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Welcome to Diocese of Yakima

Our History

  •     Catholicism first came to Central Washington in 1847.
  •     The Diocese of Yakima was created on June 23, 1951, by Pope Pius XII.
  •     The new diocese was formed from the territory of the Archdiocese of Seattle and the Diocese of Spokane.
  •     The Diocese of Yakima serves 41 parishes in 7 counties.
  •     The original diocesan newspaper began as Our Times in 1959.

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ACA Moment

Our Lady of the Desert Parish - To help teach the importance of stewardship, Mattawa has found a way to involve their children in the Annual Catholic Appeal.  When Erika Erazo (Mattawa's Parish Bookkeeper) presented for the Lay Witness Talks last October, her son expressed interest in participating in ACA.  After discussing the idea with the pastor, Fr. Jorge, and the parish catechists, the ACA KIDS BUILDING FUND was begun. 

Two coin banks are available - one for the children and one for the catechists to make their donations.  This new program has been successful raising a total of $374 so far. 

If your parish is interested in learning more about this program, feel free to contact the parish at 509-932-5424.

Holy Father to Priests: Mercy in the Confessional

Vatican City, 6 March 2014 (VIS) – This morning, in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis met with the clergy of the diocese of Rome. The central theme of the meeting, inspired by the Gospel of St. Matthew, was mercy. The Holy Father recalled how Jesus walked through towns and villages, feeling compassion for those he encountered; people who were “tired and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd”. “We are not here to perform a spiritual exercise for the beginning of Lent, but rather to listen to the voice of the Spirit that speaks to everyone in the Church in this, our time, which is indeed the time of mercy”.

This “time of mercy” was Pope Francis' first point of reflection. “Today, we forget everything too easily, including the teaching of the Church! This is in part inevitable, but we must not forget the important content, the great intuitions and that which has been consigned to the People of God. And divine mercy is among these. … It is up to us, as ministers of the Church, to keep this message alive, above all in preaching and in our gestures, in signs and in pastoral choices, such as the decision to restore priority to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and at the same time to works of mercy”.

Secondly, the Pope asked, “What does it mean to be a priest?”. He explained that “priests are moved by their sheep, like Jesus when he saw the people, tired and exhausted, like sheep without a shepherd”. He commented that the priest, following the example of the Good Shepherd, is a man of mercy and compassion, close to his people and the servant of all. “In particular, the priest demonstrates the depths of his mercy in administering the Sacrament of Reconciliation; he shows this in all his attitude, in his way of welcoming, listening, advising and absolving. … But this derives from how he lives this Sacrament himself. … If a person lives this himself, in his own heart, he is also able to give it to others in his ministry”.

The Holy Father added that the heart of a priest must be susceptible to being moved, as “sterile priests do not help the Church. … We can think of today's Church as a kind of 'field hospital', where we need to tend to injuries. … There are many people who are wounded by material problems, by scandals, even in the Church. … People wounded by the illusions of the world. … We priests must be there, close to these people. Mercy means, above all, taking care of wounds. When a person is injured, this is the immediate help they need, not analyses; the special care can follow, but first we need to tend to the open wounds. Do you know what your parishioners' wounds are? Are you close to them?”.

In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, mercy means “neither undue laxity nor excessive rigour”. “Often, as priests, we hear of the experience of the faithful who say they have encountered in Confession a very 'rigid' or a very 'flexible' priest, lax or rigorous. That there may be differences in style is normal, but these differences must not relate to the substance, that is the healthy moral doctrine and mercy. Neither the lax nor the rigorous bear witness to Jesus, because neither of them truly take on the people they meet. … True mercy truly takes the person on board … and acts like the Good Samaritan. … Neither laxity nor rigour make holiness flourish”.

“Instead, mercy accompanies the path of holiness, and helps growth. But how? Through pastoral suffering, which is a form of mercy. What does pastoral suffering mean? It means suffering with the people, like a father and a mother suffer for their children, and I would say also with anxiety”.

Pope Francis shared with the clergy some questions that helped him when a priest comes to him for advice. “Do you cry? How many of us cry when faced with the suffering of a child, the destruction of a family, before the many people who cannot find their path? The tears of a priest … Do you cry, or is this a clergy that has lost its tears? Do you cry for your people? Do you battle with the Lord for your people, like Abraham fought?”

The Bishop of Rome concluded by commenting that in the end, “we will be judged for how we have been able to be close to 'every flesh', to our neighbours, to the flesh of our brothers. … At the end of time, only those who have not been ashamed before the flesh of his injured and excluded brother will be admitted to the contemplation of Christ's glorified flesh”.

Annual Catholic Appeal – February ACA Report

Congratulations to Coulee City/Hartline, East Wenatchee, Goldendale, Ellensburg, Zillah, Naches, Grand Coulee, and St. Paul Cathedral for meeting your ACA goal. We also have Quincy, Richland, Cle Elum, and White Salmon between 91%-97% from meeting their goal.  Thank you everyone for all your hard work!

