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 April 17, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)

From the Inland Register - Volume LII, No. 51
Fifty Years Ago: April 19, 1964

Father Donnelly heads NCWC Bureau in Rome

Father John P. Donnelly, editor of the Inland Catholic Register for more than three years, and more recently Director of the Bureau of Information of the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC), Washington, D.C., has been appointed Rome correspondent of NCWC. The Spokane priest’s appointment was announced officially yesterday, April 18. He will begin training for his Rome assignment April 20 in the central office of NCWC in Washington, and after a visit with his family in Spokane during June, he will sail on the American Export Lines Independence on July 3 for Naples.

A successor to Father Donnelly’s post as Bureau of Information Director will be announced shortly.

The Rt. Rev. Monsignor James Tucek, Director of the Rome Bureau, has resigned to return to his home diocese, Dallas, Texas, after several years as head of the Rome bureau. James C. O’Neill, veteran Rome staffer, will be Bureau Chief of the Rome NCWC office.

Father Donnelly said that NCWC’s Rome bureau disseminates news to all members of the Catholic press in the United States, as well as to several other countries. Some 65,000 words in English, Spanish and Portuguese flow from Rome’s NCWC wires weekly, he said.

Born Nov. 14, 1932, in Spokane, Father Donnelly is the son of Mrs. Julia Donnelly and the late Roy W. Donnelly. He has one brother, Roy, Jr. Ordained to the priesthood on May 24, 1958, Father Donnelly spent his entire 12 years of seminary training at St. Edward Seminary, Kenmore, Wash. His professional education in journalism was obtained at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism in August of 1959. His professional and honorary affiliations include Sigma Delta Chi; Kappa Tau Alpha, Journalism Honorary, University of Missouri chapter; Phi Kappa Theta, social fraternity for Catholic students, University of Missouri chapter; the Catholic Apostolate of Radio, Television and Advertising and the Catholic Press Association. He also is a member of the National Press Club.

Father Donnelly’s new headquarters will be NCWC, Via di Propaganda, 27, Rome, Italy.

On leave from the Spokane Diocese, Father Donnelly has distinguished himself in the journalism field. He was a consistent winner of awards at the local, state and national level. While in Spokane, he served as moderator for the Excelsior Club, a social organization for young unmarried Catholic adults, and was awarded the “Outstanding Service” plaque by the Diocesan Council of Catholic Men in 1962. He was a member of the advisory board of the State Legislative Subcommittee on Obscene Literature; chairman of the Northwest Region of the Catholic Press Association; and taught at both Marycliff High School and Bishop White Seminary.


From the Inland Register – Volume LII, No. 51
Fifty Years Ago: April 19, 1964

Jesuits host ‘Open Houses’ at Gonzaga

Four “special” open houses during the past week have been held at the Jesuit House at Gonzaga University, with the public open house for alumni and friends planned for Sunday, April 19 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. On April 9, members of the university administration, faculty and staff members were entertained, while on April 11, nuns of the area toured the new Jesuit residence.

The Jesuit House, a three-story, bricked, reinforced concrete, fireproof building, is dedicated to Christ the King. The main residence has 73 rooms. The main chapel and 14 smaller side chapels – dedicated to the Most Blessed Trinity – are housed in the north section of the building.

Behind the main altar in the chapel is a large altar-wide mosaic reredos which covers the wall from floor to ceiling. It was made in West Germany and air freighted to Gonzaga University. It is in glass chips and marble from Italy, and in eight different shades of 24 and 48 karat gold. It is framed in Vert Issorie and Botticino Marble and was designed by Professor Franz X. Wilfred Braunsmiller of Munich and executed by the Esser studios in Munich.

In the mosaic, God the Father is represented in the triangle at the top, a symbol of the Blessed Trinity. Centered in the triangle is the Holy Spirit, indicating the love between the Father and the Son. The mosaic features the Risen Christ, directly below, seated on a throne, triumphant in shining robes, holding the cross which is a symbolism of our redemption and of his victory over death.

The theme of the mosaic is taken from a vision of the founder of the Society of Jesus – St. Ignatius Loyola – in which he was told by God the Father that the pope in Rome would be “propitious to you” in approving the rules and regulations of the infant Society.

