When a young man begins to feel a draw in his heart toward the priesthood, he may not know where to turn for further help in discerning whether it is God’s will for him to pursue seminary studies and eventually ordination.
Anchorage native Deacon Robert Whitney, 31, is on the cusp of one of the biggest moments of his life. On Friday, June 23, after six years of seminary formation, he will be ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Anchorage. He graduated in May from St. Paul Seminary in Minnesota, earning a dual master’s degree in divinity and religious education.
Led by military chaplain Father Peter Pomposello and St. Andrew Church youth minister Ricky Shoop, from Eagle River, five Alaskan youth and one adult chaperone traveled more than 4,000 miles to the nation’s capital to take part in the 44th annual March for Life on Jan. 27
Until recent years, there was a nearly decade-long drought in priestly ordinations. However, in the last three years, two men have been ordained, and another is scheduled for this summer. There are currently six men in seminary, which is the highest number the archdiocese has ever seen.
A recent article from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University found that Catholics divorce at a much lower rate than most other demographics but still, 29 percent of Catholic marriages end in divorce. That is problematic for a church that unequivocally affirms that marriage is lifelong and indissoluble.
This spring, Holy Rosary Academy will celebrate the graduation of its largest class in recent years. Seven full-time students, and three part-time students will participate in the 2016 commencement exercises on May 18 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral. The seniors have collectively been offered over $1 million in scholarships from colleges and universities across the country. The following are short profiles of each of the students.
The Catholic Church’s stance against artificial birth control is widely known. Perhaps less commonly known is the church’s position on artificial reproductive technology, particularly in vitro fertilization (IVF). On Feb. 10, about 50 people gathered at St. Andrew Church in Eagle River to hear internationally acclaimed bioethicist Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk present the church’s position on in vitro fertilization, its ramifications and some of the alternatives and counsel that may be offered to couples struggling with infertility.
Catholic students in Anchorage have taken a stand against proposed legislation to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide in Alaska. House Bill 99, titled “Voluntary Termination of Life,” was introduced to the Alaska legislature in February by Anchorage Democrat Representatives Harriet Drummond and Andy Josephson. The bill aims to grant physicians the right to prescribe lethal drugs for the purpose of suicide. Among the many citizens contacting representatives to oppose the legislation are high school students from Holy Rosary Academy in Anchorage.
December 8 marked a historic moment for Catholics in Alaska and around the world. In addition to observing the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the day when Catholics celebrate Mary’s preservation from original sin before her birth, Catholics around the globe gathered to mark the launch of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.