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 Yakima

by Bishop Carlos J. Sevilla SJ, Bishop of Yakima

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

In mid-April of this year the people of my diocese were saddened to learn that one of our very well-loved priests, Jesuit Father C. Patrick Carroll, the former pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Yakima, a classmate and good friend of mine, drowned in Mexico while on sabbatical. A day or so later, I received an e-mail from Bishop Skylstad, who was in Rome at the time because of his responsibilities as vice-president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In it he expressed his condolences to me and added a bit of general news about his visit earlier that day with the Holy Father. The vignette sketched by that e-mail provides a provile of my brother bishop, Bill, that reveals why his friendship is so important to me.

First, Bishop Skylstad communicates very well. By that I not only mean that he very effectively shares information by any available and appropriate means. I'd emphasize that what often is so important to me is that he communicates affectively, letting you know of his selfless concern, his support and his willingness to help. In the five years I've been Bishop of Yakima, I've called Bill many times because I am confident that his experience and wisdom will be there for me, and, I'm sure, for other bishops as well.

Secondly, the e-mail from Rome, after his visit with the Holy Father, reveals the special leadership qualities that make Bishop Skylstad such an outstanding example of what it means to love the Church and, as a bishop, to be in discerning communion with our Chief Pastor, Pope John Paul II.

We Catholics in this nation are fortunate that for the next three years Bishop Skylstad will be Vice-President of our Conference of Bishops because we, his brother bishops, elected him to that responsibility, knowing him to be a man of vision and courage. I'm glad we're neighbors.

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