OK, so I know this blog has been very quiet during this month of October, but ministry has been in full gear! There have been many meetings and appointments to occupy my days. These past two weeks, the evenings have also been full with a round of Confirmations. Last week I celebrated Confirmation in the three parishes in Cheyenne. This week, I am on the road. Monday night I had a full day in the office and then travelled to Torrington and back home that night. Yesterday, again in the office, and then to Douglas. From Douglas I travelled to Casper to spend the night, as today, I travel on to Cody for the final Confirmation of this fall season. From Cody it is a six hour drive home on Thursday. Friday, I leave early for the Denver airport, and will be in Indianapolis, then to St. Paul, and finally into Southern Indiana for a few days with my parents and family.
The middle of the month I had the pleasure of covering St. Stephens Indian Mission on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The Wind Rivers are such a beautiful part of the State, and the people are quite enjoyable to be with. There are three parishes on the Mission at Ft. Washakie, Ethete and St. Stephen. I had a rare opportunity to visit with one of the Native families after the final Mass on Sunday. The elder of the family was celebrating her 93rd birthday! I believe this celebration was entering its second week!
Before I left her home, she shared with me an interesting bit of family history. She told me that her great grandparents were living at St. Stephen’s when the first Jesuit missionaries arrived. That would have been around the 1850’s. They were a young couple at the time, and were both baptized and given the names Adam and Eve. Her great-grandmother was a Sioux, and I believe she said her great-grandfather was Northern Arapaho. During the visit, there were many stories, and many requests for prayers and blessings. It was a distinct pleasure to bless the outdoor shrine that was built in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
This past week, I was able to ‘get off grid’ for two days to do some hunting. I know the ‘anti’s’ dislike my sharing these stories here, so I’ll spare you the details and pictures, but it was a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, fresh air, good company, and the beauty of God’s creation. And yes, it was quite a successful outing!
As many of you I suspect, I spent much time these past three weeks trying to keep up with the Synod on the Family that recently wrapped up in Rome. Despite reports of intrigue, I believe our Holy Father, Pope Francis is making progress in both maintaining the traditions and doctrines of the Church, while at the same time helping us see clearly the realities of our world for what they are. He is continually calling us to be a more merciful and compassionate Church, better capable of accompanying God’s holy, faithful people in the day-to-day realities of their life. He is calling all of us to a more vibrant expression of faith in the way each of us live our lives, knowing that this is at the heart of being a truly Spirit-driven Church, a Church that is capable of and credible in fulfilling our mission to proclaim Jesus Christ to the world.
So, live the Faith, Church! with joy, hope and love.