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


Seminary bestows Topel Award on Bishop Skylstad

the Inland Register

(From the Jan. 13, 2011 edition of the Inland Register)

Bishop Cupich presents Bishop Skylstad with the Topel Award. (IR photo courtesy of Spencer Getz, Bishop White Seminary)

Bishop William Skylstad recently received the Topel Award during a celebration held at Bishop White Seminary, Spokane.

The Topel Award is given to a person who demonstrates outstanding support for priestly formation. The Bishop of Spokane presents the recipient with the Topel Award at the annual Rector’s Dinner hosted by the seminary community.

Bishop Skylstad was unable to attend the Rector’s Dinner this year and so was presented with the award at the annual Christmas gathering.

Prior to the formal presentation, Father Darrin Connall, Rector of Bishop White, read the following commendation:

“The 2010 Topel Award goes to a priest ordained for the Diocese of Spokane. This priest is no stranger to priestly formation as he has both lived and worked on staff here at Bishop White.

“When he lived here, however, the old building was crowded and in constant need of maintenance. In fact, this priest recently wrote, ‘I do not know of any other building in the diocese that went through more renovations and changes over the decades’.

“Those Band-aid approaches came to an end in 2008 when we finally broke ground on this new facility. The formation program here at Bishop White and this beautiful new building would simply not have been possible without the strong support of this year’s recipient who raised money, approved plans, gave me a long leash and who consecrated our new altar and said the first Mass in our new chapel. I am pleased and proud to present the 2010 Topel Award to the Bishop Emeritus of Spokane, Bishop William Skylstad.”

Bishop Cupich presented the award while Bishop Sklystad received a standing ovation. He then went on to offer a few words of appreciation and gratitude to the gathered community.

The Topel Award is named for the third bishop of Spokane, Bernard Topel Ph.D. It was Bishop Topel whose commitment to priestly formation led him to found Bishop White Seminary in 1956.


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