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 Sept. 9, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)

From the Inland Register
Volume 9 - No. 5
50 Years Ago: Sept. 9, 1960

‘Register’ begins series on college set;
Fraternity stresses practical Catholicism

(Ed. Note: In the “Back to School” spirit, the Inland Register will gear a few articles toward the college set. This is the first. Next week we hope to write on Newman Foundations in the diocese.)

When rush week for freshmen starts at Washington State University September 12, one of the fraternities in there pitching will be Phi Kappa Theta – national social fraternity for Catholic men with 59 chapters at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. It was founded at Brown University in 1889.

“Phi Kap” operates on the same principles in pledging and initiating – differing from other fraternities mainly in its policy of initiating only Catholic men.

The fraternity emphasizes practical Catholicism – but it’s not meant to be a campus home for “Holy Joes.”

“We aren’t running a monastery,” said one of its priest alumni brothers, “but we expect our brothers to be loyal to their belief and active, cooperative members of their parish. One who is not interested in his most important obligations in life can hardly be expected to live up to the standards of his social fraternity or be loyal to his house.”

“Practical Catholicism” at SU’s Phi Kappa Theta involves fulfilling Mass obligations to regular use of the sacrament, and a life in accord with Catholic moral obligations. Certain “minimum” group activities include a Communion Sunday once each month; daily rosary sessions; active support of the Newman Foundation on campus and participation in its program, and a general effort to maintain in the house a Catholic atmosphere and “conduct becoming Christian gentlemen.”

Along with fulfilling Catholic obligations, the Phi Kaps emphasize scholarship and social development. Grades are emphasized – and a big brother system gives pledges any homework assistance needed. Socially, the Phi Kaps sponsor dances, firesides and social exchanges with women’s living groups.

Athletics get their full share of attention, and Phi Kaps have had excellent representation in W.S.U. baseball, track and golf. Extracurricular activities like working for the university radio station, KWSC and the campus daily newspaper also have appealed to Phi Kap members.

The fraternity is run completely by its members, with aid from advisers appointed by the college. The fraternity and the Neman Foundation are designed to cooperate in keeping Catholicity alive on an otherwise secular campus.

The WSU chapter house was started in the spring of 1940 by the Colfax chapter of the Knights of Columbus. Its name at that time was Chi Nu Chi, which stood for Cardinal Newman Center. It became affiliated with the national Phi Kappa in 1946. In the spring of 1959 merger of this and another Catholic fraternity, Theta Kappa Phi, produced the name change, Phi Kappa Theta.

With the exception of a chapter at Corvallis’s Oregon State, the WSU chapter is the only Catholic fraternity in the Northwest.

Phi Kappa Theta’s present officers are: Bob Marx of Sequim, president; Paul Giese of Seattle, vice president; Pat Carsher of Kalispel, Montana, secretary; Donald Grafton of Enumclaw, steward, and Dick Johnson of Monroe, house manager. Two Phi Kaps are Newman Club officers: Jon Jacobson of Marysville, president and Don Jones of Snohomish, vice president.

From the Inland Register
Volume 43 – No. 6
25 Years Ago: September 19, 1985

Seven to be Ordained to Permanent Diaconate

Seven married men will be ordained to the permanent diaconate in two separate ceremonies the weekend of Sept. 27.

Antonio Beraza and Joel Puruneda will be ordained on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. at Sacred Heart Parish, Othello. Kenneth Dunlap, James Murphy, John Sicilia, and Walter Weid, all of Spokane, and David Yenko of Omak will be ordained Saturday, Sept. 28, at 11 a.m. in Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral.

Antonio Beraza, Othello, was born in Santa Maria, Texas. He and his wife, Dora Ella, have been married for 14 years and have three children. He now works for Chef-Reddy Food Corporation in Othello.

Joel S. Pruneda, Othello was born in Los Ramons, N.L., Mexico. He and his wife, Micuela, have been married for 14 years and have two children. Pruneda is also an employee of Chef-Reddy in Othello.

Kenneth Dunlap, Spokane, was born in Kellogg, Idaho. He has been married for 28 years. Dunlap and his wife, Joann, have two children. He is employed by Skaggs Auto Parts.

James Anderson Murphy, Spokane, was born in San Francisco, Calif. Married for seven years, he and his wife, Jeannette, have two children. He works in Pastoral Care at Sacred Heart Medical Center.

John Francis Sicilia is a native of Spokane. He and his wife, Vikki, have been married for 21 years and have four children. He now works for Deaconess Hospital.

Walter W. Weid, Spokane, was born in Denver, Colorado. He and his wife, Velda, have been married for 33 years and have six children. He is self-employed.

David Yenko, Omak, was born in Rock Springs, Wyoming. He and his wife, Shirley, have three children. He is employed by the U.S. Forest Service.

The deacons each completed a two-year program in pastoral ministries formation before beginning three years of deacon formation, which involved weekly classes and supervised involvement in active ministry.

(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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