Long-time director of Morning Star Boys’ Ranch retires - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Long-time director of Morning Star Boys’ Ranch retires

Posted: Updated:

Father Joseph M. Weitensteiner is retiring as executive director from Morning Star Boys' Ranch, a residential program for boys.  In a letter to staff, donors and other supporters mailed April 19, Weitensteiner, head of the ranch in Spokane for nearly a half century, announced his retirement from that role effective May 1.

The decision was recently accepted by the Morning Star Board of Directors as well as Spokane Catholic Bishop William Skylstad. In formally acknowledging the retirement at its April 10 meeting, the board unanimously passed a resolution strongly praising the 74-year-old priest and thanking him for his decades of service.

“Father Joe’s remarkable history at Morning Star, in overseeing the care of nearly 1,300 boys spanning a period of five decades, can only be described as a life of dedication and caring,” said Robert Durgan, president of the MSBR Board.

The stress of some highly publicized abuse allegations, most dating to the 1970s and earlier, and subsequent legal filings against the Ranch and him have taken a toll, Father Weitensteiner concedes. However, he added, “I cannot thank enough the hundreds of alumni and supporters who have contacted me over the past months.”  In a statement issued on Dec. 23, Father Weitensteiner offered “forgiveness and reconciliation to those who are making these false accusations” and underscored that he has “never been sexually inappropriate with any child at any time.” The statement concluded, “Creating a positive and safe environment at Morning Star Boys’ Ranch has been one of my primary priorities for 40 years. These allegations have hurt me deeply, but I have confidence that those who know me and have worked with me throughout my career know what is real.”

Dominic Frucci is among educators and board members familiar with Father Weitensteiner’s impact. “I feel blessed to have known and worked with this outstanding man as a valued friend and inspiration for more than 30 years,” said the long-time counselor at Sacajawea Middle School where scores of Ranch residents have attended. “Going to school, working your best, being polite, getting involved in school activities, staying out of trouble and being good representatives of Morning Star Boys’ Ranch are goals Father Joe taught and expected,” Frucci said.

Morning Star officials said the succession plan to replace Father Weitensteiner, begun in 2001, would be advanced by his formal retirement.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Florida woman arrested after 3 dogs found in freezer

    Florida woman arrested after 3 dogs found in freezer

    Saturday, December 16 2017 7:30 PM EST2017-12-17 00:30:58 GMT

    PIERSON, Fla. (AP) - Sheriff's deputies checking the home of a Florida woman and her small child found three dead dogs in her freezer and a house covered in filth and cockroaches.    The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that 35-year-old Victoria Kanger was arrested on Thursday and charged with child neglect.

    >>

    PIERSON, Fla. (AP) - Sheriff's deputies checking the home of a Florida woman and her small child found three dead dogs in her freezer and a house covered in filth and cockroaches.    The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that 35-year-old Victoria Kanger was arrested on Thursday and charged with child neglect.

    >>
  • Possible suspension after deputy draws gun on motorcyclist

    Possible suspension after deputy draws gun on motorcyclist

    Saturday, December 16 2017 1:46 PM EST2017-12-16 18:46:15 GMT

    SEATTLE (AP) - A King County Sheriff's deputy who drew his gun on a motorcyclist while stopped at a red light faces a possible 10-day suspension.    KING-TV reports that the Chief of the King County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division recommended the suspension on Friday for 53-year-old Richard Rowe.

    >>

    SEATTLE (AP) - A King County Sheriff's deputy who drew his gun on a motorcyclist while stopped at a red light faces a possible 10-day suspension.    KING-TV reports that the Chief of the King County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division recommended the suspension on Friday for 53-year-old Richard Rowe.

    >>
  • See a movie in a theater every day for a year for only $90? Costco offering bundle with MoviePass and Fandor

    See a movie in a theater every day for a year for only $90? Costco offering bundle with MoviePass and Fandor

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 5:35 PM EST2017-12-13 22:35:41 GMT

    KHQ.COM - If you're into watching movies in theaters AND at home, Costco has a deal for you! The wholesaler is offering an evoucher that bundles a full year of access to MoviePass and Fandor for only $89.99.  MoviePass, which gives free movie tickets, usually costs $120 a year alone. Twelve months of Fandor, a movie streaming service, is $60. 

    >>

    KHQ.COM - If you're into watching movies in theaters AND at home, Costco has a deal for you! The wholesaler is offering an evoucher that bundles a full year of access to MoviePass and Fandor for only $89.99.  MoviePass, which gives free movie tickets, usually costs $120 a year alone. Twelve months of Fandor, a movie streaming service, is $60. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/