Alaska’s Jesuit Volunteers continue tradition of service

Six Jesuit Volunteers are serving in Anchorage this year. At top, from left, are Laura West, Robert Dean, Caroline Proulx. At bottom, from left , are Chris Vaudo, Erin Gibson, Katie Giardino, Claire Anderson. — Submitted photo

Six Jesuit Volunteers are serving in Anchorage this year. At top, from left, are Laura West, Robert Dean, Caroline Proulx. At bottom, from left , are Chris Vaudo, Erin Gibson, Katie Giardino, Claire Anderson. — Submitted photo

By EFFIE CALDAROLA

CatholicAnchor.org

Despite the growth of volunteer opportunities available to college graduates today, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps remains one of the most popular destinations for young Catholics looking for spiritual growth and a chance to serve.

Caroline Proulx is one of seven young people — two men and five women — living in community in Anchorage as a Jesuit Volunteer during the 2013-2014 year. She’s one of two JVs serving at Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis (AWAIC), and in her job as an advocate at the shelter she works with women who have experienced domestic abuse.

“I wanted to do something to help better the world,” said the 22-year-old. “I really wanted to do something to give back.” more…

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

CatholicAnchor.org

On March 26 Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, spoke with CatholicAnchor.org 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 CatholicAnchor.org after one of his addresses.
This video is part one in a series that is being published at CatholicAnchor.org.

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TODAY: Archbishop Schwietz to help lead Anchorage’s “Choose Respect” rally

Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz (center) marches during the 2013 Choose Respect march in Anchorage. — Photo from gov.alaska.gov

Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz (center) marches during the 2013 Choose Respect march in Anchorage. — Photo from gov.alaska.gov

 Similar events to unfold simultaneously across Alaska

CatholicAnchor.org

Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz will help lead the Choose Respect rally on Thursday, March 27, in Anchorage from the Delaney Park Strip (9th Avenue and F Street) to Town Square Park. The march begins at noon. Archbishop Schwietz is scheduled to give a public address at the end of the march.

Similar marches will be happening simultaneously all across Alaska.

Governor Sean Parnell and First Lady Sandy Parnell will lead the Valdez Choose Respect rally the same day beginning at 11:45 a.m. at the Eagles Hall. The governor has challenged Alaskans to end Alaska’s epidemic of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“Alaskans have suffered in silence for too long,” Governor Parnell said in a statement. “By promoting the value of respect in our communities and homes, we are empowering more Alaskans to speak out against sexual assault, child sexual abuse, and domestic violence in Alaska. Together, we are making a difference and creating a culture of respect to bring about safer Alaska homes and stronger families.”

Other marches across the state today are listed online at chooserespect.alaska.gov.

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40-day pro-life vigil for end to abortion begins March 5 in Anchorage

Pro-life advocates pray during a recent 40-Days For Life vigil in Anchorage.

Pro-life advocates pray during a recent 40-Days For Life vigil in Anchorage.

 CatholicAnchor.org

The next 40 Days for Life campaign in Alaska and around the world will run March 5-April 13. The international 40-day prayer vigils take place each fall and spring with pro-life advocates gathering outside abortion facilities to peacefully stand vigil, pray for unborn babies and help mothers choose life for their children.

In recent years vigils have taken place in cities across Alaska with Catholics, Protestants and others standing together in support of unborn life. A number of area parishes and churches have sponsored whole days, with parishioners signing up to pray throughout the day. This year, vigils are so far scheduled for Anchorage and Ketchikan. To find out about upcoming vigil locations, go to 40daysforlife.com/location. Those unable to attend in person can pray and fast at home for an end to abortion.

Since its beginning in 2004 in Texas, when only a handful of cities and towns participated, the movement has since seen more than 2,700 individual campaigns in more than 500 cities, according to the group’s website. More than 600,000 people have participated in the vigils. more…

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New Orthodox bishop in Alaska seen as ‘ecumenical collaborator’

Newly ordained Orthodox Bishop David Mahaffey (at left) greets Father Leo Walsh, ecumenical officer of the Anchorage Archdiocese, during a recent liturgy at St. Innocent’s Orthodox Cathedral in Anchorage. — Photo by Seth Mahaffey.

Newly ordained Orthodox Bishop David Mahaffey (at left) greets Father Leo Walsh, ecumenical officer of the Anchorage Archdiocese, during a recent liturgy at St. Innocent’s Orthodox Cathedral in Anchorage. — Photo by Seth Mahaffey.

