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.

Growing in Faith; Amazed by the Ice

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

As I write this letter, it seems the whole midwest is waiting for the “Ice Man to Cometh!” The storm is now to come at about 9:00 pm Sunday evening. You will all know what indeed did happen by the time you read this letter.

Last Sunday 1/8 in the evening, the 1st Alpha in a Catholic Context was held at St. Luke’s. Just over 50 adults joined in the evening with about 20 children going to childcare. There was good pizza to begin, a video “Is There More to Life than This?” It was a very good starter to the group discussions that followed. I had a few minutes to entertain questions that came up in the groups. It was a very good evening.

Monday evening, I was part of a Focus Group for The Catholic Foundation for Southwest Iowa held at St. Ambrose parish hall. It was a chance to help look at what the focus of this Foundation might be. It was a good and lively meeting.

Tuesday 1/10 after mass, the Book Group began our Study of “A Well Built Faith” by Joe Paprocki with the 1st chapter’s focus on “Laying a Firm Foundation: Transmitting the Faith.” Following the study, we had our regular Staff meeting. After that I took the staff out to Fletchers for Christmas Season lunch. That evening the RCIA class studied the 2nd Sacrament of Service - Holy Orders.

Wednesday 1/11 in the morning, I met with a couple beginning their preparation for marriage. In the afternoon, I visited Methodist Hospital and saw a new mom with her new son. I also visited another soon to be mother of twins. It is wonderful to see the new babies! In the evening, I visited the two St. Luke’s 3rd Grade Religious Education classes to answer their questions and to receive nice thank you cards. Thanks classes!

Still later in the evening, the Strategic Planning Committee held its meeting. We continued to refine the input we are receiving about the needs of the parish for Phase II of our facilities. We are looking to follow the Diocesan plan for our needs assessments.

Thursday evening, the Parish Pastoral Council held its regular meeting. We enjoyed Ryan Schon the chairperson of our Finance Council present how he wanted us to see the larger picture of all we hope for in our parish and how it can fit into a financial plan for our future facilities. The Council continued our study of the book “Rebuilt” and focused on the development of small groups and inviting our parishioners to see the need to give rather than giving to a need. More about that in the future.

Friday 1/13, I met with the monthly Tribunal Panel at the diocesan offices. That evening, I prepared and enjoyed the St. Luke’s Auction Dinner at the Rectory. Great food - nice wine - fun company!

Saturday after mass, Lillian Marie Schaffer, daughter of Nick and Brooke was baptized. At 6:00 pm, the Knight of Columbus hosted the parish Family Fun Night with the KC free throw contest. It was a wonderful time for food and fun. Congratulations to the “free throwers” who go on to the regional contest.

Sunday after the 10:30 am mass, Elizabeth Rose Chaffee, daughter of Michael and Kelly was baptized. Congratulations to Elizabeth and Lillian! The Area Confirmation Retreat was held at St. Luke’s from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm with mass at 2:00 pm. Nice turn out. And now we are back to Alpha at 4:30 pm. We will wait to see how the weather holds out. Pray to keep those skating on the ice safe.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann