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 Jan. 18, 2007 edition of the Inland Register)

Archdiocese of Portland

SILVERTON – Deacon Loris Buccola, the first “permanent” deacon ordained for the Archdiocese of Portland, died Dec. 7 of complications from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 65.

Deacon Buccola had been a monk of Mount Angel Abbey, but left the community before making his final vows. He later returned to Mount Angel Seminary as a teacher, counselor, and high school principal.

In 1974, he was ordained a deacon for the Portland Archdiocese, the first for that See. He went on to serve St. Paul Parish, Silverton, for more than three decades.

The progress of his disease, diagnosed in 1998, slowly eliminated many of his activities, professional and recreational. He referred to the disease as “deadly, but not serious.” The question, he said, was not “Why me?” but “How do I keep being disciple?”

“I have decided to make ALS my friend instead of wasting precious time and energy trying to make it go away. Thoughts about the distant future and, more importantly, posturing myself as a ‘fighter’ against steep odds are more likely to paralyze me with depression than provide practical assistance. A sense of humor is much more useful.”

He maintained a blog of Scripture reflections, with the last posting just two days before his death:

Shortly before he died, he told the Catholic Sentinel, Oregon’s Catholic newspaper, “Though I am a lifelong religious believer, I have not prayed for a miraculous cure of my physical conditions. Painful and unexpected events are a condition of life on this planet. I believe Jesus’ miracles were meant to put us in touch with hope in spite of the evidence that conditions are hopeless. The miracle in my life is the people who love me and whom I love. My favorite prayer is thinking about them and how much I care about them while conscious of the presence of God. Life is good.”

PORTLAND – When Archbishop John Vlazny preached at the ordination Mass for the archdiocese’s six new deacons, he told the men, “Ordained ministry is not a ride on a glory train. It’s sometimes a humiliating and even unwelcome service. But even though it’s not a ride on a glory train, it’s surely a ride on a train to glory.”

The men were ordained Dec. 9 at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Portland. Additionally, six more men were admitted to candidacy for the diaconate.

“You yourselves … at times have probably felt inadequate in the mission being entrusted to you today with these sacred rites,” said the archbishop. “In a way, I hope you do feel inadequate, because all of us are inadequate to assume the role of Christ in the community in any way. It will be only through strong faith and a trust in God that you will be able to be the instruments of God, whereby our God comes into the lives of his people.”

— Catholic Sentinel (Archdiocese of Portland)

Diocese of Helena

HELENA – Monday through Thursday mornings, radio listeners can hear two hours’ worth of The Catholic Hour, hosted by Bob Fishman, religious education director for the Cathedral of St. Helena. The program is broadcast via Carroll College’s KROL, 88.5 FM.

Fishman includes a number of features during the show, including Catholic music, archived broadcasts by the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen, and recorded homilies from priests of the Helena Diocese.

The first hour is live, with Fishman leading prayers, including a decade of the rosary, and taking questions. One group of fishermen called in from Canyon Ferry Lake a few weeks ago, and still calls in periodically with other questions or with music requests.

He also interviews guests – Helena’s Bishop George Thomas makes an appearance once a year – and ends each installment with a prayer for the world.

The program is available through Carroll College’s web site:

— The Montana Catholic (Diocese of Helena)

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