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.

Getting Ready for Holy Week

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

It is amazing that we have come to Holy Week with today’s celebration of Palm Sunday. This week is the height of our Liturgical Celebrations for the Church year. I encourage all of you to take part in the Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter celebrations. It will help you get in touch with all that the death and resurrection of Jesus is about.

On Sunday afternoon 3/26, I joined several other priests helping with confessions at the OLIH Lenten Penance Service. That evening, I took my tax information to the lady who does my taxes in Colo, Iowa. We enjoyed some wonderful pasta after discussing tax details.

Monday 3/27, Frs. Mark Neal and Ken Gross helped with our Lenten Penance Service at St. Luke’s. It was a good time to reflect on our lives and then receive the gift of mercy and forgiveness in this sacrament.

Tuesday 3/ 28, the Tuesday morning study group continued their study of “A Well Built Faith” while I went over to St. Francis to help with their school confessions. After my regular spiritual direction appointment, I attended the Priest’s Personnel Board as a board member. That evening the RCIA met at 6:30 pm and discussed the celebrations during Holy Week.

Wednesday 3/29 was a catch up day. I did meet in the evening with the president of the St. Luke’s School Board and the chairperson of our Finance Council. It was a good meeting to find more ways to help each other with the budgeting process.

Thursday 3/30 I attended the Rally for Life at the State Capital 10:00 am-Noon. Many speakers told of the progress being made to respect life with current legislation supporting life from conception to natural death. I went immediately to the Ministerial Association where AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy) was discussed. Current work on Mental Health issues was highlighted by the OLIH parish AMOS group.

Later that day, I did some home visits to those who are sick. I welcomed Fr. Charles Klamut who is conducting our Parish Lenten Retreat. He celebrated the 5:30 pm mass, opened the 6-7:00 pm adoration and then gave a wonderful reflection using the Call of Matthew by Jesus. Confessions were available afterward.

Friday after the 8:30 am mass, I had a couple of appointments. The Lenten Retreat began again at 4:00 pm with 24 hour adoration, followed by the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Stations of the Cross a light soup supper, then a Witness talk, mass, a reflection and then again confessions.

Saturday the 24 hour adoration continued. The Lenten Mission began again at Noon with a Family Rosary followed by another meditation with a focus on Resurrection, Praise in Song with Adoration ending at 4:00 pm. Fr Klamut concluded the Lenten Retreat with mass at 4:30 pm. Thank you to Fr. Charles Klamut and Jimmy Becker for putting together and conducting this parish retreat.

Now we are approaching the celebration of the Triduum - Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. It is a time of sadness at the suffering, death and burial of Jesus. We realize He did all that so our sins could be forgiven. We also celebrate His resurrection after three days into New and Glorified life now possible for all of us to share. We have great reason to look forward to this Holy Week and all it means for us.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann