Thanks to some forward thinking by Saint Francis of Assisi in the 13th century, several lay Catholic Alaskans are now official members of the Franciscan Order.
“I meet people where they are, physically and time-wise,” Deacon Winters said. People have someone to call when they are at the clinic, or in jail, he added. “We minister to those who are bereaved, or just want to talk.”
Their multi-media works are exhibited across Alaska, around the world. The bronze statue in downtown Anchorage of Balto, the heroic dog of the diphtheria run that gave rise to the Iditarod sled dog race, is perhaps their best-known piece among Alaskans…
Their frailty and age belie these dynamos of strength and endurance, living testimonies to a kind of faith that answered the call to bring the Gospel to the far reaches of Alaska.
Across the Archdiocese of Anchorage, plans are afoot for parish-based craft fairs and carnivals — activities that make the looming dark days a bit brighter.
A total of 230 people attended the event which raised over $100,000 to be used to educate and ordain priests to serve the Archdiocese of Anchorage.
More than 100 young adults turned out for a Catholic Young Adult Conference (CYAC) sponsored and hosted by St. Benedict Church in Anchorage. Attendees participated in confession, adoration, Mass and myriad presentations on how to deepen and share their Catholic faith amid a culture that is often hostile to belief in God.
“Eucharist is the heart of Jesus,” he said, “the perpetual means by which divine life is shared with us. We, as church, believe and teach that Eucharist is the body and blood of Jesus.”
Five years of discernment, formation, and study culminated with the May 18 ordination of Alaskans as permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of Anchorage. Anchorage Archbishop Paul Etienne ordained the men at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Anchorage. They now join dozens of other deacons who serve across the 138,000 square mile archdiocese.
Maggie Schmitt grew up as a student walking the hallways of St. Mary’s Catholic School on Alaska’s Kodiak Island where she attended pre-school through eighth grade. From a young age she wanted to work with children. Six years ago she returned to her alma mater as an elementary teacher.