Parish News

The Pastor Writes...

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The holiest of weeks…We have begun the holiest of weeks in our annual journey of faith. Today, Palm Sunday, we remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem with the people chanting his praises and placing palm branches along his path. But soon the mood changes, as we read the Passion and hear of the other crowds jeering at him, arresting him, scourging him and dragging him to his crucifixion. Jesus came to set us free from sin and the power of death. And now he experiences death as a sacrificial offering to God on our behalf.

We will gather on Holy Thursday to recall the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples where he told them that his Body and Blood would be poured out for the forgiveness of sins. He then washed their feet as a sign to them that they would be forever called to serve the needs of others and bring his love to them.

Good Friday we will again read the Passion and very solemnly recall that Jesus died for us. At the Easter Vigil, in the midst of darkness, we will hear the proclamation of Jesus raised from the dead. Our hope is restored. Death is destroyed forever. Jesus Christ is our Light. Eternal life is our final destiny. We are called to follow Christ who will lead us to our heavenly home!

Remember the times:  Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper, 7:00 pm. Good Friday, entering into the Passion of Christ, 7:00 pm. Easter Vigil, the proclamation of Resurrection and welcoming of new members through Baptism and Confirmation, 8:00 pm. And Easter Sunday, two Masses at 8:00 am (note: NOT 8:30) and two Masses at 10:30 am.  Please set aside these days and times for the whole family to participate.

Note: The Office will be closed on Friday, March 31 & Monday, April 2. There is no morning Mass on April 2 but Faith Formation classes will meet that Monday evening.

Holy Days’ Collections: The Holy Thursday collection will be for our Emergency Relief fund and Good Friday’s Collection will be to preserve sacred places in the Holy Land.

Help Needed for Easter decorating Social Hall & Church: Saturday, March 31 at 9:00 am. As part of your Lenten service, please consider preparing the church for the Easter season.

Job Opening at OLIH

OLIH is seeking a full time Associate Director of Early Childhood Formation. The successful candidate would proclaim the gospel by leading a formation program for nursery age, Pre-k and kindergarten, as well as special needs children through 5th grade. The ideal candidate will possess a BA in Early Childhood Ed with an emphasis in special education, and possess or be willing to obtain a Certificate in Faith Formation or Theology from a Catholic institution.  Previous experience will also be considered.  Please submit your resume and cover letter to Becky Robovsky, fax 515-964-5997 or mail to OLIH Catholic Church, 510 East First St, Ankeny, IA 50021.

Easter Flower Fund

If you would like to honor or remember a loved one, envelopes are on the back table for the Easter flowers fund or go online. Donations received by March 25 will be noted in the bulletin.

Putting the 'Grand' back in our piano

Our grand piano received some regular maintenance to help improve its playablity. The piano has received an extraordinary amount of use, especially since Fr. Swope donated it to Our Lady’s in 1993. In these photos you see the acton removed—it consists of about 6,000 individual moving parts. The entire piano has about 12,000 parts—moving and stationary. Stan Dudley of Urbandale is the technician who did the work. (He is also is the primary tuner of the 9’ Concert Steinway grand piano at the Civic Center.) and, finally, a close-up of two hammers. Piano hammers are made of 100% wool felt and should be rounded at the top. The one on the left is a brand new Abel hammer; the one on the right is the original Yamaha hammer—44 years of use and 25 years of accompanying 500-900 singing members of our worshiping community has flattened it! Now that the new parts are installed, they’ll take about a year to settle in before we know what the piano will sound like for the next 30. (Although, the way we use it, we may know right after Easter!)     —These and other photos appeared on our March 10 FB post.

Lost Something?

Our Lost & Found is kept in the front cloakroom in the northwest corner of the Gathering Space.

Pave the Way Campaign

If you were unable to pick up your individualized campaign packets, have no fear--all remaining ones have been put in the mail. The packets contain the range of contributions we will need for this project to be successful. Please prayerfully consider how you and your family can be part of this endeavor.  And, no matter what your decision, send back the pledge card so we'll know you received it.

#TBT: OLIH in the ‘60’s

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We recently posted this photo on our Facebook page for Throwback Thursday and received all sorts of comments from folks who remember climbing on that roof (and being chased off it!), the priests from that time (Fr Elias, Fr Hans and Msgr Schmitt) and how central the parish was to their life. Do you have any photos or memories to share? We’re always looking for things to post.


Snow policies…

Just a reminder of the long-standing policy of the parish when we have significant snow or ice. If Ankeny schools are closed for the day due to snow/ice, there is no 8:30 am Mass/Communion Service that day. The office will be closed as well. If the Ankeny schools delay opening for 2 hours as they sometimes do, we will not have 8:30 am Mass/Communion service.  The office will delay opening 2 hours as well.

