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

Our Lady of Fatima’s office staff brings history, expertise to the job

by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff

(From the May 22, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)

The office staff of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Spokane: from left are Jackie Marshall, Alice Delganes, and Meg Caparoso. (IR photo from Our Lady of Fatima Parish)

Thirty-seven years ago, Alice Delganes volunteered to help with the Religious Education program at Spokane’s Our Lady of Fatima Parish. In time, she became an employee, working in Religious Education, until she retired a few years later.

The experience proved valuable, however, when she was asked to return to the parish in 1992 to help out with “an office emergency.” She still works in the parish today, and daily, though now only part-time, she said.

Over the years, Religious Education has changed, she said. When she first started, RE consisted of daily lessons – classes before school, with two classrooms for each of grades 1-6. Students then were bussed to three different elementary schools in time for the morning bell. Junior high met in the evenings; senior high, on Sundays. Programs tailored for adults took place on an ongoing basis as well. “Being secretary was a full time job which I thoroughly enjoyed. I now enjoy part-time work at Fatima,” she said.

Delganes was born in Pendle-ton, Ore., but spent her early childhood in Twisp, Wash., before moving with her family to Coulee, Wash., where her father was “one of the pioneer carpenters working on Grand Coulee Dam,” she said. “When the family joined him (after a year)…he had built us a small house.” There was no Catholic church yet. The pastor from Wilbur would travel to Grand Coulee, to celebrate Mass in the American Legion Hall. In time, volunteers built a Catholic church they could call their own.

After graduating from Almira High School, Delganes earned a degree from Spokane’s now-fabled Kinman Business University.

She and her husband, Sam, “have experienced more than 61 years of togetherness, (and we) have three sons and two lovely granddaughters,” she said.

Working at Our Lady of Fatima Parish “has been very fulfilling over the years, and I enjoy meeting and greeting the parishioners and others as they come into the office,” she said.

Part-time parish secretary at Our Lady of Fatima is Meg Caparoso, who has been on the job since April 2001 – hired, she said, “to work on the Accounts Receivable for the building campaign that resulted in our new church, which was dedicated in February, 2005. Most recently, I worked with the settlement campaign in the same capacity. I also help out with the liturgical ministry schedule and average about 15 hours a week here at the parish.”

Caparoso calls working as a member of the office staff at Our Lady of Fatima “a privilege” because “the parishioners respond to the daily needs of our community but have a sense of vision and hope for the future church.”

In August of 1993, Jackie Marshall began working at Our Lady of Fatima Parish as a Religious Education secretary, and one year later she became the parish office/business manager, now her full-time position.

“My mother saw an ad in the parish bulletin,” Jackie said, and passed along the information about the opportunity.

For years, Marshall worked as a department head in a bank and a credit union, but her academic background is in education, with a major in reading. She is qualified to teach reading in pre-school through 12th grade, as well as all other subjects in pre-school through 8th grade.

In her present position, however, her job description isn’t so clearly defined. She sums up her responsibilities at Our Lady of Fatima Parish as “everything and anything” that comes up in a parish office.

“I love all aspects of my job,” Jackie Marshall said. “What I don’t like is not getting my work done.”

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