ROCK SPRINGS — Holy Spirit Catholic Community invites the Rock Springs community to join it for the annual Mass in Bunning Park followed by a potluck barbecue hosted by the Knights of Columbus.
The bilingual Mass begins at 5 pm this Sunday, and the potluck will immediately follow.
In addition to the annual celebration, the Parish will officially install its new pastor, Father Bill Hill, who arrived July 5th.
Father Bill will tell you that he likes to hunt, he ran 100 miles in the Bighorns this June, he graduated from Rock Springs High School 20 years ago, and he is excited to be back in town.
However, he might not mention that he is also a gifted speaker. “I have known Father Bill for several years,” says parish trustee Bob Arambel.
“In every interaction I have had with him he has demonstrated his passion for helping people grow in their spiritual life.”
“His friendly demeanor and willingness to help will be an asset to the community,” Arambel said.
Although he grew up in Sheridan, Father Bill moved to Rock Springs with his parents upon entering high school.
Upon graduation from Rock Springs High School he continued his education at Loyola University Chicago earning degrees in Business Finance and Philosophy.
Following his undergraduate studies, he entered Mundelein Seminary outside Chicago.
Many priests of the Diocese opt to be ordained at the Cathedral in Cheyenne, however Father Bill chose his hometown of Rock Springs.
A Catholic priest is not hired by the local parish, but is assigned by his bishop after prayerful consideration.
Thus, Father Bill began his ministry at the Cathedral in Cheyenne where he served for three years.
He served one year in Gillette, four years as the Diocesan Vocation Director, and the last four years in Douglas.
He has always been an avid reader and an enthusiastic hunter, but during his time in Douglas a passion for trail running blossomed.
His parents, currently living in Teton County, plan to return to live in Rock Springs next year. Father Bill has two sisters residing in Denver and Baton Rouge with their families.
The annual Mass and Picnic in the Park is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic patriotic service fraternity.
The Knights will provide hamburgers, hotdogs, buns, condiments, and beverages. Attendees are asked to bring a lawn chair and a potluck dish to share.
It has always been a great time for the Catholic community to gather and enjoy fellowship.
This year Rock Springs can welcome home a ‘favorite son’, and so Father Bill would like to invite the greater Rock Springs community to observe the installation and participate in the picnic.
“We are extremely blessed to have Father Bill coming to Holy Spirit Catholic Community,” said Arambel.
“His exuberance and energy are infectious. I’m sure this will energize and encourage our congregation as he guides us on our faith journey.”