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

Glad to Be Catholic

the Inland Register

(From the Jan. 12, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

I am taking this opportunity to state my appreciation for and to the Catholic Church.

Although the Catholic Church is often part of negative news stories, I am proud to be an active, practicing Catholic. I was raised a “cradle” Catholic. However, as a college student and, again, as a middle-aged adult, I have chosen to remain a Catholic.

The Catholic Church, to me, is not the bad news, but the members of my congregation, including my leader, the parish priest. The Catholic people I know sincerely care about each other. They support prayer lines and several charities, and live a virtuous lifestyle. These role models make me glad to be Catholic.

The Catholic priests I know lead by example. They prepare daily sermons that relate current events with Christian doctrine. These homilies give me a clearer understanding, wisdom, and good news. The priests know their church families and encourage and support them.

Catholics communicate faith through example. We live our joy, rather than living our suffering. We model hope in the midst of our daily trials and give meaning to daily life. Catholics believe in and practice reconciliation. Our faithfulness is our goal, which is a deeper purpose than being the media’s news.

For me, the Catholic Church is history, traditions, symbolism, and rituals that connect me to Jesus, his life, his disciples, and the Creator. Daily I can participate in Mass and the Eucharist and know Jesus also did this. I am part of thousands of people, throughout thousands of years of kneeling, singing, and praying. What awesome knowledge to know my Catholic actions reach beyond this current time and place.

Don’t let the saying “One rotten apple can spoil the whole bunch” apply to the Catholic Church. Yes, we honestly admit we have bad apples and we are not perfect. Yes, the “bad” Catholics and “good” Catholics are not equal. Realize the “good” Catholics are part of something bigger than the media news.

As a youngster, I was asked by my priest what was the most beautiful part of our church. Was it the statues, flowers, tapestries, chalice, robes, stained glass windows, etc.? He told me the most beautiful part of our whole, huge church was the soul of the person praying. Over 50 years later, he is still right.

Treat Catholics as individuals and you will see Jesus.

My Catholic faith has and continues to sustain me throughout a life of many trials. I am blessed to be a Catholic.

Cheryl Peters, Immaculate Conception Parish, Colville

I am glad to be Catholic.

I was going with a nice young man. He went to Mass with me every Sunday. Through my example and prayers, he became interested in my faith.

I wanted to receive my high school diploma. Bill continued to go to Mass with me. He studied under Father Raymond Reidner and was baptized. I continued my studies and received my diploma.

Later we were married in St. Agnes Catholic Church. God blessed us with eight children, all of whom went to the Catholic school in Omak.

At the time of my husband’s death, we had been married for 61 years.

Helen Swayze, Our Lady of the Valley Parish, Okanogan

Share the ways you’re ‘Glad to Be Catholic’

If you have a pleasant memory you treasure that relates to being Catholic, tell us about it. If you have a positive or uplifting experience in the context of family or parish life, or in the workplace, that makes you glad you’re Catholic, send it to us so that we can share it with the rest of the Catholic community in Eastern Washington.

Send descriptions of your experience(s) to: Glad to Be Catholic, The Inland Register, P.O. Box 48, Spokane, WA 99210; or send your story by e-mail to:

We’ll respect requests to remain anonymous, but please include your name and phone number, in case we have any questions. Otherwise, we’ll print your name and, if you’ll share it with us, the name of your parish.

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