wyoming catholic - Diocese of Cheyenne
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Volume 55 Issue 2
• Reconciliation............................ Page 2
• Sister Ruth Ann Hehn............... Page 3
• Marching for Life....................... Page 7
• Deacon earns Ph.D.................. Page 15
The Church is Called to be Fruitful in Each Member & Each Parish
the seed does not bear much fruit. On
the other hand, when the Word of God
is received and acted on then that person
yields a bountiful harvest!
We must be attentive to our relationship
Another familiar Gospel story describes
the gifts that God gives each of us, and
that there is an expectation that we
do something with them. This story
is known as the Parable of Talents.
(Matthew 25: 14-30) Interestingly, this
story comes just before the great teaching
of Jesus about the last judgement!
By: The Most Reverend Paul D. Etienne, DD, STL
Bishop of Cheyenne
By design, the Creator uses the things
of this world to teach us of the things
of heaven. Our practice of harvesting
the fruits of the earth is meant to help
us understand that God is also looking
for a bountiful harvest from each of us!
The fruitfulness of our lives has eternal
Farmers sow seeds with the expectation
of reaping a harvest. Likewise, God
creates each person in his own image and
likeness, bestowing unique gifts upon
every one with the expectation that our
lives will advance the Kingdom of God.
We are familiar with the Gospel story of
the Sower. (Matthew 13:1-9) The seed
sown is the Word of God, and the Lord
plants this seed in every human heart.
However, when we lack understanding,
or experience trials or worldly anxiety
or pursue only the wealth of this world,
In this story, a man goes on a journey,
but before leaving he calls in his servants
and entrusts to them his possessions.
(Is this not what God does with each of
us? Entrusts to us the gift of divine life
through his Son, Jesus?) Eventually, the
man returns. (Jesus has also promised
to return.) And each person is called to
give an accounting of the stewardship
entrusted to his or her care. Those who
multiplied the gift were rewarded. Those
who did not increase their gifts lost what
was entrusted to them.
I will share one other Gospel passage
regarding fruits. Matthew (12:33) has
this to say: “Either declare the tree good
and its fruit is good, or declare the tree
rotten and its fruit is rotten, for a tree is
known by its fruit.” That one does not
seem to need much interpretation!
Jesus makes it clear that the life of the
disciple is to be fruitful. He also gives us
instruction regarding the cultivation of
such fruitfulness. “The greatest among
you must be your servant.” (Matthew
23:12) “Whoever finds his life will lose
it, and whoever loses his life for my sake
will find it.” (Matthew 10: 39) The fruitful
Christian life is about serving others.
Jesus instructs his disciples about the
abundance of God’s work when he said:
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers
are few; so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”
With these inspiring words from
scripture, we must ask: “Do I know the
gifts entrusted to me by God?” Am
I generously exercising these gifts in
gratitude to God and for the benefit of
others?” Have I heard Jesus calling me to
follow him? How is Jesus calling me to
Since God is hopefully expecting a
bountiful multiplication of goodness
from each of us, we can conclude that
every parish is likewise to be a vineyard
of good works! What is the harvest being
cultivated in your parish? Does your
parish have enough people to carry out
the mission and ministry of the parish?
Is the parish only concerned about itself
and its internal ministries, or does it have
plenty of opportunities to serve people
beyond the parish?
Are there lots of young people involved
in the religious education program? Are
there plenty of catechists to teach the faith?
Are there numerous weddings each year,
evidencing the desire of couples wishing
to live the sacrament of Holy Matrimony?
When was the last time your parish had a
young man go to the seminary to study
for the priesthood, or a young woman
enter a religious community? What is
the evidence that your parish is fruitful?
How can your parish become even more
When a tree is barren, it needs proper
thing which depletes the soil of the
soul is consumerism. Consumerism
contaminates our faith.
by excessive individualism and
consumerism, for many, the parish has
simply become a spiritual refueling
station. Indeed, we come to Sunday Mass
to be spiritually nourished and fed, but
also to be incorporated into the Body of
Christ and sent into the world on mission
to share the Good News and to serve
Christ in all those we meet.
The harvest is abundant, but only to the
degree that we cultivate our relationship
with Jesus Christ. We must continually
renew a vibrant faith life. We need to
ardently desire and actively seek the work
and power of the Holy Spirit. We must be
willing to talk about Jesus and our faith
life with one another. We must spend
less time consuming and more time
producing the good works of faith.
We know what it is to pray and work for a
good harvest every year. Let us be equally
if not more attentive to the harvest God
seeks from each of us!
“Blessed are they who have kept the word
with a generous heart and yield a harvest
through perseverance.” (Luke 8:15)
Reconciliation and the Mercy of God
By: Amanda Montoya
I still remember the day I received my First
Confession. We had a large class and a lot of priests
come from other churches to help with Confession
that day. I remember seeing all the parents and
students sitting in the pews waiting for their child to
be finished so they could leave. As I was sitting in my
pew, I kept my eyes forward on the altar, and I hoped
and I prayed that I wouldn’t be one of the kids who had
to go to confession on the altar with the entire group
of people staring at me. Unfortunately, I was not one
of the lucky ones. I remember walking up to the altar
where the priest would hear my first confession while
my parents, classmates, teachers, and my classmate’s
parents were all watching. It didn’t matter how softly
I was speaking I felt like they all could hear me and I
had no doubt in my mind that they knew exactly what
I was confessing. From this moment forward I felt the
worst anxiety when I would have to go to confession.
In fact, most times I went because someone else made
After years and years of living in this fear, I
encountered a priest who forever changed my opinion
on confession. One afternoon in particular, I was
meeting with my spiritual director, Fr. Rob Spaulding,
for coffee and a chat about my spiritual life. During
our discussion the topic of confession came up, so I
decided to share my feelings.
I turned to Fr. Rob and said, “Father, I just don’t like
confession. It’s really hard for me to go into a room,
tell some guy everything I’ve done wrong, and have him
give me some sort of punishment for my actions.”
He looked at me with all sincerity and said “Well,
Amanda, I can totally understand why you don’t like
confession.” I was shocked and my response surely
displayed that “Father Rob! You’re a priest. You’re not
supposed to agree with me!!”
That afternoon in a coffee shop in Cheyenne his
response would forever change the way I approached
this sacrament. He said, “Oh Amanda, I don’t agree with
you. I can understand how this view of the sacrament can
make it hard to participate in. Instead of looking at this
as confessing your sins and receiving a punishment, what
if you look at it like this -- you have the opportunity to
look at Jesus in the face of the priest and say ‘here are all
the areas in my life where I have chosen myself over you
and for these moments I am sorry.’ Then the priest gets
to look at you and say ‘My child, I forgive you, here are
some ways that will help you choose Christ next time.’”
Through one simple conversation my whole view was
changed. When I think about reconciliation, it reminds
me that I am coming to this sacrament broken, because I
have tried to do things my way for too long. Participating
in the sacrament means fixing or reconciling that
relationship with God. There is nothing that I have done
that is “too bad” and there is no sin “too big” for God to
forgive. He sits, waiting in anticipation for his children to
return. It is in this sacrament that I find healing because
it is only God who can make my broken pieces fit back
As part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Diocese of
Cheyenne will be hosting a day-long retreat in each
deanery. Presenters include Bishop Paul Etienne, Fr. Cliff
Jacobson, Pastor of St. Matthew’s in Gillette, and Deacon
Kim Carroll, Gillette. In this retreat, we will consider
what is mercy; look at our own stories of where we
have experienced mercy and who have been the Angels
of Mercy in our lives; we will look at Jesus, the face of
mercy, and experience His merciful love through the
gift of Reconciliation and Prayer; we will break open the
Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and set goals to
be Angels of Mercy in our families and communities.
The retreats will be offered in
Casper Deanery: March 12
St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 604 S. Center, Casper
Rock Springs Deanery: September 10
Sts. Cyril and Methodist,
633 Bridger Ave, Rock Springs
Cheyenne Deanery: April 9
St. Mary’s Cathedral
2107 Capitol Ave, Cheyenne
Thermopolis Deanery: September 17
808 Arapahoe St., Thermopolis
All the retreats will be held from 9-4, followed by the regularly-scheduled parish Mass.
To register, text Mary Sue, 903-930-6912
or call St. Matthew’s in Gillette, 307-682-3319, Ext. 112.
