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


the Inland Register

(From the Dec. 1, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)

Father George A. Purdy SJ

Father George Purdy SJ Jesuit George A. Purdy died Monday, Nov. 7, at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, after a fall in Naches, where he was pastor of St. John Catholic Church.

The vigil was held at St. John the evening of Nov. 10. The funeral Mass was celebrated the next day at St. Joseph Church, Yakima. Burial was Nov. 12 at Mt. St. Michaelís Cemetery, Spokane.

The Seattle native graduated from Seattle Preparatory School before entering the Society of Jesus in 1940. His training for the priesthood included three years of teaching back at Seattle Prep.

He was ordained a priest at St. Aloysius Church, Spokane, in 1953.

During the next 50 years, Father Purdy served in parishes throughout the Northwest. Twice his ministry was briefly interrupted by a year teaching at Jesuit High School, Portland, and two years as manager/treasurer at St. Michael Institute, Spokane.

Father Purdy was an artistic, multi-talented priest whose special interests were decorating and gardening, with a consuming interest in raising orchids. A crowning achievement at St. John was his completion of a new church and parish hall. He was known as a compassionate person with special concern for the unfortunate. His ministry extended to prisoners in the Yakima County Jail, which he visited after Mass on Sundays.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Jesuit Senior Fund, Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, P.O. Box 86010, Portland, OR 97286-0010.

Sister Marian James (Mary M.) Billo SNJM

Holy Names Sister Marian James Billo died in Lake Oswego, Ore., on Nov. 7. She was 87.

The funeral Mass was celebrated in the Provincial House Chapel at Marylhurst, Ore., on Nov. 11.

She was born in Portland and graduated from Holy Child Academy. After two years at Marylhurst College she entered the Holy Names novitiate. In time she earned a bachelorís degree in French and a master of science degree.

She taught in high schools in Spokane, Uniontown, and Seattle, as well as at Holy Names schools in Oregon, before retiring.

Remembrances may be made to the Holy Names Sisters Foundation, P.O. Box 411, Marylhurst, OR 97036.

Sister Helen (Anthony Joseph) Towey SNJM

Sister Helen Towey, a member of the Holy Names Sisters community since 1935, died Nov. 9. She was 89 years old.

The funeral was celebrated Nov. 15 at the Convent of the Holy Names in Spokane.

She was born in Anaconda, Mont. Her family moved to Seattle when she was 3.

After entering Religious life in 1935, she began teaching in 1937, a career that eventually included work in every elementary grade level. She held a bachelorís degree in education and a master of education degree in social studies, and also worked for a time in the Office of Education of the Archdiocese of Seattle.

An injury forced her retirement to the Convent of the Holy Names, Spokane, in 1995.

Memorial gifts may be sent to the Sisters of the Holy Names Retirement Fund, 2911 W. Fort Wright Dr., Spokane, WA 99224.

Father Andrew J. Dufner SJ

Father Andrew J. Dufner SJ Jesuit Father Andrew J. Dufner passed away peacefully Nov. 19 at Providence Medical Center in Portland, Ore., after a long journey with cancer. He was 73 years old, 51 years a Jesuit of the Oregon Province, and 38 years a priest.

The wake and vigil were held Tuesday Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. at St. Ignatius Church, Portland. The funeral Mass was celebrated the next evening, also at St. Ignatius. Inurn-ment was scheduled for Dec. 2 at 10 a.m. at Mt. St. Michaelís cemetery for the Jesuits of the Oregon Province in Spokane.

His parents, Andrew Dufner and Theresa Volk, preceded him in death. He is survived by his sister, Joan Breidenbach of Missoula; his brother, Robert Dufner of Wenatchee, Wash.; his Jesuit brothers; and many friends of his life of service and ministry, especially at the Nestucca Sanctuary, a place of prayer and retreat on the Oregon coast.

He was born Nov. 9, 1932 in Savoy, Mont. He attended grade school and part of high school in Montana, and graduated from Gonzaga High School in 1950. He earned a Bachelorís degree at Gonzaga University in Spokane in 1954.

He entered the Society of Jesus in the fall of 1954 at the Jesuit Novitiate in Sheridan, Ore. During his studies for ordination, he worked as a staff member in the theoretical division of the Stanford Linear Acceleration Center. He was ordained in Spokane on June 10, 1967, and then worked as a professor of physics at Seattle University and the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium until 1971.

Father Dufner spent the next 12 years working at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley as a professor of theology, dean, acting president and a fellow in religion and science. He took his final vows in the Society of Jesus in 1976. From 1983-87, Father Dufner returned to the Jesuitsí Seattle University to teach and engage in physics research.

The last 18 years of his life were spent as the director of Nestucca Sanctuary, a retreat center located in Pacific City, Ore. Father Dufner took over a rustic Jesuit summer house in 1987 and turned it into a dynamic center for spiritual revitalization for thousands of retreatants. People from all faiths and diverse economic and social backgrounds discovered the rhythm and harmony of a spirituality in which ecology and Christian values of peace and reconciliation were welcome partners.

Donations in memory of Father Dufner may be sent to the Jesuit Senior Fund, Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, P.O. Box 86010, Portland, OR 97286.

Inland Register archives

Home | Bishop | Communications | Parishes | Catholic Charities

© The Catholic Diocese of Spokane. All Rights Reserved