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

Diocesan Catholic schools learn generous response to need in ‘100 Ways in 100 Days’ project

Story and photo by Bonita Lawhead, Inland Register staff

(From the Feb. 26, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)

Bshop Skylstad, 100 Ways celebration

Bishop Skylstad blesses some of the items donated by Catholic school students as part of the “100 Ways in 100 Days” project. (IR photo)

Boxes and boxes of toilet paper, diapers, canned goods and dish soap filled the gathering space at St. John Vianney Church in Spokane Valley Feb. 11. All the items had been collected by Catholic school students in the Spokane Diocese, plus one in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, for the 100 Ways in 100 Days campaign.

The 100 Ways in 100 Days campaign was started by the Parish Social Ministries’ office in 1999. Its purpose is to connect students and Catholic Charities’ programs, to “help raise awareness about homelessness, hunger and the underserved members of the diocese.”

For the first 100 days of school, students collect items in multiples of 100 for their selected programs. The charitable programs, working to meet specific needs of society, then receive the students’ collections.

Bishop William Skylstad was the presider at Mass that morning for about 400 people. During Mass he and the altar servers came out into the gathering space to bless the collected items with holy water. After Mass ended, the items were loaded into U-Haul trucks for delivery to Catholic Charities programs in the Diocese.

The Coeur d’Alene school donations went to St. Vincent de Paul’s transitional program in that city. Holy Family School in Clarkston gives its collected items to Austen Manor in Clarkston.

Guardian Angel/St. Boniface School in Colton also participates in the 100 Ways program, collecting items for the Pioneer Square housing complex in Pullman. Austen Manor and Pioneer Square are both operated under the auspices of Catholic Charities.

Feb. 11 is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and Bishop Skylstad connected the readings about God’s love for his people to that of a mother caring for her children. He said that as God loves and provides for us, so must we do the same for others.

Schools represented at the Mass included St. John Vianney, St. Mary, Cataldo, Trinity, St. Thomas More, St. Aloysius, St. Patrick in Spokane, St. Paschal, All Saints, and Holy Family of Coeur d’Alene. The Coeur d’Alene School joined in the Spokane presentation since their diocesan offices are in Boise. Each school sent a student who presented a sample of their donated items during the preparation of the gifts.

One special gift among the donations of food and toilet paper were handmade greeting cards. Students made and colored greeting cards, using generic, birthday and Valentine greetings.

One group of Valentine cards had candy hearts (the ones with the messages) and other candy glued to them. Many of the cards bore the heartfelt message: “We are praying for you.”

Other very welcome and useful gifts included blankets that were given to the House of Charity and toys for the children in the programs at St. Margaret Shelter, Summit View Apartments and St. Anne Children and Family Home.

Assumption Catholic School in Walla Walla does what it calls “100 Ways in Five Days” during Catholic Schools Week. Each day that week is designated by the items students are to bring, such as “Baby Day” or “Peanut Butter, Jelly and Tuna Day” or “Toiletries Day.” At the end of the week, the collected items are taken to four agencies in Walla Walla: Birthright of Walla Walla; Blue Mountain Heart to Heart, which assists HIV/AIDS patients; the YWCA Women’s Shelter; and the Christian Aid Women’s Shelter.

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