Please indicate the retreat location and your name, phone number
and the number of people in your party.
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Interfaith Prayer Service
February 8, 2016 • Cathedral of St. Mary
Fr. Rob Spaulding, pastor of St.
Paul’s Newman Center, and Sen.
Dave Kinskey, Parishioner of Holy
Name Parish in Sheridan, catch
up at the Interfaith Prayer Service
Rabbi Moldo, Bishop Etienne, and Dr. Salih listen to presentations and
prayers of representatives of other faith traditions.
Rabbi Larry Moldo of Mount Sinai Synagogue, Bishop Paul Etienne of the Diocese of Cheyenne,
and Dr. Mohammed Salih of the Southeast Wyoming Islamic Center represent the Abrahamic faith
Left to Right: Bishop Etienne, Rev. Rick Veit of St. Mark’s Episcopal
Church in Cheyenne, Rabbi Moldo, Rev. Ernest Fitzhugh of Unity
Missionary Baptist Church in Cheyenne, Dr. Salih.
Secretary of State Ed Murray and State Treasurer Mark
Gordon chat before the service. Secretary Murray is a
parishioner at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Sister Ruth Ann Hehn, SCL, Retires
Please join us for Mass at Holy Trinity Church in Cheyenne on
April 16, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. to give thanks to God for Sister Ruth Ann.
Mass will be followed by lunch in Cabrini Hall.
All are invited to attend and wish her well in retirement.
Holy Trinity Church is located at 1808 Hot Springs Avenue, Cheyenne.
I entered the Community of the Sisters of Charity
of Leavenworth in 1960. My first assignment in the
Community was to teach; two years in second grade
and 25 years with first graders. Twenty-seven years of
teaching was enough!
I arrived in Cheyenne in June 1990 to become the
Administrator of Holy Trinity Manor. At that time,
I was able to do activities with the residents, plan
field trips, and have groups come into the Manor
for all kinds of presentations. There have been many
updates to the Manor since then, including an
enclosed patio and the installation of new windows.
For the past several years, I have received training to
become the Site Manager, which means you do all
the paperwork yourself.
It has been my privilege to serve on the Diocesan
Pastoral Council and work with the Council of
Religious in the Diocese. I also joined the other
Sisters in the Ministerial Association and found the
ministers in the City of Cheyenne very welcoming
and involved in doing things to enrich the lives
of the people. We had a Free University where
different ministers taught classes and we could
attend whatever was of interest to us. That is the
same group that started the COMEA Shelter. I
served on that Board for a time. Msgr. Gerald
Left to Right: Sen. Kinskey, Rep. Mark Kinner of Big
Horn, and Mayor Rick Kaysen of Cheyenne. Mayor
Kaysen is a parishioner of St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Sullivan also belonged to the group, and during his
time, we started Cheyenne Interfaith Hospitality,
which serves homeless families. It is still going, now
known as Family Promise of Cheyenne. I serve as
the Coordinator for Holy Trinity Parish, and with
the gracious help of the parishioners, we are able to
provide a safe home where the families can relax and
enjoy a home cooked meal (banquets) or meals the
week they are with us.
Another group that has grown over the years and has
been the power behind many organizations doing
wonderful things is the Laramie County Community
Partnership. I hope to continue participating in
that group in my retirement. A sub-committee is
responsible for starting the Unaccompanied Youth
House at Holy Trinity.
These 55 years in Religious Life have been filled with
many blessings. I thank God every day that He has
given me these years with such generous, caring
people. I hope to be able to volunteer, play and pray
for many more years in Cheyenne. Thank you.
Ever Been to an Ordination?
By: Matthew Potter,
Director of Development and Stewardship
One of the most sacred, beautiful and uplifting
events in the Church is the ordination of a man to
the priesthood. Curiously, there are many, many
Catholics who have never attended an ordination.
If that’s you, then here is an opportunity to change
On May 20, 2016, Bishop Paul Etienne will ordain
Deacon Andrew Kinstetter to the priesthood. This
will take place at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cheyenne
at 2:00 in the afternoon.
The Ordination Mass is very familiar to Catholics,
but there is much more that takes place. In
addition to the Bishop acting as the celebrant, many
priests and deacons from throughout the Diocese
attend to witness to the newly ordained, as well as
to offer their blessings and support.
Following the Liturgy of the Word, Deacon Andrew
will then lie prostrate at the foot of the altar while
the congregation sings the Litany of the Saints. He
does this to symbolize his unworthiness for the
office to be assumed and his dependence upon God
and the prayers of the Christian community.
Following this powerful
moment, Bishop Etienne will
then lay hands upon Deacon
Andrew. By this ritual
Bishop Etienne and the other
priests invoke the Holy Spirit
to come down upon the one
to be ordained, giving him a
sacred character and setting
him apart for the designated
Page 24 4
example, offering the bread and the wine,
anointing the sick and blessing people.
The Bishop says as he anoints the hands:
“The Father anointed our Lord Jesus Christ
through the power of the Holy Spirit. May
Jesus preserve you to sanctify the Christian
people and to offer sacrifice to God.”
Deacon Andrew will then receive his chasuble
and stole. The stole symbolizes the authority and
responsibility to serve in imitation of Christ. It
reflects the line from Scripture: “For my yoke is easy
and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:30) The chasuble
is the principle garment of the priest celebrating the
Eucharist and is the outermost vestment.
Bishop Etienne then anoints the hands of now
Father Andrew. Anointing with oil stems from
the Old Testament and indicates that someone or
something is being set apart for a sacred task or
duty. The anointing of the hands signifies that the
hands of the newly ordained
priest are being prepared
for the sacred duties and
vessels which will be part
of the priestly ministry, for
WYOMING CATHOLIC REGISTER
Finally, Bishop Etienne will hand Father Andrew
a chalice and paten. The Eucharist is at the heart
of the priesthood and this ritual highlights the
importance of celebrating the Eucharist in the life of
the priest and its meaning, as seen in
the words which are spoken by the
bishop: “Accept from the holy people
of God the gifts to be offered to
him. Know what you are doing, and
imitate the mystery you celebrate;
model your life on the mystery of the
The Mass then continues with Father
Andrew and all the attending priests
concelebrating with Bishop Etienne.
The challenge of completing priestly
formation is formidable, and the
celebration of the Eucharist in which
these men are ordained is joy-filled
and truly awesome.
All are invited to attend this beautiful celebration.
Mark your calendars today and help us fill the
Cathedral and give witness to God’s glory.
Much of the information for this article was taken
from the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic
We Are All Deacons, or Should Be
By: Deacon Joe Sandrini
Director of Diaconal Formation
The entire Church: clergy and
laity, rich and poor, old and young
- all are called to the diakonia
(servant works) of Christ. This
means none of us can honestly
call ourselves Christian unless we
live out Jesus’ acts of service in our
own lives. Failing to serve others,
while claiming to be His disciple,
only makes us liars to ourselves
and the world.
Wow, that’s pretty stark - pretty
black and white! What about
just being a good person, loving
God and believing in Jesus? Well,
that is important and part of the
equation. However, Jesus lays
out pretty plainly the terms and
conditions of discipleship (what it
takes to be a Christian), and they
are not quite that simple. Also
included is to love your neighbor
and enemy. Wanting and working
for what is best for them, not
yourself, and helping them to
This means we need to be like
Jesus and put some flesh on our
love - to be personally present and
make His love real in the world.
We do this, as Christ teaches,
through performing the corporal
and spiritual works of mercy.
Serving others from a life lived in
light of the Beatitudes.
Of course, being self forgetful
in the service of others is not
something that comes naturally
to most folks. Our fallen nature
inhibits this. Jesus knows that,
and He provides us the help we
need through grace. His gifts
strengthen and guide us to become
the children of God we are meant
to be. It is also why the Lord,
throughout Scripture and His
Gospel, reminds us that prayer,
fasting and alms giving help foster
a spirit of selflessly serving others.
They hone the cutting edge of our
ability to serve by drawing us into
closer relationship with Him.
In part, this is why we are asked
in our Lenten commitments to
embrace prayer, fasting and alms
giving. To be drawn more deeply
into the mystery of Christ, being
formed in His image precisely
through increased humility and
trust in our heavenly Father.
