This week saw some brutal temperatures across the nation, and it did not miss Wyoming.  The frigid and near record-breaking temperatures and wind chills forced the cancellation of a Catholic School Mass and Operation Andrew Dinner in  Rock Springs.

However, as things modified a bit by mid week, Deacon Vernon Dobelman and I were able to visit two schools for Catholic Schools week, and attend the other Operation Andrew Dinner that went as planned.

This trip took us early Thursday to St. Matthew in Gillette, for a school Mass with the John Paul II grade school.  We had a chance to meet the principal, visit a couple classrooms, and enjoy a lunch with the associate pastor, Fr. Tim Martinson along with our vocation director, Fr. Bill Hill. 

That evening, ten young men along with deanery preists and a few other volunteers, gathered at the brand new rectory at St. Matthew for evening prayer and a meal.  These Operation Andrew Dinners are giving me hope for our future, as well as helping to create a culture of vocations in the diocese.  We have another dinner this Wednesday here in Cheyenne, and another in a couple weeks in Casper, and, of course, we will reschedule the one in Rock Springs.

Friday morning saw another early start to drive the 100 miles to Sheridan.  On the way there, we watched the sun come up (in our rear-view mirror) and had a rare experience to watch the formation of a winter rainbow.  It started simply as a pink “glow” and then the column began to rise from the earth.  It was faint, but beautiful!

We arrived in time for a school Mass with Holy Name parish and school.  It was a spirited celebration, followed by a nice reception to celebrate Catholic Schools.  Here too, there is a new principal, who I hear is doing wonderful things.  After a meeting with some foundation board members, we were on the road again for home.

Now, I am off to provide “priest (bishop) coverage” for Wheatland and Chugwater this weekend.  God is good!