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


Janice Lathrop retires; 35 years of dedication to church

the Inland Register

(From the Aug. 20, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)

Janice Lathrop was honored recently for her long commitment to parish life in the northern part of the diocese. From left are members of her Okanogan youth group: Chadrak Ingram, Noah Braley, Alyssa Descoteaux, Janice and Earl Lathrop, Mary Jordan Braley, Gregory Sklar, Kendra Descoteaux, and Ruth Ingram. (IR photo courtesy of Norene Mikkelson)

A retirement reception was given for Janice Lathrop by Our Lady of the Valley Youth Group members in Okanogan, Wash. The reception was to thank Janice for the 35 years she has given to the children and adults of the Okanogan area.

Janice started her years as a religious education teacher at St. Genevieve Parish, Twisp, Wash. For the next 29 years she taught catechism classes, adult RCIA classes, helped the children with the Mother’s Day crowning of Mary, and the children’s music for Easter and Christmas. She served as altar society president for 16 years and parish council for 6 years. Janice was the substitute organist and also represented St. Genevieve Parish on the Bishop’s Diocesan Pastoral Council for 5 years.

In 2003 she was hired by Father José Hernandez as church secretary at Sacred Heart Parish in Brewster, Wash. She taught sacramental prep classes to the children there on Wednesday afternoons and also fifth and sixth grade catechism at Our Lady of the Valley in Okanogan on Sundays.

As pastor of Our Lady of the Valley, Father Rory Pitstick encouraged Janice to take the position of the parish’s Religious Education Coordinator in 2004. The next summer her son, Lorin suggested he bring his youth group from Camas, Wash., to Brewster on a mission trip for a week of vacation Bible school. It was a huge success, and the following year Father Pitstick suggested to Janice that they have vacation Bible school in Okanogan as well. She has successfully written a grant request to the Catholic Foundation every year for funding for vacation Bible school for the parishes in Twisp, Okanogan, Oroville, Brewster, and Tonasket.

From 2006-2009 Janice served as youth minister at Our Lady of the Valley Parish. She and her husband, Earl, worked with the youth as a team.

Janice said they are very proud of the youth group in Okanogan. They have really matured in their faith and are now stepping up to help the children by their involvement in vacation bible school and other areas of service to the parish.

Janice said she is very blessed to have had wonderful religious education teachers at her home parish in Wilbur, Wash. She is most grateful to her mother, Lorraine Simons, for making her go to religious education classes, as it gave her a firm foundation in her faith so she could share it with others.

Janice says she has received countless blessings and learned so much about her own faith by teaching young people and adults. She gives credit to all of the generous people she has worked with especially those who volunteer as catechists.

She would like to thank her son Lorin and daughter Sharon for continuing this tradition through their youth ministry in East Wenatchee.

Janice especially wants to thank her husband, Earl, who has shared this ministry by his loving support and hard work every time she volunteered through the years.


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