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November 2015 News Reports

Fig Tree receives grant from Rotary #21

The Fig Tree recently received a grant of $2,760 from Spokane Rotary #21 to update three computers in its office so it can upgrade software for design, website, graphics, video and its database.

“We hope these funds help you with computer upgrades you need to continue your good work,” said Suzy Greenwood, president.

In 2006, Rotary #21 had funded two new computers for The Fig Tree office. Those computers will be upgraded along with one other.

A $500 grant from the Catholic Foundation, presented in June, will be used to fund a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud software during 2015 to 2016.

In addition, Emmanuel Family Life Center has installed high-speed internet, which will improve the speed, particularly for internet searches for directory research and for uploading updates to The Fig Tree website.

“We hope these improvements will make it possible to staff the office regularly with volunteers and to improve opportunities for student interns who help with design, video and production processes,” said Mary Stamp, editor.

“We need additional funding sources this year and into the future to support subscriptions to software we use and help us cover costs of the improved internet access,” she added.

The Fig Tree has received nearly $27,000 of its budgeted $30,000 for the 2015 income from the benefit events.  In addition, it has received just over $6,300 of its budgeted $15,000 from sponsors.  Most sponsor donations come in through a year-end appeal.

The Fig Tree has scheduled two 2016 events:

• The Eastern Washington Legislative Conference will be Saturday, Jan. 30, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.

• The Benefit Lunch will be Friday, March 11, and the Benefit Breakfast, Wednesday, March 16, at Cataldo Hall at Gonzaga.

For information, call 535-1813 or email

Film looks at the final days of Mary’s life

Outside da Box announces the release of the feature film, “Full of Grace,” which examines the final days of Mary of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus.  It will be released in early 2016, preceded by church screenings.

“Full of Grace,” which will be released in multiple formats, will be shown on Cinedigm’s new Dove Channel, a digital streaming service offering faith-based content vetted by The Dove Foundation.

One of the first screenings will be at 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 7, at The Garland Theater in Spokane, hosted by local pastor, John Repsold, father of Joanna Hyatt.  Her husband, Andrew Hyatt, the film’s producer, will be at that screening to share his experience of making the film.

John said the film invites reflection on God’s gift, Mary’s freedom and Jesus’ love for humanity.

Joanna said it tells the New Testament story from the perspective of Mary, the only person to live 30 years with Jesus, from birth through the Resurrection. In her final days 10 years after the Resurrection, Mary reflects on her life with Jesus.

The Apostle Peter is arriving at Mary’s home after years of traveling, preaching and narrowly escaping death.  He expresses his responsibility to spread the Gospel in the midst of heresies and conflict. Mary helps Peter re-discover that he is not leading, but is following and walking in God’s light.

For information, email

Flannery Lecture connects religion, science on Nov. 9

Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF, will give the 2015 Fall Flannery Lecture on “Evolution and the Power of Love: Towards a Holistic Consciousness” at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 9, at Cataldo Hall at Gonzaga University.

The Franciscan Sister of Washington D.C., holds the Josephine Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University.

Sr. Ilia, who is engaged in religion and science dialogue, has a doctorate in pharmacology from Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School and a doctorate in historical theology from Fordham University. 

She has written 16 books on Franciscan theology and spirituality, including The Unbearable Wholeness of Being.  Her most recent book is Making All Things New: Catholicity, Universe.

The Flannery Chair of Roman Catholic Theology, now offered in the spring and fall, is an endowed gift of the late Maud and Milo Flannery of Spokane, to further theological study and teaching at Gonzaga University.

Flannery Lectures are now offered in the spring and fall. For information, call 313-6782 or visit

In his encyclical Laudato Si, Pope Francis calls for a new awareness of the cosmic family marked by new levels of relationships. To do so, however, we need a new perspective in which to view our personal, social of our life. Any real revolution must be a revolution in consciousness. Teilhard de Chardin had a Christian vision of life that began with the whole of life, including God, in evolution. We will explore his vision of Christogenesis as a vision for a new world ahead where creative freedom and convergence will lead to new consciousness.

The Flannery Chair of Roman Catholic Theology is an endowed Chair gift of the late Maud and Milo Flannery of Spokane, to further excellence of theological study and teaching at Gonzaga University. The Flannery Lecture is delivered twice per year by an outstanding theologian who is invited to campus especially for the lecture.

For information, call 313-6782 or visit

‘The Vatican Museums’ will be shown

The Catholic Diocese of Spokane is sponsoring a showing of “The Vatican Museums,” an Ultra HD film production by 40 professionals who were allowed inside the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.

The production will be presented at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 22, at The Bing Theater, 901 W. Sprague.

