Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

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 September 20, 2012 edition of the Inland Register)

From the Inland Register
Vol. XXI, No. 5
50 Years Ago: September 7, 1952

Gonzaga Prep begins 76th year with 795 students Gonzaga Prep began last Friday its 76th year of educating Catholic boys with a record enrollment of 795 students.

Greeting the students was a faculty of 38 Jesuit priests and scholastics, and five lay teachers, including Father William E. Hayes SJ, the school’s new principal.

Among the eight new teachers is Father James D. Nelson SJ, who returns to the faculty after a year of students in a high school mathematics training program at Boston College. Father Nelson teaches algebra, trigonometry, advanced math and religion.

Gonzaga Prep also has seven new Jesuit scholastics on its staff, to replace the six who have gone to theological studies or other assignments.

The new teachers are Messrs. Gary L. Albrecht SJ, William C. Hausmann SJ, David J. Leigh SJ, Richard J. Leadbetter SJ, George O. Morris SJ, William P. O’Connell SJ, and Joseph D. Powers SJ.

Mr. Albrecht was graduated from Seattle Prep and has a master’s degree from Gonzaga University. He will teach Latin and history, assist with the varsity football team and moderate the Numeral Club.

A native of Everett, Mr. Hausmann was graduated from St. Martin High School near Olympia and then served two years with the Navy. Later he attended St. Martin College but received his B.A. degree from Santa Clara. He will teach history and civics and moderate the Pep Club and Senior Sodality.

Mr. Leadbetter was born in Havre, Mont., and attended school in Browning. He was graduated from Gonzaga Prep in 1955 and received his B.A. from Gonzaga University. He will teach English and history and moderate the school yearbook, The Luigian.

Mr. Leigh will teach Latin and Greek and work with the debate team. A graduate of Seattle Prep, he has completed advanced studies in English at Gonzaga University.

Also a graduate of Gonzaga Prep (1954) and of Gonzaga University, but a native of Pendleton, Ore., Mr. Powers teaches mathematics. He will also work with the freshman sodalists and manage the bookstore.

Mr. Morris, a graduate of Bellarmine High School in Tacoma and of Gonzaga University, specializes in French. He will also teach Latin and religion and work with the sodality.

Born in Seattle, Mr. O’Connor is a graduate of Seattle Prep. He also attended Seattle University before receiving his B.A. degree from Gonzaga University. He will teach English, religion, and typing, and moderate the school paper, The Gonzagan.

Of those Jesuits who taught at Gonzaga Prep last year and are assigned elsewhere, Mr. Gary F. Greif SJ is in advanced studies in philosophy at the University of Toronto. Mr. Richard H. Schmidt SJ will teach mathematics at Gonzaga University.

Now studying theology at Alma College in California are Messrs. Philip K. Clark SJ and Gerald V. Kohls SJ.

Mr. Denis P. Dennehy SJ has been assigned to the theologate at Willowdale, Ont. Mr. Eugene M. Longen SJ is now at the Gregorian University in Rome, where he also begins his theological studies.


From the Inland Register
Vol. 45, No. 4
25 Years Ago: September 17, 1987

Donna Hanson to address Pope John Paul Sept. 18

by Father Michael Savelesky, for the Inland Register

To watch her this week at her cluttered desk on the first floor of the Chancery, one would not guess that Donna Hanson, Bishop’s Secretary for Social Services, was about to address the spiritual leader of the world’s Catholic community. Her demeanor is calm, her voice quietly peaceful, yet cracking almost embarrassingly with the anticipation of the unique privilege which is to be hers Sept. 18 when she addresses Pope John Paul II at a special meeting of laity in San Francisco’s St. Mary Cathedral.

She will address the Holy Father in her capacity as chairperson of the National Advisory Council of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB). Over 3,000 laity, lay leaders, and representatives of national lay organizations are expected to be in attendance at the cathedral session.

The theme of the session is a “structured dialogue between John Paul II and the laity,” she said. All the talks will be formal presentations prepared in advance. Hanson’s 15-minute talk will come early – at 8:30 a.m. The text of her talk has been embargoed until after the presentation.

Little did she or anyone else suspect that her selection last year to the chair of the National Advisory Council would raise her to national attention during the present papal visit. Originally selected for membership on the Council by the Catholic bishops of the Northwest as this episcopal region’s lay representative, Hanson has been its chairperson for the past year.

