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 November 20, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)

From the Inland Register – Volume LIII, No.24
Fifty Years Ago: October 11, 1964

Diocesan Holy Name Convention Stresses Liturgy for the Layman

One of the most successful annual conventions in years – in attendance, stature of the speakers, and timeliness of the program – was held by the Spokane Diocesan Council of Holy Name Men Sept. 27 at Fort Wright College of the Holy Names.

Don Ryder, convention chairman, said the convention program, “The Liturgy and the Laymen,” gave delegates from all parts of the diocese a new understanding and appreciation of the Church’s liturgical renewal – fruit of the Second Vatican Council.

Speakers and their topics included “Nature and Importance of the Liturgy,” by the Rev. Eugene Mulligan, S.M.; the “Liturgy of the Word in the Mass,” by Gonzaga University’s Thomas J. Gilmore; “Bible Devotion,” by the Rev. Antonio Sciabassik, O.F.M.; the “Eucharistic Liturgy,” by Gonzaga’s Dr. Franz K. Schneider; and “Singing in the Liturgy,” by the Rev. John P. O’Brien.

Council officers present included Don Wessels, president; Fred Woeppel, first vice-president; Maurie “Bud” Sisk, 2nd v.p.; Dick Triesch, 3rd v.p.; Gene Kraft, recording secretary; John Geraghty, treasurer; and Patrick Shelledy, marshal.

Bureau and committee chairmen included Frank Perkins, organization and development; O’Connor, public relations and communications; John Riley, religious activities; Bert Ewers, civic and social activities; Patrick Shelledy, family life and youth; Fred Woeppel, legislative and government; and Michael J. Byrne, world affairs.

St. Patrick Parish was host parish for the convention. DCHNM parishioners responsible for streamlining the 1964 convention included chairman Don Ryder; Alvin J. Kiefel, lunch committee; Charles Mason, Mass; Robert Blindauer and Robert Spencer, parking; Duane Pugh, attendance; and Leroy Martin, St. Patrick’s HNS president, registration. The Rev. Robert C. O’Neill, pastor of St. Patrick, celebrated the convention Mass in the Fort’s chapel.


From the Inland Register – Volume LIII, No. 25
Fifty Years Ago: October 18, 1964

‘Pastor’s Study’ TV Debut, Oct. 18

A Pastor’s Study, a new television series presented by the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, will have its premiere Sunday, Oct. 18 at 9:30 a.m., over Channel 6, KHQ-TV. Father Ralph H. Schwemin, pastor of Assumption Parish, will serve as moderator and will introduce visiting and local personalities, both laymen and clergy, in informal discussion of varied topics.

The program is designed to emphasize the ecumenical activities of the present day in an educational and interesting manner, according to a program spokesman. Born in Ferdinand, Idaho, where he attended Holy Family Parish School, Father Schwemin took his priestly training at Josephinum, Worthington, Ohio. Prior to assignment at Assumption, Father Schwemin served as Spokane’s Sacred Heart Parish, on the faculty of Marycliff High School, and at Dayton, Waitsburg and Chewelah parishes.

In the first program, Father Schwemin will present the aims and purposes of the new program in detail.


From the Inland Register – Volume 47, No. 7
Twenty-five Years Ago: November 16, 1989

Spokane’s St. Joseph Parish welcomes Hispanic community

by D.C. DuFaux, for the Inland Register

Continuing a tradition of opening its arms to the newcomer, Spokane’s St. Joseph Parish formalized its welcome of the Hispanic community of Spokane, “Comunidad Hispana de Spokane,” with a special bilingual celebration of the Eucharist on Oct. 22.

The celebration by over 250 people culminated a two-year search for a church home for the newly organized community.

The comunidad is a free association of Roman Catholics of Hispanic lineage who reside in the Spokane area.

Bishop Lawrence Welsh gave formal recognition to the comunidad in August 1988.

The organization’s leaders estimate that more than 75 Hispanic families live in metropolitan Spokane. Because of language and cultural differences, they seek to practice their faith in a Spanish-language church environment.

Comunidad Hispana de Spokane was organized to enable Spokane’s Hispanics to worship and minister in their native language and culture. Either born or nurtured in the culture and language of Spanish-speaking nations, these individuals come together for the mutual celebration and strengthening of their Hispanic identity and faith.

Affiliation with the comunidad is open to all those who qualify by language or cultural background and who are willing to work for the goals of the organization.

Members of the comunidad not affiliated with a particular parish are welcome to register as members of St. Joseph Parish, whose parish council has established a ministerial agreement with the comunidad.

A 12:30 p.m. Sunday celebration of the Eucharist in Spanish is now a regular part of the parish’s schedule. Jesuit Father Michael Cook, a professional at Gonzaga University, has been named by the bishop to act as chaplain for the group. Msgr. John Zeder, rector of Mater Dei Institute at Gonzaga University, and other local priests who have assisted the comunidad in past months will continue to provide limited ministry.

Most of the group’s ministry is self-organized under the auspices of the diocese. The comunidad’s mission is to reach out to the Spanish-speaking in the Spokane area, especially newcomers, the alienated and the unchurched.

Members of the comunidad already have an active ministry to the Spanish-speaking in local jails and hospitals, and member families organize home catechetical and sacramental preparation programs.

“We welcome the comunidad with a sense of excitement,” said Holy Names Sister Carol Lee, pastor administrator of St. Joseph parish. “As our parish prepares to celebrate its centennial on May 20, 1990, our inclusion of our Hispanic brothers and sisters is an historic and memorable event.

“St. Joseph is one of the first parishes to be established in Spokane,” she said. “It is our privilege to be among the first to be in on the beginning of Hispanic ministry in such a significant way in our city.”

With the legalization of qualifying Hispanics in the United States, the Hispanic population has become more evident in the Spokane Diocese. A more stabilized agricultural situation has also had a retaining effect on Hispanic families as more families choose to establish residence in the area.

Parishes in the Okanogan Valley, Pasco and Walla Walla areas have noticed a definite increase in Hispanic church attendance.

The establishment of the comunidad is a response to that same phenomenon, according to Father Michael Savelesky, Bishop’s Secretary for Evangelization. Father Savelesky has represented the bishop in the structuring of the comunidad.

“Hispanic people are a growing part of our local church – even the church in Spokane,” he said. “They bring a rich and special gift to us – their faith expression is contagious.

“Working with their leadership these past months has taught me much about the catholic, or universal character of our church,” he said.

Father Savelesky now serves as the comunidad’s official liaison with the bishop’s office and others in diocesan administration.

Sister Carmelita Espinoza RGS, a parish minister in Vancouver, Wash., served as special consultant to the diocese and the comunidad in developing the group’s charter and scope of responsibility.

The Hispanic Community of Spokane exists in the Spokane metropolitan area for these specific purposes:

1. To provide regular opportunity for the public celebration of the Eucharist in the Spanish language.
2. To organize the public celebration of feast days and cultural events integral to Hispanic culture and expression of faith.
3. To provide opportunity for the catechizing of Hispanic children and adults in their own language.
4. To study and promote Hispanic culture among its members.
5. To provide opportunity for fellowship of its members.
6. To engage in facilitating the ministries of the Church to and by Hispanic people.

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


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