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 March 20, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)

Diocese of Great Falls-Billings

GREAT FALLS – The five Poor Clare Sisters of Montana are now home in a new monastery, with recent completion of the final phase of construction.

The Sisters first came to Montana in September 1999 at the invitation of Bishop Anthony Milone, former bishop of the diocese. They originally lived in a former rectory near St. Joseph Church.

Construction on the monastery began with choosing a site in 2000. Plans were drawn up the next year, and work to build the Sisters’ living quarters began in October 2004. The final phase completed is an area for retreatants.

GREAT FALLS – Sister Kateri Mitchell of the Sisters of Saint Anne, director of the Tekakwitha Conference in Great Falls, is the first Catholic Native American Consultor with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Her appointment comes from Pope Benedict XVI.

The Tekakwitha Conference encourages and supports Catholic spirituality among Native Americans.

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue focuses on dialogue between Catholicism and other religions, building relationships, promoting study, and providing “for the formation of those who devote themselves to this kind of dialogue,” according to the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus.

With the appointment, Native American Catholics are being recognized and included as members of the Universal Church, said Sister Kateri.

– The Harvest (Diocese of Great Falls-Billings)

Archdiocese of Portland

ALBANY – Two teenagers suspected for suspected gang-related behavior claim they were simply witnessing to their faith and their devotion to their family.

Jaime Salazar and Marco Castro, 14 and 16, respectively, were suspended when they refused to remove religious symbols they were wearing, gifts, they said, from their mothers.

Salazar refused to take off a crucifix. Castro was suspended for refusing to take off a string of rosary beads, with a crucifix and tiny picture of the Blessed Mother.

Chris Equinoa, principal of South Albany High, told the Democrat-Herald Newspaper that although religious items were not banned, he reserves the right as principal to ask a student to cover up or remove any item that could indicate gang affiliation – even a crucifix.

Albany police say fellow officers in Salem and Hillsboro, Ore., have been contending with crucifixes and rosaries as gang markers for several years now.

NEWBERG – A priest, his brother, and a friend died recently, drowning during a crabbing trip at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Father James Nibbler, administrator of St. Peter Parish; his brother, Lawrence Nibbler; and their friend, Curtis Heuer, drowned when a line snagged their boat’s propeller, destabilizing the craft.

St. Peter parishioner Diane Nave said of Father Nibbler, “He was a great leader. I just can’t say enough about the guy. The parish is suffering. We will get through this together.”

MOUNT ANGEL – Catholic-inspired science fiction? A contradiction in terms?

Not according to Don Dunn, a member of St. Mary Parish who writes under the name David Clay. His new book is titled The Kroemaeon League: The Book of Idar.

“The book is about growing up, about finding yourself and about having the courage to do what is right in spite of everything; and though (the main character) is not a Christian, he still exhibits the Christian values found in the Gospel,” Dunn said.

He has been encouraged to speculate about life on other planets by the church’s open attitude toward science, he said.

“The universe is immense, and so is the plan of God,” said Dunn.

– Catholic Sentinel (Archdiocese of Portland)

Diocese of Boise

BOISE – The Boise Diocese will close its headquarters on March 20 and officially reopen in its new location, about a mile south, on March 31.

– Idaho Catholic Register (Diocese of Boise)

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