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


Spokane Diocese’s Victims Assistance Coordinator honored with SHMC’s Sister Peter Claver Award

the Inland Register

(From the Nov. 10, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)

Mary ButlerMary Butler (right) received the Sister Peter Claver Award last month. (IR photo from Sacred Heart Medical Center)

Mary Butler, the Victims Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese of Spokane since August 2003, was honored last month with Sacred Heart Medical Center’s Sister Peter Claver Award, SHMC’s highest honor.

Butler is a former vice president of SHMC. She was the first woman to serve in that capacity at the Medical Center.

The Sister Peter Claver Award is given each year to honor an individual of integrity, humility, compassion, and service to humanity.

Besides her work with victims as Special Assistant to the Vicar General, Butler is a volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Spokane.

At Sacred Heart, it was her responsibility bring together resources to provide health care for the poor. One result of that work is the Community Health Association of Spokane, which serves thousands of uninsured residents at four different locations in the city.

After her retirement from Sacred Heart in 2002, after 20 years, she began working with other interested individuals to evaluate Spokane’s children’s programs and identify the gaps to improve the chances for children at risk for abuse and neglect.

She is active with the Sacred Heart Foundation, Providence Associates, Partners With Families and Children and many other organizations. In addition, she is currently supporting human service projects in a needy Nicaraguan village.

In an Inland Register interview published in September 2003, she talked about leaving retirement – if indeed she ever has been truly “retired,” in the sense of “inactive” – to take up a demanding role for the diocese at a time of great conflict and stress.

“I love the church,” she said. “To use my experience, what I’ve learned from my lifetime, and my career in hospital administration, to be a small part of the healing that the church needs right now, gave me a challenge that I didn’t want to miss. I felt that this was the Lord saying to me that he wanted to use me in a small way. That’s a comforting thought, but also challenging.”

Skip Davis, CEO of Sacred Heart, had this to say: “Constantly finding ways to help the disadvantaged, Mary is truly a saint to the poor and an angel to children. It is hard to find a person who cares more deeply and responds more quickly to needs than Mary Butler.”


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