The term "Ordinary Time" has the potential to lead us into believing that these weeks of worship are less important than the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. After all, these weeks are just "ordinary." While we witness some changes in the church environment and adornment from season to season, we must recognize that each time we gather as a community of believers we are nurtured by the proclamation of God's Sacred Word and nourished by the Lord's Body and Blood as described so eloquently in John's Gospel chapter six. There is nothing ordinary about that awesome and beautiful privilege.
The rest of my January calendar is full. Diaconate formation, the annual clergy gathering known as the January Institute, pro-life events, and the beginning of Catholic Schools Week are all on the horizon. The month of February gives me a little reprieve before heading full blast into Lent on March 1.
On March 2, I have the honor of speaking at an Eagle Scout Recognition Banquet. This will be a first for me, but it fits well with one of the hats that I wear in my role as Director of Pastoral Ministries. In that role I serve as the Chaplain to Scouting in our diocese.
I will once again be part of the women's retreat at St. Joseph's Parish in Cheyenne on March 18. This is our third annual gathering. I will be sharing speaking responsibilities this year with Rose Guerrero from Pueblo, Colorado. It should be a magnificent day of retreat.
On March 22, I will preach at the closing Mass of a parish mission at the Cathedral of St. Mary. There will be a different homilist each night from March 20 through March 22. I hope to see my local readers (Cheyenne) there.
I will be preaching at the weekend Masses and giving a three night parish mission for the first time in Wheatland, Wyoming from March 25 through March 29. I am looking forward to being with the parishioners of St. Patrick during those days. Please note, I will also preach at Mary, Queen of Heaven Mission in Chugwater on Sunday, March 26, at 11:00 A.M.
For the second straight year I will be preaching at the weekend Masses and giving a three night parish mission at our Lady of Fatima Parish in Casper, Wyoming from April 1, through April 5. The mission last year was a wonderful experience and I am extremely grateful to be invited back again this year.
After that I will attend the Chrism Mass, another weekend of diaconate formation, and then we move into Holy Week. I am convince that it is going to be a powerful Lenten journey.
I hope to catch my breath briefly near the end of April before heading to Thayne, Wyoming for another new endeavor. I will be leading the Western Wyoming Men's Retreat from May 5--May 7. It should be beautiful spending some time in that part of the state with the dawning of spring.
If you find yourself experiencing a bit of sluggishness or feelings of malaise during these cold and overcast days of winter, take time to be with God in a very intentional way. You do not need to wait for the season of Lent to arrive to jumpstart your spiritual battery. We may be in Ordinary Time, but God's love is always extraordinary!