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

Glad to Be Catholic:
My journey into the Catholic Faith

(From the Nov. 16, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

I grew up in a very small town in Northwest Iowa and was raised Methodist. I really had no exposure to people of the Catholic Faith until I was a senior in high school. A classmate invited me to her home for an overnight. The family was Catholic, and I was so impressed when they made the sign of the cross before saying the blessing before each meal. Though my mother had us children attend Sunday school and church on a regular basis, we said prayers only at bedtime.

Our family – four children, Mother and Dad – moved to Hayden Lake, Idaho in our old Hudson in June 1944, after I had graduated from high school. That fall I enrolled at Eastern Washington College of Education in Cheney, Wash., to pursue a degree in Elementary Education and become a primary school teacher.

During my freshman year I had a blind date with a young man from Odessa, Wash. – Mark Cosgrove. He was a Catholic. He invited me to go with him to Mass at St. Rose of Lima Church in Cheney when he visited me on weekends. He went to Washington State College in Pullman, Wash., and then spent 18 months serving occupation duty in Germany following World War II.

I did not attend the Catholic Church again until my first year teaching in Colville, Wash., in the fall of 1947. During a conference with Jo Merwin, the mother of one of my first graders, I told her about my very special friend in Germany and that he was Catholic. I wasn’t too sure that we should continue dating when he came home because of our religious difference. Jo invited me to go with her to talk with Father Flour. He said he would not “instruct me,” but we would “discuss” the Catholic Faith.

I started attending Sunday Mass and sat in the back trying to follow the Missal – Latin and English. I liked the ritual, but did not tell my special friend who was still in the Army. When he returned to the United States in the spring of 19481 told him that I had been studying the Catholic faith. Shortly after, he proposed to me and I said, “Yes.” In the fall he returned to WSC to continue his education. I had found a position teaching first grade in Pullman. At last we were both in the same community.

I continued my Catholic instructions with Father Armand Laverdier at Sacred Heart Church in Pullman. I was baptized into the Catholic Church in 1949, with Helen Lamb, a fellow teacher, as my sponsor. The following Sunday I received my First Communion at Immaculate Conception Church in Colville, where my journey of faith first started a couple of years earlier.

Mark and I were married in August 1950 at Sacred Heart Church in Pullman. That was over 56 years ago. A few months later, Bishop White confirmed me at St. Boniface Church in Uniontown when he made his annual trip to the Palouse.

Our four children, all born in Spokane, and their families are a true blessing to us. We have been active members of St. Charles Parish since 1952. I thank God each day for leading me to the Catholic faith nearly 60 years ago.

— Margaret (Smith) Cosgrove, Spokane

Share the ways you’re ‘Glad to Be Catholic’

If you have a pleasant memory you treasure that relates to being Catholic, tell us about it. If you have a positive or uplifting experience in the context of family or parish life, or in the workplace, that makes you glad you’re Catholic, send it to us so that we can share it with the rest of the Catholic community in Eastern Washington.

Send descriptions of your experience(s) to: Glad to Be Catholic, The Inland Register, P.O. Box 48, Spokane, WA 99210; or send your story by e-mail to:

Although sometimes submissions have to be edited, we’ll do our best to let your unique voice come through. We’ll respect requests to remain anonymous, but please include your name and phone number, in case we have any questions. Otherwise, we’ll print your name and, if you’ll share it with us, the name of your parish.

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