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 Nov. 10, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)

Archdiocese of Portland

ST. BENEDICT – Mount Angel Seminary has broken ground on what will become a new center for theological studies, scheduled to open for business next August.

The new building will be located approximately over the site of the old Mount Angel Seminary High School.

The structure will incorporate environmentally friendly features such as an advanced natural lighting system for classrooms.

With 25,000 square feet, the Center will offset the classroom space lost when the existing Aquinas Hall was renovated to provide more dorm space for graduate students.

MARYLHURST – And in other building news, the Holy Names Sisters broke ground last month for a new archives and history center.

The $5 million heritage center building will be open to the public, focusing on the history of the Holy Names Sisters as well as many Oregon families – a resource for the conservation and retelling of significant historical stories.

Construction is expected to be completed in spring 2007.

PORTLAND – Archbishop John Vlazny ordained four men to the diaconate Nov. 5 at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Portland: Del DeSart (Portland), Brett Edmondson (Portland), David Hammes (Beaverton), and William Park (Portland).

The archbishop also installed men in other ministries, preparatory for ordination: five to candidacy for ordination to the diaconate, four to acolyte, and four as readers.

— Catholic Sentinel (Portland)

PORTLAND – Parish properties belong to the parishes themselves, not to the Archdiocese of Portland, Catholic parishioners told a federal bankruptcy court at a mid-October hearing.

All 390,000 Catholics in the archdiocese are class-action defendants in the archdiocese’s bankruptcy case.

The archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy protection last July to settle sexual abuse claims against it. Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows the archdiocese to reorganize financially.

The small group of parishioners who spoke at the Oct. 11 court hearing echoed what the archdiocese, the parishes and canon law say — parish assets belong to the parishes, not the archdiocese.

But lawyers for abuse claimants contend the archdiocese owns parishes in western Oregon the way a company owns subsidiaries. That would mean the parish and school assets, valued at more than $450 million, could be added to the archdiocese’s holdings, significantly driving up settlement amounts for those judged to be victims.

“I think they (abuse victims) should be paid, but their lawyers are looking for too much money,” said Rosemary Kelleher, a member of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in downtown Portland. “It makes me mad, trying to take the property of the parishes. We worked hard for those parishes.”

Sonja Spitznagel, a member of Christ the King Parish in the Portland suburb of Milwaukie, told the Catholic Sentinel, Portland’s archdiocesan newspaper, that parishioners are “innocent victims” caught up in errors made decades in the past.

“I give to the collection on Sunday; I give to the archbishop’s appeal and to Catholic Charities,” she said. “That is my money, given for good works, that they’re trying to take.”

– Catholic News Service (Washington, D.C.)

Archdiocese of Seattle

SEATTLE – Seattle’s Archbishop Alex J. Brunett underwent surgery to replace his left knee last month. His doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

— The Catholic Northwest Progress (Seattle)

Diocese of Great Falls-Billings

GREAT FALLS – The men’s and women’s divisions of the Ancient Order of Hibernians combined their state conventions the weekend of Sept. 16-18 in Great Falls. All five of the Montana women’s divisions were represented at the event.

Among the entertainment: the 24-member Washerwomen Brigade from Anaconda, marching and performing a drill team routine in colorful costumes.

— The Montana Catholic (Helena)

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