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
Letters to the Editor
(From the , 2013 edition of the Inland Register)
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On April 27, 2014, Pope Francis will declare two of his predecessors, Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul IT, saints of the Church. Pope Francis. described Blessed John as a “bit of the country priest” and Blessed John Paul II as “the great missionary of the church.” However, I would like to share the life of an individual lay person, who lived among us and made an indelible mark on the lives of many, including his church. I consider the individual as a living testimony of the church, one whose life reads like a litany of the saints who have gone before us.
On Friday, Oct. 18, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes in Spokane, the life of Don K. Kelly was celebrated at a funeral Mass. Seating capability of the Cathedral is well over 900 and there wasn’t a vacant space available. In fact, in his reflection remarks at the end of Mass, Bishop William Skylstad, Bishop Emeritus of the Spokane Diocese, likened the crowd to a Christmas Mass.
Don and his wife of 57 years raised seven children in the faith. They were members of the Cathedral, where Don served on the Parish and Finance Councils and served as Eucharistic Minister to shut-ins. He was active and President at one time of the Serra Club, promoting vocations to the priesthood. He devoted his life to not only church-related activities, but many local and charitable organizations. Don’s life was not only dedicated to his family but the world around him was family and he responded accordingly.
In reading the lives of the saints and the concern they had for others in their good works, Don certainly can be considered a saint of our times without any pomp or ceremony. He quietly went about his service to others, which activities he accomplished in true humility.
He was a member of a pioneer Spokane family which includes a surviving brother, Larry (Kathy) and Betty (Art) besides his immediate family.
And sufficient acknowledgement cannot be expressed for his lovely and devoted wife, Diane. Special thanks and recognition should be given to our Bishop Blase Cupich, Bishop Skylstad, Father Darrin Connall, rector of the cathedral, who presided at the funeral; Deacons Brian Ernst and Paul Heric; music ministers; and others, who made the service the great tribute it was to an individual well-grounded in his faith.
J.R. Sontgerath, Pullman, Wash.
Bulls-eye for Father Ron Rolheiser! His article “The slow, imperceptible march of goodness” (IR 10/17/13) is right on target. Today, with the bombardment from so many catastrophic events, we sorely need the hope he gives. There are people everywhere, journeying long and far trying to rid existing evils that plague innocent victims. Making small headway is discouraging and the hope he offers helps to continue missions.
The thrust of the matter is that atrocities of the worst kind are on the rise, while hideous dark elements seem to be holding the winning hands. Questions come up more frequently than not about God’s providence: Why does God not intervene and turn the tide? Where is God, and why isn’t he helping to right the wrongs in this terribly messed-up world?
Yes, God is, and always will be, a mystery. In essence, nothing makes sense until we dig deeper into God’s world. He hides his pearls in strange, odd places and asks us to find them. He buries seeds in extraordinary and nearly impossible spaces and asks us to see where they grow. Surely the Holy Spirit must disperse its beautiful light if we are to find any of these hidden treasures.
Father Rolheiser helps by sharing Raissa Maritain’s poem titled “Meditation.” He sparks and rekindles her premise that odd though it may seem, the truth be known: God grows seeds of good amid the confines of evil. In searching for answers, Maritain finds God’s benevolence in spite of (and perhaps because of) the brutal conditions of her time, when Hitler and Nazism were in power. She takes right action and looks for positives where there are none. God rewards Maritain with pearls of understanding and passes on to us a light, once more igniting the passions of our faith.
God’s message for Cyrus, given to the prophet Isaiah in Chapter 45, is similarly energizing when we view God executing his plans, all the while overcoming and confusing those sinning against him. We learn that when God anoints people for a task, he assures them of his care and guidance during difficult times, and prods them on to victory. Whether or not we understand it all, dims in significance to the unfailing Faith we demonstrate in just believing that what God says he will do, he will do.
A bonus extracted from Father Rolheiser’s article is the acknowledgment given Jesuit Father Teilhard de Chardin. In reference to the lot of mankind, human suffering is still part of the equation and formula. We will continue to experience the ills of this life as generative acts of faith and good deeds move us closer to the New Jerusalem, described by John in Revelation, Chapter 21. Presently we view God’s goodness in part, but under his watch, one day soon, we shall see its fullness. Such will occur only after a slow, imperceptible march.
Connie Pomeroy, Spokane
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