Then, so strengthened, we are
better able to go out into the world
as Christ’s eyes and ears; hands
and feet; embracing arms and
proclaiming lips – A Church that
really is the body of Christ serving
those most in need. This is what
makes each and every one of us
a disciple and a deacon. People
fortified by grace who live out the
servant mysteries of Christ.
However, as Deacon James
Keating has noted, “In order for
the diaconate to be internalized
in the theological imagination of
the Church, (ordained) deacons
have to suffer the coming of
Christ as characterized within
their own hearts. This suffering is
diaconal formation.” That means
for the rest of us to recognize,
embrace and live out the Church’s
diaconal mission, our ordained
deacons must be well formed and
exemplary in their vocation to
service. They must be living icons
of Christ the Servant, leading
examples and encouragers of
Responding to the ongoing need
to foster a diaconal spirit in our
Church, beginning in September,
the Diocese will prepare a group
of men over the course of five
years to be ordained permanent
deacons. Your prayer, fasting and
alms giving are needed to help this
become reality. And, one way you
can materially help is to consider
increasing your annual gift to
the Living and Giving in Christ
campaign. Part of the funds
raised help meet the nearly half
million dollars the entire diaconal
formation program is projected to
On the other hand, maybe you
are a man who is really drawn to
the servant mysteries of Christ.
A man the Holy Spirit might be
calling to consider the permanent
diaconate as a vocation. If
so, hopefully you were able to
attend one of the five diaconate
information meetings recently
concluded. While important,
attendance at one of those
meetings was not mandatory. But
what is required, if you think you
may at least be called to look into
the diaconate, is that you submit
your application material for
Aspirancy by May 1, 2016.
The information you need and
application forms are all available
on the deacon’s page of the
diocesan website (http://www.
diaconate.html). If you have
any questions, please contact
Deacon Joe Sandrini by e-mailing
or telephoning 307-275-0641.
Gay Woodhouse and Bill Willingham, volunteer Board members of the
Wyoming Catholic Ministries Foundation, use their skills in service to the
Church as they work to support the ministries of the Diocese of Cheyenne.
The Chrism Mass will be held this year in Casper at St.
Patrick’s. Each year, the Chrism Mass is held the Thursday
prior to Holy Thursday. The Chrism Mass will be rotated
between Casper (St. Patrick’s) and Cheyenne (St. Mary’s
Cathedral) every four-five years.
Bishop Etienne will consecrate the perfumed oils, which
signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit. Each pastor brings back
the oils for use in their parishes.
•Oil of the Sick
•Oil of Catechumens
•Sacred Chrism (used for consecration in the
Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders)
•Priests will renew their vow of obedience to the
Bishop and their commitment to serve God’s people
This is a diocesan celebration. The goal is to have
representatives from each parish of the Diocese present.
Everyone is invited to attend this beautiful Mass. Please mark
your calendars to attend the 2016 Chrism Mass on March 17,
2016 at 5:30 p.m. at St. Patrick’s in Casper.
Hispanic Ministry Opportunities
in the Diocese of Cheyenne
Oportunidades de Ministerio Hispano
de la diócesis de Cheyenne por.
By: Rev. Ray Rodriguez, Pastor, St. Mary Magdalen Parish, Worland
Reverendo Ray Rodríguez, párroco, parroquia de Santa María Magdalena,
la comunidad local. Este retiro se
beneficiará de la fruta de un programa
de 4 años de formación al discipulado
dirigido por los Misioneros de
Jesús con pies descalzos de Denver.
Feligreses de la iglesia del sagrado
corazón en Greybull han participado
activamente en los retiros de
formación y cumplido fielmente los
miércoles durante más de 3 años y
ahora dirigirán el retiro en Worland
bajo dirección de Valente Muneton.
Estoy tan orgulloso de estos feligreses
y estoy agradecido por lo que seremos
capaces de ofrecer retiros en más
lugares en la diócesis formando más
equipos de retiro.
Lent means springtime!
This is a season where God offers
us new life. As our Holy Father,
Pope Francis recently made an epic
apostolic visit to Mexico, a number
of exciting opportunities are being
offered by the Diocese of Cheyenne in
the area of Hispanic ministry.
On February 20 at St. Joseph’s Church
in Cheyenne, a one day Lenten
retreat was held and facilitated by Eva
Estorga, our Regional Coordinator for
Hispanic ministry. This retreat gave
participants an inspirational entry to
the graces of Lent.
On April 9 & 10 St. Joseph’s Parish
in Cheyenne will be hosting a
Retreat for Youth, inspired by the
spirituality and theology of the
Quince años celebration. A cultural
celebration of a woman’s dedication
to God and commitment to service
in the community, the Quince años
originally was celebrated by young
men and women. Youth ages 14 to
16 are invited to this transformative
On May 13 to 15 in Worland, St. Mary
Magdalen Church will sponsor an
Encuentro, “Encounter”, weekend for
Spanish speaking parishioners and
members of the local community.
This retreat will benefit from the fruit
of an ongoing four year program of
discipleship formation led by the
Misioneros de Jesus con pies descalsos
Sacred Heart Church in Greybull have
actively participated in formation
retreats and have been meeting
faithfully on Wednesdays for over
three years and now will be leading the
retreat in Worland under the guidance
of Valente Muneton. I’m so proud of
these parishioners and am grateful for
what we will be able to offer in more
places in the Diocese as we gain more
Cuaresma significa primavera!
On May 20-22, as our Diocese
receives a new priest, the Hispanic
community in Casper will be given
the chance to participate in the second
of three retreats this year as part of
the ongoing three year discipleship
formation program sponsored by the
Diocese. This retreat will take place at
St. Anthony’s Church.
9 y 10 de abril la parroquia de San
José en Cheyenne será el anfitrión
de un retiro para jóvenes, inspirados
por la espiritualidad y la teología
de la fiesta de Quince años. Una
celebración cultural de dedicación
de la mujer a Dios y compromiso al
servicio de la comunidad, los Quince
años originalmente fue celebrada por
las mujeres y los hombres jóvenes.
Jóvenes de 14 a 16 años están invitados
a este evento transformador.
Finally, the Diocese is inviting
everyone to a pilgrimage retreat on
June 11 & 12. This retreat will offer
participants a true walking retreat
beginning in Cheyenne and ending in
Pine Bluffs, 40 miles away! Last year’s
pilgrimage was a resounding success
and a powerful spiritual experience
for all. Don’t miss it!
Many wonderful ministries are taking
place around our Diocese for and with
our Hispanic brothers and sisters. Our
parishes in Rock Springs, Jackson,
Evanston, Laramie, Gillette, Greybull,
Douglas, Wheatland, and Cheyenne,
as well as others, are doing all they can
to reach out to and support the vibrant
faith of the Hispanic community.
May this Lent truly produce the fruit
of Easter joy!
Se trata de una temporada donde
Dios nos ofrece vida nueva. Como
nuestro Santo Padre, Papa Francis
realizó recientemente una épica visita
apostólica a México, un número
de oportunidades se ofrecen para
la diócesis de Cheyenne en el área
del Ministerio Hispano. Febrero
20th en San José en Cheyenne, un
retiro cuaresmal de un día se celebró
y fue facilitado por Eva Estorga,
nuestra Coordinadora Regional de
Ministerio Hispano. Este retiro dio
a los participantes una entrada de
inspiración a la gracia de la Cuaresma.
13 al 15 de mayo en Worland, Iglesia de
Santa Maria Magdalena patrocinará
un Encuentro, “Encuentro”, fin
de semana para los feligreses que
hablan españolas y los miembros de
20 al 22 de mayo, nuestra diócesis
recibe un nuevo sacerdote, y la
comunidad hispana en Casper será
dada la oportunidad de participar
en el segundo de los tres retiros de
este año como parte del programa
de formación de discipulado que
continua por tres años patrocinado
por la diócesis. Este retiro llevará a
cabo en la iglesia de San Antonio.
Finalmente, la diócesis invita a todos
a un retiro de peregrinación el 11 y
12 de junio. Este retiro ofrecerá a los
participantes un verdadero retiro de
caminar comenzando en Cheyenne y
terminando en Pine Bluffs, 40 millas de
distancia caminando! Peregrinación
del año pasado fue un éxito rotundo
y una poderosa experiencia espiritual
para todos. ¡ No te lo pierdas!
