Wyoming Travels

  Yesterday, March 10, I travelled from Holy Spirit parish in Rock Springs to St. Patrick in Diamonville and Kemerer to visit Fr. Randy & Msgr. Taylor.  Kemerer is nestled into a beautiful little valley northwest of Rock Springs about an hour and a half.   From there I travelled to Read more…

Rock Springs Deanery Mass

Mother Nature was kind to us last night, and allowed the people of the Rock Springs Deanery to gather for our deanery Mass.  The Rock Springs Deanery is the most far-flung deanery in the diocese, stretching approximately 350 miles from the southeast of Saratoga to the northwest of Jackson.  Once Read more…

Keeping Sunday Holy

     During our January retreat in Tucson, the Region XIII bishops heard just a little bit from Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI regarding the sabbath.  I found what he had to say very true for our culture today, and have continued to think of several things in association with this commandment Read more…

Godparents

As we approach the Confirmation season, I wish to say a word about the role of Godparents.  I have been blessed with two of the best Godparents anyone could ask for, and even more blessed to still have them present in my life, setting a good faith example and praying Read more…

Casper Deanery Mass

Last night, the Casper Deanery gathered for a Mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church.  It was a beautiful evening and celebration together!  Once again, I believe every priest of the deanery made the effort to be present, as well as a good number of our permanent deacons.  I am so Read more…

Diocesan Staff Retreat

Today, our diocesan staff made their annual retreat at St. Walburga Abbey and Retreat Center in Virginia Dale, Colorado.  It was a beautiful day, filled with many blessings, not the least of which was the beautiful scenery enjoyed on the way to and from St. Walburga, including these beautiful mule Read more…

Cheyenne Deanery Mass

     Last night, the Deanery of Cheyenne gathered for the first of five deanery Masses to be held this month. It is a great opportunity for us to gather as Church, to celebrate the life and unity that are ours in Jesus Christ through the Eucharist.  My hope is that Read more…

Friendship

     This past week I had my first visitors to Cheyenne. Two college seminary friends who are now priests, Fr. Marvin Enneking of the St. Cloud Diocese, and Fr. Mark McCormick of Rapid City came to see how the new bishop is getting along. Their visit reminded me of the precious gift of friendship. It makes me appreciate the role friendship plays in helping us understand the relationship Christ seeks to have with each of us.

     When I was a student in Rome, there was an Italian preist who worked in the Congregation For Clergy, Msgr. Mario Marini, who became a close friend, and who had a tremendous appreciation for the gift of “amicizia” (friendhsip). I learned recently that Msgr. Mario died this past May. Even though our contact over the years has been limited, I was deeply moved at the news of his death. This, too, spoke volumes to me of the value of friendship.

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Bishop Lynch & me after homily of episcopal ordination. Photo by James Baca, Archdiocese of Denver

     Another person who has taught me much of friendship is Bishop Bob Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida.  As many of you know, Bishop Lynch preached not only my first Mass as a newly ordained priest, but most recently also preached at my ordination and installation as the new bishop of Cheyenne.  Friendship is a Gospel value.  “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.  No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command you.  I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing.  I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.”  (John 15:12-15)

Hopefully, we all know the treasure of a good friend, or many friends!  I am grateful for the many friends that have sustained, loved, and supported me over the years.  I’ve not been particularly good about sustaining such relationships, but with age comes wisdom, and I cherish friendships more and more.  Friendships with individuals, married couples, and families have played a crucial role in my life as a priest.  We are made for intimacy and love, because we are made for communion with God.  I propose the LORD chose to call us friends, indeed to become our Friend,  because frindship is a great portal to the experience of the ultimate Friendship, to become friends of God through His Son, Jesus Christ.  This is what all the covenants over the span of the history of salvation offer, communion, friendship, intimacy with the God who is Love.  May each of you be blessed with many good friends, the joy of friendship, and may these priveleged relationships help you to see the beauty of what our Good God offers each of us, to become friends of God. (more…)

Holy Families

When I was a kid growing up, I loved visiting my grandparents homes, both Grandma & Grandpa Etienne, and Grandma & Grandpa Voges.  The Etienne’s were a small family.  Dad had only one sister growing up, having lost a sister at a young age.  The Voges’ on the other hand Read more…