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

Annual Catholic Appeal:
Recipients of ACA funding testify to its importance

by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff

(From the Feb. 2, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

Melissa Bughi’s home parish is St. Francis of Assisi in Walla Walla. She is a second-year student at Washington State University, in Pullman, and a regular participant in Masses and other activities at St. Thomas More Catholic Newman Center on the campus of WSU. Melissa is also Secretary of both the Newman Council and the Finance Council.

The Newman Center’s annual support from the Annual Catholic Appeal “helps to fund Masses and other activities,” Melissa says. “Some of these are Bible study, Catholicism 101, Rosary Prayer Group, the Wednesday night Mass, the noon Mass on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Sunday Masses, and the Friday night dinners.”

Many other activities at the Newman Center happen each semester or on a monthly basis.

The first Saturday of each month, for example, Catholic students from the Newman Center volunteer at a Catholic Charities agency in Pullman. Each semester there is a SEARCH retreat. During spring break the Newman Center sponsors a service trip for Catholic students. This spring they will work at Morning Star Boys’ Ranch in Spokane, and while in Spokane they will also learn about the larger diocesan church.

The Newman Center sponsors a longer service trip after final exams in May. This year the trip will be to Montana to work on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation.

“All of these provide an opportunity for students to learn more about their faith and to build a strong faith community,” says Bughi. “When I began my studies last year at WSU as a freshman, the Newman Center is what made – and still makes – my time here worthwhile. By providing these programs and activities, the Newman Center is preparing me and many other students to be strong Catholic Christians now and throughout the rest of our lives.” Without support from the ACA, “we will be unable to provide this strong faith base to many students.”

Kerry Vetter Kerry Vetter (left), whose home parish is St. Mary in Centralia, Wash., is Newman Council president. “In a regular week,” she says, “the Newman Center holds two Sunday Masses, three daily Masses, a Bible study, a group dinner, Confessions, Eucharistic Adoration, and an RCIA class. This allows the Newman Center to reach out to over 300 WSU students, with over 500 students registered at St. Thomas More.

“We are also active in local social justice projects. We work to keep our community welcoming to students. We hold two retreats per year. Overall, St. Thomas More Catholic Newman Center gives the Catholics on campus a place to create lasting friendships with other students who share their faith and values.”

Clearly, the ACA is vitally important to what goes on at the Newman Center at WSU.

Kris Peugh, a teacher at St. Mary School in Spokane Valley, speaks for the ways the ACA benefits Catholic schools throughout the Diocese of Spokane.

“Funds from the Annual Catholic Appeal are critical to the success of our Catholic schools,” she said. “The Diocesan Office of Education is responsible for providing our students with rigorous curricula that are evaluated and updated cyclically. Since the Office of Education relies on the funds from this appeal for its operation, it is imperative that we all give what we can.”

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