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

Jesuit Auxiliary: changing times, but steadfast dedication

by Bonita Lawhead, Inland Register staff

(From the Dec. 19, 2002 edition of the Inland Register)

The name has changed (twice), the average age of their members is rising, and their membership number is slowly dwindling. But a group of women known as the Jesuit Auxiliary remains faithful to the purpose of their organization: to contribute to the support of Jesuit seminarians in the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus.

The province includes Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Alaska, and Montana.

The group’s purpose – the support of seminarians – has been constant for more than 70 years.

They first called themselves the Jesuit Mother’s Club, since originally members were mothers of Jesuit seminarians. The club held many events to raise funds for the young men planning to become Jesuit priests and Brothers. Life was more social then, with many teas and card parties, and there were more stay-at-home moms.

In spite of societal changes over the years, the auxiliary has remained steadfast.

In 1965 membership was opened to all women interested in helping support Jesuit seminarians. For a time, it called itself the Mount St. Michael’s Auxiliary, since the Jesuit seminarians lived at Mount St. Michael in north Spokane. Eventually the number of seminarians declined, the Mount was closed, and the group of women renamed themselves the Jesuit Auxiliary.

Nevertheless, the group, which now numbers about 45, continues to meet each month, enjoying the fellowship of their gatherings. The meetings are more than fellowship, however; members also pray together. One of their annual events is a Day of Recollection.

Jesuit Father Robert Fitts is the auxiliary’s moderator.

A potluck dinner is held in the spring, and that’s when the auxiliary presents its financial gift to help seminarians. Money is raised through member contributions.

All interested women are welcome to attend the auxiliary meetings, held the first Wednesday of each month, except December and during the summer months. The women meet in Bea House, 1107 N. Astor in Spokane, at 1 p.m. The meeting begins with Mass, followed by the program of the day and refreshments.

For more information, call 483-8495.


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