I have been told that I need to blog more…ahem Meg (see her blog here). So I figured I would take this opportunity to share what my summer is looking like.
My summer assignment as a deacon is at Holy Name Catholic Church in Sheridan, WY. Sheridan is nestled next to the Big Horn Mountains (part of the Rocky Mountains in WY) and is a beautiful place to be assigned for the summer. The population of Sheridan is roughly 20,000 so it is big enough to have some of the mainstream stores (Wal-Mart, Albertson’s, etc.) but still has that small town feel (every third Thursday evening during the summer they close main street for a street festival, which I am looking forward to experiencing). My experience of the parish has been fantastic. The people of God here are very welcoming and hospitable. This past weekend was my first weekend here for the summer and I introduced myself to the parish by preaching (see that homily here
), but since Sheridan has two mission churches (one in Ranchester and the other in Story) I preached one Mass in Sheridan one in Ranchester, and one at the VA hospital here in Sheridan as well. During my time here I will be blessed to preach and assist at Mass, baptize (I am very much looking forward to this!), visit the sick in the Nursing Home and Hospital and bring them the Holy Eucharist, assist it weddings and funerals, and experience day to day life in all the parish functions throughout the summer. I even get my own office in the Holy Name Pastoral Center and it is great! I’m so used to having my bedroom and office all in one small dorm room, so to have my own office feels very strange and liberating. In addition to the parish functions, I plan to get a kick start on my thesis that I will be writing during my final year of Theology. I plan on writing about the Theology of Suffering as seen in Pope Saint John Paul II’s apostolic letter, Salvici Doloris.
So hopefully this summer I get a lot of reading done preppring me to begin that work (as well as read for fun too!).
Life in Sheridan is not limited to the parish life. I’m getting back into running (I’ve had some back problems during the past year that has prevented me from doing some of that, but I’m better now) and Sheridan has a pretty awesome run/bike path that follows the Tongue River and the Little Goose Creek through the city called “Sheridan Pathways” that is cool to run on. Also, since I’m so close to the mountains I plan on exploring them during my off time to relish God’s beauty in creation. Last Saturday a group of us hiked to Paradise Falls in the Big Horn Mountains and here a few of the pictures from that incredible (although short) hike.
Another thing that I’m excited to get more a chance to do is cooking. It’s fairly hard in seminary cook since the kitchen provides us with incredible meals most every day, but in a parish cooking is easier to do. I’ve already gotten the opportunity to try to make homemade corn tortillas (Meg helped) with fresh chorizo and onions and they turned out pretty decent. I’ll be trying to perfect that recipe as the summer goes on.
I think that summarizes my coming summer pretty well. Primarily my role this summer is to grow ever closer to the Lord through prayer and the sacraments and to help the people in Sheridan do the same through the Lord’s gift of the diaconate ministry in me. Please pray for me and know of my prayers for you too!