Muchos ministerios maravillosos
están teniendo lugar en nuestra
diócesis para y con nuestros hermanos
hispanos. Nuestras parroquias en
Rock Springs, Jackson, Evanston,
Laramie, Gillette, Greybull, Douglas,
Wheatland y Cheyenne, así como
otros, están haciendo todo lo posible
para llegar a y apoyar la fe vibrante de
la comunidad hispana.
Que esta Cuaresma produzca
realmente el fruto de la alegría de la
At its discretion, the editorial committee of the Wyoming Catholic Register reserves
the right to review and reject advertisements including, but not limited to, those that
are not in line with Roman Catholic teachings and Catholic associations that have
not been erected, recognized, praised or commended by the Bishop.
Marching For Life
By: Deacon Vernon Dobelmann
January 22, 2016, marked the 43rd
anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade
United States Supreme Court
decision which legalized abortion in
our country. Although the Church
continues to keep the pro-life
message in the public sphere, it is
evident that we are a long way from
attaining full legal protection for the
unborn. Until abortion becomes
unthinkable, it will not become
The consequences of 43 years of
legalized abortion are immense.
Obviously, millions of babies
have lost their lives because they
enjoy no protection under the
law. Unfortunately, the level of
grief, trauma, and depression being
experienced by many post-abortive
women is staggering as well. The
ripple effect also reaches “would
be” dads, grandparents, and other
extended family members. The act
of abortion may be legal, but the illeffects it produces are certainly not
the panacea that many in the proabortion industry would like us to
The Diocese of Cheyenne continues
to promote the sanctity and dignity
of each human life from conception
through natural death. On Saturday,
January 23, 2016, people from all
across the state gathered in Cheyenne
to Celebrate Life with an array of
Bishop Paul Etienne
was the principal celebrant of the
Eucharistic Liturgy at 9:00 A.M. at the
Cathedral of St. Mary. The Cathedral
Guild prepared a complimentary
breakfast immediately after Mass in
After breakfast, we made our way to
the historic Cheyenne Depot for the
pre-march program sponsored by the
Laramie County Right to Life. Essay
contest winners inspired us with
their powerful pro-life messages.
The Pro-Life March began promptly
at noon with nearly 300 participants
marching to the state capitol.
Claire Culwell was the premier
speaker at the capitol. She gave us a
glimpse into her personal journey in
the pro-life movement. She would
share that journey more fully at the
banquet that evening. Her story is
simply remarkable. The Knights of
Columbus provided lunch following
the march and the events at the
at $2,499 ~~ Prices
Included in this
The annual Celebrate Life banquet
was held in the evening at Little
America and consisted of a silent
auction and two speakers. Wyoming
Secretary of State, Ed Murray, got
the evening started off in style. The
keynote speaker, Claire Culwell, gave
a powerful testimony in regard to the
sanctity of life that deeply touched
the hearts of all present.
the Holy Land;
& Spain; Poland;
& Fatima; Ireland
Greece & Turkey;
Our Lady of Guadalupe; Prague; Budapest; Greece; Colombia;
We also specialize
We also specialize in custom
trips for Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.
It is of the utmost importance that
we continue to promote a culture of
life. Mark your calendar and plan
to join us next year in Cheyenne on
Saturday, January 21, 2017.
Call us 24/7
Sunday, August 21
Mass at Noon
Celebrant: Bishop Paul D. Etienne, DD, STL
Meal immediately following
Miles Land and Livestock Ranch:
16880 Highway 487, Casper,
Diocese of Cheyenne, Catholic Rural Life,
Miles Land and Livestock Ranch, Marton
Ranch, and the Jarrard Ranch
From Casper - Go southwest on Hwy 220 to the junction with Hwy 487. Travel 11 miles on Hwy 487, the
ranch will be on the right.
From Rawlins, Lander areas - Take Hwy 287 to the Muddy Gap junction with Hwy 220. Take Hwy 220 to
the junction with Hwy 487 and then travel 11 miles to the turnoff.
From Laramie - Take Hwy 487 out of Medicine Bow to mile marker 62. The ranch will be on the left.
Living and Giving in Christ; Unity through Diocesan Ministries
By: Matthew Potter, Director of
Development and Stewardship
Catholic Charities of Wyoming is
supported in part by your gift to
Living and Giving in Christ; Unity
through Diocesan Ministries
Catholic Charities of Wyoming, Left to right: Tim Jurkowski,
Associate Director; Kerry Shelit, Administrative Assistant;
Will Pogue, Therapist. Not pictured: Bob Mayor, Director;
Shaundra Drysdale, Therapist; Krysten Keck, Therapist; Emily Cole, Adoption Caseworker; Virginia Griffith, Adoption
Caseworker; Noamie Niemita , Adoption Caseworker; Laura
How often do you associate the word “torture” with children?
If just the thought of that association makes you uncomfortable, perhaps you should stop reading this story right now. For that is the word
used, multiple times, by Tim Jurkowski, Associate Director of Catholic
Charities of Wyoming, to describe the abuse foisted upon children in
our world today.
Mr. Jurkowski has been in his position at Catholic Charities for less
than a year, but he is having a great impact serving the most vulnerable
and the most abused population in our state. With an undergraduate
degree from Catholic University of America, and a Master’s degree from
the University of Steubenville, both preceded by a lifetime of Catholic
school and a mother who was a Catholic school teacher, he has a solid
Catholic background and a Catholic needle that points true North.
Growing up on the east coast, Mr. Jurkowski moved to Evanston, Wyoming after graduate school to work as a therapist. After a few years of
living in Evanston, he and his wife Maggie became a bit homesick and
decided to return to their extended families in Maryland. As they left
the state, they both thought “What the heck are we doing?” and vowed
to come back.
Shaundra Drysdale works with children in the Foster Care group.
as well. He insists that those who work for him will have as their focus
upholding human dignity. There are three therapists working for him
Mr. Jurkowski talked about the role Catholic Charites plays in Wyoming. He said that there is a small amount of money available for
emergency purposes, e.g. rent or utilities. He also said that adoption,
which at one time was the primary business of Catholic Charities, is
only a small piece of what they do. They have case workers in Cheyenne, Gillette and Cody who work with couples who want to adopt,
both domestically and internationally.
The main business of Catholic Charities today, however, is behavioral
health and mental health, which takes up 90% of their time and resources. They primarily serve families and children, and the children
are either in foster care or state care. The children are under that care
because of the trauma they have endured in their lives.
Mr. Jurkowski said that he works with the District Attorney’s office as
well as the state Department of Family Services (DFS). He has told the
DFS to “send me your toughest cases.” This is where the word “torture”
first appeared in our interview.
The children with whom Catholic Charities works have been severely
physically, emotionally, and sexually abused. He added to that description by saying that these children have been “psychologically and physically destroyed.” More often than not, it’s the parents who are to shoulThey missed Wyoming terribly and soon moved back, landing in
Cheyenne with their four children, where Mr. Jurkowski began a private der the blame in these tragic cases, as they will often justify their actions
by telling the authorities that they have bound their children’s hands
and feet, or beat them, or forced them to live in unspeakable conditions
When asked why he left private practice to work for Catholic Charities, because they have been “naughty.” The parents then insist that they
Mr. Jurkowski said that he had “always wanted to work for Catholic
have done nothing wrong.
Charities.” His parents were Catholic missionaries, and they had imCatholic Charities, under the direction of Mr. Jurkowski, uses the
parted on their family an orientation toward service and social justice
to others. He said they cared deeply about the dignity of people, and he Neuro Sequential model of therapeutics, a way of reorganizing a brain
that has been disorganized by trauma, both in utero and after birth.
has carried that value in his heart and his actions to this day.
This method targets neuro development, where the therapist can identiMr. Jurkowski stated that Catholic Charities of Wyoming will be the
fy what areas of a child’s brain need to be targeted first to treat the trauagency that does not discriminate by income or ability to pay, and he
ma that they have endured. Catholic Charities of Wyoming is one of
demands that those therapists who work for him will hold that value
wyoming catholic Register
Shaundra Drysdale gives some individual time
to one of the children in her Foster Care group.
only about 30 places in the U.S. that uses this model, and Mr. Jurkowski
states that it is a very effective means of therapeutic treatment.
