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 June 9, 2011 edition of the Inland Register)

From the Inland Register
Volume 19, No. 41
50 Years Ago: May 19, 1961

New girls’ home to be open for public inspection May 21

The newest and most modern of 77 Good Shepherd Homes in Canada, Mexico, and the United States will be open to public inspection for the first time on Sunday, May 21.

Between 2-5 p.m., members of the auxiliary and “honor-rollers” among the 62 teenage girl residents will give visitors to Indian Trail Road north of Spokane a personally conducted look-see of both the exterior and interior of the $1 million rehabilitative facility.

For group living

Visitors to the Good Shepherd Home will see more than stone and mortar. They will see the last word in physical facilities designed to help evolve tomorrow’s responsible wives and mothers from today’s troubled teenagers.

Many Good Shepherd homes, in late years, have been remodeled to accommodate the modern theory of group versus institutional living. Spokane’s is the first Good Shepherd Home expressly designed for group living.

Each of four apartments has its own house mother, kitchen and dining facilities, bathroom, and recreation room. Each unit’s “bedrooms” are separated by chest-high partitions, which double as closets and pin-up boards.

Along with modern, airy classrooms for state-approved academic studies, the home boasts such extras as a news room for the school’s newspaper, complete with mimeograph, a spacious home economics room, a sewing room, a library, a craft corner, and a cosmetology classroom for girls enrolled in Saturday beauty culture classes.

The home also has a complete dental unit. Six local dentists, headed by Dr. James Condon, donate one day each month caring for the girls’ dental needs.


Most interesting feature of the rehabilitative institution is its “three-in-oneness.”

The Spokane architectural firm of Cutler, Gale, Martell and Norrie designed the cluster of “related” buildings to offer sleeping quarters and living privacy to three entirely separate populations – the cloistered Magdalanes, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd who staff the home, and the girls.

The chapel incorporates this same three-in-one idea. Three distinct chapels radiate from the central sanctuary, so that each of the home’s three groups can worship in privacy.

The doors of Good Shepherd Home, a recipient of United Crusade funds, are wide open to all needful teenagers, regardless of race or religion. (Catholic population at the home rarely exceeds 10. Currently it is eight.)

All girls at the homes have been admitted by court order.

“Girls now are more disturbed than they used to be,” Sister Sacred Heart, Mother Superior, said. “And they come to us younger now.”

The insecurity which triggers truancy, theft, incorrigibility, or sexual misconduct has its roots, she said, in today’s lower moral standards, in broken homes, and in homes unmotivated by religion.

Many of the girls’ behavior difficulties, she said, stem from the “why can’t I too” of parental example.

For the girls whose problems are big enough to demand professional help, a team of local psychiatrists gives freely of time.

Two-year Stay

“Ideally,” Mother Superior said, “each girl would stay with us for at least two years.” Higher ideals, she said, are like seeds – they can be implanted rather quickly into young, impressionable minds, but it takes time for the hardy growth that will weather future temptations in not-quite-ideal environments.

The home keeps in regular touch with youngsters’ parents, tries to “build up the home relationships” toward eventual release.

The re-educative, rehabilitative program at the Good Shepherd home is based neither on passing fad nor progressive theory. The world’s 10,000 Sisters of the Good Shepherd, all dedicated to helping troubled teenagers, represent vast reserves of experience and know-how.

If they think the new institution on Indian Trail Road is tops, it’s a safe bet that it is exactly that.

On May 21, the public can make its own judgment.

From the Inland Register
Vol. 43, No. 24
25 Years Ago: June 19, 1986

St. Thomas More eighth grade earns DC trip

Without the help of parents and with only minimal supervision from teacher Doug Banks, the eighth grade class of St. Thomas More School raised some $10,100 during the school year, enough to pay for a class field trip to Washington, D.C.

The students’ projects had a number of goals besides simply raising money.

Planning for the trip began in May 1985 with a monetary goal of $6,000.

Three pancake feeds, a St. Patrick Day hat sale, a flower arrangement sale, and other fundraisers, including an on-call labor force, gave the students an opportunity to learn inquiry, motivation, thought process, and other developmental skills.

They also learned an old, but valuable, lesson: the value of a dollar and what it took to earn one.

The eighth graders also took on selling techniques, accounting, budgeting, balancing checkbooks, writing and calling for reservations, conversing with adults, establishing emergency procedures, the process involved with traveller’s checks, airline reservations, and how to make contact with elected officials of the United States government.

The 22 students, accompanied by six adult chaperones, left for D.C. on June 17 and will return to Spokane June 24.

The members of the eighth grade class are Megan Anderson, Rodney, Anderson, Jeff Bever, Lara Desmond, Gordon Ennis, Tony Eugenio, Kathleen Finnerty, Ann Gonzalez, Kerri Hahn, Jennifer Jones, Jerry Jones, Lisa Kaltenbach, Craig Kassa, Katie Kuttner, Colin McChesney, Jeannie Martin, Jeff Massie, Tim Millard, Missy Robertson, Mike Tumy, T.J. Warner, and Bo Young.

(Father Caswell is archivist for the Inland Register, and a frequent contributor to this publication.)

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