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


Bishop Cupich confirms three at Gonzaga Prep

by Al Falkner, for the Inland Register

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

Pictured with Bishop Cupich are, from left, Chris Barker, Sam Dowd, and Doug Kempthorne. (IR photo by Father Brad Reynolds SJ, courtesy of Gonzaga Prep)

On Thursday, May 15, in Gonzaga Prep’s Chapel of the Three Companions, three senior students – Doug Kempthorne, Chris Barker, and Sam Dowd – were baptized and confirmed by Bishop Blase Cupich, witnessed by hundreds of their companions.

After prayer and reflections, hours of conversations with teachers, staff and priests at Prep, they chose to publically profess this and go through the rites of initiation. Bishop Cupich enthusiastically supported this and was the main celebrant at the event.

This beautiful event was the culmination of four years of theology classes, retreats, and formation that happens with all Prep students.

These three young men have taken remarkable paths to get to this place.

Kempthorne’s parents came to the United States from Rwanda, and Doug was named after the Senator who helped his mother obtain a visa. Doug was a student body officer and will attend Gonzaga University on an Act VI scholarship this fall. He plans to become a doctor.

Barker was a student at Longfellow Elementary when he was inspired to attend Prep by some of Prep’s seniors, who were volunteering at his school. Finances were extremely tight for his family, but the support of the Prep community helped him make it through his four years. He has been active in the drama program, and hopes to be involved in youth ministry someday. Chris too will be attending Gonzaga University this fall.

Dowd, whose story has been told often this year, was homeless in Federal Way three years ago. Because of the Hopkins and Miller families, he was able to come to Spokane, become part of the Prep community and receive a strong college preparatory education. Sam has participated in just about everything around here, and next fall will attend Carroll College on a scholarship.

The threads for all three are common – someone in the Prep community took an interest in them, became their companions, and helped them walk remarkable journeys. This happens all the time around Gonzaga Prep – through the Fair Share tuition program, through prayer, through inspiration of teachers, coaches, friends and mentors, and through a beautiful Catholic faith that moved all three to a public declaration and action to formally be part of the Catholic community.

Falkner is president of Gonzaga Prep.)


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