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

Letters to the Editor

(From the July 21, 2016 edition of the Inland Register)

Catholics surviving divorce


“I’m Catholic, and I don’t believe in divorce.” So many people who have attended my Catholic’s Divorce Survival Guide program have made this very statement. Finding a way to come to terms with the beliefs and promises they hold sacred while facing the reality of a damaged marriage is extremely challenging.

Recently, Pope Francis stated that he believed, “Many sacramental marriages today are not valid because couples do not enter into them with a proper understanding of permanence and commitment.” I have found this to be very true in my experience of providing the five 12-week sessions of The Catholic’s Divorce Survival Guide in our Diocese of Spokane.

There are no easy answers for people who don’t believe in divorce yet find that their marriages have ended. Even when it seems they have exhausted every possible means to make their marriages work, they are powerless if the other spouse decides it’s over. Whether for reasons of infidelity, abuse, addictions or finances, when one of the spouses decides he or she is moving out, what are the solutions for the one who feels committed to their vows? How true the statement that it takes two people to make a marriage, but it only takes one to end it. When only one of the marriage partners holds true their marital vows, divorce seems inevitable. And enduring pain prevails as a myriad of questions go unanswered.

Someone who attended one of my past sessions was searching for a way to describe her feelings about her marriage ending. She used the imagery of a person left holding the string when the balloon flies away.

A gentleman, over a period of time, found some answers that made sense to him and expressed his feelings, stating, “You can only achieve a solution through a relationship with a loving and forgiving God – a loving God who will guide you to forgiveness of yourself and your spouse.” Reconciling himself to the fact that he did all he could but could not keep his shattered marriage together, he noted that we are not perfect individuals. Therefore, our marriages are often imperfect. His statement reminds me that salvation is ours for the asking through our Lord, Jesus Christ.

To find support and answers to the questions you have – help is available. You can contact me through my website – – or by phone: (509) 468-8429.

Donna Petrocelli, Spokane

Pray for our nation


Recent events have made it clear that our nation – like the Israel to which the prophets have been preaching in recent weeks’ readings or the lake-towns Christ condemned in today’s Gospel (Mt 11:20-24) – is in desperate need of conversion. Perhaps some in our community would consider joining me in pleading for that conversion by occasionally saying the following prayer. Attributed to a Rhode Island minister, George Lyman Locke, it first appeared in an earlier version in the (Anglican) Book of Common Prayer in the 1880s.  

For the Nation

Almighty God, you have given us this good land for our heritage.
We humbly ask you
that we may always prove ourselves
a people mindful of your favor
and glad to do your will.

Bless our land with honorable endeavor,
sound learning, and pure manners.

Save us from violence, discord, and confusion,
from pride and arrogance,
and from every evil way.

Defend our liberties
and fashion into one united people
the multitude brought here
out of many nations and tongues.

Endow with the Spirit of wisdom
those to whom, in your name,
we entrust the authority of government,
that there may be peace and justice at home,
and that through obedience to your law
we may show forth your praise
among the nations on earth.

In time of prosperity
fill our hearts with thankfulness,
and in the day of trouble
do not allow our trust in you to fail.

We ask all of this through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

What more could we ask for our country – now, or ever?

Michael Cain, Spokane

Regarding Letters to the Editor

The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should be no longer than 500 words. Letters must be signed, with address and phone number for contact, but names will be withheld upon request. Letters may be edited for length or clarity. Remember to be charitable.

Send letters to:

  • Inland Register | P.O. Box 1453 | Spokane, WA 99210-1453
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