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

St. Augustine Parish opens its own centennial year

the Inland Register

(From the December 19, 2013 edition of the Inland Register)

Father Steve Dublinski, pastor, and Deacon Allen Peterson lead the community in prayer. (IR photos courtesy of St. Augustine Parish)

The Opening Liturgy, marking the beginning of the St. Augustine Parish One Hundred Year Celebration, was held on Nov. 16. The Centennial Celebration will culminate next fall with the 100th anniversary of the parish.

The parish began in the autumn of 1914 when Bishop Augustine Schinner and 75 families from Spokane’s Cannon Hill neighborhood joined together to form St. Augustine Parish. The first church building, located at 18th and Stevens, housed the church, rectory, parish hall, school and rooms for the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration who taught at the school. The old church building was eventually remodeled to house Cataldo School, with expansion into new additions taking place over the years. The current church and rectory were erected in 1950 and the first Mass, celebrated by Father Buckley, took place on Sept. 30 of that year.

Margaret Presley, age 91, led the procession into the Mass beginning St. Augustine Parish’s centennial celebration.

Today over 500 families are members of the St. Augustine community. Plans for the Centennial Celebration for St. Augustine Parish began four years ago with Lori Arpin forming committees, documenting the parish history, and seeking recognition by the Historical Registry for the campus buildings. Memories from parishioners who have belonged to St. Augustine since childhood were recorded and a treasury of old photographs was organized. Susan Bloom and Liz Sestero assumed responsibility for the planning of events for the Centennial Celebration in the fall of 2012. Father Steve Dublinski (pastor), Sue Harmon (pastoral associate), and Janet McCullough (music director) began planning the Opening Liturgy last September.

With an emphasis on the prayers of St. Augustine, the opening liturgy focused on the people who came before and the preparations for entering a second century as a vibrant faith community. A prayer by St. Augustine, printed on a memento holy card, was presented to each person as they entered the church. The words of St. Augustine will guide the parish through the year: “To my God, a heart of flame; to my fellow man, a heart of love; to myself, a heart of steel.” These words were reflected on banners surrounding the parking lot as people arrived. Familiar statues of Mary, Joseph, and St. Augustine from the original church were placed before the altar.

To open the centennial Mass, the church was serenely lit with 80 candles. The people of St. Augustine, represented by a “Decades of Life” procession, placed the remaining 20 candles of 100 lights on the altar. A beaming Margaret Presley, age 91, led the procession. She was followed by Dolores Allers, Jack and Margaret Zinkgraf (80s), Mike and Joan Keegan (70s), Albert and Danita Buss (60s), Rosie and Roland Hewett (50s), Mike and Ginette Kerkering (40s), Gavin and Katie Doree (30s), Alex and Rich Proszek (20s), Greg Repetti and Arielle Moon (youth), concluding with recently baptized Sylvia Tappan and her siblings, Jeremiah, Elise, and Forrest. The procession was a moving moment in the liturgy when the community savored the grace of generations of faith and diversity of families that bind those families together as a parish community.

During the homily, Father Dublinski spoke eloquently about the parish history, the many shared memories, the gatherings celebrating Eucharist, the baptisms, funerals and joys and sorrows of life that have taken place over the years in the parish. The journey of the parish’s patron, St. Augustine, was distracted by false beliefs. He suffered much heartache, but at 33 years of age he said, “The words of Scripture knocked at the door of my heart.”

Augustine’s heart was aflame with the love of God experienced as love for one another. His “heart of steel” reflects his awareness of how passions can misdirect. Father Dublinski said, “Those who have let God inflame their hearts with love of their neighbor and disciplined their hearts in service of God’s kingdom” are the people who have formed this community of faith at St. Augustine Parish.

Parishioners were invited to a reception in Pearson Hall after the Mass.

St. Augustine has a rich history of prayer and is a vibrant faith community. Those who came before us have set a path for us to follow and build upon. We look forward to the next 100 years of faith, service and prayer.

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