preparations for the Thanksgiving mass and the weekend 1st Sunday of Advent.

On Thanksgiving Day, I enjoyed celebrating the 9:00 am mass and time to give thanks to God through our Liturgy. We have so much to thank God for as we review our lives and the previous year. May we always remember to be grateful to God and to all those who are part of our lives.

Later that day, I traveled to Gretna, Nebraska to where my sister hosted our family for Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful gathering and wonderful food. The next day, Black Friday, we gathered again at another sister’s home in Council Bluffs for the annual Iowa/Nebraska football game. There was an even split, 9 on each side cheering for their respective team. I was among those happy with the outcome!

On Saturday, we gathered again as extended family for the Funeral of my aunt JoAnn Weihs at St. Michael’s in Harlan, Iowa. She was the last of my mother’s siblings. Now we are the older generation, though I suspect that nephews, nieces and great nephews and great nieces have seen us that way for some time. The days of life keep marching on. Advent is a good reminder to always live prepared for the Lord’s coming.

On the weekend of the 1st Sunday of Advent, I had the privilege of introducing Deacon Fred Cornwell to our community. We have every hope that he will be assigned to St. Luke’s. We enjoyed his homily over the weekend as well. Welcome Deacon Fred!

Saturday 11/27 after the mass, Cloe Ann and Cooper Quinten Smith, children of Jason and Hollie, were baptized and became part of our Catholic community and members of St. Luke’s. Congratulations Cloe and Cooper!

Keep in mind the Retired Religious Collection that will take place next weekend. Many of the Religious Order Sisters, Brothers and Priests never planned financially for their retirement. This annual collection helps to provide for those in need after long years of service to the Church. Please be generous next week.

Mark your calendars for St. Luke’s Advent Penance service to be held on Monday December 12, 7:00 pm. It is a great way to repent and prepare for the Lord’s coming.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann