Forty years ago this month, I entered the Novitiate in the Congregation of Holy Cross. I was one of twelve that began in 1978-79 in Cascade, Colorado. I was part of the first class at Marigreen Pines. The Indiana Province moved the Novitiate from Bennington, Vermont. At the time, we had two Novitiates in the United States. Four of us were ordained priests in 1983. Three of us are still members of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Life is amazing and we never know the beautiful plans of God.
Fr. Nicholas Ayo, CSC was our Novice Director in 1978. Sacred Heart Church now owns his gold chalice. In fact, Bishop Sheridan celebrated the Mass with his chalice at the Dedication of Sacred Heart Church on May 23, 2018. Fr. Ayo now lives at the University of Notre Dame and remains one of our wisdom figures in our religious community. I am so grateful that his chalice is with us as a great reminder of the first group of Holy Cross men in this area. I am so proud to be part of our history in Colorado.
The Congregation of Holy Cross has now served in this area for forty years. We have served at Sacred Heart, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and Holy Rosary since 1984. I am grateful for also being part of the first pastoral team staffed at the parish in 1984.
This weekend we welcome Fr. Randy Rentner, CSC as our new Associate Pastor. Fr. Randy entered the Novitiate in Cascade in 1985-86. I am grateful for his willingness to serve in Colorado at this time. Let’s welcome Fr. Randy this weekend at Sacred Heart and at the parish picnic Sunday afternoon.
We also welcome the thirteen Novices who begin the forty -first class at our Holy Cross Novitiate in Cascade. These men enter a year of discernment and prayer and then prepare to profess vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience next year in July. They have been in formation at Moreau Seminary at Notre Dame during this past academic year.
On Saturday, July 28, 2018, our six Novices from last year’s class professed vows in the newly restored Sacred Heart Church. The cover of this bulletin shows pictures of the ceremony with our new Provincial of the United States Province of Holy Cross, Fr. William Leis, CSC.
In these transition days for our Novices and for Fr. Randy, I invite you to pray for the members of our religious community. We are extremely blessed to have our Novices serve on Sundays at all three of our churches. They are signs of hope for the future of our Church.
We all have much to learn from one another. I encourage you to share your stories of faith and the reasons you continue to worship in our three churches. Please pray every day for the discernment of our Novices, that they will discover their lives of vocation. As our Holy Cross motto declares, “The Cross is Our Only Hope.”
Blessings to you all,