The big screen will present art never seen before, some of the world’s most rare, precious art masterpieces that span civilizations and epochs.

James Cameron and Tim Burton use cutting-edge techniques to immerse audiences in admiring paintings of Caravaggio, “touching” Laocoön and the Belevedere Torso, and enfolded by figures in the Sistine Chapel.

Also included are classic statues from the Cast of Michelangelo’s Pietà, right up to Fontana’s modern sculptures; from paintings by Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Van Gogh, Chagall and Dalì; from the extraordinary frescos in the Rooms of Raphael to the work by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.

The audience will experience the journey guided by Professor Antonio Paolucci, director of The Vatican Museums.

Friends of the Bing are presenting the 1 p.m. showing.

For information, contact TicketsWest or visit

Art benefits Family Promise

Family Promise of Spokane recently started “Art for a Home” to support its work to help families move away from homelessness.

During its 18 years, Family Promise staff and volunteers have helped more than 400 families do that, said executive director Steve Allen.  “More than 2,000 children in Spokane will be students today and homeless tonight.”  

“Over nine years, we have empowered 85 percent of the families served to return to a sustainable lifestyle,” he said.  “We do that with the help of more than 600 volunteers a quarter providing meals, overnight hospitality and love without strings.”

Family Promise of Spokane has opened a webstore at to sell prints.  Because underwriters have funded the costs, all proceeds will be used to assist homeless families with children.

Steve met Seattle artist Melinda Curtin at ArtFest last May.  She has created city alphabets for several communities.  He asked her to create “A to Z-the Spokane Alphabet” to benefit Family Promise.

The Spokane Alphabet was unveiled on Oct. 15 at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.

Spokane icons are featured in windows of the artwork.  The original painting was raffled. Prints are being sold online.

For information, call 747-5487 or visit

Warriors Heart to Art show set

There will be a Warriors Heart to Art display of 30 drawings, paintings, poems and sculptures by veterans from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sunday Nov. 1, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4340 W. Ft. Wright Dr.

The display will present art by a group of veterans who spent four days, Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, in retreat at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center in Spokane. 

The intensive retreat focuses on using creative arts to help veterans remember, understand and reshape their war trauma.

For information, visit

GU campaign raises funds for scholarships and more

Gonzaga University recently announced a $250 million campaign with five priority areas, primarily to increase scholarship support to students.

Other priorities relate to GU’s commitment to develop leaders to shape communities for the common good through academic innovation, global engagement and community-building.

Supporters have already contributed $183 million, leaving $67 million to reach the goal.

At the campaign’s launch, GU President Thayne McCulloh announced a $55 million gift from the late Myrtle Woldson, a Spokane resident and lifelong community philanthropist. 

Her gift will build the Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center at Gonzaga University and establish a scholarship fund, the largest for high-need students in GU history.

The gift is the second-largest from an individual to a college or university in Washington state history, according to data from the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Thane expressed gratitude for the gifts of more than 23,000 contributors who have already given to the campaign, which will also foster interdisciplinary programs, experiential learning, student research; modernize science labs, libraries, athletic facilities and creative spaces; build sustainable communities across the globe and encourage international engagement.

For information, call 313-6095 or visit

Gonzaga  invites community to mark International Day of Tolerance on Nov 16

Gonzaga University invites the public to the John J. Hemmingson Center (702 E. Desmet Ave.), first-floor rotunda, at noon, Monday, Nov. 16 to link arms with Gonzaga faculty, staff and students to form a human chain of solidarity to mark the United Nations’ annual International Day of Tolerance.

The human chain symbolizes the value of actively supporting inclusion, human difference and respect for others. Juanita Jasso, director of Gonzaga’s Unity Multicultural Education Center, will offer opening remarks. Rev. Janeen Steer, coordinator at University Ministry, will offer a prayer. Gloria Ochoa, director of local government and multicultural affairs for the City of Spokane, will read a proclamation. 

Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh will offer remarks followed by comments from the community by Pastor Andre Dove of Restoration Church in Spokane. Ariel Bermudez, a Gonzaga freshman, and Gonzaga Law School student Angela Jones will offer a students’ call to action followed by a call to action from Raymond Reyes, Gonzaga’s associate academic vice president and chief diversity officer.

International Day of Tolerance was launched by the United Nations in 1996 to advocate the belief of nations that political and economic agreements are insufficient to build a lasting peace. This marks the seventh consecutive year of Gonzaga’s observance of the day. The event is organized by Gonzaga’s Unity Multicultural Education Center. For more information about International Day of Tolerance visit For more information about this event, please contact Deb Ellis at (509) 313-6368 or via email at