Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

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

Parishioners honor pastor’s anniversary with donation of volunteer time

the Inland Register

(From the June 12, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

Members of St. Joseph Parish, Colbert, banded together to offer a day of work at Catholic Charities’ Summit View Apartments in honor of the 25th ordination anniversary of their pastor, Father Mike Kwiatkowski. (IR photo from Catholic Charities)

Members of St. Joseph Parish, Colbert, spent Saturday, May 17, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. volunteering spring clean-up and beautification at Summit View Apartments in honor of the 25th anniversary of priesthood of their pastor, Father Mike Kwiatkowski. Rather than a party or reception, Father Kwiatkowski suggested the parish pitch in on a service project.

Some 125 Colbert parishioners, including children, brought tools, paint, gravel, bark, and bedding plants to help brighten up Summit View. Residents joined in the effort as well.

The day included a barbecue lunch.

Summit View consists of 27 apartments for low-income, single-parent families. The complex is located at 820 North Summit Blvd., Spokane, the site of the former Shriners’ Hospital.

“For me, priesthood is about service and I wanted our celebration to symbolize that service, giving back to the community,” said Father Kwiatkowski.

The Colbert parish’s ties to Summit View include an annual Christmas party with resident families.

Donna Hanson, Catholic Charities Diocesan Director, thanked the parish on behalf of the Summit View residents, the neighborhood and the Catholic Charities staff. “Your presence was a celebration of 25 years of mission and ministry,” she said. “Because of your 300 hours of ‘sweat equity’ you are all full partners with Catholic Charities.”

Father Kwiatkowski was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. “I always thought I wanted to be a missionary priest,” said Father Kwiatkowski. He joined the Comboni Order of missionary priests and spent five years in theological studies at the Comboni seminary in Uganda, Africa. “My time in Uganda was a profound formative experience. It was very much a ‘hands on’ preparation for priesthood. I was ministering to many people with desperate need.”

He was ordained in Toledo and served as his order’s Vocations Director in Ohio and, later, Los Angeles. During this time, he said, “I decided that God was telling me, ‘I will be with you wherever you land; just land somewhere.’”

Through a friendship with Msgr. David Rosage of the Spokane Diocese, Father Kwiatkowski landed in Spokane. He spent 1982-85 at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center, and from l985-88 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes. In l988 he was named pastor to the parishes in Newport, Usk, Ione, and Metaline Falls. He spent a sabbatical year at the University of Notre Dame and is now pastor at St. Joseph Parish, Colbert.

“St. Joseph is a wonderful parish. Our people are so generous and willing to get involved. I have experienced a real love in our parish. I am so grateful to the people of St. Joseph Parish for their support of priesthood, support for me, and for showing that their faith is alive,” he said.

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