This is where he mentioned “torture” again, talking about broken bones
in children, blood splattered on walls at face level, scars from past abuse,
and skin rubbed off due to being bound with cords and tape. For most
of us, this treatment of children is unimaginable. Yet for these children,
it is the only existence they know.
Mr. Jurkowski said that he issued the call to DFS for their toughest
cases, because without Catholic Charities, these children would not be
served. Regardless of the challenges he and his therapists face, he said
“We are not going to give up.”
Foster parents and prospective foster parents listen attentively at a
meeting run by Catholic Charities of Wyoming. Many foster parents
were once foster children themselves.
Catholic Charities does not ask if the children and families they serve
are Catholic. Rather, Catholic Charities serves the most vulnerable
members of our population not because the children are Catholic, but
because Catholic Charities is Catholic.
Catholic Charities is in need of two things to reach out to more children
and families. First and foremost, they need more space. Therapist’s
offices, meeting rooms and play therapy rooms often double as storage
areas. While doors can close and block things from sight, thin walls allow far too many sounds to escape from or come into a therapist’s office.
The second need of Catholic Charities is more therapists. It is simply
impossible to see all the children who need this help because there just
aren’t enough therapists on staff. Mr. Jurkowski assures us that he will
fill the time of any additional therapists who may get hired in the future.
The Foster Care group for foster children is led by Shaundra Drysdale,
Therapist, and Laura Powell-Rousey, Intern.
Catholic Charities runs on a shoe string budget. Part of the money that
funds Catholic Charities comes from the generous donations of members of the Diocese of Cheyenne in their support of Living and Giving
in Christ: Unity through Diocesan Ministries. With additional support,
Catholic Charities can serve even more children and families who so
desperately need their help.
Please give as generously as you possibly can to Living and Giving in
Christ. “Torture” should never, ever, be used in the same sentence as
Will Pogue, Therapist, leads a group of foster parents and prospective foster parents.
wyoming catholic Register
Living and Giving Where does the
By: Matt Potter, Director of
Development and Stewardship
I am a data driven man.
Prior to coming to work for the
Diocese of Cheyenne six years ago, I
was in the business of advising people
on their investments. I pored over
spreadsheets and analyst’s reports
looking for opportunities for my
clients that were not built on emotion
or “feel,” but rather on logic and
reason. Much valuable information
can be gleaned from these sources.
Today I still pore over data, but
it has more to do with trends in
our Diocese with respect to giving
patterns. Studying these patterns
helps us to budget accordingly, and
conservatively, so that we exercise
prudent care in the stewardship of
the gifts the members of our Diocese
have given so generously in support
of our mission.
Following are some interesting, and
very telling, data about the People of
God in Wyoming.
• There are approximately 18,500
registered Catholic families in
• In 2015, about 4,500 gifts were
made to the Diocese through
our annual appeal, Living and
Giving in Christ; Unity through
• That means that 24% of all
registered parishioners made a
gift to the Diocese of Cheyenne.
• The average size gift for 2015 was
• Total gifts through January 26,
2016 amounted to $1,988,000.
It’s never a good thing to look at
data in a vacuum, so let’s compare
this information to past years in this
nice chart below:
Here are some of the conclusions we
Here are some of the conclusions we
can draw from this information.
•The members of our Diocese –
you – are incredibly generous, for
which we are very grateful.
•The average size of gift, although
it varies over the years, is
remarkably stable. It’s also high
when compared with many other
dioceses and archdioceses annual
•We meet our goals. While we are
slightly below our goal this year,
by the time Living and Giving in
Christ kicks off in April, we will
be above 100%, Again, this is due
to the incredible generosity of the
members of our Diocese.
•The total collection, like the
average gift size, is very consistent.
We have a budget that is based on
the budgets of the parishes, and
we are good stewards of those
gifts. We have finished our fiscal
years under budget each year for
the past six years. We run a lean
•The average participation looks
low, but let’s discount that figure a
little. Each Sunday, only about 2530% of Catholics actually attend
Mass. The most important factor
influencing giving to Church is
Mass attendance. That means that
75-100% of Mass attendees are,
on average, making gifts to Living
and Giving in Christ. That’s great.
That’s where the money comes from.
We are very grateful to everyone who
has made a gift to Living and Giving
in Christ. If you have not given, please
consider it this year. The diocesan
budget is smaller than many of our
parish’s budgets, and we do an awful
lot with what we receive.
After reading through this, take a
look at the nearby story on where the
money goes once you’ve made a gift.
After analyzing all this information,
I’m sure you’ll agree that, making a
gift to Living and Giving in Christ is
an excellent investment.
# of Gifts
Our gifts to Living and Giving in Christ; Unity through Diocesan Ministries
provides the financial support for the ministerial, pastoral and administrative mission of the Diocese of Cheyenne. Sometimes the question gets asked,
“What does that mean? Where does the money go?” Here is the answer.
The goal for the 2016 appeal is $2,030,732, which is about $8,000 less than
2015. It accounts for about 65% of the diocesan budget, with the balance
coming from grants, gifts and bequests. Placing this number in perspective,
the chancery has a staff of 14 to serve the pastoral and ministerial needs of
56,000 Catholics scattered across 98,000 square miles. The entire diocesan
budget is smaller than some of the budgets of our parishes. We do a lot
with a little.
The money goes to:
• Support of the Clergy – This is the largest category and includes: The
Vocations office of Fr. Steve Titus; Education of our seminarians; Bishop
Etienne’s office and all that entails; Chancellor Carol DeLois and her support of the clergy of the Diocese; the Father Carl Gallinger’s office of the
Vicar General; and Diocesan Institutes.
• Administrative Services – Under the direction of Finance Officer Jeff
Nieters, this includes the Finance office, Human Resources, Benefits Administration, and information systems. These services are originated at the
chancery but serve the entire Diocese.
• Support of the Universal Church – The Diocese is the local Church,
which is made up of many parishes. In a similar fashion, the Universal
Church is centered at the Vatican and made up of many dioceses and archdioceses around the world. This is our contribution to support the mission
of the Holy Father.
• Support of Parish Ministries – Through the Office of Pastoral Ministries,
run by Deacon Vernon Dobelmann, this category supports Religious Education, Youth Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, Marriage and Family ministry, and Respect Life ministry. Also included here are Campus Ministry,
Office of Worship, Hispanic ministry, and Catholic Schools.
• Support of Tribunal and Stewardship Ministries – These are the offices
of the Tribunal, as well as Development and Stewardship. Of note is the
decision to no longer charge for Tribunal services, in following the recommendation of the Holy Father. Development and Stewardship includes
grant writing, Living and Giving in Christ, Seminarian Education appeal,
major gifts, planned giving, and stewardship education and advocacy.
• Support of Outreach and Evangelization – The Wyoming Catholic
Register, Catholic Charities (see nearby article), Weekly TV Mass, mileage
reimbursement for pastors traveling to mission churches, and the Diocesan
Every year, the Diocese of Cheyenne engages in a very thorough budget process spearheaded by Finance Officer Jeff Nieters. Each Director is responsible
for putting together his or her departmental budget, which is then compiled
by Jeff, who presents it to Bishop Etienne and the Diocesan Finance Council
for approval. Income goals are based on a percentage of parish collections,
and the diocesan budget is then derived from that figure. We have lived
within our budget for many years, and have finished in the black each of the
past six years.
Your gifts to Living and Giving in Christ are the financial lifeblood of the Diocese of Cheyenne. We are very grateful to you for your support in the past,
13% ask that you prayerfully consider your continued support this year. If you
didn’t give last year,12%or have never given, please consider doing so this year.
Average Gift $453$466 $429$433
$1,988,000 $1,974,000 $2,052,000 $1,829,000
% of Goal
Support of the Clergy, $721,000
Diocesan Administrative Services, $445,000
Support of the Clergy, $721,000
of the Universal Church, $57,000
Diocesan Administrative Services, $445,000
Support of the Universal Church, $57,000
of Parish Ministries, $264,000
WYOMING CATHOLIC REGISTER
Support of Parish Ministries, $264,000
Support of Tribunal and Stewardship Ministries,
Support of Tribunal and Stewardship Ministries,
Outreach and Evangelization,
Working God’s gifts – World Youth Day 2016
A personal testimony on stewardship
Let me please, share with you my
prayer and experience of stewardship.
