What a difference a year makes! I write on the eve of my anniversary, after celebrating a beautiful Mass on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. My heart is filled with gratitude for the many graces received in this first year as bishop.
I am particularly grateful for the wonderful people of Wyoming who have been so gracious and encouraging. Your warmth and receptivity, your prayers and hospitality have helped me tremendously through this first year. Keep praying that I be the Bishop for you that God is calling me to be.
I am grateful for all that I have learned and am learning. I am grateful for the initiatives begun around our strategic pastoral planning. I am grateful for the wonderful priests and deacons, religious and pastoral leaders. I am grateful for a wonderful diocesan pastoral staff.
I am grateful for the family and friends, brother bishops and priests who have been such a source of support and encouragement. I am grateful for the grace of God that is so evident and abundant. I am even grateful for the struggles and challenges, for they are the real source of growth, as they keep the cross ever before me.
I am grateful for the way God has used this year to draw me closer to Himself, while giving me an even deeper desire to love Him more, to serve Him and His people more effectively, to will an even greater cooperation with His grace and plan for me and for our local church.
God of encouragement and endurance, keep calling us on; Keep granting us the grace we need, open hearts and minds to receive it, and the freedom and strength of will to live it always. AMEN.