In Your Midst


Summer 2000

In This Issue:
St. James Cathedral parishioners and friends will have two special events this month to honor their patron saint and to observe the 150th Anniversary of the establishment of the Catholic Church in the Northwest (the Sesquicentennial).

On July 24, 1846, the Diocese of Walla Walla was established and Augustin Magloire Alexandre Blanchet was appointed bishop. The Walla Walla Diocese was vacated within three years and on May 31, 1850, the name was changed to Diocese of Nesqually. Bishop Blanchet moved to Vancouver, Washington and built the first St. James Cathedral. (It was a glorified barn with an attached shed serving as the Bishop’s home.) The latter date is observed as the founding of the diocese. It became the Diocese of Seattle on September 11, 1907 when Bishop Edward J. O’Dea moved the see north to the bustling young city on Puget Sound.

An Archdiocesan 150th anniversary celebration was held May 20 at St. Martin’s Abbey, Lacey, and an additional Mass of celebration will be held in the Cathedral July 25 at 2 p.m. Archbishop Alex J. Brunett will preside.

A large number of priests from the Archdiocese as well as several bishops from the region and representatives from parishes from across the Archdiocese will attend. The homily will be given by Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago. Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, will be in attendance.

“Oompah In The Park” is what some musicians around St. James Cathedral call the Parish Picnic on Terry Avenue. They’re referring to the annual appearance of the St. James Brass Ensemble. Call it Oompah In The Park or shades of John Philip Sousa, the cheerfully loud and exhilarating band concert sets the scene for an afternoon of hot dogs and lemonade, colorful balloons, games for children and a good time to visit with the St. James “regulars”. The picnic is always scheduled for the Sunday closest to July 25, the Feast of St. James. This year the picnic will be on July 23.

And the heroes of this event, as they have been since the St. James Street Fair turned into the annual picnic, are Rose Dolan and Ted Thompson. Ted secures the street permits and directs the physical setup of grills, party tents, tables and chairs, while Rose coordinates everything else: the food, the short-order cooks, the entertainment, and lots of volunteers.

Which means ordering and delivering hundreds of hot dogs and hamburgers, buns, gallon containers of mustard, catsup and pickles, chips, watermelon, lemonade, soda pop, and ice cream bars, not to mention arranging for decorations, balloons, and a clown to entertain the children. Fortunately, St. James Parish has an incredible legion of volunteers to grill the hot dogs and pour the lemonade, so we all will have a great day in the park.

Back To In Your Midst Page