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


WSU students explore ministry during alternative spring break

Story and photo by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff

(From the April 6, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

Kayleen Olsen and Brian Viloria were among the WSU students spending spring break in Spokane. (IR photo)

The week of March 12-18 was spring break time at area colleges, and Washington State University was no exception. Spring break became something else, however, for 15 students from St. Thomas More Catholic Newman Center at WSU. The students came to Spokane to spend the week visiting various Catholic Charities and other Catholic institutions in the Spokane area.

The goal of the alternative spring break was to give students a chance to get a “big picture” perspective on the church in the larger community of the diocese.

The students, along with Father Steve Werner, director/chaplain of the Newman Center, and Luta Nsubuga, a former WSU student now a seminarian for the diocese at Bishop White Seminary, visited St. Anne Children and Family Center, the House of Charity, St. Margaret Shelter, Bernadette Place – a Catholic Charities housing site for developmentally delayed adult women – and the local St. Vincent DePaul Society. The students met with Providence Sister Rosalie Locati at Sacred Heart Medical Center, who spoke with them about hospital ministries. Dr. Duane Schafer, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, gave the group a presentation on Catholic schools in the diocese and in the U.S. at large. The students also visited Gonzaga University and were welcomed for lunch by the Jesuit community. While in Spokane, the group stayed at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center.

WSU students who participated were: Andrea Mendoza, Melissa Bughi, Josh Martonick, Evelyn Mayem, Steve Michael, Bernadette Ordos, Mary Ordos, Kayleen Olsen, Ryan Viloria, Jamie Anson, Evelyn Mayem, Travis Lightbody, Jake Abel, Preston Martin, and Allison Fischer.

Brian Viloria is from Hawaii and majoring in communication, with an emphasis on broadcast production.

“What I enjoyed most,” Brian said, “was working with the various people at the House of Charity and St. Anne Children and Family Center, especially because they were two different age groups. It was extremely fun. I would do it again if I had the chance.”

Kayleen Olsen, from Seattle, is a history and education major, and plans to become Catholic this Easter.

“It’s been really wonderful for me to learn about the Catholic Church’s mission,” she said, “how she’s carrying it out in the world, and learning about the ‘inner workings’ of how charity is being practiced by the church in Spokane. It’s been really neat for me to learn. I’m really interested in education, and charity, and health care.”

This was the second year that students from the WSU Newman Center participated in the alternative spring break. Last year six students took part, and this year that number more than doubled.


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