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

Letters to the Editor

(From the March 17, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)

The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Please type letters, and limit them to 500 words or less. Remember to be charitable. Letters may be sent to:

Inland Register, P.O. Box 48, Spokane, WA 99210-0048

Fax: (509) 358-7302

Letters may be edited for length or sense. Letters must be signed and include a contact phone number; names can be withheld upon request.

‘God bless your efforts’


Your most recent copy of the Inland Register (02/24/05) was exemplary. The bishop’s column, Father Mike Savelesky, Dennis Heaney, Mary Farrell, Father Ron Rolheiser, Father Jan Larson, and especially (the letter titled) “Healing Abuse,” by Sister Julie Wokasch. Her statement, “Large sums of money have not been my healer” – It is not in my understanding how money could heal! Therapy, yes!

God bless your efforts.

Lee Bartol, Spokane

‘Privatized’ Gospel


I am a Christian of the Roman Catholic tradition. Have been for 58 years, currently active in parochial life, and will be buried (God willing) from my parish when the call comes.

However, over the last couple of years I’ve made a point to visit and worship with Christians of other traditions, something explicitly forbidden us Catholics when I was a child. I’ve rubbed shoulders with Pentecostals, fundamentalists, and evangelical, as well as the mainline Protestant denominations. It’s been rich and rewarding.

May I make one observation? The vast majority of sermons I heard were directed toward the building up of community (us) versus individual piety (God and me). In general I found Protestant ministers keenly aware that once an individual believer had made a choice for Christ, that person’s life was expected to be actively lived within a community.

The most frequently heard words in Protestant sermons are we, us, and our. I include this observation about community because it stands in stark contrast with what I hear back home in my own parish. There, the sermons are filled with good spiritual advice that can easily be called the “privatization” of the Gospel. Most sermons seem to focus on the individual, his challenges, and his need for the sacraments. Lost is the historical sense of parish identity nourished by sermons that explore how we (parish) are called, how we (parish) can witness in society, how we (parish) make God present by courageously supporting each other.

Living basically by themselves and preaching out of that experience, many priests preach a private faith that unwittingly contributes to the decline of the traditional parochial system. How ironic to find Protestants, once a force of division in Christianity, now more church/community/group-oriented than those who remained faithful to Rome.

Bob Wormly, Spokane

Inland Register archives

Home | Bishop | Communications | Parishes | Catholic Charities

© The Catholic Diocese of Spokane. All Rights Reserved