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 August 15, 2013 edition of the Inland Register)

From the Inland Register
Volume LII – No. 20
Fifty Years Ago: September 15, 1963

Diocesan School Superintendent reveals over-all increase in enrollment

Preliminary figures show a drop in elementary school enrollment but an increase in five of the seven high schools in Spokane, diocesan superintendent of schools, Father Charles D. Skok reported this week.

Total enrollment in Catholic Schools in the diocese, Father Skok said, would indicate 11,539 students, an increase of 110 over last year’s total of 11,449.

Father Skok said many factors, including the departure of Geiger Air Force Base personnel and reduction of classroom congestion in some schools, explain the drop in parochial school enrollment. Figures for the high school students included Bishop White Seminary, which will accommodate high school freshman only this year. Bishop White will have 49 students, in contrast to 86 in 1962-63, but the opening of the new Mater Cleri Seminary will accommodate the remaining 27 students and more in 1963-64.

While the preliminary totals announced by Father Skok this week are not definite, it appears that Spokane area schools have 66 fewer students this year. The figure does not include the Marian School now located on the Holy Names College campus. Last year the Marian School had 14 pupils and an increase is anticipated this year. Schools outside Spokane reported a drop of 78 pupils out of a total enrollment of 2,310.

The decrease in the number of students was not unexpected. Father Skok said that the loss of Geiger Air Force Base was reflected in a drop of 25 pupils at Our Lady of Lourdes. At St. Aloysius, a decision to reduce the classroom load explained the 1963-64 total of 591 students, compared to 630 the previous year. At St. Charles, the largest of the elementary schools in the Spokane area, there are 43 fewer students his year. However, Msgr. Oakley F. O’Connor said the drop was minimal and meant a loss of two or three students in each of the six classrooms. Msgr. O’Connor stressed the fact that three public elementary schools and the Glover Junior High School are reporting sharp decreases. He said it possibly reflects a population shift in the Shadle area (of Spokane).

In releasing the preliminary enrollment figures for the elementary schools, Father Skok said totals at this time indicated 9,070 pupils will be enrolled this year, compared to 9,214 last year. This represents a decrease of 144 pupils.

In the high schools, however, increases were reported in four of the seven schools: Bishop White, restricted to freshmen this year, has 49 students, while Gonzaga Prep is down 10 students from last year, with an enrollment of 784 students compared to 794 in 1962-63. Marian Heights School is down three students over last year with an enrollment of 49 students. Biggest increase in high school totals this year was at Marycliff High School where 613 students are in attendance this year, a jump of 33 over last year. Students in high schools total 2,269 this year.

School totals (with last year’s figures in brackets) are as follows:

Spokane and Valley: Assumption School, 373 (365); Holy Names Academy, 89 (109); Our Lady of Fatima, 370 (368); Our Lady of Lourdes 275 (301); Sacred Heart, 330 (347); St. Aloysius, 591 (630); St. Ann, 299 (307); St. Anthony, 321 (321); St. Augustine 481 (484); St. Charles, 712 (755); St. Francis of Assisi, 507 (478); St. Francis Xavier, 556 (540); St. John Vianney, 354 (361): St. Joseph, 184 (172); St. Mary, 209 (275); St. Paschal, 305 (306); St. Patrick, 362 (390); St. Peter, 250 (230); St. Thomas More, 93 (95).

Outside Spokane: St. Mary, Chewelah, 96, (112); Holy Family, Clarkston 354 (373); St. John Academy, Colfax, 97 (117); Guardian Angel, Colton, 128 (137): Christ the King, Omak, 123 (138): St. Mary Mission, Omak, 100 (112): St. Patrick, Pasco, 454 (459); Holy Rosary, Pomeroy, 120 (120); St. Joseph Academy, Sprague, 60 (55); St. Boniface, Uniontown, 93 (86); Assumption, Walla Walla, 245 (222); St. Patrick, Walla Walla, 440 (457).

