As you probably know, the bishop and priests wear several hats. The three primary roles of the bishop, which he shares with his prists are those of Priest, Prophet and King. In other words, we are to carry out the priestly duties of Jesus, preach the Good News of Christ, and administer and govern the Church in the justice and manner of Christ.
In recent weeks, the primary ‘hat’ on my head has been the one of governance. There have been countless meetings and many office hours in the last several weeks. It was with great joy that I was able to ‘get back on the road’ this past weekend to celebrate Mass with the good people of St. Anthony, a mission in Upton, and St. Matthew, a mission in Hulett. Both of these communities are in the northeast quadrant of the state.
Both communities provided warmth, hospitality, and signs of a vibrant faith community. The music was uplifting and there was a geat sense of pride in the parish and all were genuinely pleased to celebrate the Eucharist with their bishop.
In both missions, there was time to greet people prior to Mass, and a good deal of time to remain and visit following Mass. In Hulett, we gathered after Mass at the country club for lunch. If you have ever been to this part of the state, you know how beautiful it is! Hulett is not quite in the shadow of Devil’s Tower, but pretty close!
The weekend reminded me that even though a great deal of my time and energy is consumed with administrative details, the true heart of this ‘shepherd’ is the priestly heart, and the real heart of the diocese is the parish, the mission, and the People of God. The People of God truly are God’s blessing to His priests and bishops.
After saying ‘goodbye’ to the people in Hulett, I made my way over to Rapid City. I enjoyed an afternoon, evening and morning with the relatively new bishop of Rapid City, Bishop Robert Gruss. Bishop Gruss and I spent a few years in seminary together, and it was great to spend a day visiting with him, and sharing our new life and ministry as bishops.
The priests of the Diocese of Cheyenne are now gathered at the retreat center in Rapid City for retreat this week. Our retreat director is Archabbot Lambert Reilly, the former archabbot of St. Meinrad Archabbey in Southern Indiana.
So, please pray for our priests and Archabbot Lambert that this may be a restful and renewing couple of days. As always, please know of my prayers for all of you.