Families at Saint Francis of Assisi in West Des Moines spent Mother’s Day helping a special member of the church, Sunday.
“What better way to celebrate the father of our family, Pastor Bob, by celebrating Mother's Day here,” says Misty Hade.
The celebration included brunch served by the Knights of Columbus.
“Father bob has been a very big part of our parish for the last couple years and he's been a priest at several parishes in Iowa. He's done an excellent job. Everybody loves him,” says Jeff Hoemann.
“He's amazing. He's my favorite priest ever,” says Danae Quick.
That’s why they are all showing their support during his time of need
“I look well. I just don't feel all that well,” says Father Bob Hoefler.
Last December, he learned that his cancer he beat in 2003 had returned. This time, the disease had spread.
“We tried chemotherapy and that didn't work. So now we're trying another form of treatment and we're not sure that's going to work either, but for now, we're taking a shot at it,” says Hoefler.
“Knowing that, it's hard to watch,” says Hade.
Father Bob’s church family didn’t want to just sit around and watch. They decided to send the avid traveler to one of the two states he’s never visited.
“We're going to send him to Hawaii with the proceeds from this morning's breakfast,” says Hoemann.
“It’s a wonderful place to go. I am so excited for him,” says Quick.
They’re praying that his health holds up.
“I might not be well enough to go,” says Hoefler.
Even if he can’t make to Hawaii, the gift from his family means the world to him.
“It’s been wonderful. It's not wonderful being sick, I'll be honest with you, but you make the best of it.”
The church plans to send Father Bob and another priest to Hawaii in mid-June.