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.

Celebrating Sun, Play, Weddings, and Dialogue

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

As I write this letter Sunday 11/6, we are enjoying another 70 degree day in November. What a blessing these special days have been - shirtsleeve weather!

Last Tuesday 11/1, we celebrated masses for All Saints at 8:30 am with parish members and the St. Luke’s School Students and at 6:30 pm for parishioners and guests. It is great to turn to all the Saints and ask for their intercession to God for our needs. I enjoyed lunch with Fr. Bob Kem, retired pastor of St. Anne’s. That evening, the RCIA had its regular session followed by getting home to watch the World Series.

Wednesday after mass, I met with Chris Shires who is helping with a study for Ankeny future planning. We enjoyed a good visit looking at likely developments for Ankeny. That evening, the Liturgy Committee had its monthly meeting. We looked at the plans for Thanksgiving, and some of the early part of Advent.

Thursday 11/3, I had the joy of blessing the new playground equipment in the morning. It was very wet so the students will enjoy these facilities come 11/7. After the 5:30 pm Mass, I joined about 150 people from the Ankeny community at OLIH for the second monthly Lutheran/Catholic gathering to celebrate “From Conflict to Communion.” It was a great evening to share food, a service project and to hear Rev. Tim Olson help us understand things we hold in common and some of the differences that still need more dialogue. It was a delightful evening.

Friday morning after the 8:30 am mass, I also celebrated the 1st Friday mass for the residents of Vintage Hills. We also celebrated the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick to conclude our focus on Respect Life. That evening, we had the wedding rehearsal for Vanessa Erikson and Nathan Reising. I enjoyed the dinner afterward at “The Reising Sun Café” on the square in Polk City.

Saturday after the 9:00 am Reconciliation, I went to the North Pole Santa Craft Fair at Prairie Ridge Middle School. Our Family School Association had a food booth with lots of good food. The Erikson/Reising wedding was held at 1:30 pm. Great celebration! Congratulations Vanessa and Nathan!

After the 4:30 pm Mass, the Welcome Committee and the Liturgy Committee hosted a welcome with wonderful food for those recently registered at St. Luke’s. Following that gathering, I stopped in for a little while at the Wedding Reception at the Tournament Players Clubhouse in Polk City.

Sunday after the masses, lots of folks enjoyed the monthly coffee and donuts. At 4:00 pm, I joined Bishop Bates and Bishop Burk from the Lutheran Southeast Synod in a prayer service for the beginning of the 500th year remembering the Reformation.

Keep our 7th grade and above youth in your prayers as they have begun a Youth Ministry gathering for St. Luke’s. May the Holy Spirit guide these beginning steps.

Again, plan on attending the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service to be held at St. Luke’s on Tuesday November 22, 7:00 pm. It will be a chance to gather area churches to pray and thank God. We will enjoy many great PIES for our refreshments. All are welcome.

We are anticipating the conclusion of the Year of Mercy. There will be services for the closing of the Holy Doors at St. Ambrose, the Basilica of St. John and our Lady of the Americas. More information next week.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann