Posts Tagged ‘Jackson’

The Easter Season Continues here at Our Lady of the Mountains

After yesterday’s graduation ceremony in Lander, we made our way over Togwotee Pass down into Jackson for an evening celebration of Confirmation. The flats coming into Jackson were full of elk and buffalo, while the Tetons were humbly veiled in heavy cloud cover.  No matter the weather, this is always a beautiful drive!

Confirmation Class, Our Lady of the Mountains, Jackson

I believe 44 students received the sacrament of Confirmation last night.  It was a full church!  Probably half of the class were from our Hispanic family, which certainly seems to keep growing in this part of the Church.  More and more, it seems I never get to the reception following Confirmations because of the amount of time visiting and taking pictures after the ceremony.  This crowd last night seemed most interested in getting their picture taken with the bishop.  The two most dreaded words of that time of day are always: “One more!”

As this Easter season continues, I am continually drawn in prayer to reflect upon the Life of the Risen Christ and the mysterious way He is always at work drawing us deeper into this Life of God.  As the Christian journey is meant to be a full giving of self in love, it can and does become wearisome at times. 

It is precisely this Life of the Risen Christ within us that we are to ‘tap into’ for the strength to continue our work and ministry.  I believe this is what St. Paul meant when he said in one of his epistles: “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.” 

With this in mind, Christians also must bear in mind the vigilance required to nurture and protect this Divine Life shared with us.  It is as a flame within us that can be extinguished through sin.  Just as easily, through our free will cooperation with God, the flame can be fanned into a fire that consumes any and all things within us that resist the Lord and His will.

Today’s office of readings from the First Letter of St. John speaks to the reality of sin and its serious consequence.  “If we say, ‘We have fellowship with him,’ while continuing to walk in darkness, we are liars and do not act in truth.  But if we walk in light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with on another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.”

So, my dear friends, let us walk in true fellowship with Christ. Seek Sacramental Reconciliation when falling into sin.  Strive to live always in Christ’s light, cooperating with His grace.  Pray for a profound knowledge of God’s will and the grace to accomplish it fully in your life.  Keep pursuit of holiness as a daily priority, and in due time, we shall know the fullness of God in His presence!

+pde

 

Eucharistic Marian Conference

I arrived in Jackson, Wyoming Friday afternoon to participate in this year’s return of the Eucharistic Marian Conference. Over 400 people gathered for a weekend of prayer, talks, catechesis for youth and young, fellowship and growing the faith.  The majority of people are from the Diocese of Cheyenne, but there are a number of visitors from other states as well.

The conference began Friday evening with a rosary, talk, and a healing Mass.  Saturday morning, it resumed with morning prayer, several talks and Mass.  This morning, the conference continued with more prayer, talks, and concluded with Mass.  I believe all in attendence left with a deepened awareness that Christ is truly alive, Risen, and active in the Church and world, despite the challenges of our times.  The conference no doubt also gave everyone a sense of renewed commitment. 

 There were several speakers engaged for the weekend:

Moira M. Noonan:  Moira was rasied Catholic, but left the church around the age of 15.  She engaged in the New Age spirituality and practices while at College and then after for a number of years.  She shared her story of the events that led her back to the Church.  These events began with a desire to “meet Mother Mary”, accompanied by a deep sense of what was Truth and what was not.

Fr. William Halbing:  Fr. Bill is a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ.  He is quite a bible scholar with as well as a student of Marian spirituality and history.  He is involved in the Charismatic Renewal as well.  His presentations were both humourous and thought-provoking.

Dr. David Fagerberg:  Dr. David is a professor of Notre Dame.  He is a student and professor of Marian Spirituality, and Liturgy.  His presentation was “dense” with beautiful quotes from many Church Fathers and other current theologians.  Notre Dame is quite fortunate to have him on faculty.

Fr. Hugh Barbour, O. Praem:  I was not present to hear Fr. Hugh’s presentation.  He is a “Norbertine” preist and prior of St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, Orange County, California.

