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

Compiled by Father Tom Caswell, for the Inland Register

(From the Feb. 5, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)

Volume 17 – No. 24
50 Years Ago: January 23, 1959

$200,000 Shell-Type Church Slated for St. Charles Parish

One of Spokane’s most unusual churches will be built by St. Charles Parish, Father Oakley F. O’Connor said last week. Construction of a building to cost more than $200,000 is expected to start this spring at the site on Alberta near Heroy.

The proposed church, designed by Funk, Murray & Johnson, will resemble a shell, the unusual geometric shape being evolved by one of the latest engineering principles.

Albert Harvey Funk, one of the architects, said the design was achieved to take advantage of the overall church-school site of eight acres, yet fit in with existing buildings and provide adequate seating for the growing parish.

The new structure will provide seating for nearly 750 persons and will allow for an additional 450 in the present temporary church, which is the parish’s multi-purpose unit.

The floor of the new church will slope to the altar to provide better visibility, Funk said.

“Another new feature will be having the choir brought in with the congregation, the choir and organ on a raised island in the center of the sanctuary, thus dividing the congregation into two halves,” he said.

“The room under the choir will have multiple uses, such as a ‘crying room’ for use of mothers with small children during Masses, as a bride’s room for weddings or as a storage room during clothing drives or similar parish undertakings.”

The roof will be formed of a thin shell of concrete, sprayed in place.

The entrance will feature a double group of doors flanked by walls of tile and stone. Other walls are topped and trimmed with stained glass windows which create the illusion that the ceiling is floating, the architect explained.

The baptistry of rough brick between the front entrances forms a backdrop for the statue of St. Charles, patron saint of the parish.

A 77-foot tower, topped by a spire with a cross, will be erected in a quiet landscaped area on the church property, the tower to be surrounded by walks, seats and a reflecting pool. Bells and speakers for a chime and sound system will be enclosed within the steel tower. Above its base will be a “water shelf” from which water will tumble into the reflecting pool.


Volume 41 – No. 22
25 Years Ago: February 1, 1984

Diocesan Appeal Underway Soon

by Steven E. Beaird
Diocesan Development Director

The 1984 Annual Catholic Appeal – formerly DDF – begins in parishes of the Spokane Diocese in two weeks. This is the 24th such diocesan appeal.

Each parish will take part in the Appeal by raising the fair share of the total diocesan need of $900,000. The 1984 campaign goal is a 20 percent increase from the 1983 Appeal.

Father Frank Bach, Vicar for Administration, emphasized that the increase is not in the amount of diocesan budgets. “Essentially, the amount of money allocated to diocesan programs and needs will be the same as last year,” he said.

“In the past three years, nearly a half million dollars in diocesan properties have been sold to help make ends meet. This year’s increase is an attempt to pay for the needs of our diocese without having to sell non-renewable sources of income.

“Bishop Welsh is committed to having a balanced budget for the fiscal 1984-1985 year. To do this, he has put a freeze on diocesan spending and is asking parishioners to make a large sacrifice to this year’s Appeal.”

Approximately 40 percent of Catholic families and individuals gave to the 1983 Appeal. “I am asking those who gave last year to renew their commitment and increase it,” said Bishop Welsh. “We also need the help of many more Catholics if we are to meet this year’s goal.”

Father Bach mentioned efforts to increase diocesan income that will take the pressure off the Annual Catholic Appeal. He cited the Catholic Foundation endowment program as one source. Last year, the Foundation distributed $29,000 to the diocesan seminarian program. An additional $22,000 was distributed to other Catholic programs and needs in eastern Washington. “Bequests to parishes and the diocese also represent a portion of diocesan income,” said Father Bach.

The Annual Catholic Appeal represents approximately one-half of diocesan income.

(Father Caswell is archivist and Ecumenical Relations Officer for the Diocese of Spokane, and a regular contributor to this publication.)

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