 Catholic priest calls bishop an ally in work toward ‘Christian unity’

By JOEL DAVIDSON

CatholicAnchor.org

Orthodox Christians from parishes and villages across Alaska gathered at St. Innocent Cathedral in Sitka for the Feb. 21 consecration of Bishop David Mahaffey as the new Orthodox bishop for the Diocese of Sitka and all Alaska.

More than 40 priests and deacons were on hand, along with four bishops from the Orthodox Church in America.

Father Leo Walsh, the ecumenical and interfaith officer for the Archdiocese of Anchorage attended the ordination as a Catholic representative. He told the Catholic Anchor that he has met informally with Bishop Mahaffey since his arrival in Alaska several months ago and is “delighted to call him my friend.”

“In Bishop David, not only Orthodox Christians, but all Alaskans are receiving a man of great faith with deep pastoral sensitivities,” Father Walsh said. “I think all Catholics will find him to be an affable collaborator in the work of Christian unity and a tireless shepherd in his efforts to spread the Gospel to all corners of our state.” more…

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Right to Life convention to train Alaskans to impact culture

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 CatholicAnchor.org

Alaska Right to Life has announced that it will hold its first convention for the purpose of training Alaskans with tools and resources to “kick the pro-life movement in Alaska into high gear!”

The event on Feb. 15 will feature national figures in the pro-life movement. Rebecca Kiessling, who was conceived from rape, will deliver a talk titled “The Hard Cases: Dealing with the issues of rape and incest.” 40 Days for Life co-founder David Bereit will speak about the fruits of his organization’s work and Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schiavo, will speak about end-of-life issues and ethics.

Additionally, long-time prolife advocate and former U.S. Senate candidate Bob Bird will speak on the “Constitutional Checks and Balances to the Court System” and Shirleen Rannals will talk about the dynamics of “Sidewalk Counseling” outside of abortion clinics. Other speakers and topics are also in the works.

For more information, go online to alaskarighttolife.org

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2014 is the last chance for Alaska to pass current school choice legislation

istockphoto

istockphoto

— NEWS ANALYSIS —

By KRISTINA JOHANNES

CatholicAnchor.org

A resolution has been making its way through the Alaska Legislature to enable more parents across the state to choose private schools for their children — and unless it is considered and passed this session, the bill will die.

Introduced last February by Senators Mike Dunleavy, Fred Dyson, Pete Kelly, John Coghill, and Cathy Giessel, SJR 9 proposes amendments to the state constitution that would permit public education funds to go directly to students to be used in a school of their parents choosing.

The legislation underwent numerous committee hearings before landing in the finance committee at the end of the 2013 session. There it sits awaiting the opening of the next session that runs Jan. 21 to April 20. more…

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Anchorage pro-life service to mark 41st anniversary of Roe

CatholicAnchor.org file

CatholicAnchor.org file

 CatholicAnchor.org

On Saturday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m., the 14th annual Anchorage interdenominational prayer service marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade takes place at the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery on 9th Street and Cordova.

The event marks the 41st anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the U.S. Under Roe and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, abortion is legal through the ninth month of pregnancy for virtually whatever reason.

All are invited to attend the service and pray for those wounded by abortion. Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz will open the service with prayer. The gathering is sponsored by the Alaska Knights of Columbus, with the support of Alaska Right to Life. For more information, call James and Ann Curro, the
 Knights of Columbus
 State Pro-Life Couple, at (907) 349-3772.

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Pope Francis urges Catholics to begin ‘new chapter’ of joyful evangelization

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

 CNA/EWTN News 

VATICAN CITY — In his first apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel,” Pope Francis urged the Christian faithful to begin “a new chapter of evangelization,” marked by the joy that is “constantly born anew” with Christ.

“The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus,” the pope wrote, inviting Christians to “a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ.”

The apostolic exhortation, also known as “Evangelii Gaudium,” follows the 2012 bishops’ synod on the New evangelization, which was held as part of the Year of Faith. Released Nov. 26, the papal document stressed the need for Christian joy. more…

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U.S. bishops applaud Supreme Court decision to hear cases on Obamacare contraception mandate

Zenit.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday to hear arguments in the cases of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties. The U.S. government and the Hahn family, Mennonite owners of Conestoga Wood, a cabinet-making company, respectively, petitioned the Supreme Court to review these cases. The Court will consider the legality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “preventive services” mandate, which requires virtually all employers to include female sterilization and all drugs and devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as contraceptives in their employee health care plans. more…

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