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 Oct. 23, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)

Diocese of Yakima

GRAND COULEE – Father Robert Himes, pastor of St. Henry Parish in Grand Coulee, Holy Angles Parish, Coulee City, and St. Patrick Parish, Hartline, celebrated his 50th anniversary of priestly ordination on June 10.

St. Henry serves the Coulee Dam area, including parts of the Spokane Diocese.

Father Himes was ordained at the Pontifical College Josephinum, Ohio. His assignments include assistant pastor of St. Paul Cathedral and teacher at Yakima Central Catholic High School. He was pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Erie, Pa., and in the Yakima Diocese, as pastor of St. John Parish, Naches; and St. Joseph, White Salmon; and Blessed Sacrament, Grandview. He was named pastor of Grand Coulee in 2000.

— Central Washington Catholic (Diocese of Yakima)

Archdiocese of Seattle

BELLEVUE – Seattle Archbishop Alex J. Brunett blessed the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace’s new Peace and Spirituality Center at St. Mary-on-the-Lake on Aug. 28.

The facility, overlooking Lake Washington offers a peaceful environment for spirituality programs, retreats, and gatherings of faith groups and non-profit organizations.

Although space for overnight retreatants is limited, the center will work well for day retreats. Individual retreatants are welcome throughout the year.

— The Catholic Northwest Progress (Archdiocese of Seattle)

Archdiocese of Portland

PORTLAND — The backers of Washington’s Physician-assisted Suicide measure, Initiative 1000, have drawn on the experience of and information from those who worked toward passage of a similar effort in Oregon in 1994 and again in 1997.

And money, too. The majority of the hundreds of thousands of dollars given to the Initiative 1000 campaign has come from the political operation of Portland-based Death with Dignity National Center. Compassion and Choices, an assisted-suicide support group, also has contributed.

In comparison, the Portland Archdiocese has contributed $5,000 to the effort to defeat the measure.

PORTLAND – Also related to the topic of Assisted Suicide, a coalition of Oregon Catholic health workers and church leaders is pushing to raise $430,000 to break ground for a home for those who are dying.

The project will offer around-the-clock care for patients who cannot stay in their own homes – affirming that the patients’ lives are of value, despite the message of those supporting assisted sucide.

“Even though people may feel worthless, we have the responsibility to do our best to convince them they are worthy, regardless of how dependent or how weak or vulnerable they feel,” said Patricia Cary, a hospice nurse who is leading the project.

The facility is called the Martha and Mary Ministries Home. Patient care would be covered by Medicaid, private pay, and donations, with services open to people of any faith, or of no faith.

“It is not just an angry response to assisted suicide,” Cary said in 2003. “It is a fresh approach. We know dying is a spiritual experience. We as Catholics have clear teaching that every single person has value in every single moment of life…. We thought that if we as a state were going to be the only place where assisted suicide was offered, we had better be known for compassionate end-of-life care, too.”

— Catholic Sentinel (Archdiocese of Portland)

Diocese of Great Falls-Billings

GREAT FALLS – Bishop Michael Warfel wrote in his diocesan newspaper, The Harvest, about liturgical practices in Eastern Montana.

“Granted, there are many more important issues to be addressed in our world today than postures and gestures at Mass. Nonetheless, I believe helping people to worship as one in a diocese does have its place… Ritual actions, when accomplished as one people, help us to express our unity as worshippers. And postures have a symbolic function. At Mass, the rituals help us to gather and worship as one body of Christ and not merely as individuals.”

— The Harvest (Diocese of Great Falls-Billings)

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