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

Catholic schools live spirit of generosity with ‘100 Ways in 100 Days’

Story and photos by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff

(From the Feb. 7, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)

By 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23, more than 30 yellow school buses had stopped in front of Gonzaga University’s Martin Centre, and some 2,100 students from almost all of the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Spokane filled the bleachers nearly to capacity. Students from Gonzaga Prep’s Ancilla and Knights of the Leash service groups held large white cards with school names printed on them and stood at various locations in the bleachers, guiding teachers who in turn could lead their students to their assigned seats.

Made possible by the generosity of a single donor, the occasion was a Mass to celebrate the successful conclusion of this year’s “100 Ways in 100 Days” program, a Catholic schools service project organized and sponsored by Catholic Charities.

Each student and teacher wore a white t-shirt with the colorful official “100 Ways in 100 Days” graphic printed on the front. Once everyone was seated – only a few minutes behind schedule – Catholic Charities executive director Dr. Rob McCann stepped to the podium to welcome everyone. He then invited the students to “be noisy,” and the resulting joyful din was enough to make more than a few adults cover their ears with their hands.

With at least some of the wiggles dealt with, priests and deacons from parishes with schools, seminarians from Bishop White Seminary, and Bishop William Skylstad processed up the center aisle, accompanied by the singing of a combined choir from several different Catholic schools.

In his homily, Bishop Skylstad talked about the unselfish service that is the main focus of 100 Ways, and encouraged the students to make that focus part of their lives all year long.

“We do it for Jesus, and we do it for our brothers and sisters who are in need,” the bishop said.

These Catholic schools participated in “100 Ways in 100 Day” by collecting much-needed supplies for various Catholic Charities agencies:

• St. Mary, Spokane Valley: Catholic Charities’ Foster Grandparent and Senior Nutrition programs.
• Holy Family, Clarkston, and Guardian Angel/St. Boniface, Colton-Uniontown: Austen Manor Apartments (Clarkston) and Pioneer Square Apartments (Pullman) for Seniors.
• St. Aloysius, Spokane: The O’Malley Apartments for Seniors.
• Trinity and St. Charles, Spokane: Fahy Gardens and Fahy West Apartments for Seniors.
• St. Thomas More, Spokane: The Delaney Apartments for Seniors.
• St. John Vianney, Spokane Valley: Catholic Charities’ Childbirth and Parenting Alone (CAPA) Program.
• Cataldo, Spokane: St. Anne Children and Family Center’s Child Care Program.
• St. Patrick, Spokane: Bernadette Place (housing and services for developmentally disabled adult women).
• All Saints, Spokane: The House of Charity, a shelter and ministry to the homeless of downtown Spokane.
• Assumption, Spokane, and St. Paschal, Spokane Valley: St. Margaret Shelter (shelter for homeless women and their children).

Following the Mass, priests who concelebrated the liturgy with Bishop Skylstad stood by the doors through which the students exited the building, giving out “high fives” in abundance.

Some 2,100 students from Catholic schools throughout Eastern Washington gathered for Mass culminating the “100 Ways in 100 Days” effort. (IR photo)

Students and faculty sported matching t-shirts. (IR photo)

Students from Gonzaga Prep guided the schools to their seats, including principal Dan Hill and his Trinity School charges. (IR photo)

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