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

Regional Report

the Inland Register

(From the February 19, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

Archdiocese of Portland

PORTLAND – The Archdiocese of Portland’s Catholic Committee on Scouting this month presented Catholic scouting emblems to 83 young men and women from 34 parishes and missions across Western Oregon and Clark County, Wash., last month.

The Mass was celebrated Sunday, Jan. 25, at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Portland. Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample presided. A brief reception followed in the school cafeteria following.

The committee presented three adult leaders with the Bronze Pelican award for their service to Catholic youths. Two units were presented with the Pope Paul VI Award, a national aware citing high-quality Catholic scouting groups.

Two youths received the Frank Parater award, which recognizes Scouts who have earned all four Catholic religious emblems.

PORTLAND – The 27th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Vigil Mass was held Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Northwest Portland. The Mass, which honors the memory and legacy of Rev. King, is sponsored by the African American Catholic Community of Oregon. Auxiliary Bishop Peter Smith was the celebrant.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March, which started with 600 protestors being beaten by law enforcement March 7, 1965, in Selma and ended peacefully 18 days later in Montgomery with 25,000 people converging at the Capitol steps to hear the Rev. King speak.

The Mass featured a sacred prayer written by James Weldon Johnson in the 1890s. Johnson, a civil rights leader, was a novelist, poet, educator and leader with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

“His words were appropriate in the 1890s, and they apply for the African American community effectively today as they did then,” said Dr. Robert Hughley, longtime member of the diocesan lay organization that sponsors the Mass.

The AACCO’s mission includes evangelizing through liturgy, music, and sharing of cultural gifts with Oregon’s Catholic community.

PORTLAND – In his first encyclical, due out this summer, Pope Francis is expected to write about the human obligation to care for God’s creation and aid the people affected by climate change. Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI made similar appeals.

Papal teaching was a hot topic at the sixth annual Earth Care Summit, Jan. 24-25 at the University of Portland.

“We talk about both creation and the poor. That separates us from environmental organizations,” says Dan Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change. Misleh attended the Vatican’s Conference on Sustainability in May.

Calling it significant that Pope Francis will devote his first encyclical to the environment, Misleh predicts the letter will sound themes that go back to the book of Genesis — creation is God’s gift to us and we are to be stewards. Expect Pope Francis to highlight how climate change will affect the poor and how humans should fit in the created order.

Misleh expects the encyclical to prompt people in the pews – and others who admire the plain-dealing pope – to consider how they can conserve energy in their homes and businesses. That is the best way to halt climate change, he says.

Misleh, who lives and works in Washington, D.C., has placed solar panels on his house. He and his family use public transit whenever possible, keep the thermostat low in the winter and high in the summer. The household recycles and composts.

He hopes Catholics will take the St. Francis Pledge, devised by the coalition. Almost 12,000 people have taken the pledge so far.

At the U.P. summit, speakers explored how climate change affects health and changes farming and species. Others looked at the impact of climate change on the economy and culture. The summit also posed solutions in the context of faith practice, including practical steps individuals and parishes can take.

The summit was sponsored by the University and by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon’s Interfaith Network for Earth Concerns.

– Catholic Sentinel (Oregon Catholic Press)

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