Father, you are a great God and you
give us all that we need in this life and
in everlasting life. Let us all believe in
I was baptized Catholic soon after I
was born. As a youngster I attended
Catholic schools and the parish was the
center of our family life. I was always
heading down to the church school
yard to play ball or simply be with
friends, both Catholic and Protestant.
We called non-Catholic friends
Protestant because, they were. The tag
was not a bias but a fact that did not
God grasped me when I was a child. I
never doubted his existence and I knew
he would take care of us. Also as a
youngster I was always working at that
church. Now I see it as stewardship. It
amounted to working the bingo nights,
cleaning the grounds, serving Mass. It
was part of the life God gave to us and
never thought of as a burden.
As I grew older I began to understand
St. Paul’s words in Galatians “For the
flesh desires what is contrary to the
Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary
to the flesh. They are in conflict with
each other, so that you are not to do
whatever you want.” (Gal 5:17)And so
the story goes. I wandered in and out
of grace, we all do. God is faithful to
Today, Jesus is the center of my life and
my desire to serve him goes beyond
my understanding. So I describe my
service, as stewardship, the action of
being Christian and living an engaged
life in this Catholic community.
My time is God’s. I do not have to
look far for ways to spend it. It goes
like this: I pray, the Holy Spirit gently
gives direction and I try to follow. I
serve on Bishop Etienne’s Stewardship
Committee with other faithful men and
women, I am a member of the Knights
of Columbus and there are always meals
to cook and dishes to wash. Most of
all, I try to live life as a witness to Jesus
Christ and I look for opportunity to
share my hope.
My talent is God’s. I am double blessed
to participate in music ministry both at
Mass and as a bluegrass picker playing
regularly at senior centers and assisted
living homes. I can cook a little and
I have served at soup kitchens where
God humbles me and teaches me
compassion for those who have little.
My treasure is God’s. I give according
to the scripture as a tithe and as a joyful
servant. God says in Malachi 3:10 “Bring
the whole tithe into the storehouse, that
there may be food in my house. Test me
in this, says the LORD Almighty, and see
if I will not throw open the floodgates of
heaven and pour out so much blessing
that there will not be room enough to
store it. I tell you brothers and sisters,
my barns are full; I need nothing this
world has to offer.”
Let us put our faith in our Lord Jesus
Christ. Do not over think the Holy
Spirit when He tugs at your heart. Give
unconditionally. Sometimes I think…
Why give my time to them because
that organization ticks me off! Or, that
person will only buy liquor! Or that
family could work harder! We give
because we pray and then God calls.
We do not judge.
May the peace of our Lord be with us as
stewards in this Catholic community.
Vincent Mockensturm, Jr. is a CPA and
has recently moved from Holy Name
Parish in Sheridan, Wyoming to Casper.
Vince and his wife Cynthia have not
fully settled into their new lives but are
making good progress. They are new
members of St Anthony’s Parish.
By: Amy Larsen
On July 17, 2016, over 100 pilgrims
from across our Diocese will gather in
Cheyenne to begin our pilgrimage to
World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland.
“The theme of the XXXI World Youth Day
Krakow 2016 is: ‘Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy’ (Mt 5:7). Our
Holy Father, Francis has chosen the fifth
of the eight Beatitudes, given by Jesus in
his Sermon on the Mount on the shores of
the Sea of Galilee, to show the importance
of the Beatitudes which are at the heart of
Jesus’ teaching. In his first Sermon, Jesus
presents us with eight examples of qualities
that bring us closer to the Kingdom of
World Youth Day is open to youth 16
and older and young adults. Our time
in Krakow will include daily catechesis
sessions with bishops from across the
globe, amazing celebrations of our
Catholic Faith and the Polish Culture, a
Mercy Pilgrimage to the Divine Mercy
Shrine where one of the original images
of the Divine Mercy is, along with where
Sister Faustyna is buried, and of course
the welcoming of Pope Francis to this
international event. It will conclude with
the Vigil celebration and Mass with the
Holy Father and an estimated two million
On our way to the World Youth Day
events, we will make a pilgrimage to Our
Lady of Czestochowa, the symbol of Polish
national unity and crowned Queen of
Poland. “The Black Madonna is a painting
of the Madonna and Christ Child which
legend states was painted by St. Luke the
Evangelist. St. Luke is believed to have
used a tabletop from a table built by the
carpenter Jesus. It was while Luke was
painting Mary that she told him about the
events in the life of Jesus that he eventually
used in his gospel.” www.ewtn.com .
Following World Youth Day, our group
will travel to Oswiecim (Auschwitz) where
they will visit the Nazi Concentration
Camp. While there, they will have the
opportunity to visit the cell where St.
Maximillian Kolbe, a Polish Conventual
Franciscan friar, gave his life to save a
fellow prisoner. This death camp was the
largest Nazi death factory, where four
million people, mostly Jews, perished.
This will be an experience they will always
remember. They will end the day visiting
Wadowice, birthplace of Pope John Paul II
and also the Church of the Presentation of
the Virgin Mary, where he was baptized.
One of the most unique features about
the Diocese of Cheyenne pilgrimage is
that our pre-pilgrimage was in Lithuania.
Having restored its independence from
the Soviet Union in 1991, and officially
accepted into the European Union in 2004,
78% of its population is Catholic. With a
deep Catholic history dating back to the
14th Century, we explored many great
churches, including The Chapel of the
Gate of Dawn storing the icon of the Holy
Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy in Vilnius
and The Cathedral of Vilnius Dedicated
to Saints Stanislaus and Ladislaus, which
houses the original painting of the Divine
Mercy and was first believed to be built in
1251. We also took pilgrimage to Kaunas
to visit a group of Benedictine sisters, and
finished our time there with a pilgrimage
to the Hill of Crosses, a Lithuanian national
pilgrimage center. Standing upon a small
hill are many hundreds of thousands of
crosses that represent Christian devotion
and a memorial to Lithuanian national
The pilgrimage is from July 17th-August
3rd, and costs $4,595/person, which
includes airfare, lodging, two meals a day,
WYD registrations and transportation
while on Pilgrimage. There are still a few
spots available! For more information
please feel free to contact any of our
diocesan coordinating team: Amy Larsen;
[email protected]/307638-1530; Cameron Smith; [email protected]
holytrinitycheyenne.org/307-6325872; Fr. Bill Hill; [email protected]
Rite of Election
By: Father Rob Spaulding
Welcoming and forming new members is the heart of
our mission and the center of our life as members of
the Body of Christ. The Rite of Christian Initiation of
Adults is our Church’s way of giving ritual expression
to the movement of the Holy Spirit in the lives of
women and men as they respond to the call of Christ
in their lives.
On February 14, the Diocese of Cheyenne celebrated
the Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing
Conversion at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Cheyenne.
This ritual experience marks a significant moment in
the lives of our sisters and brothers as they enter the
final period of preparing for baptism and reception
into the Catholic Church.
For most, the rite began earlier that morning or the
day before in their home parish, as the Catechumens
(those preparing for baptism) and the Candidates
(those already baptized) were called, along with
their Godparents or Sponsors before the community.
After hearing the testimony of the Godparents and
Sponsors of the evidence of conversion and readiness
in the lives of the Catechumens and Candidates, the
assembly promised to continue to pray for them.
The Catechumens then wrote their names in the
Book of the Elect and were sent forth to be presented
to Bishop Paul Etienne at the Cathedral.
This year, nine parishes from our Diocese were able
to participate in the Rite of Election and the Call
to Continuing Conversion at the Cathedral. On
behalf of Bishop Etienne, Fr. August Koeune, Rector
of the Cathedral, received the Catechumens and
Candidates. Their Godparents and Sponsors were
again asked to give testimony to the work of God’s
Spirit in their lives.
Through this Rite, the Catechumens become the
WYOMING CATHOLIC REGISTER
“Elect.” In the Rite, the Church affirms that God
has indeed “elected” them to continue to the final
period of preparation for Baptism, Eucharist and
Confirmation. The Candidates (already one with
us in baptism) are also affirmed in their progress
toward reception and full communion with the
As we all near the celebration of Easter, please use this
opportunity to learn the names and faces of the Elect
and the Candidates in your community. Praying with
and for them during these final weeks of preparation
is a gift you can offer. Might you be willing to write
them a short letter or card of encouragement?
