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Catholic Northwest Progress
Seattle, Washington
December 14, 1962     Catholic Northwest Progress
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December 14, 1962

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4-A--Catholic Northwest Pro?tess December 14, 1962 'Thread of Devotion "Oh, pour your da,'/eness and ),our brightness orer ,1ll our solemn valleys, YJu skies: and /ravel like /he gentle Vi,'gi*6 Tou'ard the planets' stately setting, Oh white full #loop, as quiet as Bethlehem/" --Adz'eut, b), Faller a'l. Louis (Thomas erlon) By John J. Eckhort HUS the poet envisions the estab- lishment of the Kingdom of Christ, the manger in Bethlehem. And it was so, in that wondrous time, that the first mission church gave evidence to the truth. Christ had begun the Divine mission that was worshipped in the simple act of faith of shepherds. With the joyous angelic proclama- tions of Holy Kingship there began the diffu- sion of the Word and the Ministry. It shall not stop until the consummation of the world. And until it stops there shall be the mission church. The Holy Adventure of this diffusion into the northwest corner of the unknown of "Ouragan" began with the advent of the beloved Blackrobes to the shores of Vancouver. It still continues, the mission church in this former Diocese of Nisqually, the Archdiocese of Seattle. Nearly fifty mission churches remain. They form the little beads of a Rosary that extends from St. Anne's at Blaine, under the direction of Father Joseph Dakin, south to St. John's of Glenwood that rests securely in the purview of Father Sean Fox of Sacred Heart Church, Battle Ground. Forty-seven Mission Churches There are 47 mission churches under 31 parishes in our Archdiocese. There is a line of historical chronology stretching through almost 2000 years. There is a line of love that diffuses all that is here now with all that has gone before, the unquenched light of the mission church sparked by the Divine fire of Bethlehem. The line of chronology relates us directly with our immediate Catholic past. There is, for example, Father Michael Murtagh. In his young priesthood this recent Golden Jubilarian brought the life of Sacramental grace to his mission churches of Hamilton, Concrete, Rock- port and Marblemount, and later to LaConner, Swinomish, Suattle and Sauk. As each age knows its degree of hardiness by retrospection, Father Murtagh allows as his mission duties were of great ease in comparison with earlier priests. He had a choice in many instances. He could take the train, of he could walk. His pastor at Burlington was Monsignor John Boulet. This indefatigable priest is consid- ered by many to have been the last of the early missionaries, that is to say, the last of that band that came to a pagan culture to speak and teach of God. Monsignor Boulet died in 1919, but in his earlier mission days he was a contemporary of Bishops Blanchet and Demers. So is the line unbroken to our begin- nings as these two French-Canadian priests brought the Church to the Northwest, Novem- ber 23, 1838. This same chronology and historical aware- ness is evident in the laity of the Archdiocese. There are too many families whose histories parallel the growth of the local Church, too many Catholic memories to dim the knowledge of the faith of the young laity in a young Church. The Rev. Fabian Gussenhoven, O.F.M., pastor of St. Francis Parish, Cowlitz Prairie, whose missions include Harmony, Napavine, Vader, Winlock and the old German Settlement mission church of St. Urban in Lewis County, reminds us of the continuing faith and devotion to the Church of such families as Bortess and the Sareaults. These families were founded by French Canadian employees of the Hudson Bay Company. These were the very frontiersmen who requested the Church come to the North- west. Keep Alive Traditions As Father Fabian remembers, "T h e s e families, and others like them, keep alive the early traditions of their ancestors and are a strong and faithful arm of the laity." The Church at Cowlitz Prairie is predated only by Fort Vancouver itself. Each age of the Church changes in acci- dentals with time and place. Few priests that serve our mission Churches expect the palm of martyrdom as was the blessed reward of many missionaries in the New World. Nor does the contemporary priest live with only two alternatives of travel, to walk or to run. He need not sleep in the rain, or in a manger. But there is martyrdom and there is mar- tyrdom. They fly over the San Juan Islands or charge up and down U.S. 99. This is the BAGS IN HAND, Rev. Thomas L. Vandenberg of Bellingham's Assumption Parish meets pilot Jack Osentley for another round of island-hopping sum- mer assignments. last half of the 20th Century and even the most arch-conservative would not ask them to plod through the rain forests of Western Washing- ton afoot or horseback. But there is the frus- tration of mission churches on the threshold of parishdom, near but not there, and the sad- ness of missions dying away as families leave an area because of altered times. But our priests John J. Eckhart who serve the missions are unaware of the burden of their laborious ministry. The rest of us will have to be frustrated for them as they go about their Father's business. Father Chirouse.Was Pioneer Father John Horan, pastor of St. Mary Parish, Marysville, for the past three years, is priest to the Indians of St. Anne's Mission Church on the Tulalip Reservation. This is one of the older missions of the Northwest. It was founded in 1857 through the efforts of the active apostolate of Father Casimir Chi- rouse, O.M.I. Father Chirouse, as a seminarian, had joined Bishop Blanchet on his way to his diocese. He and Father Pandosy were the first priests ordained in the territory of what is now the State of Washington. One of the monu- ments of his life is his work with the Indians of the Snohomish dialect in the Everett, Marys- ville area. Father Horan stated that the con- tinuing influence of the Church is of great benefit to the Indian. As there are few Indian tribes in Ireland, Father Horan's experience was necessarily limited, but this does not lessen his enthusiasm for his mission charges. It was Father Blanchet that raised the first cross on Whidbey Island. He visited that sprawling fishook that snags shut the waters of northern Puget Sound. In fact, he raised a massive cross and collected the Indians for daily instructions. The scenes of these early conversions are now under the spiritual direc- tion of Father William Dell, St. Augustine Par- ish, Oak Harbor. The reflection of changing times is evident in the history of the Church on Whidbey Island. Prior to 1951, St. Mary's at Coupeville was the parish and Oak Harbor the mission, along with St. Hubert's, Langley. There are no Indians left on Whidbey Island; Coupeville decreases. But there are an increas- ROY O. INGEBRIGSTON TEXACO COMPANY 1801 Olive Way East EA 2-9988 HEINZ & WELLS Flood Lighting Specialists 1962 Installations include: St. James Cathedral, Ban Marche. Sammamish, Issaquah, Yakima, Medical Lake High School Athletic Fields 51 25th N.E. LA 2-6595 d. W. DUNN CO. 1912 Pike PI. MA 2-3924 PACIFIC IRON & METAL 2330- 4th South MA 3-7236 Merry Christmas To Our Many Friends ZERLINE'S Fifth Ave. Jewelry 1416-5th Ave. MA 3,0820 ANDERSON'S NORTH END UPHOLSTERY RecoveringCleaning Free Estimates SU 3-1084 8001 Greenwood Ave. N. 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