Our Lady of the Desert Parish – Mattawa is involving their children in an interesting way. The Catechist teachers invited the children to participate in Annual Catholic Appeal. This is their first year opening the invitation to the children to participate in the ACA, and it has been successful raising a total of $374 to date. If your parish is interested in learning more about how this program was developed, feel free to contact the parish. 

Summary Highlights (February 28, 2013 vs. February 28, 2014)

    Last Year

  This Year


    2013 ACA


2014 ACA



 $   1,753,167.00

   $   1,924,739.00

$   171,572




 $   1,464,155.00

   $   1,525,795.00

$     61,640




 $     978,708.00

   $   1,163,428.00

$   184,720



Shortfall to Diocese

 $     490,047.00

   $     355,965.00

($  134,082)








    Note:  Even though the goal is higher, the

    shortfall to the diocese is still decreased

The Monthly Report for February is available on the ACA Website: Please visit the link below for the latest ACA Monthly Report. The report is also attached.

Should you have any questions regarding the ACA, please do not hesitate to contact Alma Benitez, Director of Stewardship and Development, or Sandra Boguslawski, ACA Bookkeeper, at (509) 965-7117. Our e-mail addresses are This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Bishop Tyson's Homily For Rite of Election

Dear Friends:
It was a joy to be with so many on Sunday for the annual Rite of Election where we welcomed those preparing to join the Church this coming Easter.  I am also grateful for the skillful work of Ree Kearns in organizing the event as well as Father Vega who helped steer the liturgy that day.  I'm grateful also to the wonderful RCIA committee that meets regularly with me to keep us humming along in our evangelization efforts.
As you know a good chunk of our folks are Spanish speaking including those who have not received sacraments.  Since I delivered half the homily in Spanish and half the homily in English I mentioned that an entire text would be on-line so here's the text of the homily for the Rite of Election. Click here to read the full text of the homily in either Spanish or English.
Prayers for our Candidates and our Elect!
+Bishop Joseph Tyson

Confirmation Packet

Dear Father:

As is customary, we are sending you in electronic format FOUR SCRIPTS for confirmation.  There are two English scripts: one for confirmation in the context of daily Mass and one for confirmation in the context of Sunday Mass.  We are also sending the same two types of liturgy scripts in Spanish.

If you want alterable texts, contact DAVID VALDIVIA at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and he will send you the texts so you can insert special notes for your local parish community.  You may also wish to move between Spanish and English for a more bilingual worship.

 Also kindly note that Rebecca Garza has included the current confirmation calendar.  If you are expecting either Bishop Sevilla or me for confirmation and do not see your parish listed, kindly call Rebecca Garza immediately at 509-965-7117 or contact her at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thanks so much for your assistance on this matter. 

Many Blessings!

+Bishop Joseph Tyson

Deadlines and Transmission Schedule Change


We've adjusted our deadlines a bit for the Weekly Mailing. Tuesday is the deadline to have items to David Valdivia for consideration for the Weekly Mailing.  We will be sending the Weekly Mailing one day earlier -- on Thursdays -- which gives us some cushion if we have technology challenges or software problems.


+Bishop Joseph Tyson

Liturgy Day Workshop with Linda Cerabona


Thanks to so many of you who participated in last Saturday's annual Liturgy Day sponsored by the Diocese of Yakima and Holy Family Parish.  My thanks to everyone who participated in the day.  A special thanks to Mary Smith who did so much in organizing the day as well as her husband Smitty whom she co-opted to prepare the refreshments and lunch.

First off, I want to be sure to send out the link to which Linda Cerabona referred in terms of music and chanted recording of the music parts.  This is located at the National Association of Pastoral Musicians website:  Click here:

 Linda also made reference to the document: "Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship."  To read this document click here.

During my comments I made reference to "Chant Cafe" which hooks into YouTube with very usable tutorials for the musical implementation of the Third Edition Roman Missal.  Click here for the main web link which gives you a menu of video and downloads.

For those interested in the references Linda Cerabona made to the USCCB resources for music settings and texts that are all FREE click here to link to this particular web page.

Second, you will recall from my opening comments that this is the year we are trying to work with the parishes to implement the musical portion of the Third Edition Roman Missal.  Linda works with our theology seminarians at Mundelein seminary in Chicago.  She also worked with our priests here in the Diocese of Yakima this last October, and now she has worked with those pastoral musicians who came to last Saturday's Liturgy Day.  In addition to the above links, the priests received a couple of other handouts that could assist them in chanting the new Third Edition Roman Missal.

Click here for the "Mass for the Holy Body and Blood of Christ"

Finally, I mentioned that in Advent 2016 we probably will be implementing the Spanish Language Third Edition Roman Missal.  You may recall during my comments on Saturday that most of our people go to Mass in Spanish.  So this means that the next phase will be assisting our Spanish-language communities in implementing the new texts that are about to be promulgated.  This will be a major change in that -- for the first time -- we will have a Spanish language Roman Missal for use in the United States. Up until now we have been purchasing Roman Missals from Mexico.  Mexico has already implemented the Spanish Language Third Edition Roman Missal.  Like Mexico we will be switching from the "vosotros" form to the "ustedes" form.  Thus our language changes will be very similar  our Roman Missal in Mexico except for the fact that we will have an expanded set of Masses commemorating the many devotions of the many Spanish-speaking communities from all over Latin America that make up the Spanish-speaking communities here in the United States.

