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 Feb. 5, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)

Father Thomas Dominic Kraft OP

Dominican Father Thomas Dominic Kraft, 55, died Jan. 22.

The first vigil was held Jan. 27 at Blessed Sacrament Church, Seattle. A second vigil was prayed Jan. 29 at St. Albert the Great Priory in Oakland, Calif. The funeral Mass was celebrated the next day, at St. Dominic Church, Benicia, Calif. Burial followed in the Dominican Cemetery in Benicia.

He was born in Spokane to Gene and Julia Kraft on Dec. 17, 1953. He attended school at St. Francis of Assisi, Gonzaga Prep, Gonzaga University, and Eastern Washington University, and worked his way through school as a County Parks and Recreation leader and baseball umpire. He volunteered and taught in Seattle archdiocesan schools before joining the Dominicans in 1978.

He received graduate degrees in philosophy and theology at the University of California, Berkeley and studied further in Black Friars College in Oxford, England and language studies in Bogotá, Columbia.

He ministered at Catholic Newman Centers of Arizona State University and the University of Utah, and spent almost nine years at the Dominican Mission in Mexicali, Mexico. He returned to the U.S. in 2004 to direct the Newman Center at the University of Washington.

After the death of his mother, Father Kraft returned to Spokane to help his father and to minister at Gonzaga University, leading student retreats. He returned to Seattle when he was diagnosed with cancer. During a remission, he resumed full-time pastoral work at Blessed Sacrament Parish, near the University of Washington. During several rounds of chemotherapy he continued full-time pastoral work and reached people on his Caring Bridge website and on Sacred Heart radio.

His ministry also included music, as a member of the Pilgrim Friars, who travelled the western states giving concerts and preaching. During summers he often celebrated Mass in Spokane, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Francis of Assisi Parish, and the Poor Clare Monastery.

Father Kraft is survived by his father, Gene; sister, Christina, and her husband, Jeff Williams, and their daughter Annelise, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif; brother, Steve, and sister-in-law Karen, and their children, Olivia, Alexandra, John and Yvette; and brother, Mike, all of Spokane.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Western Dominican Province, 5877 Birch Court, Oakland, CA 94618-1626, or to the Poor Clare Sisters, 4419 N. Hawthorne St., Spokane, WA 99205.

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