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.

A Joyful Rose Advent Week

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

December and the near winter season has truly arrived - snow, cold, wind - normal! Our preparing and waiting for the coming of the Lord into our lives fits well with nature into its waiting and dormant time.

It is the time for Reconciliation services. I helped with the 3:00 pm service at St. Francis on Sunday 12/4, with one at St. Theresa’s on Monday 12/5.

Tuesday we continued our Study of “Seven Keys to Spiritual Wellness” after our morning mass. Our parish staff meeting followed at 10:00 am. I visited the 4th grade in St. Luke’s School at 12:30 pm. We talked about Advent things and answered their many questions.

On Wednesday, I was helping with confessions again at St. Francis. At noon, I was meeting with our Tribunal panel at the Chancery offices. In the afternoon, I visited an old friend in home hospice out in Waukee. I enjoyed giving the 4th grade RE a tour of the Sacristy and all the things we use for our liturgies. They had lots of questions. Then I enjoyed pizza with one of our supper clubs at the Wig and Penn.

Thursday, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, we celebrated mass at 8:30 am with the School students and at 6:30 pm. I attended the Chamber of Commerce Christmas Lunch at the Methodist Church North at 11:00 am. We all enjoyed the food, the Christmas entertainment and the fellowship with the other Chamber members.

On Friday 12/9 in the afternoon, I celebrated Reconciliation with our 3rd and 4th grade St. Luke’s School students. The rest of the day was a try to get caught up time.

Saturday after the 4:30 pm mass, we celebrated the baptism of Benjamin Charles Buehler, son of Brett and

Katherine. Welcome Benjamin! The St. Luke’s Primetimers had their Christmas Pot Luck and fun night in the Gym following the evening mass. I was not even close to winning any of the Christmas games! But I did end up with some nice Black Berry Brandy.

Sunday morning at the 8:30 am mass we celebrated the Rite of Welcome for 8 candidates for full communion in the church. They have been studying in the RCIA since September and this is the first of several “Rites” that they will be celebrating. Welcome RCIA class! We also blessed the Bambinellis at the masses - the baby Jesus from home Nativity Sets. May the soon to be born Lord touch all of our families. The Knights of Columbus served a great breakfast in the morning - with Egg Nog pancakes! Great food—good job Knights!

After finishing more group pictures, we held our regular Stewardship Committee meeting and are very near to completing our Study of the book “Rebuilt.” I went over to OLIH to help with their Advent Penance Service at 3:00 pm. Working on this letter and preparing for our own Advent Penance Service filled up the day.

The Rose vestments from the 3rd Sunday of Advent spoke of how Advent is rapidly drawing to a close. The Lord is near! I encourage us to plan a time in the midst of lots of activity, to read the Bible story of Mary and Joseph preparing for the birth of Jesus. Let there be some waiting within our hearts, some making room for Jesus to be born within. There really, really, is nothing more important than welcoming Jesus into our lives.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann