Pin It
Favorite

Hilarity for charity 

by Sheri Boggs


It's perhaps no small accident that when you go to Julia Sweeney's web site, you find a picture of Sweeney in her first communion get-up, complete with a miniature bride-of-God veil and Virgin Mary figure in hand. Typical of Sweeney's ability to see the hilarious in everything from an old family photo to Catholic doctrine, she explains on the site that this is "a picture of me on the day of my first communion. Which, as you Catholics know, is at the age of 7 when a person becomes capable of committing any and all sins against man or God."


Sweeney, as most readers know, hails from a loving Catholic family in Spokane, and it's to Spokane she returns next Thursday as guest speaker for the annual Catholic Charities' "Caring for Kids" luncheon.


"She does poke a little fun at being Catholic," says her mother, Jeri Sweeney. "She's very irreverent." When asked if her daughter still practices, the elder Sweeney laughs and says, "Well, she goes whenever we're around. She belongs to St. Monica's in Santa Monica, and my husband will ask her what time is mass, and she'll kind of go, 'Um... I don't know, I think they changed the times or something.' "


We weren't able to reach Julia for this interview, but it turns out that's for good reason. She's been busy taping episodes of her new series Maybe It's Me. Co-starring Fred Willard (Best in Show), the new show was supposed to debut last Friday night, but was pre-empted by the tragedies in New York and Washington, D.C. The show will premiere this Sunday on KSKN-22, right after Sabrina the Teenage Witch.


"She's been working 60-70 hours a week taping the show," says Sweeney. "She plays the mother of five children."


In her own life, Julia has become a new mother herself, adopting a 15-month-old Chinese girl last March.


"Julie hired a Mandarin/English-speaking nanny for Tara MuLan, but she's a little left out now," says Sweeney. "The babysitter and the baby talk to each other all the time and Julie thought they were speaking gibberish, but it turns out she's counting now and can say a few words."


After having long ago retired the "Pat" fat suit and slobbery exclamations from her famous Saturday Night Live character, Sweeney has since written the hilarious and moving God Said "Ha!", which later became a successful Broadway show and film. When we last checked in with her, she'd just completed a short film for the Seattle International Film Festival. With a new show, a new baby and two new movies, Beethoven's Fourth and Clockstoppers, finishing up production, Sweeney has been busy. But she's not too busy to come back to her hometown for a good cause.


The "Caring for Kids" luncheon benefits two of Catholic Charities' most noteworthy programs, the Morning Star Boys' Ranch and St. Anne's Children and Family Center. St. Anne's, in particular, has four far-reaching and necessary branches in their Child Development Program, which helps serve the needs of working parents affected by welfare reform. Families That Work provides participants with GED certification, job preparation and life-skills training, while the Spokane Works Mentoring Project pairs up advisors with those making the transition from welfare to the work force. There's also the Childbirth and Parenting Alone (CAPA) program.


"The CAPA program works with young, unmarried mothers," says Debbie Patterson, communications coordinator for the Catholic Charities of Spokane. "We have what we call 'doulas' [a Greek word, for a mother/mentor figure], which are women who serve a sort of mentor function. They're experienced parents themselves, and they stay with the young mothers and guide them through the whole childbirth experience."


Patterson says that the program serves primarily low-income young women and that one of the most important elements of the CAPA program is how it provides a social bond at such an important time. "The program supplies things like diapers and maternity clothes, but one of the biggest benefits of the program is that they have the companionship of other young women going through the same thing," she says. "In some of these cases, these girls have no support from their families. It's hard to imagine, in this day and age, but it's true."





The Caring for Kids Luncheon is at 11:30 am, Thursday, Sept. 27, at the WestCoast Grand Hotel. Tickets: $100 ($80 tax deductible).


Call: 358-4253. Maybe It's Me debuts on KSKN, Ch. 22, at 5:30 pm, Sunday, Sept. 23.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Recall and Response
  • Recall and Response

    The attempt to remove Spokane Mayor David Condon from office may be a long shot, but he isn't taking any chances
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Shades of Black Lives
  • Shades of Black Lives

    A Spokane County detective's Facebook post about Black Lives Matter sparks debate among local law enforcement
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Fires Hit Home
  • Fires Hit Home

    Tens of thousands of acres burn around Spokane on Sunday and Monday; plus, DOJ weighs in on concerns over bail system
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap

Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap @ Boots Bakery & Lounge

Last Wednesday of every month

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Sheri Boggs

  • BOOKS
  • BOOKS

    From puppies to a new James Bond adventure, there are tons of great reads this season
    • Dec 3, 2015
  • Beer and Branding in PDX

    • Sep 15, 2005
  • Nightlife- Jukeboxes of Note

    The Baby Bar 827 W. 1st Ave. * 471-1234 I love the Baby Bar for so many reasons -- the intimacy, the bartenders, the d & eacute;cor... But most of all, I love it for its jukebox. This is no hellhole of Sting/Celine Dion adult contemporary; it's a well
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • 'Unreasonable Threat to Life and Property'

    Spokane's rental housing has problems, but landlord and tenant groups are split on a solution
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • 'End of Story'

    Condon administration aims to close the controversial Frank Straub chapter — but last week's scathing report has irrevocably changed the narrative
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


election 2016


green zone


marijuana


trail mix


Readers also liked…

  • When a Horse Isn't a Horse
  • When a Horse Isn't a Horse

    Gambling machines help Idaho's racing industries limp along — but maybe not for long
    • Jan 28, 2015
  • Big Boom
  • Big Boom

    What officials want to do with exploding oil train traffic
    • Mar 18, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation