Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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 July 19, 2012 edition of the Inland Register)
Volume XX, No. 49
50 Years Ago: July 13, 1962
Pupils to find home at academy in Colfax
Fifty more Cuban refugee children will arrive in the diocese Aug. 1, it was announced today by the Chancery. Consisting of boys and girls of grade-school age, the group will be housed and cared for at St. John Academy, Colfax, under the supervision of the pastor, Father Cornelio Stefani.
About seven Cuban high school girls will accompany the group from Miami and will stay with them to act as “junior supervisors,” Father Stefani said after returning from Miami last week.
A Cuban husband and wife will also accompany the group and stay with them, the husband acting as janitor for the academy building and the wife, a registered nurse, as night supervisor. A Colfax couple will be day supervisors.
During August the children will be given an intensive course in English, after which they will attend regular classes at the academy. The high school girls will attend Colfax High School.
Eighteen of the children are Chinese, Father Stefani said, pointing out that there is a large Chinese population in Havana, immigrants generations ago from China.
“But these children are Spanish-speaking,” Father Stefani said. “In fact, most of them don’t know any Chinese at all.”
It has been estimated that there are 110,000 refugees from Cuba in Miami alone at the present time. Of these, about 9,000 are unaccompanied children sent out of Cuba by their parents who do not want them indoctrinated to Communism or shipped to Russia or Czechoslovakia. The rest are adults who receive a small subsidy from the United States government until they can find jobs in America. They include doctors, dentists, lawyers, cattlemen, fishermen, etc., and most of them are in desperate need.
Miami has been generous to them, but the number is too great to be absorbed in that city alone. As many as possible are being sent to other parts of the country – particularly the children.
Almost all are Catholic and thus the major task falls to Catholic Charities organizations in Miami and throughout the country. The small number of Protestants and Jews are taken care of by their own churches. The government is sponsoring the entire program and providing the funds.
“This is the best kind of foreign aid possible and it is in line with the best free traditions of our country,” said Father Stefani.
St. John Academy, which will house the Cuban children, has undergone extensive repair in preparation for their coming, including the installation of a $10,000 automatic sprinkler system to meet fire safety requirements.
The building has not been used as a boarding school for 35 years, but has operated as a day school – including the first to the ninth grades – recently with a staff of three Sisters of Charity of Providence and one lay teacher.
Early in June the diocese welcomed 20 boys and 24 girls of high school age who are also Cuban refugees from camps in Miami. The boys are currently housed at Bishop White Seminary in Spokane, where they are taking intensive courses in English and religion before being assigned to temporary foster homes. The girls are under the same instruction at Holy Names College on the Fort Wright campus, where some will remain to attend college in the fall. Those of high school age also will be assigned to foster homes.
Priest of diocese returns after two-year Rome studies
Father Charles D. Skok, a priest of the Diocese of Spokane who has been two years in Rome studying theology, recently was awarded the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum Internationale in Rome. He will return to the diocese for assignment at the end of this month.
Father Skok’s thesis, which will be published by the Dominican house of studies, is titled “Prudent Civil Legislation According to St. Thomas and Some Controversial American Law.”
Majoring in moral theology, Father Skok completed his last year of studies last month with a cum laude citation. His doctor examinations were held June 15, and he defended his dissertation June 20.
Father Skok is former chancellor of the diocese, and former superior at Bishop White Seminary. Before these appointments, he had served as an assistant at St. Patrick Parish, Walla Walla. He was released for studies in Rome July 15, 1962.
Vol. 45, No. 1 – 25 Years Ago: July 9, 1987
Prep alumni host ‘Party of the Century’
July 10 marks the beginning of three days of celebration for Gonzaga Prep’s Alumni Association.
The All-Alumni Reunion has been billed as the “Party of the Century,” honoring Prep’s 100th anniversary. Some 2,000 people are expected to participate in this year’s reunion.
Special reunion activities have been organized for the classes of 1947 (40 years), 1961 (which deferred its 25th anniversary reunion to this year), 1962 (25 years), and 1977 (10 years).
“We’re really trying to give our alums something to shout about,” said Jesuit Father Robert Goebel, Prep’s Alumni Director. “Prep’s been around for 100 years, and our alumni are a very significant part of that tradition. It’s exciting to be a part of a terrific celebration that honors over 10,000 of our alumni and the 100-year tradition of a great school,” Father Goebel said.
Activities for the reunion weekend are widely varied. Individual classes have made their own plans for their classes in addition to the full schedule for the entire alumni association.
• Friday, July 10: Party at Knights of Columbus Hall.
(Father Caswell is archivist for the Inland Register, and a frequent contributor to this publication.)