Casper Concelebration

Deanery Mass at St. Patrick, Casper, Wyoming: Photo by Paula Gillette

Last night, the Casper Deanery gathered for a Mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church.  It was a beautiful evening and celebration together! 

Once again, I believe every priest of the deanery made the effort to be present, as well as a good number of our permanent deacons.  I am so grateful to each of these men, and all of our priests and deacons.  We have truly been blessed as a diocese with faithful, dedicated priests and deacons.  A special thanks to Fr. Kevin Koch for cooking for the priests prior to Mass, and to Fr. August Koeune and parishioners for hosting our celebration.  St. Patrick is a beautiful church, made all the more so with a full house of worshipers as last night.  I feel much like parents in these moments.  Just as nothing makes mom and dad more happy than when all the children are home, nothing makes a pastor happier than a full church for Mass, or any other occasion to pray, celebrate, and build community.  Well done, Casper Deanery.  Last night’s celebration says much about the vibrancy of the faith in this area of our state and diocese.  NEXT UP ROCK SPRINGS!

As a bishop, it it so good to have the opportunity to be with the people of the diocese.  There is no greater way to “gather” than for Eucharist.  We were particularly blessed last night with a large crowd, great music, another good representation of youth (way to go young people of Casper Deanery!), many families, a broad representation of the local church.  And as always, the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus were out in full-force again.  In Casper, I believe there are two councils.  One of the councils is conducting a year-long fund raiser with the procedes going to the St. Joseph Society, which is the diocesan fund for the support of our retired priests.  They have set a rather impressive, and agressive goal for this fund-raiser, so I encourage all who can to support the Casper K of C.  The other council will also conduct a fund-raiser during football season for the benefit of the church.  Worthy Knights, you set a great example of service and fraternity for all in our church.  Thank you!

I truly enjoyed the opportunity to greet people prior to Mass, and to mingle and visit with people at the reception which followed.  There was a good representation of people from all of the parishes.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the opportunity to visit, and enjoy a vast array of desserts.  Thanks to all the folks who donated to that wonderful collection of goodies.  The people of the three parishes in Casper are presently building a brand new Catholic school.  I had the opportunity to tour the sight this past December.  It is going to be a wonderful education facility.  I understand that it is presently ahead of schedule, and plans are on track to move in and begin the new academic year in their new school this August.  (No pressure to the construction crew!)  We will all pray for an on-time completion and successful opening of the new school.

Speaking of Catholic schools, today I meet with the Board of the Wyoming Catholic College.  I’m sure they, too, could use our prayers that they will have the necessary support to continue to place this new school on a solid foundation.  I truly enjoyed my visit with the faculty, students and board members in January.