The past few days have once again been packed. I think I am now “officially” a veteran bishop of Wyoming. Tuesday I began work on my second set of tires!
Wednesday the provincial bishops met in Denver. This province includes the states of Colorado and Wyoming; four dioceses, five bishops, not including three retired bishops who also still live in their respective dioceses. Archbishop Charles Chaput is the Metropolitan Archbishop of Denver and they also have an auxiliary bishop, Bishop James Conley. The other two dioceses of Colorado are Colorado Springs, Bishop Michael Sheridan, and Pueblo, Bishop Fernando Isern. Of course, Cheyenne makes up the fourth diocese.
We try to meet twice a year to discuss all that is going on in our dioceses, take care of business, and generally keep eachother informed of current events. It also provides an opportunity for sharing a meal together, and ejoying some time with brother bishops. We spent a good four hours together and enjoyed the visit.
After the meeting, I spent the rest of the afternoon with our two seminarians studying at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver. I had the opportunity to visit with each of them individually. As it was such a beautiful day, we strolled the grounds while we visited and got some fresh air. Brian Hess and Bryan Willoughby are both fine young men in the first year of theology. We are blessed to have them. After our time one-on-one, we prayed evening prayer together and then grabbed a nice evening meal.
Thursday I got caught up on correspondence in the office, met with a few of the staff, and then joined our Development Director, Matt Potter for a few days on the road. First stop was an evening gathering at Our Lady of Fatima in Casper. We began with Mass and then had a lovely reception with about 100 people from the three parishes in Casper. We had a good gathering and sharing of information.
After spending the night in Casper, we headed for Torrington this morning. One of the great “jewels” of the diocese is located here, St. Joseph’s Children’s Home. As bishop, I serve on several boards, and today the board of directors met at St. Joseph’s. Every year, they home celebrates the feast of their patron, St. Joseph, and today was their celebration.
St. Joseph’s Children’s Home began as an orphanage in 1930. Today it serves as a residential treatment center for severely emotionally disturbed children and adolescents. Over the years, thousands of children have passed through their doors, receiving support, education, supervision, guidance, ministry, and therapy. The home runs an accredited school and has marvelous facilities, a dedicated staff and a committed board providing for their needs.
Bob Mayor serves as the executive director, and has done so for nineteen years. He is passionate about this service, his ministry, and the well-being of these children. He is an asset to this diocese, and especially to the many who have benefited from his commitment to quality care for these children. I have been deeply moved with each of my visits to St. Joseph’s.
Besides the facilities, which includes a beautiful church, there are other great opportunities for the residents. There is an equestrian program, 4-H Fair opportunities with raising their own animals, swimming and other great recreational opportunities.
If you are ever looking for a great organization to add to your list of Charities, St. Joseph’s Children’s Home is a great opportunity to participate in something that definitely makes a true difference in people’s lives.
So, it is home for the evening, then back on the road for the next four days. Stay tuned.
Hope your Lent is going well and leading you deeper in conversion, and closer to the Lord!