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

Regional Report

the Inland Register

(From the February 21, 2013 edition of the Inland Register)

Archdiocese of Portland

SEASIDE – Almost 800 Catholic youths gathered here in mid-November to examine their lives and their faith. In addition to seminars, concerts and fun, each teen received a copy of the church’s new official catechism for youths and young adults.

It was all part of the biennial Archdiocese of Portland Youth Conference held at the Seaside Convention Center. The theme was “Find Us Ready,” based on the Sunday Gospel addressing preparation for the end times. The conference participants were challenged to prepare today for this world and the next. Singer-songwriter Tom Booth’s song, “Find Us Ready,” was used as the theme song.

It was the largest youth conference in recent history, with 50 parishes represented. Youths came from all over western Oregon, including southern regions.

This youth conference included workshops, many presented by local organizations such as Oregon Right to Life and the archdiocese’s vocation committee.

The conference was sponsored by the Archdiocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, directed by Michal Horace. Many parish coordinators of youth ministry volunteered to staff the large conference.

This year’s conference featured a new dimension as social media was intentionally made a part of the conference through the use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and texting technology. A conference staff member coordinated the weekend’s social media and several sessions began with open-ended text polls with the responses displayed on the big screens in the conference hall.

The next archdiocesan youth conference will be Nov. 21-23, 2014.

- Catholic Sentinel (Archdiocese of Portland)

Archdiocese of Seattle

SEATTLE – Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle invites everyone to read letters he wrote to his priests in the Diocese of Joliet, Ill., where he was bishop from 2006-2010, and the Archdiocese of Seattle, where he was installed in December 2010.

Those letters have been published as Strengthen Your Brothers: Letters of Encouragement from an Archbishop to His Priests (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minn.; $19.95).

The text reflects the paradox that sometimes quite ordinary men perform extraordinary tasks in the very person of Christ. Indeed, Archbishop Sartain addresses this unique calling in one-third of the book, “Priestly Identity in Christ.” The second third of the book addresses “Priestly Practicalities,” such as “Advent Loneliness.” The last section speaks of “Priestly Prayer.”

An interesting aspect is that while Archbishop Sartain is speaking to his priests, and we readers are essentially eavesdropping, much of what he says could have been written to laypeople. For instance, when he speaks of Advent loneliness, he uses a layperson friend as his spokesman. Loneliness is not a feature of a dearth of activity or the absence of people; it is something else, a longing that anyone, not just priests, might experience.

In “Priestly Prayer,” Archbishop Sartain writes of the necessity to “accept life as it is and offer it to God” since much of life involves “navigating through situations as they are.” He reminds us of the wisdom in the contemporary expression, “It is what it is.”

In the tradition of the great letter writers such as Alexander Pope and, of course, St. Paul, Archbishop Sartain has composed epistles that treat important matters while maintaining the warmth of faith and love.

– Reviewed by Charlotte Miller, for Catholic News Service (Washington, D.C.)

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