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

Catholic schools discover hundreds of ways to help the community

Story and photo by Bonita Lawhead, Inland Register staff

(From the Feb. 27, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

Bishop Skylstad accepts gifts collected by Catholic school students as part of the “100 Ways in 100 Days” celebration earlier this month. (IR photo)

St. Mary Church, Spokane, was nearly packed for Mass on Tuesday, Feb. 11. It was the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, but more than that, it was the culmination of the “100 Ways in 100 Days,” an important service project done by students in the Catholic schools in the Spokane Diocese.

Students in all the grade levels pick a charity and then, for 100 days of the school year, collect 100 items to be used by that charity. For instance, 100 used magazines were collected by St. Mary School for the residents of Bernadette Place. The House of Charity will get 100 blankets.

The list of collected items is long, and includes non-perishable foods such as soup and breakfast cereal, laundry soap, toothbrushes, school supplies, washcloths, and socks. Baby items were collected. The most popular: diapers.

Spokane’s participating schools included All Saints, Assumption, Cataldo, St. Aloysius, St. Charles, St. John Vianney, St. Mary, St. Paschal, St. Patrick, St. Thomas More, and Trinity.

St. Boniface/Guardian Angel School in Colton delivered their collected items to Pioneer Square in Pullman on Valentine’s Day. Students collected paper goods and bars of soap for the residents of the facility, which is operated by Catholic Charities.

The Spokane agencies receiving the items included House of Charity; Bernadette Place; Immigration Services; St. Margaret Shelter; St. Anne Children and Family Center and CAPA program; the Volunteer Chore program; and senior citizens and disabled persons who live in Catholic Charities’ sponsored apartments.

Holy Family School in Clarkston distributed its collected items, such as stationery, soup, and bar soaps to Austen Manor, a Catholic Charities’ residence for the elderly in Clarkston. The students received a gift for their good deed; residents made cookies for them.

Assumption School in Walla Walla also participates in 100 Ways, but in five days, rather than 100. “We do it during Catholic Schools Week,” said principal Michelle Acock. The donated items are given to Walla Walla agencies: Birthright, the YWCA Women’s Shelter, the Christian Aid Women’s Shelter and Blue Mountain Heart to Heart, which helps people with HIV/AIDS.

Bishop William Skylstad joined students for the Spokane celebration, and was the main celebrant at Mass. Concelebrants were Father Mark Pautler (St. Joseph Parish, Spokane), Father Ty Schaaf (St. John Vianney Parish), and Father Steve Dublinski and Father Tom Connolly, pastor and parochial vicar, respectively, of St. Mary, Spokane. Deacon John Byrne of Our Lady of Fatima Parish also assisted at the Mass.

St. Mary’s youth choir provided the music; readers included Ben Allen of St. John Vianney and Aleah Zanck of St. Mary School.

In his homily, Bishop Skylstad connected the love of Mary for her son and her obedience to “do whatever he tells you” to relieve suffering and, in the case of the wedding at Cana, avoid embarrassment. The reading from Isaiah reminded, he said, that just as a mother takes care of her children, “God will take care of you.

“It’s the wonderful spirit of Jesus that touched the lives of others,” the bishop said. “Jesus asks us to touch others by the way we live.”

Bishop Skylstad likened the 100 Ways in 100 Days to “washing one another’s feet. We need to reach out; that’s the spirit of the Gospel.

“When we are blessed,” he said, “we need to bless others, not just for 100 days but everyday.”

The bishop told the students that he was going to use the 100 Ways project in a talk he was to give in Washington, D.C., that afternoon and he thanked them for their example and witness “to be kind, compassionate and loving as Jesus was.”

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