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

A message from Bishop Skylstad for Catholic Schools Week 2003

(From the Jan. 16, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

Dear Parishioners,

The week of Jan. 26 through Feb. 1 is National Catholic Schools Week. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Catholic Schools: Making a World of Difference.” We are very fortunate in our diocese to have 15 Catholic elementary schools and three Catholic secondary schools that definitely make a difference in the lives of approximately 4,650 students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 throughout Eastern Washington.

Catholic schools were established in this country many years before we actually became a country. The very first Catholic school was founded by the Franciscans in St. Augustine, Fla., in 1606, to teach Christian doctrine, reading, and writing to the children. During the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1884, it was decreed that every parish establish a Catholic school. The bishops were very clear regarding their desire to see Catholic parochial schools established throughout the United States, and by the mid-1960s approximately 60 percent of the parishes had a parochial school.

The Catholic schools in the Diocese of Spokane continue the very important mission of those early schools. Our schools are not only extremely effective educational institutions, but more importantly they are Christian communities that realize within our children the four-fold purpose of Christian education: Message, Community, Service, and Worship. Our Catholic schools are very special communities that were established by the people of eastern Washington to help with the instruction and formation of our children in the Faith.

Today, I invite each of you with school-age children to seriously consider registering your children in one of the 18 Catholic schools in eastern Washington. Financial assistance is available. You can call (509)358-7330 or 1-800-831-1768 for more information. In addition, I also invite all members of our Catholic community to accept an active role in the Christian instruction and formation of our children by encouraging them, supporting them, and witnessing Christ to them. I invite each of you to make a difference in the lives of the children in our Catholic diocesan community.

Your Brother in Christ,

William S. Skylstad
Bishop of Spokane

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