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 17, 2012 edition of the Inland Register)

From the Inland Register
Volume XX, No. 27
50 Years Ago: April 20, 1962

‘Diamond for Delight’ to open Academy jubilee

The stage is set for one of the biggest anniversary celebrations in the history of Sprague when St. Joseph Academy commemorates 75 years of service and achievement in the field of education at its diamond jubilee Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29.

The jubilee will open with a pageant, “A Diamond for Delight,” featuring academy students in songs and dances. Written and directed by Sister Mary Carmel, the pageant will be given at 8 p.m. in the Sprague public school auditorium. The public is invited to attend. There will be no admission charge.

A civic reception will be held in the academy’s Immaculata Hall Sunday afternoon from 1-3 p.m., with J.A. Costello as master of ceremonies.

J.R. Duncan, mayor of Sprague, will give the welcome address. Speakers will include William Greene, superintendent of Sprague public schools, whose topic will be “Education in the Space Age,” and Father Louis Gaffney SJ, dean of counseling and testing, Gonzaga University, who will speak on “St. Joseph Academy’s Salute to Sprague.”

Miss Rose Marie Weisz, president of SJA’s student body, will give an address, and the St. Cecilia Choral Club, directed by Sister Dorilda, will sing two numbers.

At 4 p.m., a Solemn Pontifical Mass will be offered in Mary Queen of Heaven Church by Bishop Topel. Father Joseph Ringwood SJ will deliver the sermon.

At 6:30 p.m., the final event of the jubilee will be held – a banquet for alumni and former students in the multipurpose room of the Sprague public school. Mrs. Henry Before is chairman. A banquet for visiting and academy Sisters will be given at noon Sunday at the academy.

Pat Ringwood will be toastmaster for the evening banquet, and will introduce the following speakers: Leonard Gaffney, J.R. Laney, Don Jans, Father Maurice Helfenstein and the Rt. Rev. Msgr. S.P. Buckley, former pastors, and Father Ambrose Meyer, present pastor. Sister Eileen Mary, superior of SJA, will give the “Token of Appreciation,” and Frank M. Folson, distinguished SJA alumnus, will deliver the jubilee address.

Bishop Topel will deliver the final message and blessing.

During its three-quarters of a century in the field of education, St. Joseph Academy has contributed handsomely in vocations to the priesthood and Religious life. Among its alumni are nine priests, one seminary, and 44 Sisters – 40 of them Sisters of Charity of Providence.

The priests include Father Joseph Zeyen, who died in 1947; Fathers Joseph and John Balfe SJ, sons of Mr. and Mrs. John Balfe, former Sprague parishioners; the Jesuit Fathers Mark William, William, and Leo Gaffney SJ; their nephew and the son of J.W. Gaffney and the late Mrs. Gaffney; Father William Laney SJ, son of Frank Laney Sr., and the late Mrs. Laney, and Father Joseph Ringwood SJ, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Ringwood.

Joseph Marto, whose grandmother is Mrs. Justine Marto of Sprague, is now attending St. Thomas Seminary in Kenmore, Wash.


From the Inland Register
Vol. 44, No. 15
25 Years Ago: May 7, 1987

Three anniversaries of priestly ordination celebrated

Three priests of the Spokane Diocese celebrated anniversaries of priestly ordination recently.

Fathers Albert Austen, Neal Kelley and J. Severyn Westbrook were honored with a reception at Holy Names Center on May 1. Father Austen celebrates his 50th anniversary this year; Fathers Kelley and Westbrook, their 25th.

Father Albert Austen was ordained May 22, 1937, after completing seminary studies at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee. He was associate at St. Francis Xavier and St. Ann parishes in Spokane for one month each before being assigned to St. Patrick Parish, Walla Walla, where he served for five years.

In 1942 he was named pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Walla Walla, In 1953 he became the first pastor of the newly-created Assumption Parish, Walla Walla.

He became pastor of Holy Family Parish, Clarkston, in 1960, and pastor of St. Augustine Parish, Spokane, in May 1968.

Father Austen was appointed Dean of St. Augustine Deanery on Nov. 8, 1968. He retired in 1980.

Father Neal Kelley was ordained May 26, 1962.

A native of Wisconsin, Father Kelley served as an officer in the United States Navy during World War II. After his military service he enrolled at Notre Dame University and completed law studies at the University of Wisconsin.

He was admitted to the Wisconsin Bar in 1948 and practiced law in his home town. Fond du Lac, and served two terms on that town’s school board.

After his decision to study for the priesthood, Father Kelley studied at Loyola University, Chicago; St. Paul College, Washington, D.C.; and completed theological studies at St. Thomas Seminary, Kenmore, Wash.

He was assistant at St. John Vianney, St. Ann, and Sacred Heart parishes before entering the U.S. Army as a chaplain in 1966.

When he returned to the diocese in 1975 he was named pastor of Holy Family Parish, Clarkston, followed by assignments as pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Walla Walla, in 1979 and Spokane’s St. Francis Xavier Parish in 1981.

Father J. Severyn Westbrook was ordained May 31, 1962. He studied at Mt. Angel Seminary High School, St. Benedict, Ore., and St. Paul Seminary and College of St. Thomas, both in St. Paul, Minn.

He served as an assistant pastor at St. Charles Parish, Spokane, and St. Patrick Parish, Walla Walla, before becoming assistant at Sacred Heart Parish, Pullman, in 1965.

In 1968 Father Westbrook was named associate pastor of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, which was followed by an assignment as associate at St. Patrick Parish, Walla Walla, in 1970.

He was chaplain at Fort Wright College (now Holy Names Center) from 1973 until becoming pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Pullman, in 1977.

Father Westbrook has been writing an editorial column, “Letter from the Palouse,” for the Inland Register since 1981.

(Father Caswell is Inland Register archivist.)


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