Kelly Hill is probably where I’ll be buried. My mother and father and one brother are there. My great-grandfather from Galway, and other relatives from Mayo and Tipperary, lie there under Celtic crosses.
Anchorage Archbishop Emeritus Roger Schwietz will lead a pilgrimage for young adults this fall to the eternal city of Rome. The Oct. 27 to Nov. 4 trip takes place over All Saints and All Souls days with a focus on saints who were foundational in the development of the Catholic Church.
One aspect of the summer missions will be reaching out to those who have abandoned their involvement with the church. “The most important thing in the church today is mission. It’s the church’s main task. Pope Francis has been classic about this: We have to go out. We can’t just be a kind of Catholic ‘club.’
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in South Anchorage will be offering a full-time pre-kindergarten program beginning this fall.
Decades ago, I visited Ireland as a young teacher, so when I got home this time I pulled out some old pictures. The faded photos reminded me how much I and Ireland had changed. Back then, you could visit the magnificent Cliffs of Moher and dangle your feet over the edge. It was barren and rugged.
During Lent, we have much to ponder about gratitude. As Catholics, we believe everything starts with God and everything should be returned to God in gratitude. The older we get, we come to know that our lives and our well-laid plans are not our own.
Through person-to-person contact participants were able to engage in dialogue and find out whether someone considers himself a Catholic and feels welcomed by the local faith community. These conversations provided insights into the lives of those on the margins of the church, and allowed participants to further reflect on their own involvement in the faith and to build leadership skills.
Blackfoot Chief Crowfoot, a Plains Indian who lived in the 1800s, said this: “What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”
Included in the book is the story of a 15-day trip with a close friend, Father Peter Harman, who had been pastor at the cathedral in Springfield where Wilkins is a parishioner. During their Gates of the Arctic trek, the priest would celebrate Mass in the stark wilderness.