Saint Catherine of Siena is the renowned 14th-century woman who played an eminent role in the history of the Catholic Church and in the life of Anchorage Archbishop Paul Etienne.
On Dec. 12 Archbishop Etienne will share his own experience of how Saint Catherine influences his life and why she is still relevant and inspiring for people of the 21st century.
Catholics United for the Faith in Anchorage is hosting the presentation at the 49th State Brewery in Anchorage. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the talk beginning at 7 p.m., followed by a question and answer period. The evening is free and open to the public. Attendees may purchase food and drinks to enjoy during the evening, which will end at 8:30 p.m.
During a troubled period for the church and throughout Europe, Saint Catherine became a spiritual light for the entire continent. Born into a very large family, she privately made a vow of virginity when she was still an adolescent and dedicated herself to prayer, penance and works of charity, especially for the sick.
As the fame of her holiness spread, she became a spiritual guide for people from every walk of life: nobles and politicians, artists and ordinary people, consecrated men and women and religious, including Pope Gregory XI.
She traveled widely to press for the internal reform of the church and to foster peace in Europe. Pope John Paul II declared her the co-patroness of Europe that the continent might never forget its Christian roots.
The teaching of Saint Catherine, who learned to read with difficulty and only learned to write in adulthood, is contained in the “Dialogue of Divine Providence.” This writing is so respected for its excellence that in 1970 Pope Paul VI declared Saint Catherine a Doctor of the Church.