Articles by Naomi Klouda

Jesuit priest helped preserve language for Alaska Natives

Father Jules Jette (1864-1927) made good on his high standards. As a missionary priest coming to Alaska in 1898, his primary role meant conversions and baptisms among the Athabaskans, but as a scholar, he wanted to chronicle the multitudinous complexities of the Koyukon Athabaskan language and culture. As a humanitarian who loved the Ten’a people, the melding of those two vocations meant Father Jette was uniquely able to bestow a lasting gift on Alaska’s unknown future:

’64 Good Friday quake grabbed Rome’s attention, led to archdiocese

In the wake of the devastating earthquake, Anchorage drew the attention of Rome. A papal representative, had visited Anchorage before the earthquake to bless the city’s first Catholic school. He came back immediately after the earthquake to see the devastation. Observing how large Anchorage was, he recommended it become its own diocese. The proposal then went to Pope Paul VI who created the archdiocese in 1966.

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