High Schools: Bishop White Seminary, 49 (86 –freshmen only this year)); Gonzaga Prep 784 (794); Holy Names Academy, 480 (469); Marian Heights, 49 (52); Marycliff 613 (580); St. Joseph Academy, Sprague, 48 (49); DeSales High School, Walla Walla, 295 (291).

From the Inland Register – Volume 46, No. 3
Twenty-five Years Ago: August 25, 1988

Bishop Treinen of Boise resigns for health reasons

WASHINGTON (NC) – Pope John Paul II has accepted the resignation of Bishop Sylvester W. Treinen, head of the Diocese of Boise, Idaho, for the past 26 years.

Bishop Treinen, 70, was an outspoken prelate who during his tenure addressed such issues as the Vatican actions related to Seattle Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen, the role of women in the church and priest shortage.

He called for prayer and fasting in reparation for the “personal attack” against Jesus in the film The Last Temptation of Christ and called for additional prayers that the film would be a financial disaster.

The resignation was announced Aug. 17 in Washington by Archbishop Pio Laghi, apostolic pronuncio to the United States. The Idaho prelate will be apostolic administrator of the Boise Diocese until a successor is named.

The Vatican announced that the resignation was for health reasons.

In 1986, Bishop Treinen in a column in the Idaho Register, his diocesan newspaper, called Archbishop Hunthausen a “great archbishop” who had been caused “incalculable pain” by a two-year Vatican investigation.

He criticized the Vatican’s slowness in finishing its investigation but said its final report was a “tribute” to the archbishop, not a “put-down” as some of the archbishop’s critics claimed.

In 1986 he wrote in the Idaho Register that the shortage of priests had reached the point where it is “time to reasonably consider alternatives.”

Among ways to deal with the shortage, he suggested the discontinuance of all Sunday Masses that are scheduled only for the convenience of parishioners and the placement of only one priest in each parish.

In 1983, Bishop Treinen said in a pastoral letter on women’s issues titled “An Elusive Search” that “words alone are not enough” when it comes to promoting equality of women in the Church.

He wrote that “rather than discriminate unfairly, church leaders should actively promote and welcome approved roles for women everywhere in the church.”

In 1983, in a pastoral letter titled “Family: A Possible Dream,” the bishop said that although families faced many obstacles, they could, with the grace of God, “survive the push and pull of the world around them.”

In 1981, at age 63, Bishop Treinen suffered a massive heart attack.

In 1978 he was included on a list of 11 most influential persons in Idaho. The bishop was rated eighth in a list compiled by the Twin Falls Times-News from the results of a survey of the state’s leaders in business, agriculture, politics, religion, education and journalism.

In 1972, 10 years after becoming bishop of Boise, he sold his large house and moved in to a small apartment in a middle-class neighborhood of Boise.

He said the move was intended to give witness for the wise use of church resources, adding that funds from the sale of his residence would be used to meet future diocesan needs and that the interest had been earmarked for charity programs in the state.

Bishop Treinen was the fifth bishop of Boise and the first priest of the Diocese of Bismarck, N.D., to be elevated to the hierarchy.

He was born Nov. 19, 1917, on a farm near Donnelly, Minn., and ordained a priest in 1946.

He was secretary for the Diocese of Bismarck in 1950-53 and diocesan chancellor in 1953-59. He also was a parish priest in that diocese for a number of years.

Bishop Treinen told the Idaho Register his reasons for requesting early retirement were his age, “the many years I have been in this office, the large area of this diocese, and the ever-increasing burden of administration.”

The Diocese of Boise includes all of Idaho.

“I have loved the people of our Gem State – Catholics and those of other religions and no religion,” said Bishop Treinen. “And I have loved the natural beauty of Idaho. I have loved my work as bishop, especially when ministering to people at the parish level.

“Very dear to me are the priests, deacons and women and men Religious. Of course, my affection for all those people will continue and if anything, grow stronger,” said the bishop.

He said he would continue to reside in Idaho and “be occupied in more prayer, study, writing and in pastoral ministry of various kinds in parishes, always under the authority of the new bishop.”

(Contributing to this story was Colette Cowman in Boise.)

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



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