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

Regional Report

the Inland Register

(From the March 18, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)

Archdiocese of Portland

PORTLAND – Archbishop John Vlazny is continuing the practice of declaring Ember Days.

The archbishop originally reinstituted Ember Days in the Portland Archdiocese as days of prayer and fasting for victims of childhood sexual abuse. The days are observed during Advent, Lent – March 3 this year – and in September.

The days follow the usual Lenten regulations for fasting. The practice became well-defined in the 11th century, when Pope Gregory VII intended them as periods for thanking God for the gifts of nature, urging Christians to use the gifts in moderation and be mindful of the needs of the poor.

ST. BENEDICT – The newly elected abbot of Mount Angel Abbey, located on a hill in the middle of the Willamette Valley, hopes his community will be a place of encounter with God.

“Here’s our challenge as monks: We need to withdraw, but we need to be careful that we don’t leave our guests standing there,” he said.

Abbot Gregory has been a member of the abbey for 53 of his 72 years. He was elected Mount Angel’s 11th abbot late last year.

“My work is to be the spiritual father of this community,” said Abbot Gregory. “And I should do it by example more than by words.”

“I believe love is the greatest power in the world,” he said. “There is something about love that transforms the heart that fear can’t. My basic commentary about that is that it works. You don’t have to carry a big stick.”

TIGARD – The Washington Post has named a Catholic woman’s book for children, Heart of a Shepherd, one of the top 10 children’s books published in 2009.

Rosanne Perry’s book, now a film to be released next summer, tells the story of a boy whose father is shipped off to Iraq. The boy must then help his grandparents keep their Eastern Oregon ranch going. — Catholic Sentinel (Archdiocese of Portland)

Diocese of Boise

BOISE – The Diocese of Boise reported a decrease of more than $4 million in assets during the 2008-2009 fiscal year, despite a spending reduction of more than $1 million through cuts and deferred payments. This is the second year in a row that the diocese has been in the red.

The diocesan finance officer says internal adjustments and a rebounding market have now halted the bleeding.

Some losses were attributed to decreased investments following bank failures in October 2008.

The diocesan Finance Council has begun discussing alternative options to its current investment plan, including pulling out of the equities market and instead putting money into things like loans for building projects within the diocese.

— Catholic Sentinel (Archdiocese of Portland)

Diocese of Helena

HELENA – The 28th annual Holy Spirit Conference will be held April 30-May 2 at Carroll College, Helena.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Healing through the Spirit Brings Freedom.”

Among the speakers are Walter Matthews, Claretian Father John Hampsch, and Linda Schubert.

The program includes youth tracks for high school and middle school students, as well as children’s ministry.

The focus of the conference will be on the healing aspect of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Father Hampsch will talk about the healing of memories, and Schubert, the healing power of prayer.

Matthews has been executive director of the national Service Committee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the United States since 1993. He was the committee’s associate director for about nine years before that.

The conference cost is $40/person for adults and high school students, $20 for middle school students, and $10 for college students with ID. Early registration prices are in effect until April 20. There is no charge for children in grades K-5. Registration information will be sent by mail; Contact the Pastoral and Renewal Services of the Diocese of Helena, 406-442-5820, ext. 16.

— Montana Catholic (Diocese of Helena)

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