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.

Holy Week-Jesus Suffers, Dies and Rises

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

With the spring like sun shining into my office, the temperature rises to Florida-like mid 80’s. Drawing the blinds and opening the window helps. Ah - spring must be close at hand!

This last Monday, I made my way out to my hometown, Panama, to help conclude some more items from my Mother’s Estate. The closing for the sale of mom’s house was finalized. The estate matters are nearing conclusion as well. That evening, I returned to share a nice soup dinner at Sacred Heart. Afterward, I joined several priests in helping with their Lenten Penance Service that was bilingual. I was not one of those hearing confessions in Spanish.

Tuesday, I prepared for the evening RCIA class that discussed Holy Week, including Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. In the afternoon, I visited residents at the Polk City Care Center.

On Wednesday morning after mass, Dick Johnson from St. Luke’s and I visited with Tim Rofles from the Diocesan Office of Senior Housing. We had a good discussion of senior housing that is currently being built or planned in the Ankeny area. We discussed different possibilities for the St. Luke’s Senior Housing. There are many different things to consider and to work with to arrive at a plan for our campus. That evening I met with Tonya Eaton, St. Luke’s School principal and Licia Pettit our St. Luke’s School Board president. We talked about the special meeting they had last Monday to look at some long range goals and projections. I encouraged them to develop some proposals with cost factors that could be presented to the Finance Council.

Thursday was the last day of school before spring break for St. Luke’s. We had 8:30 am mass for their week. After the 5:30 pm mass, parents of those students preparing for 1st Eucharist had a meeting at 6:30 pm in the church. Patsy Carlson, our Faith Formation coordinator and Kim Mandelkow from the Diocesan Office of Worship conducted the meeting. I had the privilege of welcoming everyone and sharing an opening thought about 1st Eucharist.

Following that opening thought, I went to the regular Parish Pastoral Council meeting in the Conference Room. After our opening prayer, Tonya Eaton, Licia Pettit and Sue Grebasch gave reports about the progress of the school. They shared some of their dreams for the next 5 years that they will bring to the April 2 Parish Vision Planning meeting.

After their report, there was lively discussion about hopes for that April 2 Parish Vision Planning meeting. We were reminded of our vision “We Worship, We Teach and We Care” and how that could be reflected in the planning meeting. At that meeting, Jimmy Becker was appointed to fill Michael Walsh’s position on the Parish Pastoral Council. Michael and his family are moving to Kansas City.

Holy Week begins with our Palm Sunday celebration today. Lent is quickly drawing to a close. There will be time for confession Monday 3/21 6:30-8:00 pm; Holy Thursday Mass will be at 7:00 pm, Good Friday at 7:00 pm, Easter Vigil at 8:00 pm and Easter Sunday at 9:00 am. Celebrating all these events of Holy Week give meaning and context to what Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus is about. Come and celebrate.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann