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


the Inland Register

(From the Nov. 13, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)

Sister Margaret Mary Polacci, CSJ

Sister Margaret Mary Polacci, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 52 years, died Sept. 21 in Lourdes Medical Center, Pasco, from complications of melanoma. She was 71 years old.

She served in the Northwest at St. Joseph Regional Center in Lewiston, Idaho for 15 years and a total of 13 years at Our Lady of Lourdes.

As a Registered Nurse and Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist, she was well-known and widely respected for her skills and her compassion for mothers and babies and as a beloved companion to the elderly and infirm. As an Outreach Educator, and as Coordinator of Lourdes Club TLC, her two main areas of focus were teaching healthy lifestyle changes to persons over 50 years of age, and teaching local Prenatal, Parenting and Natural Family Planning classes.

Sister Margaret served as board member on the Safe Harbor Crisis Nursery and St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. She also served on Lourdes Auxiliary and St. Patrick’s Altar Society in Pasco.

Sister Dorothy (Miriam Beatrice) Altman SNJM

Holy Names Sister Dorothy Altman died Nov. 1 in Spokane at the age of 87.

The funeral Mass was celebrated Nov. 5 at the Convent of the Holy Names, Spokane.

Sister Dorothy was born in Spokane and grew up in St. Francis of Assisi Parish. She entered Religious life at Marylhurst, Ore., in 1943, joining her older sister, Mary Margaret.

Specializing in Art and Home Economics, Dorothy’s professional education included undergraduate studies at Holy Names College, Spokane, and Marylhurst College, Oregon; a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington; a master of education degree from St. Louis University, and studies at Parsons’ School of Environmental Design in New York.

She taught in a number of Holy Names schools in the Northwest, including St. Patrick in Spokane. She was a member of the Handweaver’s Guild of America and served as the local guild’s president in the 1970s.

In her later years, Sister Dorothy became an “artist in residence” at Marian Hall, then at the Convent of the Holy Names, both in Spokane.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names Retirement Fund, 2911 W. Fort Wright Dr., Spokane, WA 99224.

Sister Nancy MacLean SP

Providence Sister Nancy Ann MacLean died Nov. 3 in Fort Belknap, Montana, while serving on the Fort Belknap Reservation.

The vigil service was held Nov. 6. and the funeral Mass celebrated on Nov. 7, both at Sacred Heart Community, Red Whip Gym, Fort Belknap.

Nancy was born May 6, l938 in the Providence Sisters’ St. Patrick Hospital, Missoula, Mont. She attended grade school and high school in Providence schools, and worked at St. Patrick Hospital during her high school years. She entered Religious life in July 1956 in Seattle. She attended Seattle University, where she completed a bachelor’s degree in humanities and earned a teaching certificate in elementary education.

She taught in elementary schools for 10 years before she began ministry in religious education in parishes in Northern Idaho and, later at St. Mary Parish in what is now Spokane Valley.

After earning a degree in alcoholism studies at Washington State University, she opened a residence for women Religious and others in recovery, River House, in Spokane Valley.

After pastoral ministry in Great Falls, Mont., she moved back to Spokane and served at Kairos House of Prayer, before moving to the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana in 1989, where she ministered until her death.

Memorial donations to support the ministries of the Sisters of Providence may be sent to: Sisters of Providence, Office of Development, 9 E. 9th Avenue, Spokane WA 99202-1209.

Sister Annette Marie (Imelda Joseph) Finlayson OSF

Sister Annette Marie Finlayson of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia died Nov. 5 at St. Ann Convent, Tacoma, Wash. She was 87 years old and had been a member of her Religious community for 67 years.

The vigil service was the evening of Nov. 11; the funeral Mass was celebrated the following morning. Both took place at St. Ann Convent.

Sister Annette was born in Baker, Ore., and graduated from St. Francis Academy. She entered the congregation in 1939 and professed her first vows in 1941.

She earned degrees in education and music from Marylhurst College in Oregon, and a master’s degree in English from Gonzaga University. She ministered in both elementary and secondary education, and as a music teacher. She spent 21 years in the Diocese of Baker, Ore., 18 years in the Seattle Archdiocese, nine years in the Portland Archdiocese, and 15 years in the Spokane Diocese, where she served as director of the Personal Growth Center and worked on the St. Joseph Property Research Project.

She also served as vice provincial for the congregation’s former Sacred Heart Province.

From 1978-1983 Sister Annette lived at Our Lady of Angels Convent, the congregation’s motherhouse in Aston, Pa., and was a member of the congregational leadership team. During her term of office, one of her primary areas of responsibility was ongoing formation.

Memorial donations can be made to Franciscan Ministries Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014.

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