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.

August 27 & 28

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

Have you noticed how everything is so green? We are reported to have over 3 1/2 inches of rain so far this month. We continue to be blessed with a wonderful late summer.

Sunday evening I had dinner with friends in Modale, Iowa. The next day I visited my cousin Donnie Hoffmann’s family after his death the day before. His funeral was Wednesday of last week at St. Mary’s, my home parish in Panama, Iowa.

Tuesday 8/16 the Photo Sessions for the Pictorial Directory began in Room 120-121 for St. Luke’s. I managed to be the first one. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped with the sign ups, with helping parishioners fill out the forms on the day of the pictures and the set up and take down. Your help is very much appreciated. Later that evening, the St. Luke’s School Board had its monthly meeting. All the concerns about the 1st day of school and what must be done before then were discussed and planned.

On Wednesday as I mentioned earlier, I went to Panama for my cousin Donnie’s funeral. What a wonderful gathering of extended family and friends in the context of hope for eternal life. That evening, the regular Facilities Committee had its meeting.

Thursday 8/18, I completed the parish opening letter for our Parish Guidebook for 2016. I met with Nick Still the insurance agent for the Knights of Columbus in the late morning. That afternoon, I met with Elizabeth Hall, the lead organizer for AMOS (A Mid Iowa Organizing Strategy) for an update in area activities.

After 5:30 pm mass, the Faith Formation Council held its regular meeting. The focus was on how to plan and communicate the offerings for the coming year. Alpha in a Catholic Context is first on the list. It is a 10 week set of light dinner, DVD input, discussion and prayer that will begin on Sunday evenings in early October. It is open to all parishioners. It will address basic elements of our faith. More later. Following was the Finance Council meeting. They approved the year-end financial report that goes to the diocese. They also approved the 2016-2017 budget. New members, term limits and a change of officers was also addressed.

Friday I met with a couple to work on an annulment. That evening, a wedding rehearsal was held for Savanah Smith and Mitchell McDermott’s wedding. Over 300 family and friends came the next day at 1:30 to celebrate the sacrament of matrimony with them.

Saturday and Sunday after our masses, the Ministry Fair was held in the gym. The Liturgical Ministries, the

committees, councils and groups from the parish had information tables for people to visit. Some offered ways to become involved in the work of their group. Thanks to the Stewardship Committee for their work to make this year’s Ministry Fair a success.

On Sunday, we celebrated the baptisms of Laikyn Rose Schaffer, daughter of Ryan and Anna and Nolan Donald Goetz, son of Jeff and Tiffany. Welcome Laikyin and Nolan!

I have been reflecting on why we come to mass on the weekends. It is to worship God. We do so by entering into the Eucharist. That means we do not just come to “get” something. We come to “give” praise to God, to thank the Lord for all that we receive every day. That means we really pray, that we really sing. What does God think of our efforts at Worship? More next week.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann