One night when we were building our church in Magadan, Russia, in 2000, I woke up after a terrible nightmare. I had seen the church finished but it was empty and cold. No people. I woke up in sweats and literally fell to my knees and begged God to not let this happen. I wanted a church full of activity and people of all kinds.
Simbang Gabi is a series of special liturgies leading up to Christmas. The celebration of the nine-day novena of Masses is a longest-running and popular Catholic Filipino religious tradition. At the Masses, the faithful especially focus on the Blessed Virgin Mary in the preparation for the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ.
In an effort to inspire and challenge Catholic families across Alaska, the Fairbanks Diocese is hosting a Catholic family conference later this winter. The Feb. 9-11 conference is titled, “Families Fully Alive.” The gathering will take place at Monroe Catholic High School with the aim to “engage family members of all ages to help foster Christ-centered families through a weekend-long vacation Bible school for children and nationally renowned speakers for teens and adults.”
Anchorage Archbishop Paul Etienne has hired John Harmon as the new chancellor for the Archdiocese of Anchorage. Harmon brings extensive business, legal and pastoral experience as a former teacher, college president, Fortune 100 corporate attorney and a Catholic high school principal.
St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church is celebrating its 60th anniversary on Dec. 10 and welcomes its Latin rite brothers and sisters from across the Anchorage Archdiocese to join in.
Life is short — the years and decades, peopled with children and loved ones, recede into history before we have time to properly savor them . We know this — we feel the occasional pangs of life slipping through our fingers. But just for good measure, the church reminds us again, even as we prepare to celebrate Christmas.
We believe that marriage is a sacrament, along with holy orders, the Eucharist and baptism, and is both part of God’s gifting to us and needed for us to experience the fullness of salvation. Our pews, however, are filled with people in irregular marital situations.
A group of enthusiastic Alaskan teens joined an estimated 20,000 youth from all across the United States for the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana Nov. 16-19. “This is the premier Catholic youth ministry event in the country that happens on a regular schedule,” said Matthew Beck, the director of youth and young adult ministry for the Anchorage Archdiocese. “And it’s a lot of fun.”