Gene Fadness, grew up in Montana and became involved with Mormon friends and joining the church.  After a conversion experience through reading the Gospel of St. John, he returned to the Catholic Church and has worked hard to strengthen Catholics in their knowledge of the faith.  His unique contribution to the conference was to share the unique differences between the LDS churchand the Catholic Faith.

 Katsey Long is well known throughout the state of Wyoming for her healing ministry.  She has developed a strong relationship in this healing ministry with another presenter of the weekend, Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga.  Fr. Ubald, a priest from Rwanda, is a survivor of the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi tribe.  His family and large numbers of his parishioners were murdered during this period of time.  He experienced a profound healing at Our Lady of Lourdes, and has since then carried out a ministry of healing and reconciliation

Many thanks to the Conference Committee for putting together such a fine weekend of faith, prayer, and inspiration.  A special thanks go to Stuart and Susie Palmer!

+pde

Praise the Creator

Today was another spectacular day enjoying the beauty of creation in Jackson. The day began with 8:00 Mass followed by an opportunity to visit with some of the parishioners. I then had one meeting, and the rest of the day to enjoy the beauty of creation.

Before Mass, I got a glimpse of the excitement the whole day would hold. When I stepped out the door from my bedroom early this morning, I was greeted by a calf moose, no more than ten yards from me. Her mother was not far ahead.  I took some pictures, but there was not enough daylight to allow for a good picture.

After Mass, my host and I went to an undisclosed location to fly fish for 3 hours or so.  We fished a small stream and caught several nice cut throat trout.  No cameras were along for this part of the day, but the fishing was great today. 

We got back home for about an hour break before heading up to Teton Park to try to find some elk.  We had quite a show this evening.  We saw two different groups of elk, each with one six by six and a satellite bull, and the bugleing was extensive, and quite majestic.  The second group we saw were easily within 300 yards, and with binoculars, we had some good viewing.

But, the best event happened once we left the first group of elk.  While looking for more, we saw a cow moose and her calf.  While we were watching them outside one side of the vehicle, a nice size bull moose approaced within ten yards of our vehicle from the other side of the road.  He was young, but quite impressive.  So, he gets the picture of the day!

 

+pde

Wyoming Travels

 

Teton Elks

Yesterday, March 10, I travelled from Holy Spirit parish in Rock Springs to St. Patrick in Diamonville and Kemerer to visit Fr. Randy & Msgr. Taylor.  Kemerer is nestled into a beautiful little valley northwest of Rock Springs about an hour and a half. 

 From there I travelled to Afton, Holy Family parish.  I had the benefit of the company of Fr. Joe Gedders, a Vincentian priest serving in the diocese as pastor of Our Lady of The Mountains in Jackson, as well as pastor of Holy Family in Afton.  The parish in Afton is looking to build a new church facility.  They already have property purchased, and a lovely drawing, and are working to continue to build support in the parish, and finalize their financial plan.  The people I met are dedicated to their parish, and are excited about their future.  Afton is located in beautiful Star Valley.

 Once our meeting and lunch were over in Afton, we travelled on north through Star Valley to Jackson.  Those who have been to this part of the country know what a beautiful part of God’s creation rests here.  On the drive, we saw probably 300 – 400 elk as they are in the feeding areas along the highway.  This supplemental feeding helps the elk to make it through the winter months.  As the snow is beginning to recede, the feeding will soon stop, and the elk will begin to follow the snow-line back up the mountain to their spring and summer feeding areas.  Also spotted along the way were two moose!  It was a quick and fleeting view, but quite exciting.  I believe I saw three eagle as well. 

 Our Lady of the Mountains in Jackson enjoys a fairly new worship space.  It is beautiful.  A large group of parishioners were on hand for the 5:30 Mass, and almost 200 stayed for the dinner reception that followed.  We had a marvelous meal, and a lovely evening together.  It is clear there is a good spirit at work in this faith community.  There was a genuine invitation to return as often as possible to fish, hunt, pray and rest…and I believe that was the order they intended!

November 2014
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