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 November 15, 2012 edition of the Inland Register)

From the Inland Register –– Vol XXI, No. 12
50 Years Ago: October 26, 1962

Your Bishop and You

by Bishop Bernard Topel

Yesterday the Second Vatican Council opened.

No doubt you read about it in your daily newspaper and in the Inland Register. As a spectacular event one wonders how it ever could be equaled. About 2,500 bishops were present. It was the greatest gathering of bishops in the history of the Church. There were bishops of all colors and of all races. It was even more interesting to see many bishops attired in the vestments of the Oriental Rites of the Catholic Church.

The weather was ideal. This was even more remarkable because it had rained steadily and hard from the afternoon before throughout the whole night. However, about one hour before the actual opening of the Council – and only then – did the rain diminish. As we (Bishop Treinen of Boise, Bishop Hunthausen of Helena, and myself) left in a taxi for St. Peter’s, it stopped raining. Throughout the greater part of the day it remained bright and beautiful. Thanks be to God!

My personal reactions? The expanse of St. Peter’s Square, surrounded as it is by the glorious Bernini columns, did not make the striking impression on me that you might expect. One has seen pictures of it so often that one feels as if one had been here many times before. The actual fact is I had been here on my previous trip to Rome in 1958 when I made the necessary “ad limina” visit required of all bishops. The same is somewhat less true of the impression made by St. Peter’s Basilica.

But what did cause me wonderment, and almost consternation, was the fact that I was part of that picture. It was hard to realize that I was a bishop marching in that great and solemn procession and that I belonged here. It was even harder to realize that I was a “Father” of the Second Vatican Council. Throughout our seminary training we had heard often about the various Councils of the Church and the Fathers that made them up. Never, not once, had I thought of the possibility that I might one day be a “Father” in a new Council. But so God has willed it to be.

It was a great joy for me to see the Holy Father for the first time. My last visit to Rome was only a bare three weeks before the death of Pius XII of holy memory. Always I shall remember and treasure the memory of my private audience with him. This time I first saw the Holy Father, John XXIII, as he was being carried through the front doors of St. Peter’s. I was far up in the nave of the Church, closer to the altar than to the doors. Slowly he was carried up the aisle, giving his blessing to right and left as he progressed. Just before he reached the aisle in front of us, the chair was lowered from the shoulders of the men carrying His Holiness and he walked the remainder of the way.

Throughout the long ceremony (four-and-a-half hours) two impressions of him stood out – his human, friendly manner, and his great energy. There was not the slightest sign of fatigue on his part. His voice remained strong and clear throughout the 37-minute sermon given at the end of the ceremony. His gestures were forceful.

So much more could be said. It is enough to say that this was a day of utmost importance to the Church and to the world. May God and His Holy Mother succeed even beyond our expectations in putting new life – Christ’s own life – into the Church. This means making all the members holier.

To obtain these results, grace is needed. A torrent of grace! To obtain this grace, your prayers are needed. The Fathers of the Council truly need your help. Do not fail them!


From the Inland Register – Vol. 45, No. 6
Twenty-five Years Ago: October 29, 1987

Hunthausen marks 25th year as bishop

by Cindy Wooden, National Catholic News Service

SEATTLE – Seattle Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen told those attending his 25th jubilee celebration that together they had experienced “an awful lot of life and a little bit of death.”

“We are bound together in so many ways,” he said during a homily at an Oct. 1 Mass at St. James Cathedral in Seattle.

Archbishop Hunthausen was ordained bishop of Helena, Mont., on Aug. 30, 1962. He became archbishop of Seattle in 1975.

The Mass commemorating his 25 years as bishop came near the end of a more than monthlong celebration of his jubilee. During the month, Seattle Catholics, fellow bishops and family members showed strong support for Archbishop Hunthausen, who has been at the center of a controversy over governance of his archdiocese.

The Vatican, which earlier had ordered an investigation of the archbishop and of pastoral policies in Seattle, on May 27 gave back to Archbishop Hunthausen the full episcopal authority which it had instructed him last year to share with Auxiliary Bishop Donald Wuerl. Bishop Wuerl was relieved of his Seattle duties, and Bishop Thomas J. Murphy was named coadjutor archbishop of Seattle, with the right of succession.

