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

St. Aloysius’ Novena of Grace begins March 8: ‘Re-membering our faith’

the Inland Register

(From the Feb. 6, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

Kathy Finley and Jesuit Father Chris Weekly will present this year’s Novena of Grace at St. Aloysius Church in Spokane. (IR photos from St. Aloysius Parish)

Jesuit Father Chris Weekly and Kathy Finley will lead this year’s Novena of Grace, offering nine days of prayer and worship from March 8 through March 16 at St. Aloysius Parish, 330 E. Boone in Spokane.

During these nine days of prayer, St. Aloysius Parish will offer four daily services: at 12:15, 3:30, 5:15, and 7:30 p.m. Both Sunday services will begin at 12:30 p.m. to allow for normal Sunday liturgies.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered after each service.

On Wednesday, March 12, there will be an Anointing of the Sick at all novena liturgies.

The tradition of the novena was started in 1633 after the Jesuit order’s founder, St. Francis Xavier, appeared to Father Marcellus Mastrilli as Father Marcellus lay near death for three weeks following an accidental head trauma. St. Francis asked him to renew his vow to missionary ministry and encouraged a devotion of nine days of prayer. Father Marcellus fully recovered and returned to missionary work. He was martyred in Japan in 1637. The practice of nine days of devotion has continued and grown.

“Re-Membering Our Faith” is the theme for the 2003 novena, the 76th. The theme will be developed by Father Weekly and Kathy Finley. Their talks will emphasize the communal element of the shared faith journey. All are members of the body of Christ, and are thereby called to come together before God as a community of faith.

The presenters invite the community to share in their exploration of memories, both of joy and of pain, and the ways that the community is called in faith to follow Christ together.

Father Weekly, an Oregon Province Jesuit, is in his fourth year of ministry at St. Aloysius Parish in Spokane. He comes from western Oregon, where he was brought up in the Episcopal Church. In his university pursuits at the University of Oregon and Gonzaga, he became drawn to the sacramental rites and social justice elements of Catholicism. He converted to the Catholic faith in 1977, entered the Society of Jesus in 1989, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1998. His Jesuit ministry includes two years as a high school educator at the Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

Washington-born Kathy Finley is a wife and mother of three young adult sons. She teaches and writes locally and nationally about the spiritual component of marriage and family life. Finley has a rich education base with degrees in theology, religious education and counseling psychology.

Her career background has been multi-faceted with leadership involvement in parish religious education and marriage preparation programs, Family Life Office in the Spokane Catholic Diocese, campus ministry at Gonzaga University, and the L’Arche community of Spokane.

She has taught courses at Spokane Falls Community College, Whitworth College, and is currently an adjunct instructor in the Religious Studies Department at Gonzaga University.

She is a popular speaker on topics related to Christian family life and everyday spirituality, with special emphasis on the centrality of relationships in faith lives. Books she has written include Dear God: Prayers/or Families With Children, Our Family Book of Days: A Record Through the Years, The Seeker’s Guide to Building a Christian Marriage: 11 Essential Skills, and the newly released Savoring God: Praying With All Our Senses.

For further information, contact St. Aloysius Parish Center at 323-5896.

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