Lumen Christi Catholic High School, a grades 7-12 ministry of St. Benedict Church in Anchorage, will graduate 13 seniors on May 12. They’ve excelled academically, being offered, collectively, over $1 million in scholarships. But they’ve also achieved out-of-school successes. Whether dancing with a local troupe, running the Iron Dog or obtaining a pilot’s license, they’re actively pursuing their dreams.
Following decades with very few men following a call to become Alaskan priests, the tide is changing — even surging. As with most good things, however, this springtime of vocations comes with a cost — an average of about $325,000 for one man to be fully trained for the priesthood.
St. Therese’s Camp, an independent Catholic summer camp in Wasilla, spans 57 acres of forest, lake and campground facilities. The first summer camp began in 2014 and has been growing steadily ever since. Now in his third year operating the camp, Director Rudy Poglitsh expects attendance this summer to exceed 200 children.
When it comes to men training for the Catholic priesthood, the Anchorage Archdiocese has what many would consider a good problem. After years of few seminarians training for priesthood, there are now five men in formation with two more on the way. Over the past three years two other men have been ordained as priests. The challenge now is figuring out how to fund the extensive education of this growing group of future clergy.
For the second time in three summers, the Archdiocese of Anchorage will ordain a seminarian to the transitional diaconate which precedes his ordination to the Catholic priesthood. Fifth year seminarian Robert Whitney will receive the sacrament of holy orders on June 3, 7 p.m., at Holy Family Cathedral. The tentative date for his ordination to the priesthood is just over a year later, June 23, 2017.