Local parishes to observe Divine Mercy Sunday on April 27

Anchor file photo

Anchor file photo

St. Andrew Church in Eagle River and St. Patrick Church in Anchorage have announced plans to observe Divine Mercy Sunday on April 27.

St. Andrew’s will hold a special holy hour prayer service beginning at 3 p.m.

St. Patrick’s service will run from 2-4 p.m. and include opportunities for eucharistic adoration and confession as well as a homily by Deacon Mick Fornelli.

Both events are open to the public.

Devotion to the Divine Mercy originated in the early 1900s, when Jesus Christ appeared to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, a nun and former peasant girl in Poland. He presented himself as the Divine Mercy and asked Sister Kowalska to have the image drawn and then promulgate devotion to him under that title. He told her that “humanity will not find peace until it turns trustfully to divine mercy.”

In the apparition, Jesus Christ stood with two large rays, one red and the other white, coming from his heart. Respectively, they signified Christ’s blood “which is the life of souls,” and the water “which makes souls righteous” that poured out when his heart was opened by a lance during his crucifixion.

In 2000, Blessed Pope John Paul II established “Divine Mercy Sunday” – the Sunday after Easter – as the church-wide feast honoring the Divine Mercy.

Starting on Good Friday, many faithful pray a novena – a series of prayers said across nine days – focusing on the mercy that comes from Christ’s death and resurrection.

Those who observe Divine Mercy Sunday may obtain a plenary indulgence or complete remission of punishment due to sin. In 2002, the Apostolic Penitentiary explained the pope attached the indulgence “so that the faithful might receive in great abundance the gift of the consolation of the Holy Spirit. In this way, they can foster a growing love for God and for their neighbor, and after they have obtained God’s pardon, they in turn might be persuaded to show a prompt pardon to their brothers and sisters.”

The plenary indulgence is granted (under the usual conditions of a sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and a prayer for the intentions of the pope) to the faithful who, on Divine Mercy Sunday, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, recite the Our Father and the Creed, and also adding a devout prayer, for instance, “Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!”

The faithful may fulfill the requirement of confession within eight days before or eight days after the feast.

Did you like this? Share it:

News & upcoming events in the Anchorage Archdiocese


Did you like this? Share it:

Being spiritual is not enough for followers of Christ, says Cardinal Dolan

On March 26 Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, spoke with about some of the challenges and opportunities that the Catholic Church must grapple with as it attempts to represent the Gospel and leaven culture in society that is increasingly skeptical and at time hostile to organized religion generally and the Catholic Church specifically.
Cardinal Dolan was in Anchorage to address a gathering of Alaskan priests during their annual convocation. He spoke with after one of his addresses.
This video is part one in a series that is being published at

Did you like this? Share it:

Anchorage Archbishop notes that Holy Week reveals ‘the core of our faith’

Archbishop Roger Schwietz

Archbishop Roger Schwietz


In a few weeks the Catholic Church will enter the extraordinary time of Holy Week as the penitential season of Lent comes to a close and we celebrate The Sacred Triduum.

During these days, we will focus our attention on the example of humble service and the self-giving of Jesus at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the commemoration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday and the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection as well as the sacraments of initiation of those joining our Catholic communion at the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil. These ceremonies put us in touch with the core of our faith — the awesome love of God for us, a love “which does not hesitate to offer itself in sacrifice for the beloved,” (Pope Francis, Lenten Message).

The fullness of the church’s rich liturgical symbolism is celebrated in all these events but, as often happens, we at times need to make some adjustments regarding these symbols. We schedule the blessing of Easter food, for example, on Holy Saturday afternoon at the cathedral. The practice dates back to the times when the Easter Vigil service was held on Holy Saturday morning. Thus the Easter food was blessed with newly blessed holy water from the baptismal font of that morning’s service. Now, we anticipate the holy water blessing. Also, given Alaska’s far north position on the globe and long daylight hours, the darkness that makes the blessing of the new fire at the Easter Vigil so powerful a symbol is not easily had.

Yet, the church’s powerful liturgy of the Paschal Mystery of Christ does not fail to move me. I hope it moves you, too. As we return to the “Alleluias” of Easter, may the Risen Lord Jesus give you a deep joy that sustains you and a love for one another that unites us as one family.

The writer is archbishop of Anchorage.

Did you like this? Share it:

Ignored by popular culture, the season of Lent endures

Effie Caldarola

Effie Caldarola


Did you know that the word Lent comes from a word for springtime? Christian observances of a time of fasting before Easter go all the way back to Saint Irenaeus.

But today, who observes Lent?

