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

Letters to the Editor

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

Regarding Letters to the Editor

The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should be no longer than 500 words. Letters must be signed, with address and phone number for contact, but names will be withheld upon request. Letters may be edited for length or clarity. Remember to be charitable.

Send letters to:

  • Inland Register | P.O. Box 48 | Spokane, WA 99210-0048
  • E-mail:
    Fax: (509) 358-7302

    Well done, IR


    You need to know what a great job you are doing with our diocesan paper. The center fold on the pope’s visit to the USA (IR 5/1/08) was great, with color pictures and all.

    I read Inland Register more than I ever have, with interesting articles. God bless you. Keep up the good work.

    Father John Birk, Pasco, Wash.

    Models of ministry


    I was very lucky to attend both the “Emerging Models of Church” summit in Orlando (“Lay ministry means more than just ‘filling the gap,’” IR 5/1/08) and the workshop on the U.S. bishops’ document “Co-workers in the Vineyard of the Lord” in Seattle earlier this month.

    In addition to documents of formation for priests and deacons, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has now formally approved a document of formation for guiding the development of lay ecclesial ministry. Some 87 percent of the U.S. bishops voted in favor of this formation document.

    “Emerging Models” was a great overview of what is happening across the United States and set the stage for the Seattle workshop on lay ecclesial ministry.

    I don’t want anyone to think that we don’t appreciate the thousands of volunteers that keep our parishes running – we would collapse without them. However, “Co-workers” is a message about a professional ministry that is possible when lay ecclesial ministers are properly trained and integrated in the life of the Church.

    The first professional lay ecclesial minister was listed in The Official Catholic Directory (the “Kenedy Directory”) in 1968 – the same year the seminaries were completely full.

    Each person needs to discern their spot in the Church. I think it is wonderful that the entire Church has an opportunity to respond to God is various ways: ordained, Religious, and laity. Learning to work in teams is a change and change is not always easy, and can take time to develop. My favorite punch line is, “The dinosaurs could not change or adapt, and look where they are now.”

    I left Seattle full of hope for our Church. I already see emerging models developing here in Spokane. By being creative, we can continue to be Eucharistic, welcoming parishes, living out the mission of Jesus Christ.

    Sister Irene Knopes SNJM, Spokane

    No to assisted suicide


    Soon we will face an onslaught of petitions asking for our signatures on a measure that would allow medical doctors to participate in the suicide of their patients. This initiative embraces the lie that assisted suicide is grounded in mercy. It is not. It is grounded in hopelessness and idolatry of the self to determine right and wrong, life and death. Our shepherds have asked us to reject the deception. Rather, they ask us to defend the dignity, value, and meaning of every human life.

    This letter is to thank our bishop and priests for unambiguous teaching that raises a heroic standard for life. Thank you for sound, reasoned preaching that specifically informs our consciences. Your exhortations give us lay Catholics the inner voice and strength needed to speak and act clearly in a confused and hostile world. Pope Benedict highlights the great influence you exert from your pulpits, “Where Christ is preached with the power of the Holy Spirit and he is accepted with an open soul, society, though it be full of problems, becomes a ‘city of joy.’”

    I pray that we respond to our priests’ valiant ministry with generous, courageous words and deeds that help transform our world into the ‘city of joy,” not just because so much is at stake, but also because so much is possible. President Bush noted in a recent interview that the voice of the pope makes it easier for politicians like him to defend human life. Back in 2001, Pope John Paul II encouraged President Bush to not endorse federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. President Bush subsequently restricted federal funding for embryonic stem research, which destroys the life of the tiny human, and since then, alternative technologies such as adult stem cells have produced cures for 80 different diseases. “Believe me if you trust and do not falter and you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ even that will happen.”

    Let us defend every life from its earliest spark to its final moments for, “All human life is sacred and each of us is willed, each of us is loved, and each of us is necessary.”

    Cindy Omlin, Mead, Wash.

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