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 Feb. 5, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)

Archdiocese of Portland

PORTLAND – The Sisters of the Holy Names are celebrating 150 years of ministry in Oregon this year.

Twelve Sisters left Quebec in 1859 to minister to the children of French voyageurs who had settled in what would become Portland. They opened St. Mary Academy two weeks after they arrived.

“From our very beginning, our Sisters have worked wit lay men and women who assisted us in our schools, as well as in our parish-based ministries and spiritual development programs,” said Holy Names Sister Joan Saalfeld, a member of the Province Leadership Team. “This year-long celebration gives us an opportunity to thank the people who have supported our service in the Northwest, and to celebrate the continuation of our legacy into the future.”

PORTLAND – The Coalition Against Assisted Suicide, which opposed Washington State’s successful assisted suicide measure is now trying to create zones in the state where the controversial practice would be banned. The Coalition is working with hospitals and doctors to create suicide-free zones.

“Senior citizens, people with disabilities and caregivers have contacted us to ask how to make sure the facilities in their communities remain safe harbors,” said Katie Martin, a member of the Coalition.

The Coalition has created a series of template letters that can be sent to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, pharmacies, doctors, and clinics to encourage them to refuse to participate in assisted suicide.

In Oregon, Catholic health facilities have made it clear for more than a decade that they will not take part in lethal prescriptions. Washington advocates hope to find many institutions and offices that will say no to assisted suicide.

“Obviously,” said Martin, “the more encouragement they receive to refuse to participate in assisted suicide, the better chance terminally ill and sick patients have of receiving truly good medical care and not lethal drug overdoses at the hands of their doctors.”

– Catholic Sentinel (Archdiocese of Portland)

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