Yesterday, I joined the Knights of Columbus gathered in Casper for this year’s State Convention. They have been gathered since Friday morning. I joined them for 6:00 Mass Saturday evening and the Banquet that followed.
The Brother Knight from Cody, Ken Stockwell, representing the Supreme Council gave some rather staggering statistics of the amount of support the Wyoming Knights of Columbus offer their local parish, community, diocese as well as national and international charitable outreach. Since I arrived in Wyoming I have been surprised and impressed with the active nature of the Knights of Columbus in the state.
Everywhere I go these days, I seem to be as Sts. Paul and Barnabas in the first reading today from the Acts of the Apostles, encouraging the members of the Church to live their faith. Such was the message delivered to the Knights last night. Our Church needs all of us to live fully our faith. Neither our Church nor our society can afford a cheap faith, one that is compartmentalized and private, not touching every aspect of our life. Such encouragement and challenge was delivered to the group of Knights gathered for this year’s convention.
Of course, the other strong message was one of gratitude for their faith, their generosity and service. The local Knights Council in Casper works hard every year to raise money to support our retired priests. Fr. Tom Ogg and I were awarded this year’s check for $53,000 for the support of our St. Joseph’s Society. Thank you Knights, and all who support their efforts to provide for our retired priests!
This morning I had the distinct pleasure of visiting St. Louis parish in Glenrock. They made me feel like a real pastor. Before Mass, I took a quick tour of the facilities. Then, I heard confessions for 20 minutes prior to Mass. The real treat was celebrating Mass and giving First Communion to seven young people. The joy of these children and their families, for that matter, the whole parish, was a lift to my soul.
After Mass, there were the usual pictures, cake and celebration. Then, the youngsters were off to religious education. I even had the opportunity to celebrate the sacrament of the anointing of the sick with an individual and her family. All in all, it was a true blessing for this pastor to be with his people for this brief Sunday walk of faith. This is what living the faith is all about…living the Paschal Mystery in the midst of day-to-day life.