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

Regional Report

the Inland Register

(From the April 19, 2012 edition of the Inland Register)

Archdiocese of Portland

PORTLAND – At an age when many Americans jet to warm climates or relax in their living rooms, Mike Marciano is on a rampage of service.

Marciano, 71, volunteers as a tutor at De La Salle North Catholic High School in Portland. He’s serving via Jesuit Volunteer EnCorps, a new spiritual service program for those over 50.

The Jesuit Volunteer Corps began in 1956 in Alaska. The program eventually went nationwide and international, sending young volunteers to social service posts among people who are poor. Now that the Baby Boomers are retiring, the organization’s Northwest branch has positioned itself to harness long life experience for the common good.

“Poverty, social injustice, ecological crises — all continue to present major challenges to society,” says Jeanne Haster, executive director of JVC Northwest. “Prophetic, creative responses are needed. JV EnCorps will make a positive impact in our communities, drawing on the skills and talents of experienced, generous women and men in mid-life or retirement.”

JV EnCorps members convene monthly for retreats. They are encouraged to pursue a personal discipline of prayer and reflection and learn about the Spiritual Exercises of the Jesuits’ founder, St. Ignatius Loyola.

Fifteen graying volunteers joined the program early this year and are performing social service four to six hours per week. Members, who live in their own homes, agree to embrace community, simple living, social justice, ecological justice and spirituality.

In addition to tutoring at De La Salle, Marciano teaches underprivileged children on the weekends at St. Andrew Nativity School.

“The more I feel vulnerable and in the hands of God, the more blessings seem to come,” he says.

PORTLAND – As required, Portland’s Archbishop John Vlazny sent his letter of resignation to the Vatican when he reached his 75th birthday Feb. 22.

Although bishops are required to submit their resignations on their 75th birthday, the Holy Father may or may not accept the resignation.

Archbishop Vlazny, a native of Chicago, came to Western Oregon in December 1997. Prior to that he was bishop of the Winona Diocese in Minnesota.

His two predecessors in Portland, Cardinal William Levada of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Cardinal Francis George OMI of the Chicago Archdiocese, also have crossed the 75th-birthday line, but remain in office.

— Catholic Sentinel (Archdiocese of Portland)

ST. BENEDICT – Monastic garb isn’t something that’s easily acquired at, say, Macy’s, or Walmart.

The Benedictines of Mount Angel Abbey have been blessed since 2001 with the gifts of Lisa Jorgensen, former tailor to Portland Center Stage and the Portland Opera.

In her role as abbey tailor, Jorgensen has been busy sewing habits, stoles, capes, and special, elaborately pleated choir robes that are worn on formal occasions by the monks.

Each monk has his own paper clothing pattern for a custom fit.

The habits themselves are made of washable light-weight tropical wool.

So far Jorgenson has created 352 habits and choir robes and 25 capes.

— Mount Angel Letter of Mount Angel Abbey

Diocese of Helena

MISSOULA – Helena’s Bishop George Thomas spent a pleasant evening at Christ the King Parish, Missoula, engaging in a question-and-answer session for University of Montana students and the parish’s Confirmation class.

About 50 youth and adults gathered at the parish’s Newman Center for the event.

Topics for the bishop included his background in ministry, the Church’s stance on the male-only priesthood, and some of his challenges as bishop.

“The plus column of being a leader in the Church is so much longer than the worries,” answered Bishop Thomas. “I sometimes even forget that I’m supposed to worry.”

— The Montana Catholic (Diocese of Helena)

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