On the weekend, listen to the TV/radio announcements about closures or make sure you are signed up to receive our Updates or have our app. If the majority of the churches in the area cancel due to dangerous weather, that will be a good indication that we will cancel as well.  In all things, safety is the number one priority!

Planning a Baptism?

If you are planning a baptism in the next couple of months, please be aware that except in extenuating circumstances, we do not hold them during Lent (begins on February 14 this year). They will resume on April 15. Call Amy, 964-3038 to schedule.

Have you registered on FORMED yet?

FORMED is a website available to all OLIH parishioners.  Go to, click on “register,” use the OLIH parish code (Y6NDPT) to get started and then watch, read or listen! 

End of Year Statements

To minimize costs, we do not automatically print and mail out the end of the years statements or set them out to be picked up. If you would like your statement, please call the office. Or, if you haven’t already, sign up for My Own Church, which gives you secure and personal access to the information in your family and member records and print one out yourself.

You Like us! You Really Like Us!

Want to know what's going on? Check out our  Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Facebook page and then “LIKE” us to stay up-to-date on all things OLIH!

On Mondays we cover Ministries; Tuesdays we ask for any prayer intentions you have--we take them to the Chapel on Wednesdays; Wednesdays we feature something from one of our Faith Formation programs; Thursdays are '#TBT-Throwback Thursdays' where we feature historical facts and figures from the OLIH vaults, plus a link to the Updates you can also receive via email; Friday is 'What's Happening this Weekend and the Week to Come"; Saturday we pose a couple questions to keep in mind when you listen to the Mass readings; and Sunday we try to capture some food for thought from Fr Steve's homily.  So join us! Share our posts!

Have you stopped to see the Library in Mary's Place?

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We encourage you to spend time at Mary’s Place (across from the office). This space has been set aside for Adult Faith Formation and includes a Library where you can check out books and dvds to help you in your spiritual journey. Browse through the shelves while the kids are in school or you just want to get out of the house! You can even surf  the web—we have wifi and you can get on ‘OLIH Guest’ with the password ‘ladiesheart’. To find out what’s going on around OLIH, sign up for our app, like us on Facebook, wander around this website, and/or sign up for our weekly Updates.

Don’t Miss Out

If you are not receiving our Updates, please check your SPAM folder or contact your service provider and let them know that '' and '' are ‘safe senders’. Also, be aware that if you ’unsubscribe’ from a list (Parish Community, CEW, FF Class, Ministry List, etc) you unsubscribe from all lists. If you wish to just be taken off one list, call the office, 964-3038 and we will take care of that for you.

2018: A year of transitions for OLIH

This New Year 2018 will be a year of transition for me and for the parish. I have just celebrated my 70th birthday (how did that happen?). I am grateful to God for the gift of life and for nearly 44 years of ministry as a priest. I have been blessed to serve OLIH for 13 of those years. Every moment of my time with you has been uplifting and inspirational. Your faith, your leadership, your service have been a great witness to me and helped me to grow as well. But now it is time for transition. I will complete my assignment as pastor of OLIH in July.

Some call it retirement but I prefer to say that I will be moving into “senior status”. We priests never really “retire” but step away from administration and then make ourselves available for service to parishes as needed. Since most of our parishes are served by one priest, the only way those priests can get some time away is for one of the retired priests to step in and help. I have been so fortunate over the years to have the services of a number of retired priests when I needed to be away. I am especially grateful to Fr Mike Hess who volunteered to come help at OLIH on a regular basis the last few years following his retirement. A different voice is good for the people and offers different approaches and perspective on the Scriptures and seasons of the Church year. He truly enjoys coming to be with you. This is actually his second time of serving OLIH. He was a weekend helper here for a number of years while he served as President of Dowling Catholic High School. Many of our long time members remember him from those days. Happily he will taking the next 2 ½ months off to enjoy the sunshine of Phoenix. He will return in time to be of help for Easter.

While I am grateful for good health, I know that I don’t have the stamina I once had. A parish of this size needs someone who can give a full level of energy and active participation in all the varied dimensions of parish life. I just haven’t been able to keep up with everything in the way I have wanted and is needed. 

Over the next few months Bishop Pates and the Priest Personnel Board will be working to select a new pastor for OLIH. I doubt we will get notice of who that will be until at least March or perhaps even after Easter. Whoever is chosen will be blessed with a wonderful parish. No two priests/pastors are alike.  Each of us brings our own talents and experiences with us. You have been very gracious in supporting me as I sought to serve you in the best way I knew how. I know you will do the same for my successor.

We still have many months together and let’s enjoy them. There is lots to do and much to celebrate in the months ahead. Let us continue to work together for the praise and glory of God!