The mosaic is modern Byzantine. The motto of the Jesuits – Omnia Ad Majorem Dei Glorium (“Everything for the Glory of God”) – is below the figures.


From the Inland Register – Volume 46, No. 15
Twenty-five Years Ago: May 4, 1989

Vatican’s Seattle Commission completes work

WASHINGTON (NC) – Archbishop Pio Laghi, papal pronuncio to the United States, announced April 11 that a Vatican commission appointed to assist Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen of Seattle has completed its work and has had its mandate terminated.

The three-member commission was appointed by the Vatican in January 1987 to “assess the situation” in Seattle and resolve the controversy created after Archbishop Hunthausen was ordered to give final decision-making authority over several areas of archdiocesan life to his auxiliary bishop.

The commission members – Cardinals Joseph L. Bernardin of Chicago and John J. O’Connor of New York, and Archbishop John R. Quinn of San Francisco – recommended that Archbishop Hunthausen’s authority be restored, that then-Auxiliary Bishop Donald W. Wuerl be reassigned, and that a coadjutor archbishop be appointed.

The commission was asked to continue advising Archbishop Hunthausen and Coadjutor Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy, who was appointed in May 1987. Bishop Wuerl was later named head of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

The focus of work for the Seattle archbishops and the commission members was concerns about the archdiocese outlined in a 1985 letter from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Cardinal Ratzinger’s letter came two years after the Vatican appointed Cardinal James A. Hickey of Washington to conduct an apostolic visitation of the Seattle Archdiocese. The Vatican concerns included issues in the areas of liturgy, education of seminarians, clergy formation, the marriage tribunal, and ministry to homosexuals.

Archbishop Laghi’s April 11 announcement, released by the U.S. Bishops’ Office for Media Relations in Washington, said the Seattle archbishops “will continue to address the issues which have been of concern to the church in the Archdiocese of Seattle by implementing the changes in pastoral care of the archdiocese which have already been initiated.”

In a statement released in Seattle, Archbishop Hunthausen expressed gratitude for Archbishop Laghi’s announcement and for the work of the commission members.

“Both Archbishop Murphy and I acknowledge the trial the church has faced over the past several years, yet we are also able to view the whole experience as a time of grace,” Archbishop Hunthausen said.

“With the Lord’s help,” he said, the experience “will enable us to offer our leadership to the church in western Washington in the years ahead with renewed dedication and commitment to the Gospel and the universal church under our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II.”

Archbishop Hunthausen told reporters April 12 that he hoped the Vatican investigation and oversight of the archdiocese “would be a learning experience for the whole church. These have been five-and-a-half very interesting years.”

At the Seattle press conference, he said he was “delighted” that the commission’s work had ended. “We’re going to have a party.”

He was asked if he felt his ministry and the work of the archdiocese had been unfairly singled out for Vatican action. “I’m not able to say precisely why we were singled out. That we were is a fact,” he said.

Archbishop Hunthausen was also asked about 1986 remarks from Archbishop Laghi which said that “the Holy See considered him lacking the firmness necessary to govern the archdiocese.”

“It’s who I am,” the archbishop told reporters. “It’s my response to my relationship with those under my care. I don’t know how to change my response, my presence in the church.”

Addressing the Vatican concerns mainly involved restating Vatican and archdiocesan rules and guidelines, the archbishop said in an interview with The Progress, the archdiocesan newspaper.

As for his personal plans, he said, “If God allows me good health, I have no intention of resigning.” The 67-year-old archbishop was hospitalized briefly in 1984 after suffering a mild heart attack, and he underwent cancer surgery in 1986.

“I’m happy that we have reached this moment,” the archbishop said. “I think it is a tribute to all in the archdiocese that we have worked honestly and prayerfully to understand what the visit meant in our lives.”

Archbishop Murphy, who also was at the press conference, said that after almost two years working with Archbishop Hunthausen, “I have learned a style of pastoral care, a real sense of gracious ministry, especially toward the voiceless, the poor.”

(Contributing to this story was Erin Van Bronkhorst in Seattle.)

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


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