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


the Inland Register

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

Father Thomas Royce SJ

Jesuit Father Tom Royce died Dec. 6 at the Jesuit Infirmary in Spokane. He was 87.

A vigil service was held Dec. 12 at the Jesuit House Chapel on the Gonzaga University campus. The funeral Mass was celebrated the next day, at St. Aloysius Church. Burial was at the Oregon Province Cemetery.

The fourth of five siblings, Thomas Reilly Royce was born in Spokane on March 5, 1926, to James Emmett and Lucy Frances (Reilly) Royce. He entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Sheridan, Ore., in September 1943. Following the regular course of studies Royce was ordained a priest on June 16, 1956, in Spokane. After ordination, Father Royce completed a doctorate in philosophy from the Gregorian University in Rome.

He had a long and distinguished teaching and administrative career at Gonzaga University, ably assisting both lay students and young Jesuits preparing for priesthood. The faculty and staff at Gonzaga found him to be a supportive colleague, strong advocate, attentive counselor, and a ready friend.

In 1980 Father Royce was appointed the 10th Provincial of the Society of Jesusí Oregon Province. He was tasked with the spiritual care of some 400 Jesuits in the Pacific Northwest and their associated works (universities, high school, parishes and missions). Father Royce carried out this ministry for the next six years. He started the Jesuit Infirmary, the Regis Community (older Jesuits living among the younger Jesuits), and regularly visited the many works that were sponsored by the Jesuits.

After completing his six-year term of office, and a brief sabbatical, he was assigned to parish ministry: five years as pastor of St. Aloysius in Spokane, and later as assistant pastor at St. Luke Parish, Woodburn, Ore.; St. Joseph Parish, Yakima, Wash.; and lastly at St. Ignatius Parish, Portland, Ore.

In the latter years of his life Father Royce was afflicted with macular degeneration, which curtailed his driving. He quickly switched to the bus and train, and gladly accepted rides from friends and co-workers. Little slowed him down until his diagnosis of cancer, which together with respiratory problems put an end to his active parish work. He was missioned to join his brother Jesuits at the Regis Community in Spokane to pray for the Church and world and to allow the medical staff to assist in his last stage of life.

Always the priest and friend, Father Royce began a ministry via phone, email, and in-person to aid those in need of a spiritual and real friend. All who met with him found joy and happiness even as he was being taken by cancer. The last month of his life was spent in the Infirmary, ably assisted by the nursing staff and Hospice of Spokane.

Contributions in honor of Father Royce may be sent to The Senior Fund, c/o The Oregon Province Society of Jesus, P.O. Box 86010, Portland, OR 97286, and/or to Hospice of Spokane, P.O. Box 2215, Spokane, WA 99210.

Sister Reginalda Mary (Joanne) Spangler SNJM

Sister Reginalda Mary Spangler of the Sisters of the Holy Names died Dec. 8 in Spokane. She was 88 years old.

The funeral Mass was celebrated Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Convent of the Holy Names, Spokane.

Joanne Spangler was born June 13, 1925, in Missoula, Mont., to Reginald and Rose Charette Spangler. She attended elementary school in Superior, Mont., but came to Spokane as a boarder to attend Holy Names Academy, from which she graduated in 1942. In the midst of her college education Joanne entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.

After earning her degree in music education, Sister Reginalda Mary began her teaching career in parish schools in Oregon and Washington. She taught music from 1947-1954, until illness forced a break.

By 1956 she was well enough to return to teaching, this time in classrooms of third and fourth-grade students. She was highly successful and creative as a classroom teacher, even invited to offer inservice education to other primary teachers.

In 1975, she was missioned to St. Patrick School, where she lived and served until ill health required a move to the Convent of the Holy Names. During those years, she assisted the faculty and offered hospitality in the parish, as well as driving for the retired Sisters at the convent.

Even in her later years, she was a consultant to Loyola Press for their publications. Stories are still told of her love and inspiration. It was her joy to serve others, through cooking, offering coffee, driving Sisters to appointments, interacting with her Religious Sisters. She particularly loved all things Montana and looked forward to travelling to visit her family there, taking her long-time friend, Sister Dolores Ann McDonald.

Although she suffered from health problems over the years, she did not let those define her or confine her.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names Retirement Fund, 2911 W. Fort Wright Dr., Spokane, WA 99224.

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