School-choice movement makes slow but steady gains

Vouchers, tax credits make headway with states across the political spectrum


School-choice initiatives — akin to the quiet students in the back of a classroom — have kept a relatively low profile in recent years while steadily working their way to the front.

A surprise papal blessing

Seattle sisters became ‘rock stars’ at school after meeting Pope Francis

By Kevin Birnbaum

Ken Pretti assumed he and his family would be shut out of the seating area for Pope Francis’ first general audience March 27. After all, they’d arrived at St. Peter’s Square without tickets.

CYO camp enrollment rebounds

Focus on Catholic identity, accessibility and facilities improvement is helping re-establish camping as ‘important element of the archdiocese,’ director says

By Kevin Birnbaum

After a decade of declining enrollments, things are looking up for the archdiocese’s Catholic Youth Organization summer camps.

From the bishops

Editor’s Note: On April 16 the bishops of Washington state asked Gov. Jay Inslee and state legislators to make funding for safety net programs for the poor the top priority in the 2013–2015 budget. The full text of their letter appears below.

Dear Governor/Legislator,
As the Catholic bishops of Washington state, we ask that you consider the moral and human dimensions of state policy as you debate the 2013–2015 budget. We understand the difficult choices that confront you in your efforts to meet the diverse needs of our citizens.

Bishops to legislators: Protect the poor

Bishop-supported bills succeed, abortion-coverage mandate flounders

April 17 was the cut-off date for all non-budget-related legislation during the 2013 regular session of the state Legislature. According to its own self-imposed rules, only bills necessary to implement the budget can be considered from now until lawmakers adjourn Sunday, April 28.

Juan Diego Academy off to a promising start

Bilingual education at Holy Rosary School has been ‘a tremendous success,’ says principal

By Kevin Birnbaum

Friday begins at Holy Rosary School with kindergartners reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in confident, perfect Spanish. Then they make the sign of the cross in Spanish and say a prayer in Spanish as a student holds up a picture of Jesus.

Remembering early missionaries

Parish plans celebration marking its origin as the archdiocese’s first permanent mission

By Jean Parietti

In December 1838, Father Francis Norbert Blanchet of Quebec traveled up the Cowlitz River to establish a mission for French-Canadian Hudson’s Bay Co. employees and settlers, and to bring the faith to local Native Americans.

Gathering to encounter and share Christ

Evangelization program takes root at Holy Family Parish

By Susan Eick

When Holy Family Parish started an evangelization ministry called ChristLife last fall, Laure Anne Wilbert’s sister signed her up for a spot.