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 William Skylstad: On the death of Cardinal Francis George OMI

by Bishop William S. Skylstad, for the Inland Register

(From the May 21, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

Cardinal George, second from left, is pictured in 1994 with other bishops of the Northwest, during his time as bishop of Yakima. From left, Cardinal William Levada, then archbishop of Portland; Cardinal George; Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, retired archbishop of Seattle; the late Archbishop Thomas Murphy, then archbishop of Seattle, and Bishop William Skylstad, now bishop emeritus of the Spokane Diocese. Besides succeeding Bishop Skylstad in Yakima, Cardinal George also succeeded Cardinal Levada as archbishop of Portland. (IR photo courtesy of Bishop William Skylstad)

(Editor's note: Cardinal Francis George OMI, retired cardinal archbishop of Chicago, died May 3. He followed Bishop Skylstad as Bishop of Yakima, and then served as Bishop Skylstad's vice president when Bishop Skylstad was president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.)

Although his death was not unexpected, all of us who knew him feel a touch of sadness at the death of a beloved servant of the Church and of a great friend, beginning with the days when he followed me as the Bishop of Yakima. He told me several times that those days as Bishop of Yakima were his happiest days as a priest.

Yes, he had a great mind, but deep down he was even more profoundly pastoral. I admired tremendously his equanimity in accepting his illnesses, with the effects of polio in his youth and in these later years his struggle with cancer.

But now, we can also be joyful that the Good Shepherd has called him home to be forever in peace. Thanks be to God!

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