Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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Fountain celebrates 50th anniversary of St. Thomas More Parish, school
Story and photo by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff
(From the Oct. 25, 2007 edition of the Inland Register)
Pictured around St. Thomas More’s new fountain are, from left, Lauren Heckel, Jeff DeGon, Carol Moore, Nick Sagendorf, Carrie Banks, Crystie Waugh, and Brittney Neal. The students are all St. Thomas More eighth graders. (IR photo)
On Sept. 15, Spokane’s St. Thomas More Parish and School celebrated their 50th anniversaries.
Deacon Doug Banks, principal of the school, said that “the 50th anniversary committee wanted it to be mainly a big social celebration. So we agreed that we would invite all of the ministries in the parish to take part and at the same time get the word out about each one’s particular ministry.”
Each ministry group was asked to take responsibility for a part of the anniversary celebration, he said. “For example, the Knights of Columbus agreed to cook and serve brats and hot dogs and chips,” he said. The altar society provided the ice cream social after the Mass. The prayer shawl ministry ran the welcoming table for name tags. Students and teachers put together a carnival.
One of the main projects the anniversary committee decided to pursue, however, was to erect a memorial in recognition of the 50th anniversary.
“We talked about some kind of plaque or memorial to signify the 50 years,” Deacon Banks said. “From there, we talked about having a little fountain area with a plaque.” Ryan Kellogg, a Boy Scout working on his Eagle rank, approached Deacon Banks, looking for a service project.
“I said, ‘Well, I have two choices for you,’” said Deacon Banks. “One was a lighting project for our playground, and the other,” which Kellogg chose, “was to landscape and put in a fountain by the church to commemorate” the anniversary.
“I told him that I had seen fountains with, say, three stone columns, with a fountain built into it. Then Ryan came back and said, ‘Why don’t you do seven columns and have each one represent one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit?’ That sounded like a great idea to us.”
Design ideas were submitted to Tumble Stone Creative Stone Works in Hayden, Idaho, which has worked on a number of fountains. The resulting basalt rock fountain was a combination of effort and ideas from the company, from Kellogg, and from Deacon Banks, funded by a very generous anonymous donor.
Bishop Skylstad came to the parish for the anniversary celebration on Saturday, Sept. 15, and blessed and dedicated the memorial fountain. “We continued the celebration with cake and ice cream after all the Masses the next day, plus all the various parish ministries had their displays up in the parish hall,” said Deacon Banks.