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

Regional Report

the Inland Register

(From the May 20, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)


Diocese of Yakima

YAKIMA, Wash. – Luis Fernando Varela was a seminarian studying for the Diocese of Yakima at the time of his violent death last March.

Varela, a theology student at St. Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park, Calif., had returned to his native country of Colombia to resolve a visa issue. While there, he was attacked and stabbed by an unknown assailant. He died in a Cali, Colombia hospital six days later.

Varela hoped to be ordained to the priesthood sometime in 2005. Msgr. John Ecker, vocations director for the Yakima Diocese, called him “well-loved and respected,” and said the seminarian “would have made a wonderful priest for our diocese.”

— Central Washington Catholic (Yakima)

Archdiocese of Seattle

SEATTLE – Archbishop Alex Brunett announced last month the creation of three new parishes to help cope with the rapid expansion of the Church in Western Washington.

The three parishes are Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Woodinville; Holy Cross, Granite Falls/Lake Stevens, from Holy Cross Mission, Granite Falls; and Holy Innocents Parish, Duvall, formerly a mission parish.

According to archdiocesan projections, Mother Teresa Parish could begin with about 1,000 families and could increase to 1,500 by 2015. The Granite Falls/Lake Stevens parish is project to begin with and grow to the same figures in the same time period. Duvall will begin with about 600 families; by 2015, 900 are expected.

– Catholic Northwest Progress (Seattle)


Archdiocese of Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. – Central Catholic High School opened its latest addition, a library some 5,000 square feet in size.

The new library joins other developments at the school: new computer and science labs, a courtyard, chapel, and an addition to the school’s weight room, all at a price tag of some $12.9 million.

The pledge campaign to cover the cost of the renovation actually brought in some $13.4 million.

The library is named for the Corrado family, local Catholic philanthropists whose five sons graduated from the school. Four of the couple’s grandchildren are enrolled now.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Franciscan Sister Carmel Gregg, former head of St. Joseph Family Center in Spokane, celebrated her golden jubilee of Religious profession last month.

Sister Carmel presently ministers at Portland’s Northeast Catholic Counseling Center and the Franciscan Spirituality Center – West.

SALEM, Ore. – St. Vincent de Paul Parish hosted a celebration for the April 28 feast of St. Peter Chanel, a missionary to the South Seas. Parishioners of South Sea island descent hosted the event, which featured multi-colored leis, symbolizing the diverse nature of the parish community.

— Catholic Sentinel (Portland)


Diocese of Helena

HELENA, Mont. – Bishop George Thomas, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and newly-appointed bishop of the Helena Diocese, wrote to the people of his new See in the April 16 edition of The Montana Catholic, Helena’s diocesan newspaper.

It is nearly a homecoming for Bishop Thomas; he was born in Anaconda and raised in Butte.

“I am writing to express both my gratitude to God and my personal amazement that I have been appointed by Pope John Paul II as the 10th bishop of Helena,” wrote Bishop Thomas. “I am overjoyed by this news and eagerly await the day when I return to the place and people I love so dearly.”

He wrote, “Experience has shown me that in every community there will be conflicts and challenges. AT the same time, the bishop does well to rely on the collective wisdom of brother priests and the experience of the Religious and laity to address concerns and, in the words of Pope John Paul II, ‘transform them into opportunities for growth and reconciliation.’”

Bishop Thomas will be installed June 4.

— The Montana Catholic (Helena)

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