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 March 19, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)

From the Inland Register: Volume 17 – No. 29
50 Years Ago: February 27, 1959

Immaculate Heart Retreat House opens; feverish activity readies edifice

The first retreatants to register at the Immaculate Heart Retreat House on Moran Prairie the evening of Friday, Feb. 20, walked into a spotless, contemporary-styled building, over soft carpets, and were embraced with an atmosphere of peace and beauty.

If the director, Father David E. Rosage, seemed tired, he had good reason to be. On the afternoon of Feb. 20 – and for a good many hectic days and nights preceding that day – the retreat house was a hive of last-minute activity. A small army of parish volunteers, with unflagging Father Rosage, accomplished a herculean 11th-hour job of assembling pews, hanging light fixtures, laying carpets and rushing through last-minute cleaning details.

At noon of the evening of the first retreat, held for women who have been active in getting the retreat movement underway and conducted by Bishop Topel, Father Rosage and his crew were still building the lectern to be used later that night. The three Dominican Sisters who supervise housekeeping details for the Retreat House were unpacking groceries, part of which would be used for the first retreatants’ breakfast on Saturday morning.

Other volunteers were busy with snow shovels clearing away February storm drifts from the buildings, walkways and entrance.

When the retreatants arrived, all was order at the 40-acre Moran Prairie site. The $500,000 building – fruition of a year-long dream of Catholic leaders in the Spokane Diocese – was ready for occupancy just 10 months after groundbreaking ceremonies.

All subsequent retreats, said Father Rosage, will open on Friday evenings and close on Sunday afternoons, with 47 retreatants to be accommodated at each session.

Retreatants for this weekend of Feb. 27 will be men who have been active in the retreat movement, with the Rt. Rev. Damian Jentges, O.S.B., Abbot of Mt. Angel Abbey in Oregon, acting as retreat master.

Three retreats in March will have Jesuit Father John R. Bradstreet as retreat master. Scheduled are a retreat for men of Fairchild Air Force Base on March 6-8, a woman’s retreat March 13-15, and a men’s retreat March 20-22.

Since early retreats are booked solidly, with space subject only to cancellations, retreatants are advised to make reservations at the earliest possible date.


From the Inland Register: Volume 41 – No. 28
25 Years Ago: March 14, 1984

Diocesan Pastoral Council selects new chairpersons

The early weeks of March have not only seen the firing up of Campaign ’84, they have also witnessed the selection of new leadership for the Diocesan Pastoral Council.

Daniel Leary, member of Sacred Heart Parish, Othello, was selected chairperson for the Council at its March meeting. Leary has been a member of the Council since its reinstitution in 1982. He replaces Clarice McCarten, Sacred Heart Parish, Pullman.

Selected assistant chairperson for the DPC was Providence Sister Michelle Holland, presently Administrative Assistant at Sacred Heart Medical Center. Sister Michelle had become a member of the Council in the fall of 1983. Her selection replaces Holy Names Sister Kay Burton, now Provincial Director of the Sisters of the Holy Names.

Welcoming the selections, Bishop Lawrence Welsh thanked the outgoing officers for their dedication and service and encouraged the new officers to develop creative ways of meeting the needs of the diocese.

The March meeting of the DPC found the Council reviewing its progress toward the formalization of diocesan goals – a responsibility entrusted to it by Bishop Welsh. The Council’s Goals Committee reported that a vision statement and preliminary set of goals for service/justice is complete. Further work on other goals will continue in the weeks and months ahead.

Members discussed various means of seeking consultation among the people and clergy of the diocese in the final ratification of the goals established by the Council.

The Council also received reports and updates regarding the Annual Catholic Appeal, the Diocesan Catholic Foundation, the Priests’ Retirement Fund, and parish renewal projects.

Joe Gaffney-Brown, consultant from the Parish Services Office, provided in-service to the Council regarding diocesan efforts to study The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and Our Response, the pastoral letter of the U.S. bishops on the nuclear arms issue.

The next meeting of the Diocesan Pastoral Council is scheduled for Nov. 2-3.

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

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