Today is the Nativity of Mary. It is also the anniversary of my young, growing diocese. Mary may be 2,032, but my diocese is only 28, and it all sort of felt like a family reunion when the great-grandmother holds the newest baby.
And although the diocese is still young, it already has a history—a narrative of “how we got here.” It involves the de Soto exploration holding the first Mass on our land, Servant of God Fr. Ryan giving his life to serve yellow fever victims, Fr. Callahan riding his horse Rebel up and down the mountains to serve Mass in the most rural of mission fields. Trace those early priests back to the bishops that sent them, and then trace those bishops’ ordinations back to Peter, sent by Christ, and then trace Christ’s lineage back through Matthew 1. We’re young, but we descend from Abraham. We're part of a much older, much bigger story.