Lenten Journey(s)

I am presently on the road for one final tour before returning to the Diocese of Cheyenne for the remainder of Lent. Last Thursday, I flew to Kansas City, Missouri, where one of our seminarians picked me up and drove me to Conception Seminary, about an hour and a half Read more…

Priests & Presbyterates

About a year ago, Bishop Robert Lynch of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida asked me if I would serve as the Spiritual Moderator for their annual Priest Convocation.  I was more than happy to oblige for several reasons.  First and foremost, Bishop Lynch has been a long-time friend, and Read more…

Sts. Timothy & Titus

It is important to remember that today’s feast follows immediately on the heels of the feast of the conversion of St. Paul…who was intimately associated with these two great saints and early successors of the apostles.  As you may know, in recent years, the tomb of St. Paul was excavated Read more…


     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.

Basca Ordination Photos 066

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…)