Articles by Rashae Ophus Johnson

Young Alaska Native embraces Catholic faith & tribal traditions

Traditional Yup’ik dance was a form of prayer, a ritualistic plea to the spirit world in the land that would one day be known as Alaska. In that long-ago age, the shaman donned masks representing animal spirits and led the tribe in singing, dancing and drumming to petition the spirits for specific needs. In the late 1800s Christian missionaries including Jesuit priests banned the Natives’ ancient ceremonial dancing, condemning it as evil pagan idolatry.

Innovative religious ed may cause ‘revolution,’ say catechists

Today this eminent Montessori approach is nurturing the faith of thousands of toddlers to tweens worldwide. Since its founding in 1954, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd has flourished in 37 countries and more than 1,250 locations in the U.S., including adapted versions in Episcopal and Orthodox settings. Yet in the Archdiocese of Anchorage, CGS subsists only as a little known gem within St. Patrick Church and on a limited basis at Holy Family Cathedral, both in Anchorage.

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