Nome considers taxing churches to raise city funds

The Nome City Council is moving forward with an unprecedented plan to tax local churches and nonprofits in an effort to increase city coffers. A recent article by reports that with the city budget projected to run a deficit, the council plans to move forward with an ordinance to remove sales tax exemptions from more than 40 local nonprofits including St. Joseph Catholic Church and 10 other churches. The city estimates the move will bring it an added $300,000. If the proposal passes, Nome would become the first town in the nation to tax its churches.

Don’t fix your life — surrender it

I can’t fix Russia because in reality I can’t fix my life either. I can only surrender it. We can’t fix our brokenness with a new seminar, book or resolution. It is too much and too deep for us to fix. We must surrender our brokenness to the One who has come for the broken.

Alaska students thank ‘Rosary Lady’ Last month, students at Our Lady of the Valley School in Wasilla gathered in the nearby chapel at Sacred Heart Church to thank “The Rosary Lady,” a woman who has inspired many students and staff. Debra Lighthart spoke to students about her life and journey with the rosary. With her service dog, Striker, at…

Pope calls Catholic Charities to be ‘on the streets’

As many of you know, Catholic Social Services is a member of the larger Catholic Charities USA network, which just recently held its annual gathering in Charlotte, N.C. The meeting opened with a video greeting from Pope Francis. Although I was not able to attend, the text of his message emphasize that the mission of all Catholic Charities agencies are directed towards his vision for the church to be the “advocate of justice and defender of the poor in the face of intolerable social and economic inequalities.”

Parish loyalties reveal a deep truth

Unless you have moved often during your lifetime, I bet somewhere, tucked in a box among your ancient personal effects, is a collection of memorabilia that identify you as Catholic. They will probably distinguish you as once registered in a specific Catholic church or school. In this box of treasures you might find certain artifacts that identified the history of your adolescence:

In truth, laws cannot redefine marriage

Making Sense of Bioethics In the current debate over gay marriage, people sometimes ask: Who should define marriage? Democrats or Republicans in Congress? The Supreme Court? Should it be put to a referendum, allowing the majority to choose a definition? We can identify two kinds of “definitions” when it comes to marriage. The first touches…

Dominican friar urges Alaskans to redeem business world

“Understanding how the Gospel message is relevant in the commercial sphere is critical to overcoming a divided life whereby a Christian purports to operate under one set of values at home and another at work or in the market.” That was part of the message from an Oct. 13 talk given by Dominican Brother Thomas More Garrett at Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage.

Alaska’s Catholic schools offer part-time options

Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Anchorage are exploring ways to expand their classes beyond traditional full time students. The idea is to give students greater options in Catholic education by allowing students, often homeschoolers, to enroll on a part-time basis. Part-timers can pick certain classes without being enrolled at the school full-time. Tuition is pro-rated.

Alaska deacon finds God’s grace at death’s doorstep

A year ago Deacon Curt Leuenberger lay in an Anchorage hospital surrounded by his wife, family, friends and clergy who gathered to pray, to perform last rites and then to say a final goodbye. The diseased and broken body of this former big game guide who once hunted Kodiak brown bears for a living was shutting down. After 52 years, four children and 10 grandchildren he was unconscious and stretched out on a hospital bed. His life was in the final stages of a premature end, so it seemed.

Nashville Dominican to speak at Theology & Brew

On Friday, Nov. 21, Theology and Brew in Anchorage will host a talk by Sister Joanna Marie of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, also known as the Nashville Dominicans. Alaskans have been acquainted with members of this fast-growing order through the energetic, youthful sisters who have taught at recent Alaska Catholic Youth Conferences. While wearing long traditional Dominican habits, the sisters are known for climbing mountains, playing soccer and generally keeping apace with the youth.

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