To get a jump on the musical implementation of the Third Edition Roman Missal in Spanish, during last October's workshop, Linda did provide the following text for the priest to chant:

Click here for the Spanish language "Cantos del Misal Romano".

My suggestion for a next step is to find ways to work together -- as clergy and laity -- in mapping out small steps that you can take with your worshipping assembly to implement the musical portion of the Third Edition Roman Rite in English.

Thanks for all you do to uplift our divine worship in your parishes!

 +Bishop Joseph Tyson

Presentation: God Meets Man

Mark your calendars for Thursday March 20th as Karlo Broussard will be presenting a talk entitled “God Meets Man:  The Catholic Belief on Divine Revelation” in Kuykendall Hall, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 625 S. Elliott, Wenatchee, starting at 6 PM.  In this talk, Karlo will highlight the rich truths of our Faith in the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s treatment on the subject of Divine Revelation.  Such truths include man’s search for God, the Church’s understanding on Divine Revelation, and the transmission and interpretation of Divine Revelation.  Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). 

Be sure to visit Mr. Broussard’s video blog

5th Annual Fish "Frydays"

The Lenten fish fry at St. Joseph-Marquette has become a special tradition that draws people and families of all ages together. Our event, staffed by parent volunteers and hosted in the school gym, is a modest affair having somewhat less to do with fundraising and more to do with building community across all Catholic families in the valley. Thanks to our generous sponsors the price of our dinners makes them something anyone can enjoy. On a typical night we will serve over 400 meals, and lots of smiles.

$10 Battered Cod Fillets, Chips,
Coleslaw & Drink
$5 Mac n’ Cheese Meal
St. Joseph-Marquette Gymnasium
Fridays of Lent, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
(Except Good Friday)
Download this file (St. Joe FishFryday flyer 2014.pdf)St. Joe FishFryday flyer 2014.pdf[ ]740 Kb

100th Anniversary of St. Paul Cathedral

You're all invited to the 100th anniversary of the establishment of St. Paul in Yakima as a parish on the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19th 2014 at 5:30 p.m.  His Eminence, Francis Cardinal George, the Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago -- and former Bishop of Yakima -- will be present along with Archbishop Sartain from Seattle.  You might recall that St. Paul started as a parish in the Seattle "diocese" before Yakima was formed as it's own diocese and Seattle was elevated as an Archdiocese. 
Bishop Sevilla and I will also be there.  It will be a wonderful event.  In advance, I am grateful to Monsignor John Ecker for the organization of this event as well as the long series of events that have taken place commemorating 100 years of St. Paul as a parish community here in Yakima.
Come join us in praising God for his work at St. Paul Cathedral in Yakima!
+Bishop Joseph Tyson

Bookkeeper's Appreciation Day

Dear Father:

Our Bookkeeper Appreciation Day will be Wednesday, April 9th from 10 a.m. to 3. p.m. at Holy Family Parish in Yakima, WA (Activity Room 10).

We're starting an annual tradition to uplift and appreciate our bookkeepers through prayer, good company and solid information.  This is a chance for you and your bookkeeper or similar support staff to come to the Diocese of Yakima for a great lunch and be appreciated.  We'll have door prizes for participants as well as awards for bookkeepers who have found creative ways to work with our policies and procedures in their local parish community. 

The luncheon is also a chance for our bookkeepers to network with others providing financial and support services in local parishes as well as learn about some of the new diocesan initiations and become updated on some of our ongoing practices in our financial stewardship.  

Among the updates and new initiatives we'll be discussing are the following:

Affordable Care Act: (ObamaCare) Under the new health care reform we now have new requirements on how we track the hours of our employees.  A representative from Gallagher Benefits Service will be on hand to explain the new procedures as well as provide answers to your questions.

On Line Policies:  We'll review the location of our website as well as the location of all our on-line policies so you can immediately find answers to your day-to-day questions regarding the policies and procedures in the Diocese of Yakima.

Diocese of Yakima Personnel:  We will have a review of who does what in our parish financial services area so you know who to call when you have a question.  

Update from the Bishop:  Bishop Tyson will provide a brief "state of the diocese" update with special attention to the upcoming parish and school visitation process as well as development of protocols for parish audits.

Please RSVP by March 28, 2014 with Sandra at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 509-965-7117.

Even if you, as pastor, cannot bring your bookkeeper, please consider having your bookkeeper come to be supported.  In advance, I thank you for your attention to this important day.

Bishop Joseph Tyson
  • About Us
Catholicism first came to Central Washington in 1847. The Diocese of Yakima was created on June 23, 1951, by Pope Pius XII. The new diocese was formed from the territory of the Archdiocese of Seattle and the Diocese of Spokane. The Diocese of Yakima serves 41 parishes in 7 counties. The original diocesan newspaper began as Our Times in 1959.
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