It is common to wear many hats when you work for the Church, and I have been no exception. I have had the privilege to learn a great deal through a variety of ministerial opportunities. Since ordination I have served in the Archdiocese of St. Louis as a Coordinator of Religious Education for both parish programs and Catholic School programs. This included inter-generational faith formation as well. I was a high school religion and theology teacher at Valle Catholic High School in Ste. Genevieve, MO. This position also allowed me two other opportunities: I was the head boys basketball coach and the campus minister. Lastly, while in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, I had the privilege to be an elementary Catholic school principal.
In the diocese of Pueblo, Colorado I was a Parish Director of Religious Education in Florence, CO and was eventually asked by Bishop Tafoya to serve in the role of Vocation Director and Deacon Director for the diocese. That was quite the move out of my comfort zone, but a very beneficial experience.
I now serve as the Director of Pastoral Ministries and Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Cheyenne. In the past 3 and 1/2 years I have been blessed to meet many of the wonderful people all across the state of Wyoming. While the traveling can be exhausting and a bit challenging in the winter, it also brings many rewards. Being invited to lead workshops, retreats, and parish missions fills me with abundant joy and excitement. The faith of the people throughout the diocese truly inspires me to continue to grow in my own faith journey. I already have many speaking engagements lined up for the next 12 months and I am looking forward to meeting even more of God's people throughout the diocese.
As I look back on 14 years of ordained ministry, I can easily see that I have learned a great deal in the process. All of the years of schooling only prepare an individual up to a certain point. "On the job" experience brings a whole new dimension to the book learning. I have learned from observing others in ministry; I have learned from trial and error; I have learned from continued study and diligent reading.
In closing, I would simply ask for your prayers--not just for me--but for all who have leadership responsibilities in the Church. We need the support of your prayers to hold us up in our human frailty. For me personally, I hope I have touched lives in a positive way for the most part during these 14 years of ordained ministry. I know there have been times I have failed in that endeavor, and for those instances, I can simply seek forgiveness. For the times when I have ministered effectively, I can simply turn and thank God for the grace and the privilege to be used as an instrument of His love. May I continue to grow in wisdom, grace, and mercy!
St. Boniface, pray for us!