Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Letters to the Editor
The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should be no longer than 500 words. Letters must be signed, with address and phone number for contact, but names will be withheld upon request. Remember to be charitable.
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(From the Dec. 1, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)
It seems that I am spending increasingly more time reading and appreciating the Inland Register because it just seems to get better and better. There are so many pertinent and interesting articles and columns to read, and when I finish I feel like I have really caught up on what is happening in our Catholic Church not only here in our diocese, but also in our country and world as well. The photos are also improving in quality.
I have especially enjoyed the features on some of our priests who have served our diocese so long and so well. We have had to endure so much publicity about a small percentage of priests who have in the past hurt so many and I think it is very important for all of us to remember and appreciate those priests who have lived their vows and served God and his people so well. We need to show our pride and gratitude to the many priests who serve us in our diocese so faithfully while living holy and exemplary lives.
Thanks to all of you who have made the Inland Register the fine magazine that it is.
Beverly Burger, Spokane
The St. Vincent de Paul Society has been helping the poor in this region since 1941. The Family Services Center at 722 N. Regal St. operates the largest food bank in the Inland Northwest, assisting nearly 30,000 disadvantaged families annually with emergency food, household items, clothing and furniture. To continue our mission, your help is needed more than ever.
The cost of operating our non-profit programs is soaring. Energy costs (gasoline and diesel fuel for our trucks and equipment, propane, electricity and natural gas to heat and light our facilities) have escalated sharply. Each month our trucks log thousands of miles collecting gently used items that transform into vital inventory for our thrift stores. Every day we transport commodities to our food bank to meet the needs of the poor.
Part of the mission of St. Vincent de Paul is to provide needed income, and the dignity of meaningful work to persons who have battled with substance abuse, disabilities and other impediments. The costs of keeping these persons employed have risen to an all time high. While expenses continue to climb, our thrift stores have made steady progress in the marketplace, despite stiff and increasing competition. Sales are well above the average of recent years. Operating efficiencies have been maximized.
We note with discouragement, however, that financial gifts, upon which we rely to fund a significant part of our operations, have been fewer and smaller in recent months. Perhaps the bankruptcy of the Spokane Catholic Diocese is a factor. As you know, we are not an agency of the diocese, and are not involved in that legal matter, yet there are perceptions that contributions to us may be encumbered. This is simply not so.
Therefore, I appeal to you to help us. The need for the services of the St. Vincent de Paul Society has never been greater. Your contribution will combine with the generosity of others to help us carry out our mission in these challenging times, to meet the needs of the poor for years to come. I invite you to contact me anytime to arrange a personal tour of our facilities to see first hand the important work we are doing with your help.
May God continue to bless each of our efforts to help his people in need.
J. Mike Fitzsimmons, Spokane
(Fitzsimmons is president of the Spokane District Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.)
This prayer was included in the book More Saintly Solutions, by Father Joseph Esper. I felt like sharing it with Inland Register readers.
Deacon Walt Weid, Spokane