In a column published in an Oct. 1 special edition of The Progress, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Seattle, the archbishop wrote he celebrated his jubilee “with an awareness of the past but with an appreciation for the future.”

“Over the past few years, as you know, the church of western Washington has been asked to reflect on its ecclesial self-understanding,” he wrote.

He said he had made a commitment to address areas of concern cited by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in a 1985 letter. “I know that I can count on your support and cooperation as together we live out our response to the challenge of the Gospel and our faith tradition,” wrote Archbishop Hunthausen.

Letters from brother bishops published in the same issue of The Progress indicated their support.

Archbishop Hunthausen’s “challenging leadership” of the church in western Washington has made it “a bold champion of the values of holiness, justice and peace,” wrote Bishop William S. Skylstad of Yakima, Wash.

“As gold was tried in a furnace, so you have been tried and found true,” wrote Bishop Thomas J. Connolly of Baker, Ore.

Auxiliary Bishop Paul E. Waldschmidt of Portland, Ore., told Archbishop Hunthausen “you have given your life for your flock regardless of cost to you personally.” Auxiliary Bishop Kenneth Steiner of Portland wrote that the Seattle prelate is “one who has lived the Gospel message, which includes the cross.”

During the jubilee Mass at St. James Cathedral, Archbishop Hunthausen said he was sincere 25 years ago when he chose as his episcopal motto, “Thy will be done.” Yet, he hesitated to use the quote from Matthew’s Gospel because “I wondered if I could really live up to it.”

He said he kept the motto, believing “if God wanted me to be a bishop, I wanted to be God’s bishop.”

Three days later the anniversary of Archbishop Hunthausen, who is kown for his strong pacifist views, was celebrated further with an Interfaith Service for Peace at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Buddhists slowly struck a bell calling almost 5,000 people to prayer at the celebration, at which Archbishop Hunthausen said the beauty of the Northwest makes the presence of a nuclear submarine at a Trident base in Bangor, Wash., “more horrific.”

Yet the evil is not in the submarine or its weapons, he said. “The evil must lie within the human mind and heart, not only in the heart of the submarine commander and crew, not only in the chain of command which can give the order to fire.

“Somehow the evil is in any heart and in the heart of all of us,” he said. “There is need in all our lives for conversion.”


From the Inland Register
Vol. 45, No. 8 - December 10, 1987

Sister Peter Claver resigns as CEO

In a Dec. 2 announcement to the Board of Directors of Sacred Heart Medical Center, Sister Peter Claver announced her resignation as Chief Executive Officer of SHMC, effective Jan. 1, 1988.

Succeeding her as president will be Gerald Leahy, currently Executive Vice President. Leahy will be the first lay person to be president of SHMC in its 101-year history.

Sister Peter Claver will assume the post of Senior Executive. As such, her responsibilities will include construction projects, participation in Sisters of Providence corporate activities, and liaison to the Medical Center’s development, community affairs and volunteer activities. She will also continue her positions on local and regional boards.

Sister Peter Claver has been president of SHMC for 24 years. Under her leadership, the present medical center was constructed and dedicated in 1971, as well as the new East Addition in 1984.

She began her career in health care as a registered nurse at Columbus Hospital in Great Falls, Mont., in 1938. She first served at Sacred Heart as a surgical nurse in 1941.

In 1960 Sister Peter Claver received a master’s degree in hospital administration from St. Louis University, and was named administrator of Columbus Hospital, Great Falls.

In 1964 she became president of SHMC.

Her activities and contributions include service on the Gonzaga University Board of Regents and as president of the Washington State Hospital Association and the Northeastern Washington Hospital Council, and on the boards of the Catholic Hospital Association, United Way, Spokane Chamber of Commerce, Blue Cross of Washington, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Pasco, Columbus Hospital in Great Falls, and St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Mont.

She received the DeSmet Medal from Gonzaga University in 1972 and St. Louis University’s Distinguished Alumna Award in 1987.

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


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