Today is the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, a day which Pope Francis dedicated as the World Day of Prayer for the Poor. Our Gospel today comes from St. Matthew (25:14-30) and is the familiar story of the talents. As is often the case, a clue for understanding this passage lies in the first line: “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.” Do we recognize that all we have is given us by God? And what we have is given us according to our ability. God […]
Today is Giving Tuesday, and I would like to draw your attention to one of my favorite organizations, Catholic Rural Life. I’ve served as President of this national organization for the past three and a half years. For the first time in our 93 year history, we are in the midst of a capital campaign. I would like to encourage you to learn more about Catholic Rural Life and prayerfully consider becoming a member, and or helping us with a financial gift to reach our campaign goal. Below is an article that appeared in our […]
Yesterday, a nice group of people gathered at the Miles Land Ranch southwest of Casper for the second annual Rural Life Mass and celebration. I’m very grateful to the three ranch families that sponsored this year’s gathering; Jim & Peggy Price, Randy & Vernita Marton, and Roy & Kathleen Jarrard. They did a super job from planning, preparation to welcoming all of our guests, and the clean up was well underway by the end of the day. Their hospitality was incredible! All pics can be viewed here. I would judge from the number of cowboy hats […]
This year’s Catholic Rural Life Celebration is quickly approaching! Please make plans to join us Sunday, August 21 for a Noon Mass followed by a meal. Leaders from Catholic Rural Life will be present, as will many of your neighbors and friends. Please come join us for a celebration of faith, family and fellowship! Directions may be found in the flyer below. Mass and meal will be under shelter.
Having recently celebrated the feast of St. Isidore, I am mindful of the many farmers busy preparing their fields for planting and the many ranchers hard at work during another calving / lambing / branding season. Last year we had such a good turn out and feedback for our Catholic Rural Life celebration that we will host another Mass and dinner again this year. All are welcome! Details are in the poster below. Please keep Sunday, August 21 free so you can join us on the Miles Land and Livestock Ranch west of Casper.
One of the greatest privileges of being a bishop in a rural diocese has been my ability to witness the incredible sacrifices people make to ensure their family, their farm, and their community thrive. Wyoming is a great and beautiful state, but there are many factors here—from harsh weather to the remoteness of rural areas—that present challenges to living in the countryside. Hollywood suggests that “rugged individualism,” captured by someone who is strong, silent, and set apart, is the necessary characteristic for “making it” in the countryside. But I’ve found that the opposite is true. […]
As Thanksgiving approaches, I hope you are anticipating time with family and friends, or at least, some way to celebrate your gratitude for God’s many blessings in your life. It is good that our nation has the wisdom to set aside a day to give thanks to God for his many blessings, as a nation, as families, or as individuals. Among the many things for which we are most grateful are freedom, family, health, faith, and, especially on this feast of Thanksgiving, food! In a world where hunger is a daily struggle for many, it […]
Indiana Catholic Men’s Conference Last Friday I started a ten day road trip. I flew into Indianapolis, where I gave a talk and presided over Mass and a Holy Hour for the Indiana Catholic Men’s Conference. Well over 600 men gathered from around the state at the Indianapolis Convention Center. It was good to see numerous former parishioners as well as men who are presently parishioners of my two brother priests in the Diocese of Evansville. We celebrated Mass at St. John’s which is right across the street from the Convention Center. It was quite […]
On Sunday, over 200 people gathered at the Spiering Farms in Powell, Wyoming to celebrate rural life. Those in attendance knew they had found the right farm by the big papal flag flying from the flag pole. The celebration began with a Noon Mass quickly followed by a pitch in meal, complete with pork and beef roasts prepared on scene. Even though the day saw temperatures in the 90’s, we were quite comfortable beneath a tent in the shade. Everyone enjoyed a great deal of fraternity. Our primary goals for the day were to make […]
Papal Encyclical Affirms “Vocational” Approach to Agriculture, Says Director of Catholic Rural Life June 18, 2015 WASHINGTON (June 18, 2015) – Pope Francis’ widely-anticipated teaching document on environmental concerns, Laudato Si’, was published today, with big implications for farming and food production. “This encyclical underscores how farming isn’t solely an economic endeavor,” said Jim Ennis, the executive director of Catholic Rural Life, a 92-year old non-profit dedicated to applying Catholic social teaching to agriculture and other rural issues. “Rather, it needs to be thought of in a much broader framework, with ethical, social, environmental, and even cultural dimensions […]