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Spokane to Mark Feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga June 21 with Anniversary Mass, Barbecue

A view above and behind the altar at St. Aloysius Church.

(Above) A view above and behind the altar at St. Aloysius Church. The four Spokane organizations named for St. Aloysius Gonzaga, the patron saint of youth, will jointly celebrate the Feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga on June 21. Photo by Jennifer Raudebaugh.

SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane is uniquely blessed with four apostolic works named for  St. Aloysius Gonzaga, namely: Gonzaga University, St. Aloysius Church and School, and Gonzaga Preparatory School. The four organizations will jointly celebrate the Feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, the patron saint of youth, on Thursday, June 21.

The 16th-century Italian Jesuit saint descended from a noble Renaissance family and was a page at the court of Francesco de Medici. Aloysius Gonzaga entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1585. Later, while a seminarian in plague-stricken Rome, he attended to the sick and dying; as a result of his heroic service, he died of exhaustion on June 21, 1591, at age 21. He was declared the patron saint of youth in 1726.

This feast day provides the opportunity for all four Spokane entities within the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) to celebrate a common heritage and patron. The event also is part of the 125th Anniversary celebration for Gonzaga Prep and GU, and recognizes the 100th anniversary of St. Aloysius Church.

Festivities begin June 21 with the third annual Mass to mark the Feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga at noon in St. Aloysius Church, concelebrated by Jesuit Revs. Richard Case, pastor of St. Aloysius Church; Frank Case, vice president of University Mission at Gonzaga University; and homilist Kevin Connell, principal of Gonzaga Prep.

Following Mass, a barbecue will be held at Gonzaga University’s Cataldo Hall.

Members of all four apostolic ministries or “works” are cordially invited to the events. Due to space constraints, the events are not open to the public. RSVP required by June 14 to attend the barbecue. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Shanea Giroux via e-mail or at (509) 313-6191.

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