After another cold snap, it is nice to have a clear blue sky day with the sound of runoff from melting snow. Though Wyoming is just entering our two biggest months for snowfall, there is a renewed spring in my step with a forecast of warming temperatures.
This week has been filled with many hats, travel and meetings. Monday was spent in the office tending to the business of the diocese. A typical day includes catching up on phone calls and correspondence and touching base with the members of my team.
With the transition of staff this past year and the addition of one new member, we are preparing for a bit of team-building next week for our leadership team. With the end of another fiscal year approaching, it means time to review priorities and begin planning for the coming year’s budget. Also next week the entire chancery staff will get away for a daylong Lenten retreat day.
Tuesday I made a quick trip to St. Paul, Minnesota for some intense planning for an organization I serve as President, Catholic Rural Life. I met with our executive director, one board member and our policy advisor. Catholic Rural Life is presently engaged in some very exciting work regarding Faith, Food and Environment. It seems rather providential that our work in this field is nearing completion as the Church universal highly anticipates the release of an encyclical on human ecology and the environment by Pope Francis.
Thursday was another full day in the office which included meeting with a group of 1st and 2nd graders from St. Laurence O’Toole Catholic School in Laramie who were in town for a bit of a field trip. One can never anticipate the mind of a six year old! That afternoon I met with a group of priests and deacons preparing to launch our next round of recruiting and forming a new class of permanent deacons. It was nice to end the day celebrating the evening Mass at the Cathedral.
This morning is had the pleasure to meet with some members of the House of Representatives on this final day of the Wyoming Legislative session. Following the early morning meeting, I was invited to offer the prayer on the House side of the legislature, which I offer below. The life of leadership is truly a life of service, and Christ will never be outdone in generosity.
Prayer Before House of Representatives March 6, 2015
I wish to open this prayer with a quote from Cardinal Newman:
God created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission – I never may know it fully in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow, I am necessary to His purposes…I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught.
On this final day of this legislative session, let us take a moment of silence –
In this silence, let us listen for that Voice: God’s Voice
God calls each of us by name:
One God – many people:
Each of us given a task
One God – One Will:
Each of us entrusted with some definite service
Heavenly Father: we give you thanks for the gift of life you have bestowed upon each of us and upon all of your sons and daughters. Help us with greater clarity to hear your voice. Grant us the grace to know ourselves in relation to you. In the depths of our hearts, grant us the desire to know and serve only your will. In your one, holy, will God our Father, may we find our unity.
We pray, O Lord, that you grant your choicest blessings upon all of our people, for in the end, we are Yours.
Lord, bless these men and women who have given so much of themselves and their varied gifts and talents to serve the people of Wyoming. You have entrusted them with the difficult task of leadership. Grant them the resolve to serve only You. Grant them the love to serve You in their service of the people of this State of Wyoming. As this legislative session draws to a close, grant them peace and rest from their labors.
Let us close with a prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas:
Grant us grace, O merciful God,
to desire ardently all that is pleasing to You,
to examine it prudently,
to acknowledge it truthfully,
and to accomplish it perfectly,
for the praise and glory of Your name.