Sunday, May 8, was a big day at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, filled with many reasons to celebrate.
The church welcomed a visit from the Rt. Rev. Robert O’Neill, Episcopal bishop of Colorado, who baptized and confirmed new members into the Christian life of the parish.
The church also celebrated the fifth anniversary of the St. Patrick’s Quilt Ministry, a special ministry that has blessed and delivered over 600 handmade quilts to individuals in need of prayer and comfort in Pagosa Springs and around the world. As one additional reason to celebrate, Fr. Doug Neel and Zack Irons enjoyed a special birthday blessing during the service.
The bishop of Colorado is the ecclesiastical head of 114 parishes around the state, and each parish receives a special visit from him once every three years. “The state of Colorado presents its own geographical challenges for our bishop,” said Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s. “The mountain passes can make travel very difficult during the winter and spring months, so having the bishop among us is always a very special occasion,” he said.
Bishop Rob, as he is affectionately known across the diocese, obviously had a wonderful time among the parishioners and was very complimentary of the church’s various ministries that spread across the entire Pagosa Springs community and beyond. He thanked the Quilting Ministry for the beautiful quilt they sent to him during his recent stay in the hospital. He told them that their prayers literally enfolded him during his recovery and that he felt very blessed to have such a comforting and tangible reminder of God’s love.
The morning ended with a beautiful reception in honor of the bishop and the newly confirmed and baptized members. Birthdays were celebrated with “Happy Birthday” played by Jim Dorian on the bagpipes and enthusiastically sung by the St. Patrick family. All in all, it was a day that members of St. Patrick’s will remember for a long time.