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

$10 million campaign takes aim at new seminary, endowment

the Inland Register

(From the Oct. 23, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

A $10 million fund-raising campaign in the Diocese of Spokane will build a new seminary and help finance the costs of educating seminarians in the future.

“Here I am, Lord … Send me” will take place in three parts.

The parishes in the southern part of the diocese will be approached first. Spokane-area parishes will be second; the northern parishes, third.

The campaign proceeds will be broken into four different areas:

$4.5 million for the endowment for the education of seminarians.
$3 million for construction of a new Bishop White Seminary.
$1.5 million for the 2004 Annual Catholic Appeal.
$1 million for seminary operating expenses until the endowment can be fully funded.

Receptions will be held throughout the diocese, opportunities for parishioners to view a video explaining the project, hear presentations, and learn more details.

The campaign will run until July 2004. Participants are asked to make their pledges over a four-year period, however.

Leading the fund-raising campaign is Dan Inman of Guidance in Giving, a national fund-raising consultation firm which specializes in assisting Catholic organizations.

The present Bishop White Seminary dates back to the diocese’s purchase of the building in 1942. Initially the building was utilized as St. John Bosco Center, a Catholic home for “underprivileged boys.” The acquisition was described on the front page of the very first issue of the Inland Register, dated Sept. 4, 1942.

At the time the diocese bought the site 60 years ago, the building, the Hutter Mansion, was described as “a splendid old dwelling.” In time the building was used “for several years as a home for elderly men.” In July 1956 Bishop Bernard Topel announced that the building would be converted into a preparatory seminary for high school-age men. The name, Bishop Charles D. White Preparatory Seminary, was announced in August of that year. The first class of freshmen consisted of 17 students.

The seminary became a college-level program in 1965. The high school seminary program moved to Mater Cleri Seminary, Colbert, which has since closed.

As envisioned, the new seminary building would perform as a multi-purpose diocesan facility, much as does the present Bishop White complex. The seminary is now host to some meetings, as well as gatherings of the deacon formation program.

The new complex is designed to house three priests and between 15-19 students. Improvements over the present structure would include expanded dining facilities, additional office space, a large conference center, and an expanded chapel area.

Tentative schedules call for ground to be broken for the new seminary in May 2005, and dedication of the new facility in 2006 – the seminary’s 50th anniversary.

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