From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Regional St. Vincent de Paul conferences to meet in Spokane this month

the Inland Register

(From the May 24, 2001 edition of the Inland Register)

The Western Regional Convention of the St. Vincent de Paul Society will take place in Spokane Wednesday-Saturday, May 30-June 2, 2001, on the campus of Gonzaga University.

Nearly 300 representatives from 10 Western states will gather to discuss a range of topics from the food and housing needs of the region’s poor, to disaster relief, and elder care.

Spirituality will be a major theme of the convention. The first day will feature Ozanam School. This full-day session will concentrate on the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society as an example of charity in the Church.

The Society was founded by Frederic Ozanam in 1833 in France, for the purposes of member sanctification and service to those in need.

National St. Vincent de Paul Vice President Eduardo Gomez, who spent over 40 years as a broadcaster and radio station owner, will present one of many special workshops on a variety of important subjects designed to inform and educate conference representatives.

One of the goals of the convention is to provide the latest information, techniques, and procedures to improve skills, so that conference members in attendance may advance the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in their own parishes and communities.

The Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer, President of Gonzaga University, will deliver the keynote address at a welcoming luncheon at the Gonzaga Student Union Building at noon on May 31.

Thereafter a series of topical workshops designed to strengthen parish conferences will explore such issues as fund-raising, recruiting, and developing a voice for the poor.

Workshops will continue into the evening following a dinner break.

Friday, June 1, following Mass and a breakfast, a brief spiritual retreat will take place. Jesuit Father Tony Lehman will facilitate.

Convention attendees will then go back to work tackling issues of housing, large food stores for conferences offering relief food services, and the practicalities of improving local conference operations.

The Western Regional Business Meeting will take place at 1 p.m. in Gonzaga’s Jepson Hall. Then it’s off for a little fun in Spokane’s Riverfront Park for the remainder of the day. Conventioneers will board busses for the short trip to Riverfront Park, where they will gather in the former Forestry Pavilion for a barbeque dinner and picnic, and a chance to enjoy the city’s premier outdoor attraction.

The final day of the convention, Saturday, June 2, will feature a rosary, morning and afternoon workshop sessions, a luncheon, and a tour of the Spokane St. Vincent de Paul facilities, with its newly-remodeled store at 2901 E. Trent Ave.

In the late afternoon, busses will leave for Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral for the closing Mass, to be followed by a farewell banquet in Gonzaga’s Cog.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society of the Diocese of Spokane, with the help of volunteers from the area’s parish conferences, will host the Western Regional Convention.

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