First of all, I am grateful for the healing that has taken place through the years. When I first arrived in Wyoming, there was a significant amount of hurt due to the closing of the pastoral offices in Casper, Wyoming. Numerous jobs were eliminated and rolled into one--the one for which I was hired. Any time there is downsizing in an organization, there is usually pain and hurt that go with it. It is no different in the Church. I am thankful that time was able to heal some of the hurt. I extend my gratitude to those impacted by the closing. I know it wasn't easy, but you found a way to let go of the hurt and support my presence here in the diocese. I thank you for that.
It has been a pleasure getting to know all of the priests of the diocese and working closely with them. That is a good aspect of being in a small rural diocese. You get to know everyone involved.
I have had the pleasure and privilege of preaching at Eucharistic Liturgies in the following parishes:
St. John the Baptist--Buffalo, WY
St. Anthony--Casper, WY
St. Patrick--Casper, WY
Our Lady of Fatima--Casper, WY
Cathedral of St. Mary--Cheyenne, WY
Mary Queen of Heaven Mission--Chugwater, WY
St. James--Douglas, WY
St. Mary Magdalen--Evanston, WY
St. Helen--Fort Bridger, WY
Our Lady of Lourdes--Glendo, WY
Immaculate Conception--Green River, WY
Sacred Heart--Greybull, WY
St. Matthew--Hulett, WY
Our Lady of the Mountains--Jackson, WY
Corpus Christi--Newcastle, WY
St. Joseph--Rawlins, WY
St. Margaret--Riverton, WY
Holy Spirit Catholic Community--Rock Springs, WY
Holy Name Catholic Community--Sheridan, WY
St. Paul--Sundance, WY
Holy Family Catholic Church--Thayne, WY
St. Francis--Thermopolis, WY
St. Anthony--Upton, WY
St. Patrick--Wheatland, WY
St. Mary Magdalen--Worland, WY
Abbey of St. Walburga--Virginia Dale, Colorado
I have conducted days of retreat for numerous groups:
*Diocese of Cheyenne Young Adult Retreat 2018 in Casper, WY
*Wyoming Catholic Men's Retreat in Centennial, WY
*Western Wyoming Catholic Men's Retreat @ Holy Family in Thayne, Wyoming
*Catholic Men's Retreat of Northern Colorado in Virginia Dale, Colorado
*Catholic Women's Retreat of Northern Colorado in Virginia Dale, Colorado
*Wyoming Catholic Women's Retreat in Virginia Dale, Colorado
*Women's Retreat at St. Joseph's Parish in Cheyenne, WY
*Council of Catholic Women in Lander, WY
*Bishop's Guild--Cheyenne, WY
*St. Anthony's Parish--Casper, WY
*Volunteer Ministers @ Immaculate Conception Parish--Green River, WY
*Our Lady of the Mountains Parish Retreat--Jackson, WY
*Our Lady of Peace Parish Retreat--Pinedale, WY
*RCIA Candidates from three parishes annually since 2010--Cheyenne, WY
*Diocese of Cheyenne Chancery Staff Retreat--Virginia Dale, Colorado
*Cathedral of St. Mary Parish (Cheyenne) Staff Retreat--St. Malo (Twice)
Abbey of St. Walburga--Virginia Dale, Colorado (Once)
*Holy Trinity Parish (Cheyenne) Staff Retreat--Fort Collins, Colorado
*St. Paul's Newman Center Parish Staff Retreat--Laramie, WY
*St. Patrick Parish (Casper) Staff Retreat--Rapid City, South Dakota
*St. Laurence O'Toole Catholic School Faculty Retreat--Laramie, WY
*Holy Spirit Catholic School Faculty Retreat--Rock Springs, WY
*Holy Name Parish Catechists' Retreat--Sheridan, WY
*Parish Council Retreat @ Holy Family Parish
F.E. Warren Air Force Base--Cheyenne, WY
*Parish Council Retreat @ St. Patrick--Wheatland, WY
*Parish Council Retreat & Workshop @ St. Rose of Lima--Torrington, WY
