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. 26, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)

Diocese of Great Falls-Billings

GREAT FALLS — Bishop Michael Warfel has announced he has “taken steps to implement a formation program for the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings,” to begin later this year.

“I believe that the ministry of diaconate is not an option for the bishop to decide whether or not to have it in the diocese,” he wrote in his diocesan newspaper. “I believe it is an essential ministry for the Church…. While at its origins it may have served a certain purpose, today it acts as a sacramental model, an icon, for the members of the Church.”

Diaconal ministry, he wrote, “revolves around pastoral leadership and service to the people of God. It is not about authority but about leading, inspiring, enabling and modeling. (The deacon’s) ministry is intended to teach what it means to be a disciple of the Lord…. The goal of diaconal activity is not simply to help, but to empower Christ’s life in others and to help those who have fallen to rise and walk.”

— The Harvest (Diocese of Great Falls-Billings)

Diocese of Helena

HELENA – Deacon Alex Jones Jr. of Michigan will be the keynote speaker for the 2009 Helena Diocesan Catholic Holy Spirit Conference at Carroll College, Helena, Friday-Sunday, May 1-3.

Deacon Jones is a former Pentecostal minister in Detroit. In research, study, and prayer, and concluded that the present-day Catholic Church’s Mass is the “worship service” of the early Church.

He, his wife, and 54 members of his congregation joined the RCIA program at St. Suzanne Parish, Detroit, and were welcomed into the Catholic Church at the 2001 Easter Vigil.

— The Montana Catholic (Diocese of Helena, Mont.)

Archdiocese of Portland

ASTORIA – The Archdiocese of Portland suspended the financial authority of Father Ted Prentice, pastor of St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parish since 2005, pending investigation of failure to follow financial policies and procedures.

A member of the parish finance council has been given the powers removed from Father Prentice after an audit found he may have spent almost $25,000 on a charity he helped found in Mexico. The charity is an organization run by a former friend. The investigation is continuing, to discern whether other monies were mishandled. Civil authorities also are looking into the issue.

The pastor apologized to the parishioners for the way he used the funds, but said the charity work is legitimate. He said his family would help reimburse parish money.

The archdiocese provided the parish with a $20,000 grant to help meet last month’s expenses.

— Catholic Sentinel (Archdiocese of Portland)

Archdiocese of Seattle

SEATTLE – A former Lutheran pastor was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Seattle Jan. 10 at St. James Cathedral. He is the first married man ordained to be ordained to the priesthood in the history of the archdiocese.

Father Tom McMichael entered into full communion with the Catholic Church shortly after resigning in October 2005 as pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Lynden, Wash. He had been a Lutheran pastor for 17 years. His wife, Karin, and his son, Johnathan, also were received into the church at that time. His other son, Joseph, was received into the Catholic Church in 2007.

He completed his priestly formation at Mount Angel Seminary, St. Benedict, Ore., and was ordained a deacon last November.

SEATTLE – Feb. 8 saw the premiere of a new choral setting of “The Magnificat” at Holy Rosary Church.

The composition, by Bob Ingalls, found its inspiration from a stained glass window in Holy Rosary’s chapel, which included an inscription of part of the prayer, declared by Elizabeth to her cousin, Mary – “blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

The composition is part of the centennial celebration for Holy Rosary Church. “I dedicated it to the choir … and to the church,” said Ingalls.

— The Catholic Northwest Progress (Archdiocese of Seattle)

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