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 Full Week - Then Skiing!

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

We have continued our most fortunate status in regard to the weather in Ankeny. About one and one half inches of snow came down. After a little snow removal, all the ice and snow melted. One of these days, the weather will not slide north.

Last Sunday 1/23, St. Luke’s School had its open house with families coming to look at our school. Lots of interest was shown. That afternoon, I joined 7 other priests helping with confessions for OLIH’s Confirmation retreat for over 100 candidates. And then, I turned right around and came back to St. Luke’s for our third session of Alpha. This evening’s focus was on “Why did Jesus Have to Die?” It was a great discussion starter after a wonderful baked potato bar.

On Monday 1/24, the Knights of Columbus had their Family Insurance Dinner at St. Luke’s. I am sure that it was wonderful using the Knight’s new, large charcoal grill for the 1st official event.

Tuesday after Mass, the Tuesday morning study group continued their study with a focus on The Trinity and Salvation from Sin by the cross of Jesus. That study was followed by our regular staff meeting. At 12:30 pm I enjoyed talking with the Kindergarten about the bible story of the Mustard Seed. It just so happened that that was the gospel used for the school mass later in the week. In the evening, the RCIA session began our discussion of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick by witnessing the celebration of that sacrament. A good discussion of sickness, suffering and how this sacrament was for a person who was dying also.

The St. Luke’s School Board also met that evening. Denise Mulcahy from the Diocesan School Office helped the board begin the annual input for the diocesan review of our Principal. Wednesday was another catch up day for me - No Meeting! Thursday, the Ankeny Ministerial Association meeting was held at 11:30 am at the Resurrection Lutheran Church. After a nice lunch, representatives from the Ankeny Service Center/Nevlin Center gave us an update of their activities and concerns.

Thursday evening, the Social Concerns committee held its regular meeting. They are assisting with the Catholic/Lutheran Dialogue 2/2 meeting at St. Luke’s with the Parish Council taking the lead in this event. Plans for further projects were discussed including another Meals for the Heartland.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I was the Spiritual Director for the Women’s Christian Experience Weekend at OLIH. It was a wonderful weekend with lots of inspiring talks, lively liturgies and wonderful food, and heartfelt small group discussions. I certainly recommend it for the women and the men of St. Luke’s parish.

Thank you to Fr. Ken Gross for taking the 1/28 Saturday evening mass for me while I was at the CEW. On Sunday evening, the 4th Session of Alpha was held in the Gym. After a nice array of salads, we sang a couple of songs and then watched the video for the evening session the question “How Can We Have Faith?”

By the time you read this letter, I will have arrived in Colorado and hopefully be up skiing at Breckenridge. Keep us all in your prayers for safety skiing and travel home.

Keep all our students preparing for 1st Eucharist and Confirmation in your prayers as they approach their next steps in formation.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann