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

Morning Star Boys’ Ranch director honored by Spokane County Juvenile Justice Court

Story and photo by Bonita Lawhead, Inland Register staff

(From the Oct. 24, 2002 edition of the Inland Register)

Photo: Morning Star Boys’ Ranch alumnus Randy Fleck congratulations Father Joe Weitensteiner. (IR photo)

Father Joe Weitensteiner was honored Oct. 15 by Spokane County Juvenile Justice Court for his years of service to Morning Star Boys’ Ranch.

Judge Sam Cozza presented a Father Weitensteiner with a handsome plaque before a group of about 35 people.

Boys’ Ranch assistant director Dan Coleman arranged for four former residents to speak at the gathering. Attorney Ray Clary, bank executive Terry Neal, realtor James Young, and business owner Rick Fleck shared their stories about how the Boys’ Ranch turned their lives around.

Morning Star Boys’ Ranch was started by the late Bishop Bernard Topel in 1956. Father Weitensteiner was named director in 1966. He had served as a counselor at the ranch before becoming a priest.

According to Buck Rogers, development director, 1,241 boys have lived at the Ranch since it was started.

Father Weitensteiner accepted the plaque from Judge Cozza, saying he was “honored and humbled” by the award.

The assembled group enjoyed refreshments following the presentation.

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