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 March 16, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

Archdiocese of Portland

PORTLAND – The Archdiocese of Portland has sought to appeal a bankruptcy judge’s ruling that the archdiocese is the owner of the 124 parishes in Western Oregon. The archdiocese’s attorneys hope another court will agree with them: that the parishes own the assets, not the archdiocese. That decision would radically change the equation in upcoming settlements in sex abuse cases.

On Dec. 30 of last year, Judge Elizabeth Perris ruled that the archdiocese owned the parishes. Portland’s Archbishop John Vlazny has stated repeatedly that the archdiocese only holds the parishes in trust. The position echoes that of the Spokane Diocese.

Judge Perris must allow the appeal. The request for that appeal states, in part, that Judge Perris’s ruling and subsequent orders “have the effect of confiscating property the Debtor holds in trust for the benefit of parishes and parishioners.”

The appeal does not eliminate negotiations for a possible settlement between abuse plaintiffs and the archdiocese.

Diocese of Baker

BEND – The Capuchin Franciscans will be leaving parish ministry in Bend in the near future. Capuchins have served St. Francis Parish here for over a century.

— Catholic Sentinel (Portland)

Archdiocese of Seattle

SEATTLE – Archbishop Alex J. Brunett has allowed the Catholics of Western Washington to eat meat on Friday, March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day, which normally would be a day of Lenten abstinence – while reminding everyone of the importance of Lenten penance.

He granted a similar dispensation for the same reasons when St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Friday in 2000. He also pointed out that in some countries, March 17 is a Holy Day of Obligation.

OLYMPIA – Seattle Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo told Advocacy Day participants, “To be just in the eyes of God is to be holy. That means you have the perfect balance in everything you are, everything you say, everything you do, everything that you live.”

To be truly hopeful, he said, means to strive to be just. He quoted Pope John Paul II: “Live with thankfulness for the past. Live with passion for the present. And always be hopeful for the future.”

Some 200 people from the state’s three dioceses gathered Feb. 23 for Advocacy Day, sponsored by the Washington State Catholic Conference, the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center, and Catholic Community Services.

— The Catholic Northwest Progress (Seattle)

Diocese of Great Falls-Billings

CASCADE COUNTY – Last Christmas, the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Cascade County had a disturbing increase in numbers: a 10 percent increase in the number of Christmas food boxes distributed to those in need, to 450.

The boxes contained an average of 35 pounds of assorted holiday food, along with a turkey or ham, and Christmas candy. The food, some 25,000 pounds, was distributed Dec. 22 to some 1,500 individuals.

Besides donations from Catholics and others, over 1,000 hours of volunteer time helped make the operation a success.

— The Harvest (Great Falls-Billings)

Diocese of Helena

HELENA – Bishop George Thomas spent the evening of Feb. 6 with a few dozen members of Carroll College and the wider community in a “Coffee and Conversation” gathering.

The event was the latest in a series, scheduled for each semester at Carroll – which boasts the bishop as a 1972 graduate.

The evenings are coordinated by the college’s Campus Ministry office. Students write their questions in advance. The bishop answered with input from Carroll theology faculty who also attended.

— The Montana Catholic (Helena)

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