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

Catholic Foundation gives five Catholic Community Service Awards

the Inland Register

(From the July 5, 2001 edition of the Inland Register)

The Catholic Foundation held its annual recognition luncheon June 13 with a full house at the Doubletree Hotel.

For the second year, the Foundation presented Catholic Community Service awards, to recognize the variety of ministries and service that people give to their parishes, organizations, and communities. Recipients were: Caritas Center, Richard (Spike) Cunningham, Eleanor Finley, Bob Miller and Friends, and the Marthas and Josephs from Immaculate Heart Retreat Center. Following are brief biographies of the community award recipients and nominees:

Bob Miller & Friends: Bob’s family and friends have made a commitment to the children of Spokane County for several years. Bob and his organization donate their creative talents, energies and time to make wooden cradles and trucks. This collaborative effort has grown over the years. The wood is cut and sanded by one group of helpers. Another paints and decorates, others assemble. Bob and a few others deliver the trucks and cradles to agencies for distribution.

Caritas Center: The center is an ecumenical endeavor founded six years ago to help poor people on the northwest side of Spokane. Fifteen churches comprise the group that makes Caritas Center run. These churches, including Assumption Parish and St. Joseph Parish in Colbert, combine their resources and send volunteers to Caritas Center.

Richard Lee (Spike) Cunningham: Spike helped to start the Neighborhood Sunday Lunch Program for the East Central neighborhood in Spokane. He has a long-term commitment to serving the poor, homeless, seniors and people with disabilities. Spike has organized and served many parish social events at St. Ann Parish to raise money for the homeless and destitute in the East Central neighborhood as well as organizing and supervising the Sunday Lunch.

Eleanor Finley: Since 1961, Eleanor has been sharing her time and talents with the community of St. Francis Xavier Parish. While her children were in school she was a Room Mother, Den Mother for Cub Scouts and leader for Campfire Girls. She worked in the school library, eventually becoming chairperson of the library. When St. Francis Xavier and St. Francis of Assisi Schools combined, she merged the two libraries. And she has helped with parish fund-raising projects. Eleanor has been involved with the parish St. Vincent de Paul Society for the past 21 years. She takes the calls requesting assistance and makes sure other members make the deliveries.

Marthas and Josephs of Immaculate Heart Retreat Center: The Marthas and Josephs are a volunteer group that help the staff meet the domestic needs of the retreat house. For over 40 years they have donated their time and labor to clean IHRC after weekend and midweek retreats and prepare for the next group of retreatants. Through their hard work they have saved IHRC thousands of dollars.

Joe Chrastil: For the past several years, Joe has been giving his time and talent to the Spokane Alliance. The Alliance is a coalition of faith communities, unions and parent teacher organizations trying to bring about institutional changes for the betterment of the Spokane community. Members of the Alliance include St. Ann, St. Aloysius and St. Augustine parishes in Spokane, and St. Joseph Parish in Colbert. Joe has had an integral part in creating the Alliance.

Deacon Michael Brier: has been a deacon at St. Mark Parish in Waitsburg for about three and one-half years. He generously volunteers his time, talent and resources with the community, and he is an inspiration to everyone to have faith and to help others on their faith journey.

Marj Brewer: Marj has a generous spirit which she has shared with Spokane's St. Patrick Parish, young people and families. She is always willing to help where there is a need. Both Marj and her husband have supported the parish with their resources, helping to buy tables, covers on the stained glass windows, bricking the outside of the church and paving the parking lot.

Jenny Ann Edgren: As the Pastoral Administrator for St. Michael Parish in Inchelium, Jenny wears many hats. She is the Youth Minister, religious education coordinator, parish musician and Summer Bible Camp coordinator. Jenny is a very hardworking woman, present to her community, gifted with children and an inspiration to work with.

Vickie Feldscher: For the past 20 years Vickie has been the coordinator of St. Elizabeth’s at St. Thomas More. St. Elizabeth’s is a ministry to the people of the parish who are ill, in the hospital or nursing home, or are homebound and unable to attend Mass. Members of St. Elizabeth’s visit, pray and bring Holy Eucharist to people. Without this ministry, the clergy could not meet and fulfill all the needs. In addition, Vickie has started several other guilds, societies and groups at St. Thomas More.

Hans and Mallene Herzog: Hans and Mallene have given 28 years of service to the diocesan Marriage Preparation Program. They have been with the program since it was established. They have given much of their time, talent and even treasure to this program that helps engaged couples understand the responsibilities of married life.

Alvin Landkammer: Alvin has spent most of his life working for and in the Church. On Memorial Day he puts flags on veterans’ graves. He has taught the second grade First Communion class for 33 years. He helped to support the religious education program with money he raised from selling aluminum cans, newspapers and plastics. Sometimes this money was the only income the program had. He has been a great asset to the religious education program, the parish and the Pomeroy community.

Monna Mach: Monna has spent most of her life in service to the Church in music ministry. Her dedicated service uses the gifts and talents God gave her. Monna’s 36 years of music ministry at various parishes on weekends, at weddings, funerals, Holy Days and other occasions throughout the year has made music a joyous part of parish life.

Dan and Joyce Murphy: For over 20 years Dan and Joyce have been generous in time, talent and treasure to St. Thomas More School. They have been involved in chairmanships of programs that have significantly influenced the lives of parishioners as well as students and families within the school. They continued their support even after their children left St. Thomas More School and they have accepted wider roles within the Diocese.

Elaine Myers: Elaine is one of those individuals who serves behind the scenes and never takes a bow. For many years she has helped church groups and other nonprofit organizations set up their general ledgers and accounts and given them sound financial advice and encouragement. Elaine served on the finance committee for Transitions for six years and on the Finance Advisory Group for the Holy Names Sisters for 10 years.

Rosemary Procunier: For more than 38 years Rosemary has tirelessly worked to give the young people in the Hillyard Community a good start on their education. As a kindergarten teacher she prepared children to begin their lifelong education. Rosemary taught at St. Patrick School. Even today she continues to be a substitute teacher at the school and is willing to help out wherever she is needed.


Betty Groetsema given Powers award

Bettie Groetsema of Walla Walla was presented with the Robert K. Powers Service award. Foundation trustees periodically give the award to an individual who has given of “time, talent and treasure to the Foundation.” Groetsema has been a member of the Foundation board since 1985 and an “outspoken advocate” on behalf of the Foundation.

Groetsema retired from the board at the end of June.

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