Sunday, we celebrated the annual Mass commemorating the First Mass in the Rockies by Jesuit Fr. DeSmett. Fr. DeSmett was a Belgian born priest, who came to the United States and joined the Jesuit order. He made many trips to the West, and was actively engaged in building relationships with the western tribes of Indians, was was also instrumental in negotiating several treaties with the native tribes. He must have been quite rugged and healthy to not only make the many trip to and through the west and mountains, but the many transatlantic trips as well in which he sought financial support for the mission work of the Jesuits of his time. I read a marker yesterday that said he made 19 Atlantic crossings in his time, which was quite remarkable for his time!
What we remember most at this Mass is the role Fr. DeSmett played in bringing the Catholic faith to this part of our country. A large crowd gathered on a beautiful Sunday morning to celebrate the Eucharist. The elevated sight sits in the Green River valley situated below the Wyoming Range and Wind River Range of mountains. The mountains are still a spectacular vision, as of July 10 they are still snow capped. This of course is leading to very full waterways. The Green River was running full and fast, and flooding the surrounding low lands. It was a beautiful sight, and quite appropriate for the readings of the Mass this Sunday.
I’m sure many things have changed since the first Mass was celebrated on this spot, such as today, we need our sunglasses, bug spray, and sun screen!
Below are the pictures taken by Matt Potter. Enjoy!