Today, the Pope who instituted Divine Mercy Sunday is declared “Blessed”, Pope John Paul II.  Each time I see a video clip, or read something of his writings, or hear the homily from today’s beatification ceremony, my heart is still moved and my faith stirred and inspired by this holy man.  The Church is truly grateful for this life and ministry, papacy and preaching of Blessed John Paul II, and I believe the full impact of his faith and papacy is yet to be realized.

On the more local scene…yesterday evening I celebrated Mass at St. Anthony in Casper for the Knights of Columbus as they are gathered in Casper for this year’s State Convention.  It seems somewhat appropriate that they should gather during this historical beatification ceremony of Pope John Paul II, as so much of their international charity goes for the work of the Holy Father.

The Knights have an outstanding history of service to the Church.  They have a remarkable record of living their faith as men in the Church.  They are also known for their faith-filled families, and promoting the dignity and sanctity of human life as well as the sacredness of marriage and family.  I am particularly grateful for the Wyoming Knights of Columbus. 

This evening, we will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation for the parishes of Casper, as well as Douglas.  I believe there are 77 young people coming for this special celebration.  Of course, this is the season as well for First Communions, and I know many young people are receiving this precious sacrament this weekend as well.

How fitting it is to celebrate these Sacraments in the Spring and Easter Season of the Church.  It is a time that promises, and indeed, extends the life of our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ.  May all who are receiving the Sacraments of the Church in this Easter season proclaim Him boldly to the world through lives that are holy and focused on the things of heaven, where Christ is seated at God’s right hand.  (1 Colossians 3:1)