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


Around the Diocese

the Inland Register

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

St. John Vianney School’s nurse still going strong at 90

Since it opened its doors in 1953, the St. John Vianney School community in Spokane Valley has been blessed to have the presence of nurse Mary Uptagrafft.

After retiring 19 years ago from a paid nursing job, Mary took on the task of doing the paper work that the State requires for each student’s immunization records. With the help of student nurses and parent volunteers, she has since coordinated all of the eye screenings, hearing screenings, and scoliosis tests in the years since for St. John Vianney students.

She and her late husband, Andy, were founding members of the parish in 1950. They raised four children: sons Mike, Pat, and Bob Uptagrafft, and Mary Jo Strope.

Since Andy’s death 30 years ago, Mary has helped raise grandchildren in addition to full-time employment. She also sings as a member of the parish choir, an additional ministry since 1980. She is active in the parish’s Liturgy Committee, the Young at Heart group, and generally helping parishioners whenever possible.

Mary now has 16 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She lives in her own house, and with the help of her family does all cleaning, cooking and upkeep. She uses a riding law mower to keep her yard tidy, weeds, and cares for several flower gardens.

Students honored her last month with a 90th birthday party.

Deer Park support for CAPA

The youth group at St. Mary’s Presentation Parish, Deer Park, stripped and painted the dresser in the photo above, then filled it with helpful baby items, donated by parishioners. The completed project was donated to Catholic Charities’ Childbirth and Parenting Alone (CAPA) Program, which supports young, single parents. Pictured, from left, are parishioner Dennis Allard; Katie Bilbrey, a Jesuit Volunteer serving with CAPA; and Kay Palmer, CAPA administrative assistant. (IR photo from Catholic Charities)

Mother mentors needed for Doula Project

The Childbirth and Parenting Alone (CAPA) Program of Catholic Charities, Spokane, is currently looking for volunteers who would like to participate as mentors to young, single, pregnant women for the Doula Project.

A doula supports and encourages a single parent through the prenatal, birthing, and early parenting experiences. Doulas make a one-year commitment to spend two hours a week with their young mother. Volunteers must be a parent, have a high school education or GED, and be at least 26 years old.

Applications for doulas are now being accepted; training will begin this fall. For more information, call 325-7667.

Spokane realtors name Father Weitensteiner ‘Citizen of the Year’

During a May awards luncheon, the 1,900-member Spokane Association of Realtors named Father Joseph Weitensteiner its “Citizen of the Year.”

Father Weitensteiner is the long-time director of Morning Star Boys’ Ranch. He recently announced his retirement from that position.

Association officials said Father Joseph Weitensteiner’s remarkable 40 years as director of the pre-eminent residential facility for boys placed him at the top of a list of impressive nominees for the honor.

Father Weitensteiner was nominated for the award by Tomlinson Black realtor James Young, himself a Ranch resident in the 1970s. Young said Father Weitensteiner had been a major influence in turning his life and the lives of many other boys in a solid and healthy direction.

Young is the association’s president-elect.

Father Weitensteiner’s other awards include the Spokane City Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award; membership on the National Commission on Accreditation of the National Association of Homes for Children; an honorary doctoral degree from Gonzaga University; achievement citation by the Spokane County Juvenile Court; and induction into Gonzaga Preparatory High School’s Hall of Fame.

Catholic Daughter of the Year honored

Peggy Crandall, a 10-year member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, was honored as Catholic Daughter of the Year for 2006 by Court 196 at the March 21 meeting.

Crandall’s activities include volunteer work with St. Mary Parish, Gonzaga University’s Philo-mathea Club, and the Catholic Daughters’ Rosary Committee. She also has volunteered with the Loon Lake Food Bank for 15 years, and is a volunteer with St. Margaret Shelter’s Head Start program.

Coffee company supports Fair Trade, CRS

St. Paschal parishioners Hannah and Martin Jennings own and operate Nectar of Life fair trade coffee roasting company. For every bag sold of their summer Nectar of Ice blend, they are donating $1 to Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ overseas development and emergency relief agency.

The coffee is available at most Yoke’s Fresh Markets stores, Global Folk Art in downtown Spokane, and on the web: http://www.nectaroflife.com.

The Jennings roast and market several blends of whole bean and ground coffee, but each one is certified fair trade, organic and shade grown, the trifecta of social concerns. They also sell five-pound bags of coffee that are ideal for parishes. By purchasing fair trade coffee, customers also help provide a decent standard of living for the grower and safeguard critical wildlife habitat for species that migrate between the U.S. and Central and South America.

Catholic Relief Services has actively promoted fair trade coffee to the American Catholic community for several years now, knowing that it is easier to provide a decent living to coffee growers in the developing world for their product than it is to offer food and medical relief when they are struggling because they cannot receive a good price for their beans on the open market. Fair trade networks provide for the life and dignity of the families and communities of coffee producers.


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