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 Oct. 22, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)

From the Inland Register: Volume 18 – No. 8
50 Years Ago: Sept. 18, 1959

Coliseum Mass to mark centennial of Sisters

A solemn Pontifical Mass in the Spokane Coliseum will mark the close of the centenary observance of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in the Northwest, Oct. 15.

Relatives and friends of the Sisters are invited to attend the Mass at 11 a.m. Priests of the diocese are to be guests at a dinner at Holy Names College after the Mass.

Bishop Topel will preside. Deacon will be the Very Rev. Edmund W. Morton, S.J., president of Gonzaga University; and subdeacon, Francsican Father John Fowlie, pastor of St. Francis Church.

Msgr. John J. Coleman, V.G. pastor of Our Lady of Fatima, will be archpriest and speaker for the occasion. Deacon of honor will be Father Bernard Barry, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes; and subdeacon of honor, Father Erwin L. Salowski, pastor of Sacred Heart Church. Father Charles D. Skok, Chancellor, will be master of ceremonies. Acolytes will be from Bishop White Preparatory Seminary.

Mother Mary of the Blessed Sacrament, Superior General of the congregation, will come from Montreal, Canada, to be present for the Mass and for similar Masses in Portland and Seattle. She will be accompanied by Mother Mary Eleanore, second assistant-general.

Students and Sisters from 10 Holy Names schools in the diocese will attend.

Walla Walla nun finds research challenging

Sister Paula, who made science as interesting as football to the students of St. Patrick, Walla Walla, reports that her six-week summer scholarship on yeast research at the Illinois Institute of Technology was neither “simple nor speedy.”

The smile and the lifted eyebrow with which Sister Paula and others betrayed their lack of understanding of the research problem in yeast changed to respect – and fast.

“This research,” she said, “proved the importance of yeasts in their own right as a family of living things and their value of cell psychology, metabolism, and the entire field of biochemistry.”

Sister called biochemistry one of today’s most vital and challenging research frontiers.

The study of yeast, Sister Paula said, is closely related to cancer research. She quoted a researcher in cancer chemotherapy as saying:

“How can we understand the abnormal cell until we understand the normal cell?”

The availability of the yeast cell, Sister said, and its morphology and physiology, make it ideal for this type of study.

Sister Paula’s fellow researchers under the scholarship grant were two men and two women – “and there were days when a more ‘bushed’ group just couldn’t be found.”

Headlines were made in Chicago during the research period, “but enclosed in our yeasty world we were too busy even to comment on most of them.”

The group did, she said, manage to hear one isolated score when the White Sox played big league baseball less than two blocks from the researchers’ battery of microscopes.

Time proved the greatest problem – time for study and time to complete the mountain of assigned work – she said.


From the Inland Register: Volume 42 – No. 8
25 Years Ago: Oct. 16, 1984

Priests confer at Newman Lake

A meeting of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Spokane which took place at Newman Lake involved discussion of several issues, including a Diocesan Liturgical Commission, a proposed policy for personnel placement, and a possible lay volunteer program for the diocesan mission in Guatemala.

The Liturgical Commission will be chaired by Father Paul Vevik, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Tekoa, and St. Joseph Parish, Rockford. Father Vevik will also serve as master of ceremonies for the diocese.

In a memo written to the Priests’ Council, Father Vevik outlined the commission’s membership and work.

As accepted by Bishop Welsh, the Commission would serve four main functions: as an advisory board to the bishop; to provide consultation and resources for diocesan and parish groups; recommend policy and provide guidelines for diocesan liturgies at which the bishop presides; establish and coordinate workshops; and receive and forward reports, with recommendations on diocesan liturgical practice.

The Commission’s membership will consist of Father Vevik, Father James Dallen (Gonzaga University professor of religious studies), Sherry Fischer (Liturgy Committee, St. Peter Parish), Jesuit Father Stephen Kuder (GU professor of religious studies), Don McKenzie (Parish Services Office liturgy consultant), Sister Joan Spiering, RGS (St. Patrick Parish pastoral minister), and Richard Weeks (St. Peter Parish).

Advisors to the committee are Fathers John O’Brien (on special assignment), Michael Savelesky (pastor, St. Peter Parish), John Steiner (pastor, Our Lady of Fatima Parish), and Terrence Tully (associate pastor, Assumption Parish).

The meeting’s participants also discussed a proposal for a lay volunteer program to serve the diocesan mission in Guatemala.

In a letter to the council, Father Brian Mee, one of the Spokane diocese’s priests serving in Guatemala, outlined a proposal for two members of the laity to participate in a volunteer program for the mission.

The financial burden of the program would fall to the diocese. Volunteers would have to be two practicing, mature (over 21) Catholics who are able to live and work together, recommended by their parish(es). They would have to have some sort of schooling or training that would be of benefit to the work of the mission, as well as either a speaking knowledge of Spanish or a willingness to learn the language.

No decision was made regarding the proposal at this meeting. It was decided to continue the discussion at the next regular meeting of the Council.

The possibility of hiring a personnel director – an evaluator of priests, parishes, staffs, and the like – as well as a separate vicar for the clergy – who would act as a kind of advocate for priests, was discussed.

The policy puts in writing a number of practices that have existed in the diocese up to this time.

In addition, it provides, among other things, for input from parishes as to the sort of pastors they seek for their individual communities.

Evaluation of the policy, now in effect, will take place after the next series of pastoral assignments.

The next meeting of the Presbyteral Council will take place at 10 a.m., Dec. 17, at the Chancery.

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


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