There were other attractions, too.
"Fishing and golfing, you could always get on a golf course. It was never too crowded," he said.
Another Irish-born priest, Monsignor James O'Neill, passed away in Casper on March 18, the day after St. Patrick's Day, at the age of 89. He had graduated from St. John's Seminary in Waterford, Ireland and was ordained a priest in June 1954. He had arrived in Wyoming two months later with three or four other priests, Sheridan told the Wyoming radio station K2 Radio.
"It would have been considered, what we can say, 'English-speaking mission country'," he said.
Msgr. O'Neill had served as pastor of St. Mary's Cathedral in Cheyenne. For 17 years, he celebrated a weekly televised Mass broadcast to central Wyoming, western Nebraska and northern Colorado. He won an award from the Catholic Extension Society for this work, Rev. Michael Carr said.
Sheridan estimated O'Neill's audience at about 10,000 people, about half of whom were non-Catholic.
Father Thomas C. Fahey, another Irish-born priest who long served in Wyoming, passed away in Huntington, Indiana on March 17, St. Patrick's Day. Born in Co. Galway in 1919, he had served as a priest in Wyoming from 1947, the year of his ordination in Carlow, Ireland, through his retirement in 1990. Fahey would have turned 100 years old this Dec. 6.
Sheridan reflected on the changes in his homeland.
"There's no priests coming from Ireland anymore," he said. "Probably when I came in the 50s and 60s, those were peak times, but they started going down in the 90s."It's a sad state really," he added, noting that only one priest had been ordained for his home diocese in 15 years.
For Sheridan, the contemporary Irish are "suffering from the progressive, socialist condition" which St. John Paul II warned about.
Compared to Wyoming, there was also a lack of lay participation in Ireland.
"One of the blessings here was that lay people got involved with the Church. They had to, here, said Sheridan.
In his view, Irish society had a Church and government that were strongly united and the Church didn't really let the laity take up their role.
"That explains part of it in Ireland for sure. And back East too, to some extent, New York, and those areas, because they had plenty of priests."
"Not out here. There never were really enough priests. All depending on immigrants," he said.
Sheridan's 2015 book, "Moments in Ministry," includes a chapter on Wyoming's Irish priests.
Kevin J. Jones is a senior staff writer with Catholic News Agency. He was a recipient of a 2014 Catholic Relief Services' Egan Journalism Fellowship.