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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Thu., June 19, 2014

From our archives, 100 years ago

A huge crowd gathered at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes for the “most noted celebration in the history of the Catholic Church in Spokane.”

Augustin Francis Schinner was installed as the first bishop of the newly created diocese of Spokane.

It began with a “brilliant and imposing spectacle” as a procession wended its way to the great entrance to the church.

“First came the surpliced crucifer, or cross bearer, with a candle bearer on either hand, followed by 24 acolytes in red cottas and surplices,” said The Spokesman-Review. “Afterward came about 80 priests from various points in the new diocese, together with some visitors from outside points.”

Then came various bishops and other church dignitaries. They entered the church, which was “tastefully, but not profusely, decorated with roses, peonies, carnations, palms and flowers.” There, a letter from the pope was read, and Bishop Schinner was formally installed.

Bishop Edward O’Dea of Seattle declared the church now to be a cathedral.

“Not every day … has witnessed a ceremony like this, the installation of a bishop in the midst of his flock,” said O’Dea. “Not every day creates a new diocese.”

A luncheon reception followed at the Hall of Doges. That evening, the city’s parishes joined in a big parade of 2,000 people, ending at the American Theater.

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