Skylstad Timeline

The Spokesman-Review
March 8, 2006

• March 2, 1934: born in Omak, Wash.; He was delivered on table at home by his father, an apple farmer originally from Norway. During birth, his twin brother died. Oldest of six children who grew up on an orchard along the Methow River.

• 1948-1960: At age 14, he left home for Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington, Ohio

• May 21, 1960: Ordained into priesthood

Most Reverand William Skylstad, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane distributes ashes to foreheads during Ash Wednesday mass at Catherdral of Our Lady of Lourdes in 1996.
(File/ The Spokesman-Review)

• 1960-1961: attended Washington State University; served as an assistant pastor in Pullman

• 1962-1966: Gonzaga University, Spokane

• 1960-1968: math and physics teacher, Mater Cleri Seminary, Colbert

• 1968-1974: rector, Mater Cleri Seminary; also served as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Colbert

• 1974-1976: pastor, Assumption Parish in north Spokane

• 1976-1977: chancellor, Diocese of Spokane

• May 12, 1977: ordained bishop

• 1977-1990: bishop, Diocese of Yakima; known for his efforts to improve conditions for migrant works and his passion for social justice

• 1990- present: bishop, Diocese of Spokane

• 2001: elected vice president of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, an influential group considered to be the moral compass for the nation's 67 million Catholics.

• November 2004: elected to a three-year term as president of the USCCB; he won by only 52 percent, an unusually close margin compared to other elections in recent years.

• December 2004: Diocese of Spokane files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

• In 2009, Skylstad will turn 75 and must turn in the required letter of resignation to the pope, who will decide whether Skylstad should continue to serve as a bishop or retire.


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