Teton Elks

Yesterday, March 10, I travelled from Holy Spirit parish in Rock Springs to St. Patrick in Diamonville and Kemerer to visit Fr. Randy & Msgr. Taylor.  Kemerer is nestled into a beautiful little valley northwest of Rock Springs about an hour and a half. 

 From there I travelled to Afton, Holy Family parish.  I had the benefit of the company of Fr. Joe Gedders, a Vincentian priest serving in the diocese as pastor of Our Lady of The Mountains in Jackson, as well as pastor of Holy Family in Afton.  The parish in Afton is looking to build a new church facility.  They already have property purchased, and a lovely drawing, and are working to continue to build support in the parish, and finalize their financial plan.  The people I met are dedicated to their parish, and are excited about their future.  Afton is located in beautiful Star Valley.

 Once our meeting and lunch were over in Afton, we travelled on north through Star Valley to Jackson.  Those who have been to this part of the country know what a beautiful part of God’s creation rests here.  On the drive, we saw probably 300 – 400 elk as they are in the feeding areas along the highway.  This supplemental feeding helps the elk to make it through the winter months.  As the snow is beginning to recede, the feeding will soon stop, and the elk will begin to follow the snow-line back up the mountain to their spring and summer feeding areas.  Also spotted along the way were two moose!  It was a quick and fleeting view, but quite exciting.  I believe I saw three eagle as well. 

 Our Lady of the Mountains in Jackson enjoys a fairly new worship space.  It is beautiful.  A large group of parishioners were on hand for the 5:30 Mass, and almost 200 stayed for the dinner reception that followed.  We had a marvelous meal, and a lovely evening together.  It is clear there is a good spirit at work in this faith community.  There was a genuine invitation to return as often as possible to fish, hunt, pray and rest…and I believe that was the order they intended!