It is sometimes difficult to comprehend just how quickly the years pass. It was on June 5, 1999 when I was ordained a permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. I could have never guessed where the road would lead from that day forward, but here we are sixteen years later in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It has been quite the journey.
A diaconate classmate gave me a book on Fr. DeSmet when I moved to Wyoming. He reminded me that Fr. DeSmet also went West. The connections between St. Louis, Missouri and Wyoming in regard to the faith are amazing. Although modern forms of travel and other conveniences are in place today, the missionary spirit is still alive and well. The vast geographical distances and harsh winter weather present some distinct challenges to spreading the faith in Wyoming, but I can only imagine the sacrifices of Fr. DeSmet and others like him in the early years. I have a profound respect for the missionaries of those days.
I have learned a great deal through the years and God has blessed my ministry in ways I could have never imagined. On this 16th anniversary of my ordination to the diaconate I simply pause to give thanks and praise to God for the tremendous graces and blessings. I also thank each individual who has crossed my path throughout the years. In whatever way you touched my life, I simply say, "Thank you!"