She heartily chuckles at the suggestion made in a Tacoma newspaper that her position makes her “about the most important Catholic lay person in the United States.” Her chuckle manifests a sense of reality: National work in her previous diocesan position of Director of Catholic Charities, her consultant capacity to the NCCB’s Committee on the Laity, and her work on the National Advisory Council for the past four years have exposed her to a vast number of committed Catholic lay men and women in prominent positions. She observes with a genuine sense of humility: “I am but one among very many good men and women dedicated to serving the Church – many of whom are far more capable than I.”

Humility given its legitimate recognition, it still remains a great honor to be selected to address the Holy Father, she admits.

Her selection to address the pope originated with a planning group in San Francisco in October 1986. The actual invitation came in January of this year. Her position as chairperson of the National Advisory Council made her an obvious choice. Since then she has engaged in the long task of preparing a talk which she hopes will give voice to the concerns of Catholic lay men and women in the United States.

When asked if she feels like a representative of the laity, she responds, “I don’t know how any person can represent the laity. We are immensely diverse. I will say in my talk that I represent myself, but that I have consulted with several lay brothers and sisters and have tried to reflect what I have heard.”

The media has recently reported that the talks Pope John Paul will hear during his visit to the United States have been screened prior to their presentation. Making no attempt to hide the fact that her talk has gone through several stages of development and revision – and has been reviewed by the planning committee for the papal visit – Hanson makes a different observation. The word “screening,” she said, gives the wrong impression.

The amount of control she would have over her own talk, in fact, was the first question she raised when the invitation to address the Holy Father came in January. “I was assured that I would have a great deal of control – and the experience of the last several months has proved that to be true,” she said. “The consultations, reviews, and revisions over the past months have, if anything, enhanced the talk and now make it more realistically reflective of the concerns of Catholic laity.

“In preparing my talk, I was especially concerned about being culturally sensitive. I was also concerned that what I thought I had put in writing to say to the Holy Father was actually what I meant to say, and that it truly reflected the thoughts of many laity throughout our nation.

“The so-called screening process was far more creative than restrictive. The talk now has a clarity which I hope will reinforce many of the same themes the Holy Father has already heard from others since beginning his visit last week in Miami. I have heard those same themes raised in other national groups, as well as in the recent consultation on the laity which has started preparing the way for this year’s Synod on the Laity,” she said. She attended the Rome consultation in May.

Much could be said about the concerns of the laity. Hanson senses the tension between being forthright on certain issues and yet inclusive of the ordinary characteristics of lay life.

“The points I make in my talk – about family values and needs, lay spirituality, the advances in peer ministry, the growing experience of collaboration between clergy and laity (male and female) which is so vital to our American way of life – are about issues which I hope will give the Holy Father a feel for Catholic laity in the United States,” she said.

“My talk does not shy away from controversial themes, but I have no intention of making headlines,” she said. “I reinforce themes the pope has already heard, but I also want him to know that a good number of constructive and exciting developments have taken place in the Church in our time, especially since his last visit to the United States in 1979. I want him to know of the positive and hopeful response of the laity in those parishes and communities where collaboration between laity and clergy takes place in an atmosphere of respect and sincere pursuit of a Gospel way of life.

“I doubt very much that what I have to say will strike the Holy Father like a bolt of lightning,” she said. “In fact, I would hope not. The validity and impact of what I have to say will come from the pope hearing a consistent pattern of concerns repeated from a variety of sources – including the U.S. bishops – during his visit.

“Since the pope’s previous visit, the Catholic Church in the United States has come into a different arena. The two pastoral letters of the U.S. bishops, for example, have given witness to our national need for dialogue and collaboration in addressing common issues of concern,” she said. “The (Seattle Archbishop Raymond) Hunthausen affair, too, has touched a similar need for consultation and the respect for legitimate authority. We have reached a new degree of maturity, if you will – a maturity which I sense the Holy Father will encounter all across the United States.”

What impact does she think her talk will have on Pope John Paul or on the Catholic Church in the United States?

“I hope it will raise our consciousness about the beauty and dignity of being Catholic,” she said. “I hope it captures a renewed pride in a Church which is very much alive and not afraid to engage in dialogue on the issues confronting us as believers.”

In a nutshell, what conviction about Catholic laity does she want the Holy Father to hear?

“Unity is our goal; service is our mission,” she said. “We are a vibrant Church which very much wants to collaborate with the pope in the service of Christ.”

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


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