Prior to retiring, Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz offered a Mass of thanksgiving for the youth of the archdiocese. More than 100 young people gathered at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Anchorage on Nov. 6.
Following the Nov. 9 installation of Anchorage Archbishop Paul Etienne as the successor to retired Archbishop Emeritus Roger Schwietz, the Catholic Anchor spoke to several Alaskans at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral. Here’s the video of their responses.
That commitment resulted in the establishment of a unified Catholic school system, the founding of a new Catholic elementary school in the Mat-Su Valley, and a measure of financial stability for Kodiak’s struggling elementary school.
When Archbishop Schwietz began his ministry here in 2001, the Alaskan priesthood was quite literally dying out. We had an aging group of hardworking clergy, but there were scarcely any young men following in their footsteps. The priesthood was simply not on the radar and in many parishes and families it was not encouraged.
Archbishop Schwietz developed a ministry of hope, healing and prevention. Under his leadership, I felt unfettered freedom to support victims who came forward by reaching out to the community at large through collaboration with government and non-profit agencies and other churches to address all forms of violence and abuse.