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

Anniversary greetings from the Diocese of Baker, Ore.

by Bishop Robert Vasa, Bishop of Baker

(From the May 2, 2002 edition of the Inland Register)

Since my arrival in the Northwest slightly more than two years ago I have grown enormously in my affection for and appreciation of my neighbor to the north, Bishop William Skylstad.

My first working contact with Bishop Skylstad centered on what has come to be known as the Columbia River pastoral. As I surveyed the work which went into that project, the hours of planning and meetings, the dialogues and discussions, the draft documents and the final distillation, it became more and more clear to me that Bishop Skylstad is nothing less than remarkable.

I met Bishop Skylstad in the midst of a process, but he is first and foremost a man, a bishop with a heart for people. Others can better recount the record of his achievements, both local and national, but my perception is that his work is always centered on making other people's lives better. I know I get that sense very strongly as we meet as bishops serving in the Northwest. I know he cares about and reaches out in service to his brother bishops.

Bishop Skylstad and I share an interest in things mechanical or electronic, although I do not have the short wave, the Global Positioning System, the electronic thermometers, the XM Radio, the laptop or the cell phone, and I have only recently caught up with him a little by getting a Palm Pilot. I am reasonably certain that mine does not have as much memory or as much data as his and I would be equally safe in speculating that he has recently upgraded. This, too, about Bishop Skylstad is remarkable. He is a man who has kept more current with technology than most corporate executives, and though there may be bishops more technologically up-to-date than he, I could not name them.

I am personally very grateful to have Bishop Skylstad in our region. Or perhaps it is more appropriate to say that I am grateful for the privilege of serving in his region. He was here first, after all!

It is a privilege. I have come to know, appreciate and love this man whom I am proud to call my friend and to whom I extend a most heartfelt and grateful congratulations.

Well done, Good and Faithful Servant!

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