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


‘Christ the Risen One, whom we call the Dayspring, stands with us’

by Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register

(From the Sept. 9, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)

The Diocese of Spokane welcomed Bishop Blase Cupich as its sixth bishop with joyous celebrations of prayer in word and music Sept. 2 and 3.

Bishop Blase Cupich, sixth bishop of Spokane, stands before the cathedra at the end of the installation Mass. (IR photo by Deacon Eric Meisfjord)

The celebration began with vespers at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 2.

Prior to the beginning of the service, the K-town drummers of the Colville Tribe in Keller, Wash., greeted visitors with singing and percussion on the steps of the cathedral.

As the time came for vespers to begin, Bishop Cupich, accompanied by Archbishop Alex J. Brunett of Seattle and Msgr. John Steiner of the Spokane Diocese, raised a mallet and pounded on the closed doors of the church.

As the doors opened, Bishop William Skylstad, retired Bishop of Spokane, with Father Steve Dublinski, the cathedral’s rector, and Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States, invited Bishop Cupich into his cathedral.

Bishop Cupich reverenced the cathedral’s processional cross, and processed into a worship space filled with friends, relatives, and representatives of diocesan, civic, and denominational leaders.

Bishop Cupich preaches during vespers. Seated in the sanctuary, from left, are Father Steve Dublinski, Deacon Gonzalo Martínez, Deacon Tyler Smedley, Father Dan Barnett, Archbishop Alex Brunett, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, and Bishop William Skylstad. (IR photo by Deacon Eric Meisfjord)

Archbishop Alex J. Brunett of Seattle presided over the evening’s prayer.

Messages of warm welcome and support were given to Spokane’s new bishop from individuals representing the City of Spokane, other denominations, and Catholic groups and entities: representatives of communities of women and men Religious, Catholic Charities, the diocesan schools, the presbyteral council, deacons, youth ministers, and others.

Drummers from the Colville Tribe greeted those attending the vespers service Sept. 2 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes. (IR photo by Deacon Eric Meisfjord)

In his homily, Bishop Cupich offered special thanks for the ministry of Bishop Skylstad, his predecessor in Spokane. “No one could have asked more of you, but the record shows that whatever task you have been given, you responded with a generosity which both motivates and inspires,” said Bishop Cupich. The congregation affirmed his words with long, sustained applause.

God’s Word, said Bishop Cupich, “calls us to be attentive to the many ways God is gracing us in this time to bring healing to the past and to steady us to take up again the mission of Christ. You can count on me joining you in doing just that.”

Friday, Sept. 3, saw the installation Mass at 11 a.m. at McCarthey Athletic Center, on the campus of Gonzaga University. More than 30 bishops from across the region and the nation were among the thousands of people who nearly filled the building to celebrate Spokane’s new bishop.

Students from Catholic schools throughout the diocese made the trip to the Center for the installation Mass, as well as thousands of other parishioners and church leadership

A choral group from St. Aloysius School, Spokane, performed before the beginning of the installation Mass. (IR photo by Mitch Finley)

After the entrance procession, Archbishop Sambi read the papal mandate from Pope Benedict XVI, naming Bishop Cupich the sixth bishop of Spokane. Deacon Jeff Core displayed the official document for the examination of the Colleges of Consultors of the dioceses of Spokane and Rapid City, S.D., where Bishop Cupich served prior to his appointment to Spokane.

Deacon Jeff Core displays the apostolic mandate to the people. (IR photo by Mitch Finley)

The mandate was then shown to the people gathered for the celebration.

Archbishop Sambi then spoke these words:

“Most Reverend Blase Cupich, you have heard the letter of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. You are called by the Holy Spirit to serve almighty God and the people of the Diocese of Spokane in faith and love as their Shepherd. Having already accepted the appointment of the Holy Father, are you willing to serve the people of the diocese in the tradition of the Apostolic faith of the Church?

Bishop Cupich responded, “With faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and with the love of God in my heart, I do accept the pastoral care of the People of God in the Diocese of Spokane. I resolve to serve faithfully the spiritual needs of this local Church.”

And the people responded, “Thanks be to God!”

Archbishops Sambi and Brunett accompanied Bishop Cupich to the cathedra, or bishop’s chair, where he was seated. Archbishop Brunett presented Bishop Cupich with the crozier, his pastoral staff.

And the people applauded.

Margaret Simonson, chancellor of the Rapid City Diocese, gave the first reading, Isaiah 55:10-11. Joan Leeds, pastoral associate and director of religious education for Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Spokane, read the second, from Corinthians II: 5:17-21. Deacon Jeff Core, a seminarian studying for the Spokane Diocese, proclaimed the Gospel: John 20:19-31, the encounter of the Apostle Thomas with the Risen Lord.

Bishop Cupich raises the bread to be consecrated as Deacon John Ruscheinsky holds the chalice. (IR photo by Deacon Eric Meisfjord)

In his homily, Bishop Cupich cited the words of St. Gregory the Great, whose feast is celebrated Sept. 3.

“Gregory described the Church as the dawn,” said Bishop Cupich, which “‘suggests that while the night is over, it does not yet proclaim the full light of day. While it dispels the darkness and welcomes the light, it holds both of them, the one mixed with the other, as it were.’

Bishop Skylstad exchanges a sign of peace with Bishop Carlos Sevilla SJ of Yakima. (IR photo by Deacon Eric Meisfjord)

“What an encouraging metaphor for us as we take up the work of the Church in our day,” said the bishop. “Yes, there are shadows of uncertainty around us, and I can tell you I have a whole lot of questions for which I have no answers. But, as the poet Hopkins puts it, this darkness belongs to ‘the last lights off the black west,’ and they are giving way as ‘the brown brink eastward springs.’ Christ the Risen One, whom we call the Dayspring, stands with us, inviting us to trust him, inviting us to be his adult friends and partners in saving the world in our time, inviting us to believe that we were born for this day.”

Bishop Cupich was born in Omaha, Neb., and was ordained a priest of that diocese in 1975.

In his ministry as a priest, he has served as an associate pastor and pastor, teacher, seminary rector, and as a member of the staff of the apostolic nunciature in Washington, D.C.

He was ordained and installed as bishop of Rapid City, S.D., Sept. 21, 1998. His appointment to the Spokane Diocese was announced June 30, 2010.

Bishop Carlos Sevilla SJ, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Bishop Cupich, Archbishop Alex Brunett, and Bishop Skylstad concelebrate the Mass. (IR photo by Deacon Eric Meisfjord)


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