Problems that arose

Father Edward M Griva SJ at St. Rose of Lima

Father Edward M Griva SJ pictured with a group of Indian children in from of the church St. Rose of Lima

Language Barrier

One problem that arose was the langauge barrier. The Jesuit Missionaries worked on a very large plateau, and while some linguistic groups existed, each tribe had their own dialect that made communication quite difficult. While some efforts were made to translate from language to language, there were many words in both languages that didn't have clear parallels which made conversion efforts quite difficult. To combat this, some Jesuits used glass lantern slides with pictures of significant Catholic events or presented material that was written in both English and the native languages.

1st Communicants At St. Mary's Mission, Omak

Omak children at their first communion

Limited Missionaries and Funds

Although the missionaries were doing their best, the odds were stacked against them. Almost all of the Native Children were enrolled in a public school, but these schools were not teaching Catholicism. Since there were not many Jesuit missionaries in the area at the time, their time had to be divided between the different tribes. Resultantly, many of the native children were not given much religious education at all even though they had been baptized as Catholic.