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


the Inland Register

(From the April 16, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

Sister Anna (Frances Ann) Burris SP

Sister Anna Burris, age 87, a Sister of Providence for 68 years, died April 6 at St. Joseph Residence, Seattle.

The vigil service took place April 12, followed the next day by the funeral Mass. Both were celebrated at St. Joseph Residence. Burial was at Calvary Cemetery, Seattle.

Anna was born Sept. 27, 1927 to Francis Albert Burris and Blanche Hazel Heising in Grand Forks, N.D. She attended St. Michael Elementary School and spent her freshman year at St. James Academy, both in Grand Forks. The family moved to Vancouver, Wash., in the summer of 1942, where she graduated from Providence Academy in May 1945.

The following year she entered the Sisters of Providence novitiate at Mount St. Vincent in Seattle and there professed first vows on July 19, 1948, and final vows on July 19, 1951.

In 1956 Sister Anna earned a B.A. in Education from Montana’s College of Great Falls (now the University of Great Falls). At Seattle University she earned an M.A. in Administration/Guidance in 1962.

Sister Anna ministered in education for 40 some years, in Seattle, Yakima, Olympia, and Moxee, Wash., and Fairbanks, Alaska, among others.

Memorial contributions may be made in her honor to the Sisters of Providence Retirement Fund, 1801 Lind Avenue S.W., #9016, Renton, WA 98057-9016.

To view Sister Anna’s online obituary and picture and to sign her memory book, visit

Father David M. Clarke SJ

Jesuit David M. Clarke died April 4 at Hospice House in Spokane. He was 87 years old and had been a member of the Society of Jesus for over 60 years.

The vigil service was April 10 in the Jesuit House Chapel on the Gonzaga University campus. The funeral Mass was celebrated there as well, on April 11. Inurnment was at Mt. St. Michaels Cemetery.

The older of two siblings, David Marshall Clarke was born on Nov. 28, 1927 in Chewelah, Wash., to Melvin and Louise (Van Bibber) Clarke. The family later moved to Spokane where he attended Longfellow Elementary, Havermale Jr. High, and North Central High Schools. Higher studies were at the University of Washington and Gonzaga University.

At GU he was drawn into the Catholic Church by his mentor, Jesuit Father Timothy Leary. After he joined the church, he was required to wait three years to become a Jesuit himself. He studied at Northwestern University, Chicago, and completed a doctorate in Organic Chemistry in the spring of 1953. In September of that year he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Sheridan, Ore.

He taught science at Mt. St. Michaels School of Philosophy in Spokane, and in 1961 began his studies for the priesthood in Weston, Mass. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1964, and began working at GU in a variety of administrative and teaching positions.

In 1972 he became president of Regis University, Denver, Colo. He served as president for 20 years and transitioned to the role of chancellor for 20 more years. During those years when the pressure of his many roles grew stressful, Father Clarke would drive into the Colorado Mountains and take remarkable pictures. Many of these hang in public buildings in Denver and in the classrooms of the building erected and named in his honor on the Regis campus in 2012. He also published a book of his photographs.

With a decline in health, Father Clarke moved back to Spokane to join his older brother Jesuits in a ministry of prayer for the Church and world.

Contributions in honor of Father Clarke may be sent to The Senior Fund, c/o the Oregon Province, Society of Jesus, P.O. Box 86010, Portland, OR 97286; Hospice of Spokane, P.O. Box 2215, Spokane, WA 99210; or the charity of the donor’s choice.

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