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

Cathedral Parish 125th anniversary celebration begins next month

by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff

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

In the summer of 1881, Jesuit Father Joseph Cataldo converted a former carpenter’s shop, measuring 15 feet by 20 feet, into Spokane’s first parish church.

The structure, located in what is now the eastern section of downtown Spokane, was named in honor of St. Joseph. On a hot August day, five people attended the first Mass Father Cataldo celebrated in that humble little church.

Five years later, a large brick church, dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, replaced the original wooden structure. And 20 years after that, in 1906, about a mile directly west of the original location, the cornerstone was laid for the present church, on the southwest corner of Riverside Avenue and Madison Street. Finally, in 1913, Our Lady of Lourdes became the cathedral for the newly created Diocese of Spokane.

Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral Parish begins a celebration of its 125th anniversary on Aug. 15. “The plan,” said Father Steve Dublinski, the cathedral’s rector, “is to celebrate for not quite a year, beginning in August, starting with the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Aug. 15. Since the first Mass was celebrated in August, we figured that the Feast of the Assumption would be a good day to begin. The bishop will be at the cathedral for that celebration. The anniversary celebration will close on June 10, 2007, with the Feast of Corpus Christi and the parish’s flower festival, which we’re hoping to expand into a flower and arts festival.”

This fall, in late October or early November, the cathedral parish will hold its First Annual Cathedral Wine Festival, and in the course of the year the parish will also hold three Meals for the Homeless. The first will be on Oct. 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi; the second on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph; and the third meal on June 29, 2007, the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul.

“We’re hoping to have the Wine Festival someplace other than at the cathedral itself,” Father Dublinski said. “We’ve only had two meetings, and we’re getting the ball rolling, so we don’t have the details worked out on that, yet.”

Throughout the months of the anniversary observance, the cathedral community will be involved in a “parish envisioning process.” “We’re taking a hard look at ourselves during this 125th year,” Father Dubliniski said. “Where have we been? Where are we going? How do we want to carry on the mission of Christ here at the cathedral parish, and how do we engage that best? What are the needs that we can respond to?

“We’re hoping that this process will reach its point of celebration at the Corpus Christi observance next year,” he said. “We hope to have a good idea by then of who we are as the cathedral parish of the Spokane Diocese.”

Also included in the cathedral parish’s anniversary observance will be a “Music @ Lourdes Concert Series,” an Advent Festival (Nov. 17-19), the Novena of Our Lady of Lourdes (Feb. 3-11), the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes with a Mass that will include the Sacrament of Anointing the Sick (Feb. 11), a Chinese New Year Mass, Meal, and Concert (Feb. 18), and a Miracle of Spring Auction (April).

Father Dublinski said that as a community, the cathedral parish is “really thankful for the vision of the people and pastors of the past, to have built such a beautiful church in the downtown area of Spokane and to have made such great sacrifices that we benefit from today. We’re thankful to be able to celebrate this 125th anniversary.”

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