In the last six weeks I have had the privilege of preaching four parish missions, leading two retreats, and leading two penance services. During the four parish missions I preached at 17 Eucharistic liturgies and gave nine presentations lasting one hour each. The retreats were a total of eight presentations, and I also had the honor of preaching at the two penance services. These events took place in five different cities and towns across Wyoming. It was truly wonderful spending time with God's people all across the state.
My schedule remains somewhat full for another few weeks, and then more time will be spent in preparation for the ordination and installation of our new bishop on June 5. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make the ordination of a bishop a beautiful experience for the Church. When I arrived in Cheyenne seven and a half years ago, all the preparatory work had already been completed for the ordination and installation of the new bishop which happened just weeks after my arrival. This time I am present to be part of the fun of sharing some of those responsibilities.
I want to take a moment to thank all of the people who helped make my Lenten journey a beautiful experience. Each of the parishes where I led missions welcomed me with splendid hospitality. Your kindness and generosity was overwhelming. The Sacred Triduum at the Cathedral of St. Mary was a powerful expression of prayer. To the many people who had a hand in making that possible, I simply say thank you.
Finally, I say thank you to my family, especially my wife, Margaret. I will soon celebrate my 18th anniversary as a deacon. My family has sacrificed a lot through the years to allow me to minister in the manner that I do. This past Lent was an example of that support of my ministry. I was gone from home for nearly twenty of the forty days of Lent. I could not do the things I do if it wasn't for the support and encouragement of my wife. That is something I try not to take for granted (but I know there are times that I do).
Where do we go from here? We solemnly celebrate Easter for eight days (octave). Then we continue to celebrate all the way to Pentecost. May these days of celebration open your heart to the movement of God's Holy Spirit in your life!