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


St. Aloysius Parish’s 83rd annual
Novena of Grace begins March 6

the Inland Register

(From the Feb. 25, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)

Three Jesuit priests – Fathers Paul Cochran, Bob Erickson, and Chuck Schmitz – will lead this year’s Novena of Grace, offering nine days of prayer and worship from Saturday, March 6 through Sunday, March 14 at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 330 E. Boone Ave. – on the corner of Boone Ave and Astor St.

This year’s theme is “From the Heart of the Church to the Frontiers.”

The novena, a nine-day period of concentrated prayer to God for one’s most important intentions, had its earliest beginning in the year 1615 in Goa, India, when a boy, crippled from birth was cured through the intercession of Francis Xavier. The saint was canonized, along with his dear friend, Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) on March 12, 1622. Through the years, other intercessory miracles have been attributed to St. Francis, including the healing of Jesuit Father Mastrilli from a near-fatal accident in 1633. It was Father Mastrilli formalized the novena format, which grew in popularity throughout the world, especially in parishes staffed by the Jesuits.

During these nine days of prayer, St. Aloysius Church will offer three daily services: 12:15 (12:30 on Sunday), 3:30, and 5:15 p.m. In keeping with the Lenten journey, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered 45 minutes before each service.

All three of this year’s novena presenters have engaged in lengthy periods of outreach ministry as Jesuits.

Father Cochran was born and raised in Walla Walla, Wash. A graduate of Gonzaga University, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1982 and was ordained in 1994. His priestly formation took him to Bellermine Prep in Tacoma, Toronto, and as far away as Nigeria. The majority of his priestly ministry has been with the Native peoples of Western Alaska, where he served as “priest, liturgical trainer, furnace mechanic, and all around go-fer (go-fer this and that).” Last July, Father Cochran accepted the call to be Superior of the Regis Jesuit Community here in Spokane, through which he serves the needs of the Oregon Province and its aging population. He oversees the elder Jesuits who are engaged in a ministry of prayer for the Church, the Society of Jesus, and the world.

Father Erickson is a past and very beloved pastor of St. Aloysius. He was born and raised in the apple country of Wenatchee, Wash. After graduating from Gonzaga University, he entered the Society in 1964 and was ordained here at St. Aloysius in 1974. Besides his time in parish ministry in Woodburn, Ore., and here at St. Aloysius, he served six years among the Bemba tribe in Zambia, Africa, 13 years on the Colville Reservation, and for the last eight years has been ministering to the Gros Ventres (White Clay) and Assiniboines (Nakoda) Indians on the Fort Belknap reservation in Montana.

Heralding from the Seattle area, Father Schmitz was also ordained at St. Aloysius, in 1972. He has served in a variety of ministries within and without the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. He was in Zambia for two years and has frequently visited Central America and Mexico, acting as liaison between the Jesuits of the U.S. and Jesuit apostolates in those regions. Father Schmitz has been the Director of Campus Ministry at Seattle University, has engaged in parish ministry in several parishes, worked in a close administrative capacity with the Jesuit Provincial for a number of years, and served as Superior of the Jesuit Community and Director of Ignatian spirituality for the Diocese of Yakima.

For further information, contact St. Aloysius Parish Center: 313-5896.


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