Cardinal William Levada as archbishop of Portland
Cardinal William Levada as archbishop of Portland

Regarding “Former archbishop dies at 83,” Oct. 4, Page 19:

Those of us who established Blanchet Catholic School in Salem as an independent Catholic School have especially warm memories of Cardinal William Levada. He demonstrated vision and understanding in allowing us to establish a new model of a Catholic school, not owned by the archdiocese or a religious order. He met with us and granted us permission to establish a Catholic school provided we remain faithful to Catholic doctrine and not expect any subsidy from the church. We have met both obligations. Our school celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

I still remember my phone conversation with then-Archbishop Levada in which we discussed ideas for naming the school. Archbishop Levada recommended that we name the school after Archbishop Francis Norbert Blanchet, the first archbishop in the Northwest, who established the first Catholic school in Oregon, at St. Paul. Obviously, we followed his recommendation.

We were blessed with his support. We will continue in our mission, following our motto: animo et fide (by courage and faith).

Kevin Mannix

Salem