Last Tuesday was the beginning of nearly a week on the road. I was glad to make it home last night.
After Mass Sunday morning at St. Anthony in Casper, I made my way to another Mission community; St. Hubert in Kaycee. Actually, I’m not sure why we refer to Kaycee, since the church is actually in Sussex. St. Hubert is served by Fr. Pete Johnson out of St. John the Baptist in Buffalo.
The first Mass of St. Hubert was celebrated on January 30, 1920 in Kaycee, which is in Johnson County. For years, the community gathered in family homes. During these weeks of Ordinary Time, when we meditate upon Jesus’ Eucharistic Discourse from John’s Gospel, people may want to take a moment to give thanks for the regular availability of a priest and the sacraments. The people of St. Hubert gather only two Sundays a month for Mass. Fr. Pete also has one other Mission that he serves, and alternates between the two of them for Sunday Mass.
In 1967, the present church was established by remodeling an old school house. The name of St. Hubert came from the Bishop of that time, Bishop Hubert Newell. For a long time, St. Hubert was served by the priest out of Midwest. Now, there is no longer a church or sacraments offered in Midwest.
Once the people had gathered, we began Mass around 2:00. The old and beautiful Cottonwood trees provided our ‘sanctuary’ along with a cool breeze. In total, about 30 people gathered, and I was told there were only a few families missing.
After Mass there was a pitch in dinner. It provided a great opportunity to visit with the people to hear the history of this part of the state and get a better understanding of their life. Most of these families are ranchers; either cattle, sheep, or both.
At one time Johnson County was perhaps the largest lamb, sheep, and wool producing county in the United States. However, a late spring snow storm during the 1980’s took a heavy toll on local herds. This along with changing economics saw a major reduction in the sheep business.
I would ask this readership to please pray for rain. So many people in this state, as well as across the country are facing serious economic hardship due to the drought. Last year, the heavy winter snows filled all our reservoirs. This past winter saw snowfalls well below normal. Driving home yesterday, I could see that the Glendo reservoir is drastically low. Please pray that we receive some relief in the near future, and that we have another good year of snow during the winter to refill the reservoirs.
Wishing all of you blessings and peace in these final days of summer.