Judging from some of the recent comments on Saturday’s talk regarding “Natural Law”, it is necessary to clarify that this talk was not given to the State Legislature.  This was a prayer rally held in the rotunda of the state capital building with around 70 people present, which did include a few representatives. 

In other news, this week put a few more miles on the vehicle.  I had a nice visit with a couple priests in Riverton followed by Mass the next morning with the school children.  Then, it was off to Lander for a Board meeting for the Wyoming Catholic College.  That evening, we had the first of several “Operation Andrew Dinners” in Thermopolis.

The name Operation Andrew Dinner stems from the bible account when St. Andrew brings his brother St. Peter to Jesus.  One of the primary goals of these dinners is to get our priests actively engaged in the vocations effort, as well as inviting young men to consider a call to the priesthood.  Recent data reveals that a high percentage of men presently in seminary are there partially because a priest took an interest in their vocation, and encouraged them to think and pray about priesthood.

These dinners provide a perfect “excuse” for our priests to speak to the young men of their parishes about priesthood, and invite them to come to a dinner where they meet other priests, and people also considering God’s call in their life. The evening begins with prayer.  During the dinner, a priest gives his own vocation story, and everyone has an opportunity to visit before, during and after the meal.  Finally, the group is introduced to the vocation director, Fr. Bill Hill, with the hope that eventually, further conversation can take place.

After a few appointments in Casper, I made it home to Cheyenne Thursday night.  Behind the scenes, much work continues in preparation for next week’s January Institute.  I believe we are up to 180 reservations for this year’s institute…a record attendance! 

 During the institute, we will get an analysis report of the First Phase of our Strategic Planning process.  We will review the present priorities of the plan, and begin brainstorming goals and objectives.  As we are gathering in Cheyenne this year, we will also be able to celebrate our liturgies in our newly restored Cathedral.  All in all, it will no doubt prove to be a great couple of days together!

At this time, Chairs have been named for each of the Priority Task Forces, and work will continue putting these official task forces together.  At the same time, the Task Force working on Clergy issues is hard at work gathering and reviewing information.  During the institute, several other meetings will be held with deans and the presbyteral council.  So, People of God…keep praying, as these are critical days for the future of our local Church!

Speaking of praying, in these days leading up to the institute, special prayers are requested for good weather for safe travel, and the patron for our prayer is St. Medard. 

On a closing note, a congratulatory word to my old home, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, and to their newly named (this day) auxiliary Bishop, Christopher Coyne of Boston.   God bless!