Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


Compiled by Father Tom Caswell, for the Inland Register

(From the July 17, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)

Diocesan Anniversary: 100 Years Ago

(Editorís note: Recently in the Diocesan Archives, the archivist, Dr. Anthony Clark, discovered a priceless document that appears hand-typed in which some of the parishes in Eastern Washington are mentioned. The date on the cover is 1914. It includes some towns that became part of the diocese of Yakima in 1951. Part I was included in the June edition of the Inland Register. Here are more of the towns and parishes with the information of 1913-1914. For unknown reasons, several Spokane parishes, including the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, are not listed.)

Pomeroy, Garfield County: Pomeroy has a Catholic population of about 400 souls. The congregation possesses a church edifice, dedicated to Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, and a parochial school in the charge of the Sisters of St. Benedict, Cottonwood (Idaho); the school was attended last year (1913) by 41 boys and 39 girls, and was taught by four Sisters under the direction of Sister M. Machtilde, their superior. Sunday school is conducted by the pastor, and showed an attendance last year of 73 pupils (38 boys and 35 girls). With Pomeroy is connected one Mission: Peola, with a Catholic population of 76 souls, and one Station: Starbuck, with a Catholic population of 30 souls. Church services were held regularly at Pomeroy on the first, third, and fourth Sunday of every month, and at Peola once a month. The latest census report shows a total of about 90 families, of whom 65 contributed towards the support of the pastor. The total number of baptisms for last year (1913) was 26; four funerals, four marriages; and one conversion. According to nationalities, there are about 200 English, 294 German, seven Dutch, and five French. The present resident pastor, since Sept. 1, 1914, is Rev. P.L. Taufen.

Pullman, Whitman County: Pullman has a Catholic population of 22 families or 100 souls. There are moreover about 45 Catholic students attending the State Agricultural College. The congregation possesses a church edifice but no rectory. Catholic services as well as Sunday school are held regularly every Sunday, the latter being attended by about five boys and seven girls, taught by the pastor. The congregation consists of 16 English, four German, and two Bohemian families. The statistics reveal three baptisms, three marriages, and one funeral for the year 1913. The present pastor is Rev. E. Frederick. With Pullman is connected one Mission, in the same county.

Rockford, Spokane County: Rockford is a Mission, attended every Sunday from Tekoa, with a Catholic population of 34 families, or about 125 souls. It possesses a church edifice, dedicated to St. Joseph. The congregation is composed of 17 English, 11 German, and six French families; and an organized Sunday school, taught by the pastor and in his absence by a lady teacher, attended by 16 boys and 15 girls. The census report for 1913 has six baptisms, one marriage, and one funeral.

Rosalia, Whitman County: Rosalia has a Catholic population of 25 families or about 100 souls. About 20 families contribute regularly towards the support of the priest. The congregation possesses both a rectory and a church edifice dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. Church services are held regularly every Sunday. The Sunday school, taught by ladies of the parish, is attended by 15 boys and 25 girls. The census report for 1913 shows six baptisms, eight marriages, and three funerals. With Rosalia are connected Garfield and Malden in Whitman County, and Spangle in Spokane County. The total Catholic population of these missions is about 205 souls.

St. Anthony, Spokane: St. Anthony was established by the dismemberment of St. Joseph Parish in 1909. The parish has neither a parochial residence nor a Catholic school, but a church edifice at the intersection of Cedar and Montgomery streets, dedicated to St. Anthony. The total number of Catholic families belonging to the parish is 158, or 498 souls. The Sunday school is attended by 21 boys and 53 girls, and taught by two Jesuit scholastics and four ladies of the parish. According to the census report, the number of baptisms during the year 1913 was 22; the number of funerals, 10; while two marriages (mixed) took place. The resident pastor, since the establishment of the parish, is Rev. J.A. Faust.

St. Ann, Spokane: St. Ann was formed by the dismemberment of the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in 1903. Since then the parish has grown notably and contains, according to the last census (1913), about 185 families, or 825 souls. It has its own parochial residence and church edifice dedicated to St. Ann at E. 2110 First Ave. Of the Catholic population, 149 are English, 24 German, five French, and three Slavs. The Sunday school is frequented by 66 boys and 57 girls, taught by the assistant pastor, two Jesuit Scholastics, and 10 young ladies of the parish. The last census shows for the first eight months of 1913, 27 baptisms, two converts, three marriages, and 10 funerals. The assigned priests have also temporary charge of Valleyford, a missionary station.

St. Francis Xavier, Spokane: St. Francis Xavier was at first attended from Gonzaga College, but gradually (about 1907) detached from St. Aloysius Parish. The census of 1913 reveals a present population of 203 families and about 1000 souls. Beside a parochial residence, the parish possesses a grade school in charge of four Ursuline Sisters and one lay teacher, and a church edifice dedicated to St. Francis Xavier. The school is attended by 78 boys and 72 girls. According to nationality, the congregation is composed of 180 English, 18 German, three French, one Italian, and one Polish. The statistics for 1913 show 35 baptisms, three conversions, four marriages, and nine funerals. The present pastor is Rev. Jas. Rebmann SJ.

Tekoa, Whitman County: Tekoa has a Catholic population of 39 families or about 156 souls. Besides a parochial residence, the congregation possesses a church edifice dedicated to the Sacred Heart. A school, the St. Joseph Academy, in the charge of the Sisters of St. Francis (Glenriddle, Pa.), takes care of 26 boys and 72 girls; the convent being composed of nine Sisters under the direction of Sister Serena OSF. Church services are held regularly every Sunday.

Uniontown, Whitman County: Uniontown is one of the oldest Catholic parishes in Eastern Washington. It is composed exclusively of families of German origin or of German descent, and contains a Catholic population of 121 families, or 682 souls. The congregation has a church edifice dedicated to St. Boniface, a rectory, a parochial school, and a convent, all owned by the parish. The convent, St. Anthony Convent, houses six Sisters of St. Francis (Stella Niagara), who are in charge of the parochial school, and teach 142 children (65 boys and 77 girls). All the Catholic children receive their religious instruction in the school, and the Sisters teach Sunday school only to the few children whose home is too far from town. The present superior is Mother M. Angela OSF. The number of baptisms in 1913 was 25; one convert, three marriages, and six funerals. The present pastor is Rev. H. Loeffler.

Wilbur, Lincoln County: Wilbur contains a Catholic population of 16 families, or 65 souls. It has its own parochial residence and a church edifice dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sunday services are held regularly on the first and third Sunday of the month. The Sunday school shows an attendance of six boys and six girls, who are instructed by the pastor. The records during the first eight months of the year, 1914, show only one baptism. The present pastor of Wilbur is Rev. N. Mertz. The Wilbur mission district embraces the following Missions: Hartline, Leahy, and Creston; and one Station: Coulee City.

Waitsburg, Walla Walla County: Waitsburg is a Missionary Station attended once a month from Dayton. It has a Catholic population of 13 families or 57 souls. The congregation represents four different families/nationalities: six English, five German, one French, and one Polish. Only one baptism appears on the parish records for the year 1913. The Sunday school is attended by four boys and three girls.

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


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