Today wraps up this week long visitation to the deaneries of the diocese. Saturday evening I celebrated Mass at St. Anthony parish in Casper. The Casper community was hosting their annual fund-raiser for the St. Anthony Tri-Parish school. It was quite an event, as well as quite successful. We are very grateful to the many people who help sustain our ministry of Catholic Schools.
Sunday, I travelled to Sheridan to join the Holy Name community. Holy Name is at an exciting moment in their history and are in the process of making decisions to keep their parish family on a solid foundation well into the future. I enjoyed a meeting with parish leadership to discuss the options before them, and to encourage them as they prayerful discern their future. The parish gathered for a lovely Mass Sunday evening and a reception following. There is clearly a vibrant community of faith present in Sheridan, and I’m sure the Holy Spirit will continue to guide them well. Fr. Tom Ogg, the pastor in Sheridan, gave me a nice tour of the area on Monday, and I am growing in my love for the Big Horn mountain region.
Last night we gathered for the Sheridan Deanery Mass at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Gillette. The deanery was well-represented. Prior to the Mass, the priests, deacon and religious gathered for a meal, and it was good to spend time with this dedicated men and women. As you can see from the photo to the right, the 4th degree Knights were once again well represented. Thank you, Knights, for your presence at all our deanery Masses during the past few weeks!
The parish then provided a nice reception for those who had the time to stick around and visit. One thing I am learning is the distances people travel to be present for such events. I’m sure it provides a real challenge in the day-to-day life of parishes throughout the diocese. I’m grateful to all those who made the journey to join us for these deanery Masses. Last night I met a couple young men who expressed interest in studying for the priesthood, which is a very encouraging sign for our future. I even met one youngster who told me: “I want to be Pope when I grow up!” He seemed slightly disappointed when I told him he needs to be a priest first. So, to all our young people, study hard, pray well, and keep listening to the voice of God calling you forward in your life. “Trust in the LORD, and he will act!” (Psalm 37:5) After some time visiting here in Gillette today, I’ll return home, to Cheyenne. Thanks, Wyoming, for a great week!0