It has been a challenging week for us in the chancery office in Cheyenne as we come to grips with the news that our bishop is leaving for Anchorage, Alaska. While we are excited for this new adventure in his life, there is also a grieving process that we must enter into as we strive to embrace the changes that will impact us as a staff.
In the midst of change certain items remain constant. We still have responsibilities and obligations that need to be upheld. My personal schedule has remained full this past week as I gave a presentation to the Cathedral Guild women on Thursday evening, planned a women's Lenten retreat for a neighboring parish, and spent the weekend with the deacon aspirants and gave a presentation to them on Sunday regarding supervised practical ministry.
Today has been centered upon the 40 Days for Life as we prepare for the national tour bus to stop in Casper next week on October 18, 2016 at noon. Compiling annual school statistics for the diocesan NCEA report is on the agenda as the form sits on my desk awaiting attention. I also have to prepare a talk for the diocesan youth gathering on October 22-23, 2016 in Casper.
Our young people at the Cathedral will be celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation on Monday, October 17, 2016. A planning meeting is set for this afternoon. I only have a few more opportunities to assist at Mass with Archbishop-elect Etienne presiding before he moves to Anchorage. I want the liturgies to proceed smoothly and prayerfully. Planning, preparation, and rehearsal will help ensure that we pray well.
Upcoming events include an evening of remembrance on All Souls Day. We will gather at the Cathedral on the evening of November 2, at 7:00 P.M. to pray for all of our faithful departed, and to also pray for ourselves as well. This will be my first time to lead this special prayer service at the Cathedral and I am humbled to share this sacred moment with our parishioners. (November 2, will mark exactly one year since we celebrated the funeral liturgy for my mom. i am sure this celebration of evensong will have a personal impact on me.)
On November 5, I will lead a retreat for the parishioners of Our Lady of the Mountains in Jackson, Wyoming. I will also stay and preach at the weekend Masses celebrated in English. I am looking forward to spending this time in a beautiful city with wonderful people. I simply pray that the weather cooperates so the seven hour drive is not extended any longer. Praying for good driving conditions seems to be a constant thing to do in the midst of change as well.
After spending the weekend in Jackson I will quickly return to Cheyenne, unpack my suitcase, repack it, and head to Denver to fly to Anchorage. Solemn Evening Prayer will be celebrated on November 8, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage, Alaska. The Mass of Installation will take place on November 9, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Anchorage, Alaska. While I am saddened by the departure of Archbishop-elect Etienne, I am glad I will be able to participate in his installation as Archbishop of Anchorage, Alaska.