Today, the Church enters into the Sacred Triduum, beginning with the celebration this evening of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.  During this beautiful celebration, the Church recalls the Last Supper, in which Jesus loves his own to the end and offers his body and blood to his apostles under the form of bread and wine.  This Holy Night, Jesus gives us the Church and institutes the two Sacraments of Eucharist and Priesthood.

As a bishop, I will spend today in prayerful thanksgiving for all of our priests, who give so generously of themselves to the Church and the People of God.  I also invite all of you to join me in this prayer.

Also today, I pray for all of those God is calling to serve the Church as priests.  At this point, the Diocese of Cheyenne has no applications from young men wanting to begin their seminary studies to serve as a priest for the Diocese of Cheyenne.  Please join me in prayer today for all those whom God is calling to humble service at the altar of the Church as generous distributors of the Mysteries of God.  Priesthood is a beautiful life, and I pray more young men will open their hearts to God.  Here is a simple reflection from Pope Francis during this morning’s Chrism Mass in Rome:

All who are called should know that genuine and complete joy does exist in this world: it is the joy of being taken from the people we love and then being sent back to them as dispensers of the gifts and counsels of Jesus, the one Good Shepherd who, with deep compassion for all the little ones and the outcasts of this earth, wearied and oppressed like sheep without a shepherd, wants to associate many others to his ministry, so as himself to remain with us and to work, in the person of his priests, for the good of his people.

On this priestly Thursday I ask the Lord Jesus to enable many young people to discover that burning zeal which joy kindles in our hearts as soon as we have the stroke of boldness needed to respond willingly to his call.

Tonight, we will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Cathedral at 7:00.  I invite you to please join us, or to please attend this Mass with your own parish family.

There is a great tradition in the Church this night that I encourage you to experience as well.  Following the Mass, a special ‘altar of repose’ is set up in the church where the Hosts consecrated during the Mass are placed for a designated period of prayer.  Recall that after the Last Supper, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray with his Apostles.  This is the time and place for his arrest and the beginning of his passion.

“Will you spend one hour with me in prayer?”  These are the words of Jesus to Peter, James and John.

This is my invitation to all of you here in Cheyenne this evening.  Following Mass at the Cathedral, I will spend some time in prayer at our altar of repose.  Then, I along with whoever wishes, will travel to St. Joseph’s Church for a period of prayer at their altar of repose.  Finally, we will travel to Holy Trinity parish for a period of time at their altar.  My intention at each of these moments will to pray for priestly vocations from the family of the People of God of this Diocese of Cheyenne.

Of course, I fully anticipate many will simply choose to pray at their respective parishes, which is appropriate, as we do not wish to leave the Blessed Sacrament alone at any one parish.