Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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 April 21, 2016 edition of the Inland Register)
Fifty Years Ago: April 24, 1966
Society of Jesus General visits diocese; Father Arrupe addresses civic luncheon at Gonzaga University
Changes in the Jesuit seminary system will be made on a universal basis throughout the order’s world-wide Church in the years to come.
This prediction was made by the Most Rev. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., general of the 36,000 member Society of Jesus during a 20-hour whirlwind visit to Spokane, Gonzaga University and Mount St. Michael’s Scholasticate last week.
In commenting on the structure of his order’s seminaries and future changes to be made in their curricula, Father Arrupe said “changes will be elastic enough to meet the needs of the individual countries. Changes will be adapted, for instance, to Germany and to the United States.” He noted “that some modifications have already been put into effect but that others will take many years to complete.”
Father Arrupe also said Jesuit priests will continue to stress their roles as educators because “the formation of men is one of the most important contributions to be made to the world today.” He said the order will increase its educational objectives and facilities as much as is feasible.
Father Arrupe, 58, was elected head of the Jesuit order in May, 1965, at a general convocation in Rome. A slightly built, Spanish-born priest, he is currently on a tour of Jesuit facilities in the United States where almost one-fourth of the order’s membership is located.
The purpose of his trip, he said, was one of understanding – he wants to know America better so that he and the community can better serve in missionary, pastoral and educational areas. “America has much to teach us,” he said.
At a civic luncheon honoring Father Arrupe, the Very Rev. John P. Leary, S.J., president of Gonzaga University, called him a man who was open to suggestions and changes but also a man of strong leadership and character.
In his address to the luncheon attended by over 400 persons, Father Arrupe said laymen were indispensable in helping to direct Jesuit policy, in counseling and in teaching. He said the two groups working together were a tremendous force.
“The day of the layman was, in a sense, long overdue…. The days when the constructive and resourceful contributions of the laymen were not appreciated are now gone,” he said. “The layman is now assuming his full role in the Church.”
But, Father Arrupe noted, the day of the layman was one of problems – how to overcome the habit of a passive role and how to retain the essentials of Christian affirmation in turbulent times. The role of the Christian in the modern world is to “engage in the difficult task of remaining open to all the unfolding, ever attentive to the splendor of what might be, as well as what has been.”
Father Arrupe praised Gonzaga for its progress in past years and said such schools were built partially on faith. “Every school and every master and every teacher makes an act of faith in the student, in the future, in a sense in himself.”
During his visit the general, who is also known as the “Black Pope” because of his influential position, was honored at a dinner attended by Jesuits from the Spokane area. He also met with Jesuit seminarians, who loudly cheered him at his airport arrival.
Twenty-Five Years Ago: May 2, 1991
Father Bernard Schiller died April 22
Father Bernard Schiller, ordained a priest of the Diocese of Spokane for over 47 years, died April 22 at Sacred Heart Medical Center. He had celebrated his 75th birthday March 27.
The vigil service for Father Schiller was held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes on Thursday, April 25. The funeral Mass, celebrated by Bishop Skylstad at the Cathedral, was the following morning.Interment was at Holy Cross Cemetery.
Father Schiller was born in Walla Walla on March 27, 1916. He attended St. Patrick High School in that city before entering St. Edward Seminary in Kenmore, Wash.
Post-graduate work was done at the Catholic University, Washington, D.C., where he earned a master’s degree in social work.
He was ordained Dec. 18, 1943, at St. Patrick Parish in Walla Walla by Bishop Charles D. White.
In 1949, Father Schiller was named director of Catholic Charities for the diocese, a post he held until 1962, when he became full-time spiritual director of Mater Cleri Seminary.
His first pastoral assignments were as assistant pastor at St. Joseph Parish, Spokane; St. Joseph, Kennewick; and St. Augustine in Spokane.
After leaving Mater Cleri in 1967, he served as pastor at Holy Ghost Parish, Valley, before returning to St. Joseph Parish in Spokane.
He became pastor of St. Patrick in Spokane in 1970, followed by an assignment as pastor of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes.
His last pastoral assignment was as pastor of St. Anne Parish, Medical Lake, a position which he held from 1979 until his retirement April 16, 1986.
In 1982, Father Schiller was the first recipient of Catholic Charities’ Bishop Topel Award for service to the Diocese of Spokane in the field of social ministry.
He had a long history of heart ailments, including a heart attack in 1960 and another in 1978.
(Father Caswell is archivist for the Inland Register, and a frequent contributor to this publication.)
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