I keep telling people that I have “settled in” to my new life here in Cheyenne at St. Mary’s Cathedral, but that I’m still “transitioning.” Uprooting one’s life and moving to a new place is never an easy transition, even for priests who are seemingly more used to moving around (especially associate pastors as we tend to get moved around more frequently). Saying goodbye to friends made and opening your heart to a whole new parish community is tough but it is also incredibly exciting.
I left behind a community at St. Stephens Mission whom I had grown close to, after only one year at the Mission. I was blessed by many incredible experiences there, amidst the challenge of ministering on the Reservation. I also created Vita Nova Coffee, which is still in operation with volunteers at the Mission serving the people of St. Stephens. I had to say goodbye to that chapter of my life, but it is comforting to know that those friendships and experiences will continue to endure, although they now look different on a day to day basis.
I began priestly ministry here at St. Mary’s Cathedral on September 1 (has it already been 2 months?). Right away I felt at home here, which is important in any situation. The people of God are welcoming and engaging, an experience that I’ve received at every parish I’ve been to, and the Cathedral has been no different. Although I grew up on a ranch in NE Wyoming and am comfortable in that kind of setting, which was life at St. Stephens, I am a city-boy at heart and living in Cheyenne feeds that part of my personality. I love living in the downtown area with many sights within walking distance from the Cathedral.
Ministry is also a joy here at the Cathedral. Being the youngest priest at the Cathedral, it is natural for me to plug into St. Mary’s School, the youth, and the young adult groups happening. These various groups have been a blast to jump into. The kids at the school are particularly fun to hang out with for their prayer services or Mass or various other events (Fall Festival is approaching this Saturday and the kids may even see me make an appearance during their Jump Rope for Heart program). I strive to make a consistent appearance with the youth at Youth Group and enjoy hanging out with them and ministering to them. The young adult crowd is also growing here in Cheyenne and I have already plugged into that group and hope to see it grow! There are so many various groups here at the Cathedral that it’s hard to plug into them all, but I’m trying and going where I feel the Holy Spirit leading me.
I’ve also been able to plug into other activities as well including running a 5K in support of LifeChoice Pregnancy Care Center and will be running the Turkey Trot 5K in November in support of the COMEA Homeless Shelter.
Coffee is also another major part of my personality and even though Vita Nova Coffee is back at St. Stephens, I have another set up in my office at the Cathedral, also completely free of charge! So please feel free to stop by anytime I’m in the office for an Americano, Latte (with or without various flavors including Pumpkin Pie for October/November), Hot Chocolate, or tea, and a great conversation. I love encountering people in this way and coffee is such a great thing to share and can be a springboard into a deeper conversation about God and life.
Thank you all for your prayers and know that I’m praying for you! If you’re in Cheyenne, stop in to say hi. Cheers!