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.

Hot Summer Days - Joyful Celebrations

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

As I am writing this letter, we have had very hot days including the day of the Parish Picnic. Good that there was a nice shelter for sharing our meal and keeping out of the direct sun. May all of you stay safe in the heat.

On Memorial Day 5/30, I went to my home town parish St. Mary’s in Panama for Mass with Frs. Chamberlain and Kenkel. We joined the celebration for our parents and all the other loved ones who have died. I joined my sister and siblings for a nice lunch following in Earling.

Wednesday 6/1, the Lutheran and Catholic Church pastors in Ankeny met to discuss how to share discussions about what we hold in common and how to serve together those in need. We are anticipating the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Lutheran Church.

Thursday 6/2 the Liturgy committee held its regular meeting. That Friday evening, I attended the ordination to the priesthood of Deacon Dan Gehler and the ordination of Carlos Pineda to the transitional diaconate at St. Ambrose Cathedral. Welcome to our newly ordained.

Sunday 6/5, the Stewardship Committee held its regular meeting at Noon. Following the meeting, I made my way down to Conception Abbey in Conception, Missouri for our Annual Priests Retreat. Archbishop Jerome Hanus, OSB was our retreat master. He led us in looking at various priests who soon will be saints or who are already canonized. He helped us see a virtue that each one brought for our consideration as priests. It was a beautiful few days before it became hot. Thank you for your prayers.

After the retreat, I came home in time for the Parish Pastoral Council meeting on Thursday 6/9. We discussed how in our parish meetings and gatherings, we can find ways to make Christ the central focus for all we do. We saw the need to always try to make a connection from our activity to how this is connected to Jesus Christ in our lives. More will be forthcoming in our visioning efforts.

Friday evening, we held a wedding rehearsal for CJ Smith and Kevin Witte. On Saturday evening, we celebrated their marriage. Congratulations CJ and Kevin! That Saturday morning, several parishioners traveled down to the Basilica of St. John for our St. Luke’s Holy Door Pilgrimage. We used the diocesan suggestions for our prayer service. After our prayer, we enjoyed a nice tour and explanation of the Basilica and all its windows, paintings and altar. It was a wonderful morning. That evening after mass and before the wedding, we enjoyed the baptism of Alexis Faith Harbert, daughter of Christopher and Jaicy. Welcome Alexis!

Sunday 6/12 after the mass, we celebrated the baptism of Evelyn Elizabeth Miller, daughter of Alex and Rebecca. Welcome Evelyn. Then it was on to the parish picnic. Good food. Nice company. And we even had time for a bocchi ball game.

We take time to pray God’s blessings on all our Fathers on their special day this Sunday. May they know our love and appreciation for the many ways they have shared the gift of life with us. Blessings on all those who renewed their marriage vows at our masses as well. Enjoy these summer days and keep cool.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann