Writers Across Wyoming Pen Biography of the Late Dayton Priest | Local news
DAYTON – In July 2020, Father Carl Beavers passed away at his ranch near Dayton. Now, four writers and editors have teamed up to write the priest’s biography, “Wyoming’s Padre: A Cowboy Catholic Priest”.
Beavers was beloved in Wyoming parishes, said Julie Kling, one of Beavers’ biographers. After retiring from a Rock Springs parish in 2012, according to the priest’s obituary, Beavers returned to Sheridan County – his birthplace – and farmed land outside of Dayton.
The priest wanted to live out his days on the land, Kling said, hunting and fishing in his native Wyoming as he had done all his life. Despite his retirement, Beavers continued to celebrate morning mass at the San Benito Monastery of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Dayton, before the monastery closed in 2014.
“A pastor, civic leader and athlete, Father Castors answered his call and lived a life of service,” Kling wrote in a recent press release. “He was truly the chaplain of Wyoming.”
Beavers’ new biography, intended to compile the priest’s personal history and offer readers advice from his writings, came to fruition when four writers and editors from across Wyoming decided to share the priest’s story. .
“We are delighted to share Father Beavers’ story with you… The more we learn about him and his impact on Wyoming, he continues to amaze us,” said Beavers biographer Mary Kay Turner.
Turner, a Jackson-based professor of world religions, led the project. After meeting Beavers during his tenure as Wyoming Senate chaplain, Turner begged the priest to hand over his writings to him for two years. She received Beavers’ writings just weeks before her death in July 2020.
Sharon Marx, a fellow teacher and Beavers parishioner, joined Turner in the research and writing process. The two women were passionate about sharing the story of the priest
Turner also reached out to freelance writer Julie Kling, who agreed to help write Beavers’ biography – which eventually became the first section of the book – and curate “Wyoming’s Padre” into one digestible volume. Although she had never known Beavers in her lifetime, Kling said she now felt like she knew the priest well.
Finally, Sheryl Lain, Beavers’ childhood friend, also edited the project. Lain, who had self-published before, knew of an artist who could design the cover of the book and help other writers compile the early story of Beavers.
Kling described the writers’ work as “a very nice collaboration, especially through [the isolation of] COVID. “
The four writers and editors also invited parishioners and friends of Beavers across Wyoming to contribute to the book. While there are many more stories than the Four Writers could fit in the book, the writers have tried to incorporate stories from across the state to create an inclusive portrayal of life and work. by Beavers.
Ultimately, Kling said she hopes Beavers’ words in the book guide readers through life’s challenges while telling the story of a priest who loved being a Wyomingite.
“Lord, how blessed we are to live in Wyoming amid the gifts you have bestowed upon these unique and varied 100,000 square miles of your creation,” Beavers wrote. “This is the home of unique people.”