Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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Father Paul Luger SJ receives Cataldo School’s Distinguished Alumni Merit Award
Story and photo by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff
(From the Feb. 5, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)
Jesuit Father Paul Luger (left) received Cataldo School’s Distinguished Alumni Merit Award from Cataldo School last month. With him is Jesuit Father Charles Barnes. (IR photo)
The morning of Thursday, Jan. 29, Jesuit Father Paul Luger, 97, received the Distinguished Alumni Merit Award from Cataldo School, Spokane. This award may only be given to someone when approved by the National Catholic Educational Association.
When Father Luger attended the school, beginning in 1916, it was St. Augustine School, where he completed sixth grade there in 1922. In the fall of 1922 he moved to Sacred Heart School for seventh and eighth grades.
Father Luger concelebrated the all-school Mass on Feb. 29 with the pastor of St. Augustine Parish, Father Robert McNeese, and Jesuit Father Charles Barnes, parochial vicar of St. Aloysius Parish. Cataldo’s principal, Stephanie Johnson, presented a framed award certificate to Father Luger at the conclusion of the Mass, as the assembly of students, faculty, and visitors erupted in applause and cheers. Father Luger smiled broadly, and in a strong voice expressed his thanks to all. “Thank you for being here and receiving us. God bless you!” he declared.
After elementary school, Paul Patrick Luger attended, and in 1928 graduated from, what is now Gonzaga Preparatory School. He entered the Society of Jesus, completing the novitiate in 1933. He received B.A. and M.A. degrees in philosophy from Gonzaga University, and an M.S. in physics from Fordham University. He was ordained a priest in 1942.
Father Luger taught for many years at Seattle University, did parish work in Portland, Ore., in the late 1970s and early ’80s, then moved to a parish in Vancouver, Wash., until 1987, at which time he became a chaplain at Providence Medical Center in Portland, where he served until 1991. Father Luger then moved to the Jesuits’ Regis Community, at Gonzaga University in Spokane, where he still lives and serves as a pastoral minister today.
As Johnson in presented award, she said, “the community of Cataldo Catholic School wishes to recognize you for your many accomplishments and to thank you for your many years of service and your contributions to Catholic education.”