I was greeted at the end of the weekend travels yesterday evening with a double rainbow, reminding me of the two Missions I visited; St. Patrick in Moorcroft and Blessed Sacrament in Wright. Both of these communities are served from St. Matthew in Gillette.
After the 4:30 Mass in Wright, I stayed to have dinner with a small group. It had been a long day with quite a bit of travel, so the raibows’ greeting an hour or so north of Cheyenne was a great encouragement.
The people are always so generous and glad to have some time to visit with their bishop. It is always a blessing for me to listen to their stories, hear about their families and life, and whatever the current topics of interest may be.
In these days, much of the discussion revolves around the lack of rain, wildfires, and the pressure this puts on the ranchers. Many of the ranchers have lost their pastures to fire, and other pastures are simply drying up due to the lack of moisture, forcing an early sell-off of herds. Of course, in Wright, ranching means Buffalo at the Durham Bison Ranch, managed by a parishioner, John Flocchini.
We had a good turnout for the Sunday afternoon Mass in Wright, but several families are away on vacation. With the assistance of Deacon Kim Carroll and a couple of servers, we had a simple, but heartwarming celebration.
Both Moorcroft and Wright have beautiful churches. The faithful take good care of these buildings, and great pride in the faith that is celebrated within.
Mass at St. Patrick in Moorcroft is at 9:30 on Sunday mornings. This Sunday, three baptism were scheduled. Sadly, one of the little ones was quite ill, and unable to join us. This was a particular blessing for me, serving as the ‘supply priest’ this weekend. I was able to hear confessions, as well as celebrate a couple of baptisms for a couple little girls, who are both the first born of their families.
One of the Godfathers was Chancey Williams of the Chancey Williams & The Younger Brothers Band. Chancey and his band will be an opening act for Merle Haggard Sunday night in Cheyenne for the Cheyenne Frontier Days.
After Mass at St. Patrick, and the pictures following the baptisms, the folks gathered in the parish hall for some refreshments. These moments to visit with the people are so enjoyable. I was particularly impressed in both communities by the number of young families, and young children.
There are a few more Mission visits scheduled later this summer, but still quite a few more to reach. This particular part of the bishop’s duties to visit his people never ends, and thankfully, is a part of the ministry I enjoy most! I am very grateful for the faith of our people, and always impressed and pleased with the dedicated service of our priests and deacons.