*Deacon & Spouse Retreat for the Diocese of Cheyenne Diaconate Community--Riverton, WY
I have conducted catechetical workshops in parishes and schools:
*St. Joseph--Cheyenne, WY
*St. Patrick--Wheatland, WY
*Our Lady of Peace--Pinedale, WY
*St. Paul Mission--Sundance, WY
*Our Lady of the Mountains--Jackson, WY
*St. Mary Magdalen--Evanston, WY
*St. Joseph--Rawlins, WY
*Holy Name --Sheridan, WY
*Cathedral of St. Mary--Cheyenne, WY
*Our Lady of Fatima--Casper, WY
*St. John the Baptist--Buffalo, WY
*St. Rose of Lima--Torrington, WY
*St. Anthony--Cody, WY
*Sacrament of Confirmation Candidates, Parents, & Sponsors
St. Patrick Parish--Casper, WY
*St. Anthony Tri-Parish School Faculty--Casper, WY
*Holy Name Catholic School Faculty--Sheridan, WY
*John Paul II Catholic School Faculty--Gillette, WY
*St. Margaret Catholic School Faculty and Parents--Riverton, WY
*St. Mary's Catholic School Faculty and Staff--Cheyenne, WY
*St. Laurence O'Toole Catholic School Faculty and School Commission--Laramie, WY
I have also enjoyed presenting parish missions.
This includes preaching at the weekend Masses followed by three nightly presentations.
Cathedral of St. Mary--Cheyenne, Wyoming (Three Years)
St. Margaret--Riverton, Wyoming
St. Matthew's--Gillette, Wyoming
St. Francis--Thermopolis, Wyoming
St. James--Douglas, Wyoming
Immaculate Conception--Green River, Wyoming (Three Years)
Our Lady of Fatima--Casper, Wyoming (Two Years)
Holy Spirit Catholic Community--Rock Springs, Wyoming
St. Patrick--Wheatland, WY
Corpus Christi--Newcastle, WY
I have spoken at a variety of pro-life events.
Laramie County Right to Life Banquet--Cheyenne, Wyoming
Goshen County Right to Life--Torrington, Wyoming
Pro-Life Conference--Casper, Wyoming
Catholics United for Life--Cody, Wyoming
Pro-Life March at the Wyoming State Capitol--Cheyenne, Wyoming
40 Days for Life--Casper, Wyoming
40 Days for Life--Fort Collins, Colorado
I have spoken at a variety of special events.
*Wyoming Council of Catholic Women State Convention Speaker--
*Standing Together for Marriage Convention Workshop Speaker--
*Northern Colorado Men's Forum--Fort Collins, Colorado
*"Ride for the Brand" Youth Retreat--Casper, Wyoming
*Eagle Scout Recognition Banquet--Cheyenne, Wyoming
*Theology on Tap--Cheyenne, Wyoming
*Numerous Bishop's Guild Meetings--Cheyenne, Wyoming
*All Souls Day Remembrance Service--Cheyenne, Wyoming
*66th Annual Rocky Mountain Chapter Chorister's Guild Festival Worship Service--Cheyenne, Wyoming (Presider and Homilist)
I could spend a lot of time listing all of the people who have touched my life through the years, but I will simply highlight a few. If you are not mentioned, it is not because I wanted to exclude you. This is just a broad stroke of the keyboard which will in no way incorporate everyone who has positively impacted me while I have been here in Wyoming.
To the priests--thank you for your ministry in tending the flock.
To my brother deacons and their wives across the diocese--thank you for the many ways you serve. Keep up the good work. It has been a privilege to minister with you.
My thanks to all of the staff members and volunteers at each of the parishes. You are truly building the Kingdom of God. Many times you do your work and receive very little gratitude. Please know that your dedication and faithfulness is making a difference.
To the Knights of Columbus, Council of Catholic Women, and other organizations across the state--thank you for the amazing work you do.
