Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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Franciscan Father Michael Blackburn appointed pastor of St. Francis of Assisi, Spokane
by Jami LeBrun, Inland Register staff
(From the Sept. 9, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)
Franciscan Father Michael Blackburn is the new pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Spokane. (IR photo)
Father Michael Blackburn, OFM began his duties as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Tuesday, Sept. 2.
Father Blackburn was born in New Orleans but grew up in Simi Valley, Calif. After high school, he spent four years as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He graduated from the seminary college in 1978 and decided to leave the seminary to spend a year working and discerning. His year of discernment led him to enter the Franciscans in 1979. He knew the Franciscan order was right for him because he “didn’t want to live alone; (he) wanted a community.” He also had a great love for St. Francis.
“I really appreciated St. Francis’ and his dedication to simplicity and his love of creation – a love that I, too, share,” said Father Blackburn.
Though this is Father Blackburn’s first time as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi, he is in no way unfamiliar with the parish. He spent six months in the parish as a newly ordained deacon in 1985, and five and a half years there as associate pastor after he was ordained on March 1, 1986.
“At least I know I can easily find my way around,” said Father Blackburn.
Father Blackburn has served as pastor of St. James the Apostle Parish in Las Vegas since 1991. He left St. James in February and spent six months in Glasgow, Scotland, assisting at a parish.
Though he is just getting settled, Father Blackburn has many plans for St. Francis of Assisi. He plans to start a liturgy committee to study with him and learn about the liturgy and help him with plans for the liturgical seasons. He also wants to get a weekly Bible study going and plans to frequently visit the parish’s homebound. Though he knows he will be busy, Father Blackburn looks forward to working with the people at St. Francis of Assisi.
“As with any priest, you’re as busy as you want to be,” he said. “I like what I do and I like the people in the parish. I’m looking forward to this.”
Franciscan Father Brian Flynn was the previous pastor of St. Francis of Assisi. Father Flynn has departed for Portland, where he will be in residence with other Franciscan priest of the Santa Barbara Province.