Cheyenne, WY. 1/27/15 – A month or two ago, the Bishop of Cheyenne issued a remarkable document: “A Pastoral Letter to the People of God of the Diocese of Cheyenne.”
In it, the Most Reverend Paul D. Etienne attempts to address several huge problems within the Catholic Church nationally and within our diocese locally – the lack of priestly vocations, the need for greater support of the vocation of marriage, and the attacks from many quarters on the family as the basic building block of our society. By doing so, he joins many other Bishops around the nation, who are speaking out on these subjects.
Regarding vocations to the priesthood, Bishop Etienne says this: “There is no more privileged means of encountering the person of Jesus than in the Blessed Sacrament. Therefore, I am requiring one Holy Hour per week in every parish, the intention being an increase in vocations to the priesthood, from and for the Diocese of Cheyenne. Parishes which can offer longer periods of Eucharistic Adoration, please do so.”
The Bishop is correct. For many years, this Diocese has had to import priests from foreign countries to minister to its people. But, their inability to speak our language clearly and free of a heavy accent imposes a severe burden upon the people; we are not being spiritually fed simply because, when these priests preach, we cannot always understand what is being said from the pulpit.
This policy, though well- intentioned, has to stop. The answer, as the Bishop implies, is more vocations from among our own people. Good, wholesome, healthy, men, free of homosexual tendencies and content with their own sexuality, must overcome the siren song of secular humanism and our secular society, and make the choice to become servants of Jesus in the priesthood. And they must be encouraged to do so by us, the people of God of the Diocese of Cheyenne.