I especially want to thank the Knights of Columbus for their work in the pro-life arena. You have made it possible for our pregnancy care centers all across the state to have ultrasound machines. Through the Knights of Columbus ultrasound initiative, we have purchased ten machines with money raised locally for half the cost of each machine. A matching grant from the Supreme Council in New Haven, CT completed the deal. We have received just under $150,000.00 in grant payments from the Supreme Council. This is a huge blessing to the ministry of life in our diocese. THANK YOU!
To the Cathedral Guild and Bishop's Guild here in Cheyenne--thank you. Your untiring efforts to serve God's people is simply astounding. I have never seen a group of more dedicated people. Thank you for the many times you responded to my requests for help with different events. You blessed me abundantly by your willingness to serve.
To the parishioners of the Cathedral of St. Mary--thank you for everything. While I realize that I spent a lot of time on the road across the diocese, the cathedral was my home parish and the place where I served as a deacon during my entire time in Wyoming. Thank you for that wonderful privilege.
To my co-workers at the chancery--thank you. It has been quite a journey over these last eight years and eight months. It has been an honor to be a co-worker in the vineyard of the Lord with you. Keep up the good work.
To my dear friend and co-worker who is no longer with us--Carol DeLois-- may you rest in God's eternal peace! Thank you for everything.
To the diocesan administrator who hired me back in 2009, Fr. Michael Carr--thank you for giving me such a wonderful opportunity.
To Archbishop Etienne--thank you for a great seven years.
To the diocesan administrator in between bishops, Fr. Carl Gallinger--thank you for your service. Taking on an additional hat was probably not what you needed, but you accepted the role nonetheless. Blessings to you.
To Bishop Steven Biegler--congratulations on completing your first year as bishop and celebrating 25 years as a priest. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you always.
Looking at photos taken through the years by our Director of Stewardship, Matthew Potter, it is easy to recognize how I have been blessed in my diaconal role with a wide variety of liturgical gatherings all across the state. All of these experiences have enriched my ministry. Serving with the bishop on a regular basis at the cathedral has been an amazing privilege that I do not take for granted. You can view a brief slide show here:
I am also grateful for the opportunities that I have had to serve in areas not directly connected with the Church. First of all, I would like to recognize the good work at Magic City Enterprises here in Cheyenne. I have had the privilege to be on the Board of Directors for Access Home, Inc. and ProHome, Inc. during my time here. It has been a delightful experience to be involved with an organization that is "supporting individuals with disabilities to live successfully." What a blessing!
Volunteering at the homeless shelter, participating in the annual Homeless Memorial Day, supporting the work of the local food pantry, and other endeavors have helped me remember my role as a deacon is to serve those on the margins of society. I try to never forget that responsibility.
On December 21, each year there has been a Homeless Memorial Day service in Cheyenne to honor, and pray for, those homeless members of our community that died over the previous year. It is held on that date because it is the longest night of the year. The temperatures were frigid a few years when we gathered outside at the Capitol Building or at the Historic Depot for this prayer service. It was a very sobering reminder of the hardships that the homeless face on a daily basis. I only missed this service a couple of times during my years here. I would encourage everyone to participate in this event if it is held in your local community. If it is not held, maybe you can start one?
Laramie County Right to Life has been a tremendous blessing in my life. Thank you for your work each year in organizing the march for life here in Cheyenne as well as the annual fundraising banquet. Your dedication in building a culture of life is noteworthy. It was my privilege to speak at the capitol on a number of occasions at the conclusion of the march, and it was truly an honor to be the keynote speaker at the banquet many years ago. Your hard work and dedication has made a difference to the point that we needed a bigger venue for the banquet, and the numbers at the march went from the low 200's to over 600 people on a couple of occasions. I wish you well in your continued endeavors.
In closing, I simply say that my life has been enriched because I have lived and worked in the Diocese of Cheyenne. It has been quite a ride for eight years and eight months. My sincere thanks to each and every one of you who has touched my life in one way or another. On behalf of my wife, Margaret, and myself, I simply pray for you, "May God who has begun this good work in you bring it to fulfillment!"