Our faith is to be lived in community and this is a
wonderful opportunity to build the Body of Christ
in your parish.
St. Mary’s Catholic School - Cheyenne
By: Pat Lane, Principal
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Holy Name School—Sheri
Catholic Schools Week was a big success at St. Mary’s
Catholic School. We collected a blessing’s worth of food
and baby products for St. Joseph’s Food Pantry. Our
Eighth Grade students read their testimonials about
why their Catholic faith is important to them during a
prayer service. The testimonials were so emotional that
there was hardly a dry eye in the gymnasium.
Third to eighth grades competed in our first annual
Catholic Jeopardy Challenge. The eighth grade won the
Jeopardy Challenge and received a traveling trophy that
will be passed on to next year’s winning class. All of the
students were suppose walk down to the Lincoln Theater
to watch the “Good Dinosaur” but with all the snow, we
decided to have an all-school movie in the gym. Many
students commented that it was more fun than going to
the movie theater because they liked hanging out in the
gym eating candy and popcorn and watching “Inside
Our military parents were honored by homemade
baked goods on “Our Nation” day and we had an
awesome turnout. On Friday, our staff and volunteers
were treated with a catered lunch from Guadalajara’s
and many of us were full and happy and needed a nap.
On Saturday, our Family Night was amazing. There was
a chili cook off for the best red, green and white chili.
There were 46 chili entries and the winners received
trophies. The old Bingo machine from the days of
Seton High was dusted off and 18 old computers were
given away to the winners.
Students said it was the best Catholic Schools Week
ever, since God gave them a snow day. That will be
hard to beat next year.
WYOMING CATHOLIC REGISTER
Holy Name Catholic School …
Christ calls us to faith, knowledge and service
By: Mary Drake, Principal, Sheridan, Wyoming
Catholic Schools Week is a special celebration where
we can show the community a “snapshot” of living
and learning in what the image of Christ looks like
in our Catholic school. Bishop Etienne sums it up
the best from his letter on the importance of Catholic
Schools in Wyoming where he wrote that Catholic
Schools Week “… is an opportunity to highlight the
profound impact that Catholic education has on local
communities as well as throughout the world. It is
a time to truly give thanks and praise to God for the
resources entrusted to our care for the building up of
the Kingdom of God.”
Holy Name Catholic School’s celebration began and
ended with student lead Masses on Sunday, January
31 and February 7.
Our special week began at noon with our
Superintendent, Father Jim Heiser, leading the entire
school, Pre-k through 8th grade, in the Angelus. Each
class released balloons with a special prayer attached.
Tuesday morning began with a parade of classroom
saints. Each class chose a patron saint and the
students learned about their life and their example of
holiness. The third grades went to their weekly Mass
at the Sheridan Manor Nursing Home. This is the
highlight for both the residents and children.
Wednesday was the appreciation luncheon for
alumni in the school cafeteria. Our cafeteria was
packed full of parents, grandparents, alumni, and
special supporters. Our awesome cook, Mrs. Flint,
made turkey, mashed
potatoes with gravy, and
On Thursday morning,
Father Heiser prayed the
rosary with the entire
school during Morning
received a new rosary as
a gift. It was wonderful
seeing children from
ages three to fourteen praying to our Blessed Mother.
moving one step closer in their journey of faith to the
Eucharist. In addition, service is very important to
us, especially as Christ asks us to serve others. We
had a canned food, blanket, and pillow drive for the
local homeless shelter.
We topped off this exceptional week by having a
pep rally where the students challenged the staff in
a basketball game. After the game, we treated the
students to a movie at the local theater.
This week reminded the Holy Name Catholic School
family about the uniqueness
of Catholic education with
the foundation elements of
faith, knowledge, and service.
These are just three of the key
components of our Catholic
school, giving us a chance to
recall why we choose to educate
our children as a Catholic
Friday, we all went to 8:20 Mass, just like every Friday.
This particular Friday we celebrated the upper school
honor roll and classroom awards. Eighty percent of
our students earned a 3.0 or better on their grade point
average and earned a place on the honor roll. This
is a quite an accomplishment, because Holy Name
Catholic School uses an accelerated grade point scale.
The second graders made their first reconciliation,
St. Margaret Catholic School – Riverton
By: Mary Jo Chouinard, Principal
A highlight of our school year at St. Margaret’s
was celebrating Catholic Schools Week. The week
kicked off with the school carnival on Friday
evening which was very successful, due to great
participation by our parents. On Sunday, the
students did an excellent job conducting the liturgy.
There are many adults who are uncomfortable
getting up to read in front of the congregation.
Our student lectors were second and third
graders. Hopefully, getting students exposure to
participating early will lead to a lifetime of service.
Students also prayed for intentions submitted by
parishioners during the week. The students had
fun dressing up for each day’s theme. The Broncos
and the Wyoming Cowboys were definitely the
school favorites on jersey day. Wacky Wednesday
brought out the creative and unusual in our
students. Actually, some of the hairstyles looked
like mine when I first get up in the morning minus
the blue or pink color. Pajama and movie day was
a hit. It was suggested that we have a morning
and afternoon nap since the students had their
pajamas, but only the staff cheered. Cowboy
and camouflage day rounded out the week. The
parents were cheering when the students donned
their uniforms the following week.
The adults also had plenty to celebrate during
Catholic Schools Week. Thanks to the Knights of
Columbus, the school received a $3,000 check. In
addition, the Knights presented each staff member
with a gift certificate to a local restaurant. After
their annual bazaar, the RCCW also donated
$3,000. St. Margaret’s School flourishes, due to
our supportive parish.
The school is now busily preparing for their annual
dinner dance to be held March 12. The theme
is a 1950’s sock hop. The evening will feature a
gourmet dinner catered by the Wyoming Catholic
College, a live and silent auction, and a dance
contest. It will be a real blast from the past.
WYOMING CATHOLIC REGISTER
St. Anthony Tri-Parish School – Casper, WY
By: Cyndy Novotny, Principal
In keeping with the theme of “Communities of
Faith, Knowledge, and Service,” St. Anthony’s
Archangels had a busy Catholic School Week 2016!
We actually kicked off our celebration early with
a school assembly on Friday, January 29, that
included lively competitions with students, a lip
sync battle, and a CSW commercial created by
5th grade teacher, Tim Galles and Technology
Director, Nick Dresang. This commercial can
be viewed on YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/
On Saturday, we celebrated our first Winter
Fest sponsored by our 8th grade class. This fun
carnival-like celebration was held to raise funds to
support Mary’s Meals. Students raised over $1,200
for this worthy cause. Mary’s Meals feeds children
who live in poverty while providing educational
opportunities for them.
Sunday began our Annual Campaign Appeal
through St. Patrick’s, St. Anthony’s, and Our
Lady of Fatima churches. A video was shown
highlighting the many attributes of obtaining a
Catholic Education. Father Gary Ruzicka, Father
Lucas Simango, and Father Thomas George
extolled the virtues and benefits of Catholic
education to the parishioners at each Mass.
Spirit Day was celebrated on Monday with students
wearing designated colored shirts. Students were
arranged in the order of the rainbow signifying
the colors and what each represents: Red- Passion;
Orange- Harvest; Yellow- Joy; Green- The Holy
Spirit; Blue- Water; Purple- Penance. A school
photo was taken commemorating the event.
Tuesday, Mass was celebrated in the Commons
and later that day, lunch was served to the students
by teachers and staff. On Wednesday, Teacher
and Staff Appreciation Day was celebrated with
a delicious lunch prepared by many parents. In
addition, Wednesday was also Crazy Hat Day. Staff
and students showed their creativity by wearing a
variety of hats with very unique designs.
On Thursday, students were treated to a movie
at the Mesa Movie Palace Theaters complete
with reclining seats, popcorn and a soda! Also
on Friday, students wore t-shirts that symbolized
their own personal identity.
Throughout the week, students collected various
items for our second service project. These
items were placed into “Blessing Bags” and
were distributed to the residents at Seton House
(transitional living for mothers and children)
and clients of Central Wyoming Rescue Mission
serving the homeless. Items included toothpaste,
toothbrushes, hand warmers, mints, candy,
granola and snack bars, and other items.
