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 May 19, 2011 edition of the Inland Register)

From the Inland Register
Vol. 19, No. 37
50 Years Ago: April 21, 1961

Academy in Colton plans to discontinue operation

Colton – Notre Dame Academy here will discontinue operation at the end of the current school year, Sister M. Alonza, superior, announced.

Plans are now being made for housing the School Sisters of Notre Dame who will remain in Colton to staff the new Guardian Angel grade school.

This is “full circle” for the teaching Sisters, who taught at St. Gall parish grade school before launching the boarding and day academy for high school girls in September of 1948.

Notre Dame Academy’s first year saw 21 freshmen and 11 sophomores enrolled from the Spokane and Boise dioceses.

In 1949, the junior year was added to the academy’s curriculum, and in 1950 the school offered a complete four-year class program. All subjects required by the State Department of Education were taught, as well as such electives as art, music, physical education and home economics. Commercial subjects also were offered.

Six years after opening, in 1953, a new Quonset-style auditorium-gymnasium was built at the academy – with much of the preparatory work accomplished by volunteer workers of St. Gall Parish.

In September of 1960, junior and senior classes at the academy were discontinued. During Christmas vacation, the sophomore class was dropped. Only the freshman class will continue on until school’s termination in May.

An auction was held March 23 to sell the school and farm equipment. Buildings will be put for sale at a later date.

Notre Dame Academy represented Colton’s second Catholic high school venture. The first – St. Scholastica – was launched in 1906, its four-year program accredited in 1912. The last graduating class — ’31 – numbered 10.

That same year, the Benedictine Sisters were transferred to the motherhouse in Cottonwood, Idaho, leaving four of their number behind in the parochial grade school (circa 1917) until the present community, the Sisters of Notre Dame, took over.

Through the years, much interior remodeling and “make-do” have been needed to adapt the old Academy building, erected in 1894, to modern school use. The old science hall, a few steps from the main building, was pressed into service as sleeping quarters for the Sisters, who turned over their former quarters to resident students.

“The regrettable loss of this high school to the Diocese of Spokane,” Bishop Topel said last week, “points up the necessity for a concerted effort in the diocese to provide adequate funds for the maintenance and new construction of Catholic schools.

“Such an effort,” he said, “is the Diocesan Development Fund announced this week.”

From the Inland Register
Vol. 43, No. 22
25 Years Ago: May 22, 1986

Broadening its range of services to the elderly, the Catholic Diocese of Spokane has announced plans to build at $8.1 million housing complex for older citizens – age 55 and over – in middle- to upper-income brackets.

The project, Rockwood Lane, will be situated on the northern extremity of Sacred Heart Parish’s property, on the site of a former convent, across the street from St. Brendan Nursing Home and close to Sacred Heart Medical Center and St. Luke Hospital. The complex will be located on a major mass transit route and is within easy walking distance of churches, shopping districts, medical centers, clinics, and elderly care facilities.

The project will include 94 residences in all, contained on five stories.

Rockwood Lane joins several other housing developments sponsored by the diocese for lower-income elderly and handicapped, and may also become a residence for retired priests as well.

“Rockwood Lane represents a new and exciting phase in our diocese’s continuing commitment to serve the needs of our senior population,” said Bishop Lawrence Welsh.

“With its location next to Sacred Heart Church and surrounded by excellent medical facilities, we feel it will provide both services and security for years to come.

“We pray it will become a true ‘home’ for many people throughout Eastern Washington.”

“For years, Goodale and Barbieri and the Catholic Diocese have been searching for the right site on which to provide this much-needed housing alternative,” said Louis L Barbieri of Goodale and Barbieri Companies. “I feel that Spokane and the Inland Northwest will find that Rockwood Lane has been well worth the wait.”

Groundbreaking on the project is tentatively scheduled for fall of this year. Upon completion, it will be managed by an independent non-profit corporation.

The housing possibilities range from one- to two-bedroom apartments of various sizes and floor plans. Each apartment will have a private balcony, a fully equipped kitchen, a dining room, one or two bathrooms, storage areas, individual climate control, an emergency call button, and washer and dryer hookups. Other available options include basement parking and additional storage. Plans now include guest parking as well.

Rockwood Lane has been designed for those “who enjoy an active lifestyle,” according to a spokesman for Goodale and Barbieri, the firm handling the project in conjunction with the diocese.

Recreation facilities include a crafts and game room, recreation room, workshop, and lecture/meeting room, in addition to an indoor exercise track, indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sundeck, and garden areas.

Although sponsored by the diocese, Rockwood Lane is open to persons of all faiths, to any single person or couple over age 55 who is able to live independently. A visiting nurse will be available for consultation and routine nursing services.

Prospective residents buy into the project through an occupancy fee, which entitles them to lifetime occupancy of their unit. That fee, less 10 percent, is refuded to the resident or the resident’s estate upon leaving Rockwood Lane.

In addition, residents pay a moderate monthly maintenance fee which includes central heating and air conditioning, a share of project expenses, and the main meal of the day, served at the complex’s dining room. Lunch at Rockwood Lane will be optional.

Sales are being handled by Goodale and Barbieri Companies, which has developed and managed all other housing projects which the diocese has sponsored in Spokane, Pullman, and Walla Walla.

(Father Caswell is Inland Register archivist.)


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