The Confirmation run around the state is nearly two thirds complete. I have had the good fortune this trip of having a good friend from Indiana with me. Mark Seabrook (see photo below) wanted to see the state, and I am benefiting not only from his company, but getting some relief from the driving. Since Friday, April 16, we have travelled in excess of 900 miles. We still have two more official stops to make, even though we are finished with Confirmation for the moment. As this is the weekend for the Annual Appeal, I’ll make two “in person” pitches this weekend in Sheridan and Gillette.
The KofC state convention is in full swing here in Powell this weekend. I had the opportunity to offer Mass for them yesterday. They are a dedicated group of men, and take the “service” aspect of the Knights organization seriously. We are blessed with a very dedicated group of Knights throughout the state of Wyoming.
I also had time Friday morning to visit the Carmelite Monks in their home in Clark. These are a very unique community of men, even within the Carmelite tradition. What they are in the process of beginning is a distinct recovery of an early, monastic experience of the Carmelite order. Where most Carmelites are called “friars”, these are truly called “monks”, because they are living the full monastic life, which revolves around the complete Liturgy of Hours and obviously the Eucharist. They are a joy-filled community of men, and I look forward to spending more time with them in the near future.
Even though a bishop begins to feel like a broken record at this point in the Confirmation season, I appreciate the opportunity to personally reflect on the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church. Even in today’s Gospel from St. John, we hear: “It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail.”(John 6:60-69) Our sacramental life roots us in the life of Christ, which is the life of the Triune God. Our life can never reach its full potential until we embrace Christ in the same fashion as Peter and the other Apostles who when asked by Christ if they, too, would leave him exclaimed: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Christ, the Holy One of God.” (John 6:60-69)
For years as a priest, and now as a bishop, I say a simple prayer to the Holy Spirit prior to the proclamation of the Gospel: “Come Holy Spirit. Renew your Church, and inspire those who preach the Gospel.” Please join me in this prayer. Indeed, if the words of those who preach are inspired by the Holy Spirit, the work of renewal will be on a solid foundation! Please pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to inspire you, that your life and vocation will be a part of the renewal of God’s Church. Once again, please know of my prayers for all of you. God bless,