In union with Pope Francis’ declaration of the
Year Of Mercy, each day ended with the students,
teachers, staff, parents, and a grandparent gathering
in the Commons to pray the Chaplet of Divine
Mercy at 3:00 the traditional time the Chaplet is
prayed. Students wrote prayer intentions and these
intentions were placed next to the Tabernacle
during the prayer.
Catholic Schools Week provides an opportunity
for our Catholic community to come together to
celebrate the good news in Catholic education and
recognize the hard work that is being done in our
Catholic schools across the nation. We are a proud
member of this effort and proud to be a part of the
accomplishments of the Catholic school system of
the Diocese of Cheyenne.
Holy Spirit Catholic School – Rock Springs
By: Linda Marcos, Principal
There were many highlights to Catholic Schools
Week at Holy Spirit Catholic School in Rock
Springs. This week always encompasses those
principles of Faith, Academics and Service with a
BIG SPLASH of fun for all!
We celebrated our opening Mass with the parish
community as our way of showing our appreciation
to them for their constant support. A reception was
held after Mass with doughnuts and coffee, games
for the children including Doughnut Memory
Match, Doughnut on a String, Doughnut Tic Tac
Toe and more. On Monday, athletics were on the
agenda with an afternoon of games and races with
teams composed of all grade levels. Tuesday, our
friends and families displayed their culinary skills
at a delicious potluck followed by budding young
celebrities performing a wide variety of talents
and skills—singing, dancing the creation of slime
and much more. Wednesday, our Fourth Graders
spent the afternoon giving back by serving and
cleaning at our Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen.
Thursday, the students “Tipped their Crazy Hats”
to their teachers to say “Thank You” for all they do.
Luncheon was served to all faculty and staff. Friday
was PJ day complete with faculty in matching PJs.
The children then “Went to the Movies” of their
choice munching on popcorn, of course.
Our wonderful Home and School Association
contributed in many ways—a pizza lunch for all,
tie-dying T-shirts and a scrumptious pancake
breakfast. The Moms and Dads were busy all week
helping with all the festivities!
FOURTH GRADE AT SOUP KITCHEN - Although our students
do many service activities within the community, as part of
Catholic Schools week, our Fourth Grade Class served at our
Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen.
PJ DAY - On the last day of
Catholic Schools Week, our
students and teachers wore their
pajamas and were treated to
breakfast, along with popcorn
and a movie!
TIE DYE SHIRTS - The whole
school had a blast making
their very own tie dye shirts!
WYOMING CATHOLIC REGISTER
TALENT SHOW - Our students
and their families gathered
for a potluck and talent show!
Held for School Principals.
Principals of the Catholic
schools in the Diocese of
Cheyenne drawing up
plans at the technology
conference sponsored by
the Wyoming Catholic
a Very Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year
January 14, 2016, was the date of the first-ever Technology Conference
for the principals of the parochial schools in the Diocese of Cheyenne. The
conference was put on by the Wyoming Catholic Ministries Foundation
(WCMF). All seven principals made the trip to Casper to learn about the
latest trends in technology and how it is used in education. In addition, Travis
Lenz, principal of the school at St. Joseph’s Children’s Home in Torrington
was also in attendance.
Each year the WCMF grants nearly $175,000 to the Catholic schools in
Wyoming. With that amount at stake, the Board of the WCMF has a great
interest in making sure our principals have enough of, and the right kind,
of information to make good buying choices in technology to keep their
Deacon Tom Niemann, Director of Audio Visual technology for Laramie
County School District #1, discussed hardware that is in use in classrooms
today. Items that students and teachers use daily in their lessons are a far
cry from chalk boards and felt erasers. Deacon Tom’s presentation covered
a great deal of information regarding these items.
Nick Dresang, the Information Technology Director at St. Anthony Tri
Parish School, talked about software and hardware that would be best in the
goal of providing the high-quality education for which our Catholic schools
have been known for many, many years. He also stressed the importance of
creating a technology plan in each of the schools, then helped the principals
draw up their plans for their respective schools.
The conference was a great success, and the principals all remarked at the
relevance and amount of help they drew from attending.
Front Row: Patrick Lane, Principal, St. Mary’s, Cheyenne; Mary Legler-Drake, Principal, Holy
Name, Sheridan; Nick Dresang, IT Director, St. Anthony Tri Parish School, Casper; Melanie
Sylte, Principal, St. John Paul II, Gillette
BACK ROW: Cyndy Novotny, Principal, St. Anthony Tri Parish School, Casper; Doug Spriggs,
Principal, St. Laurence O’Toole, Laramie; Travis Lenz, Principal, St. Joseph’s Children’s Home,
Torrington; Linda Marcos, Principal, Holy Spirit, Rock Springs; Mary Jo Chouinard, Principal,
St. Margaret, Riverton; Deacon Tom Niemann, Audio Visual presenter, Cheyenne.
Deacon Earns Ph.D. in Theology
By: Matthew Potter, Director of Development
Kelly, Wyoming is a unique little town, even in
amongst all the unique little towns of Wyoming.
Sitting on the banks of the Gros Ventre River in
the shadows of Grand Teton National Park, Kelly
is home to a coffee shop, a post office, a host of
residents who march to their own drummers,
and a Catholic Deacon who also is a Fortune 500
Executive and who has just earned his Doctorate
of Philosophy in Theology.
Deacon Doctor Doug Vlchek is that man. His
Doctorate is the culmination of many years of
work, and how he got to this point in his life is a
story worth telling.
Deacon Doug is a graduate of Case Western Reserve
University in Ohio, followed by some graduate
work in biochemistry. He then embarked on a long
and successful career with DaVita, a company that
provides dialysis treatment and support services for
patients living with long-term kidney disease.
When asked why, at this stage of his life when he is
close to retirement, he would want to undertake
such a rigorous endeavor as working for a Ph.D., he
answered that he “wanted to become a better deacon.”
For him that meant he wanted to “learn more, to
become a better preacher and teacher.”
His formation as a deacon was undertaken at what
was then called the St. Thomas Seminary in Denver,
now St. John Vianney Seminary. He described
his diaconate formation as “colossal!” an excellent
pre-paration for his vocation.
Several years ago, he completed the graduate studies
in theology that he began at St. Thomas Seminary by
entering the Master’s program through the Graduate
Theological Foundation of Mishawaka, Indiana.
(Mishawaka is right next to South Bend, Indiana.)
He eventually earned his Master of Arts in Theology,
focusing his studies and writing his thesis on
stewardship. Never quite satisfied with what he had
achieved, he set course for his Ph.D. and decided he
would do all his coursework at Christ Church College
at University of Oxford in Oxford, England.
He attended classes at Oxford for three summers,
studying under some of the greatest theologians in
the world. One of those professors was Dom Henry
Wansbrough, OSB, a Benedictine priest who was
responsible for the translation of the New Jerusalem
At the end of the coursework, Deacon Doug had
to defend his dissertation, in Oxford, in front of a
panel of three professors of theology who would
thoroughly question his assumptions, his facts and his
conclusions. He spent many, many hours preparing
for this event, the final test standing between him and
His dissertation was titled “A Theology of
Stewardship for the Catholic Church in the
United States”, and it had already been read by
seven other academic reviewers, prior to his
defense. His final defense was “gut wrenching”
and the hour and 15 minutes he spent in defense
was “brutal.” He had the thought in the middle of
his defense that “I might not get this.” Suddenly, it
was over. Sitting there wondering what was next,
the professor overseeing the defense, in typical
English understatement, said “Run along. You
passed. You’ll get a stamp from us in a few days.”
Now he is Deacon Doctor.
His dissertation can be summed up in four
1.Everything was created by God.
2.Since everything was created by God, everything
actually belongs to God.
3.However, God gave everything to human beings
for us to take care of on His behalf.
4.Jesus is the teacher and the model as to how we are
to live our lives of stewardship.
And a corollary: God expects generosity of us: No
one is more generous than God. Since we are created
in His image and likeness, we were created to be as
generous as God is generous. Living our lives in any
other way results in us being ultimately dissatisfied,
because we are then living in a way which is at odds
with who we are actually created to be.
Deacon Doctor Doug Vlchek is a deacon at Our Lady
of the Mountains Parish in Jackson. His home is in
Kelly, about a 20 minute drive, and he is as unique
as the little town itself. The Diocese of Cheyenne is
blessed to have him living his vocation in Wyoming.