Since my term of office will be ending in June, I thought I would do a series of letters reflecting with you on our journey together over the past 12 years.
My first reflection is on the experience of sharing life in Boulder together. Living here in the heart of Boulder has been my favorite place, ever, to live.
It’s my favorite place to live for many reasons:
- it’s beautiful;
- it has a defined downtown with a lot of trees and I have the honor of living in downtown;
- it pulses with life mostly because of the 30,000 university students and educators who add to our summer population of 100,000;
- aside from the students and professors, it’s a highly educated community of venture capitalists, technology inventors and specialists, and otherwise highly educated people;
- it’s a happenin’ place with things to do, places to go, mountains to climb, nature to enjoy, events to witness and restaurants offering every kind of food;
- it’s a world class running capital where marathoners and Olympians come to train for their sport;
- and the streets daily see a parade of cyclists, runners, walkers and lately strollers with babies on board. (There must be a baby boom in Boulder!)
- And there are the trails! Oh, the trails! Walking, running, cycling. This has to be the healthiest town in America!
Yet, there are drawbacks to living in Boulder. On Easter Sunday the newspaper had an article about a Gallup poll, indicating that Boulder is the second least religious city in the country. I remember going to meet a new Protestant pastor in town and I asked him if he had a read yet on the religious sentiment of Boulder. He said, "Yes, I found out already that Jesus is not welcome in this town!"
Nestled at the mouth of Boulder Canyon, Boulder stands at the geological shift between the slow rise of the rather flat High Plains and the abrupt and dramatic rise of the mountain range that is the spine between the Pacific and Atlantic basins. Boulder also stands at the shifting point between the way things used to be and the dramatic rise of a new culture that leaves God out of the equation.
Probably the most frequent difficulty parishioners have shared with me over my 12 years here has been the hostility they face at work, or among friends and neighbors, or even among family members, at the very fact of their being Catholic. Sadly many of us have been muffled into silence about our faith when faced with such prejudice.
All the more do I treasure the fidelity of our faithful parishioners here in our Sacred Heart of Jesus community. Thank you! More importantly, thank God for His grace that enables us to believe in an environment of unbelief.
More to come . . .