Yesterday afternoon, I traveled to Thermompolis to join the deacons, deacon candidates and their wives for Mass and a visit during their annual retreat.  I arrived in time to greet them as they began their retreat and evening session.  This morning, we celebrated Mass together, and then we had the rest of the morning to enjoy an informal Q & A. 

I’ve had a chance to visit with many different groups since my arrival, but this was the first real opportunity to visit with the deacons and their wives to see what questions they had and to simply share some conversation.  It was a delightful visit.  We are blessed with a dedicated group of deacons, and the group who will be ordained in May are showing quite a bit of promise as well.

Part of what we talked about this morning had to do with how I envision making the best use of our deacons in the future.  This question is very timely.  We as a diocese are very soon going to see the promulgation of our pastoral strategic plan.  In fact, much of the reason for my continued silence on this blog in recent weeks is because I have been busy writing my first Pastoral Letter.  This Letter will actually introduce our diocesan strategic plan.

As our deacons enjoy a good theological and pastoral education / formation, it is my hope to exercise that training in our catechetical programs.  I will not say much more about that here, as there will be plenty of continued discussion around this area of ministry in the very near future.  My hope is to have the Pastoral Letter published and distributed prior to the September Institute.  So, stay tuned, folks, there is some really good stuff coming down the pike!ave

SHOT OF THE DAY!  As I was leaving Thermopolis today, just inside the Wind River Canyon, I had the great good fortune to stop and watch some beautiful big horn sheep.  It really is important to “stop and smell the roses” as we go through life.  I’m glad I pulled over to enjoy this for a while.