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 Dec. 17, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)

From the Inland Register
Volume 18 - No. 9
50 Years Ago: December 18, 1959

Football banquet held for Walla Walla Team

Football players, managers, and coaches of DeSales High School were honored here November 16th at the sixth annual gridiron banquet sponsored by Michael Flohr Council 766, Knights of Columbus.

A pair of “firsts” was incorporated in the affair: it was held in the new school’s cafeteria and women, many of them parents of members of the squad, were included in the gathering.

Despite the unimpressive football record for DeSales’ first entry in the football wars (nine losses in as many games), spirit and confidence at the banquet were high, as they were throughout the season. Theme of most of the speakers was of the advantages gained through competition regardless of the win-loss column.

Dr. Bob Thomsen, Whitman College coach, whose team just completed one of the most successful football season’s in Missionary history, was the principle speaker in pointing out that there is “no easy way to play football.” Thomas said it is a game for “hardy characters who are tough in body and in spirit…a boy must thoroughly enjoy playing,” he said.

“Early reverses,” he added, “prevent the building of exaggerated values. The only failure is the acceptance of defeat. The ability to battle back to victory after first suffering defeat is of the greatest value.”

Father Norman Triesch, DeSales principal, and Frank Yuse, head coach, spoke of and to the team, commending them for their efforts each week against heavy odds. Yuse introduced each of the 27 players and managers.

William Roach, past grand knight of Michael Flohr Council, was master of ceremonies for the evening. He introduced Grand Knight John Lyons; Norman Herring, past state deputy of the Washington State Council and present State Master of the Fourth Degree; The Rt. Rev. Monsignor Hugo Pautler, pastor of St. Patrick Church; Father Edward Caffrey, DeSales vice principal; Father George McCabe, chaplain at Washington State Penitentiary; assistant grid coach Jerry Anhorn, and Mrs. Thomsen, Mrs. Yuse, and Mrs. Anhorn.

Catholics can help make history live, Jesuit says; charts Church role in area

Catholics living in the Pacific Northwest can help make history live. A Jesuit historian working out of Gonzaga University has undertaken the massive project of collecting and classifying the ecclesiastical history of the Northwest and Alaska.

He is the Rev. Wilfred Schoenberg, S.J., Director of the Oregon Province Archives of the Society of Jesus.

“I’ve been aided immeasurably by people who turn over old piles of letters, books, and other artifacts they would have destroyed anyway,” the Jesuit said. “”Our center is charting the Catholic history of linguistics and ethnology of the Indian tribes and Indian studies – especially in their relation to the growth of the Catholic Church.”

Father Schoenberg, who lectures frequently on Northwest Catholic history, also is a counselor and teacher at Gonzaga Preparatory School during the week. On weekends and evenings, however, the lights burn late in a section of the Crosby Library basement on the university campus. The patient Jesuit hopes to make the center an organized aid in historians throughout the U.S. who need help in their historical research.

The author of several books and novels, Father Schoenberg has much material yet to classify. There are hand-written diaries by priests, there are hundreds of pictures of Indian missions, and historical books on Church history. All of them document the West as the public now sees it – wild, rugged, and growing.

“The history of Catholicism in the country closely parallels the history of our country. The Church grew up with the West,” he explained. “Both are so interrelated that you can’t separate them and our center will eventually be invaluable to any historian.”

He said the Jesuit Archives were first begun in the 1920s by Father George Weibel, S.J., who is remembered for his writings in Northwest Catholic history. When he died, he left much unclassified material in a back room of the Mount St. Michael’s scholastic library. In 1938, Father William Bischoff, S.J., author of Jesuits in Old Oregon began to classify them. He is now associate professor of history at Gonzaga.

Then it was the Rev. William L. Davis’ turn. Between 1938 and 1943, he directed the collection and organization of manuscripts found in Jesuit missions. In 1946, Father Schoenberg took over by searching the Northwest and Alaska and adding 40 large cartons to the collection.

Father Schoenberg said the adjoining darkroom proves helpful for microfilming and photostatic work.

He said the research center is open to any writers or historians and serves the public, now principally writers and Indians who want to verify their status for legal needs and benefits. In recent years, he said, five books and countless articles have been produced with the archives’ collaboration.

“But there’s more work to be done,” Father Schoenberg said. “We need more historical published materials to make the collection complete. We need an adequate microfilm reader. But most of all we need the cooperation of Catholics in the Pacific Northwest who can help us by donating materials of an historical value they would have discarded anyway.”


From the Inland Register
Volume 42 – No. 12
25 Years Ago: December 18, 1984

Catholics helped open Coliseum

When Spokane’s Coliseum opened 30 years ago, the event was considered important enough to merit not just an evening or even a weekend of ceremonies, but an entire week.

Various religious and civic groups were invited to sponsor events honoring the opening of the facility, which was the first of its kind in the Spokane area.

Sunday evening, Dec. 5, fell to the Catholic Diocese of Spokane. Since the church’s part of the celebration week fell on a Sunday evening, it was decided that a Mass – which also served as a part of the Marian Year then taking place – would draw a large number of Catholics to the ceremonies.

Father Arthur Dussault SJ of Gonzaga University wrote a series of articles on the event for the daily newspapers of the secular press: Publicity was also generated by articles written for the IR.

Bishop Charles D. White used the mailing list of the IR to issue an invitation to all Catholics of the diocese.

The response was tremendous.

According to Father Terence Tully, then editor of the IR, the fact that there was a Mass being celebrated which would satisfy a Sunday obligation helped bring in Catholics to the celebration. Added to that was the fact that this was an opportunity to see the new facility first-hand without paying an admission price.

The police were caught unprepared for the problems which were generated by the vast crowds. Television and radio stations broadcast messages, asking drivers to avoid the area of the Coliseum; traffic was at a standstill.

Finally, authorities began to turn people away – a full 45 minutes before the Mass was scheduled to start. The choir director had to plead with gate personnel gain entrance to the building.

Estimates at the time placed the crowd’s numbers at 10,000-12,000. The Coliseum was designed to hold 8,000.

Father Tully said that there were people in all of the seats that were permanently installed, as well as all of the temporary seating set up on the main floor of the Coliseum. People took to sitting in the aisles as well.

“It all led to a new experience – long before Vatican II: multiple communication stations,” Father Tully said.

“It was a wonderful closing event for Bishop White’s life,” Father Tully said. The response from the people of the diocese “was a kind of triumph,” he said. Bishop White died the following September.

All three bishops of Washington were present at the Mass, including Archbishop Thomas Connolly of Seattle, who said, “I have never seen a Catholic event of that dimension before, and never will again.”

(Father Caswell is the diocese’s Ecumenical Relations Officer and archivist for the Inland Register, and a frequent contributor to this publication.)

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