Holidays have been pretty well appropriated by our general culture: Christmas, despite those who harp about a “war on Christmas,” actually subsumes our entire society from the day we put our Thanksgiving turkey in the oven until midnight on Christmas Day.

Valentine’s Day might be named for an obscure saint (or possibly two – historians aren’t sure) but it’s hardly a religious holiday, despite its chocolate-saturated popularity. more…

Did you like this? Share it:

Longtime Alaskan servant, Sister Camilla Menting dies

Sister Menting

Sister Menting

 She was known for joyful service, tireless work ethic 

A long time fixture in the Anchorage Archdiocese, Sister Camilla Menting, has died.

She passed away on April 3 after having suffered a stroke at Our Lady of the Angels Convent in Greenfield, Wis. She was 85.

After a quarter century serving at St. Andrew Church in Eagle River, Sister Menting’s order, the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee called her back home in 2010.

One of six children, Sister Menting made her first profession of vows in 1947 and final vows in 1953. She lived out her religious vocation in education, administration and pastoral ministry.

After serving in Wisconsin and Illinois, Sister Menting came to Alaska where she served at St. Andrew Church in Eagle River from 1984 to 2010. She was the last of her order to serve in the state.

During her time in Alaska Sister Menting was an avid artist who spent some of her free time painting. Many people around the archdiocese, including former St. Andrew Church pastor Father Leo Walsh, are proud to have an “original Menting” in their home.

Among parishioners, she was famous for taking on parish projects that nobody else wanted to do, such as organizing church business, preparing for Sunday Mass, supervising volunteers and even turning on the coffee pot in the morning and ensuring that all the liturgical candles burned down evenly.

“She was the coordinator of the coordinators,” a parishioner told the Catholic Anchor when Sister Menting left Alaska in 2010. “Everything was always done with a smile.

Upon departing Alaska in 2010 Sister Menting told the Anchor that she would miss being the nun behind the scenes at St. Andrew and that she left Alaska with a heavy heart.

“It’s a little bittersweet,” she said at the time, adding that she had a soft spot in her heart for the community she served for two and a half decades.

“There’s something about Alaska that’s a bit – I don’t know – I just like it,” she said at the time.

A wake and funeral liturgy for Sister Menting were held on April 8 at St. Joseph Convent in Milwaukee. Her remains are interred at Mount Olivet Cemetery Chapel.

Did you like this? Share it:

April Community Calendar for Anchorage Archdiocese


Did you like this? Share it:

Pro-life Alaskan men to pray for end to abortion

A group of Catholic men prays outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Anchorage in 2013. — Photo by Fred Maldonado

A group of Catholic men prays outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Anchorage in 2013. — Photo by Fred Maldonado

 April 19 vigil set for Anchorage

On Saturday, April 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., pro-life men in Anchorage are scheduled to take hourly shifts in a continuous rosary prayer for the end of abortion.
The gathering is open to all men who wish to pray for an end to abortion. Sponsored by the local lay apostolate Catholic Men for Life, the event will take place during the ongoing 40 Days for Life prayer vigil outside the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic at 4002 Lake Otis Parkway in Anchorage. Participants plan to pray on the sidewalk near the clinic.

Before gathering at the abortion facility, many participants will begin the day at 8 a.m. in Holy Family Cathedral for morning prayers. From there, the men will head to the abortion clinic.

According to a statement from the group, the goals of the upcoming prayer vigil are to pray for an “end to abortion in this city and this country” and to offer “prayerful support of all expectant parents.”
For more information, call 903-7965, email or go online to

Did you like this? Share it:

A little parade on a spring day


Rare is the person who has not sought out a convenient curb to watch a parade of happy folks marching by. Local pageants of this sort are a universal form of leisure. They are so simple, so down home, so colorful and inexpensive: The Rose Bowl, the Mardi Gras parades, the flybys at football games, victory marches, Macy’s Thanksgiving extravaganza, New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the many welcome home parades for our troops. All have found a place in the lives of ordinary folks, and it’s all free for the watching. Oddly enough, it is such a simple exercise, just a bunch of folks trying to stay in step with the music, hurling Tootsie Rolls off to the kids. You will not find anything more elemental in the human community. more…

Did you like this? Share it:

VIDEO: Cardinal Dolan notes top 3 challenges for Pope Francis & the Church (Part 4 of 4)

This is part four of four videos that the Catholic Anchor has posted of Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s March 24 public address in Anchorage, Alaska. Titled “Three Challenges Facing Pope Francis and the Church.” This video notes the challenge that Pope Francis and the Catholic Church has in engaging a secular culture that is increasingly hostile to religion in the public square.
Click here to view parts one, two and three of this talk.

Did you like this? Share it: