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TONIGHT: Dominican Forum to explore “Dante & the Christian imagination”

An artistic rendition of a scene from "The Divine Comedy" by Danté.

An artistic rendition of a scene from “The Divine Comedy” by Danté.

 CatholicAnchor.org

As part of Holy Family Cathedral’s ongoing “Dominican Forum,” Dominican friar Brother Justin Gable will give a presentation titled, “Dante and the Christian Imagination: The Divine Comedy.”

The talk will highlight one of the great literary masterpieces that has shaped the way Christians think about hell, purgatory and heaven.

The talk takes place tonight, March 27, at 7 p.m. in the Holy Family Education Center in Anchorage next to the cathedral. It is free and open to the public. For more information call 276-3455.

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Cardinal Dolan notes top challenges to church at packed Anchorage event

An estimated 700 people pack Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish-Anchorage, Alaska for a public talk by Cardinal Timothy Cardinal Dolan on March 24. — Photo by Ron Nicholl

An estimated 700 people pack Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish-Anchorage, Alaska for a public talk by Cardinal Timothy Cardinal Dolan on March 24. — Photo by Ron Nicholl

 CatholicAnchor.org

An estimated 700 people packed Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Anchorage to hear Cardinal Timothy Dolan speak on the topic, “Three Challenges Facing Pope Francis and the Church.”

The crowd, while mostly Catholic, also included a number of Protestants, Evangelicals and some Muslims.

The cardinal archbishop of New York told the standing room only crowd that the Cathlic Church must strengthen traditional families, which are the very foundation of culture and church.

He also said there must be a restoration of the luster and appeal of the church so that those who have drifted or left might consider a return to their spiritual home.

Lastly, he cautioned that the church is in the midst of a struggle with an increasingly hostile American culture that is encroaching on religious liberties. While optimistic that Americans will ultimately fall on the side of religious freedom, Cardinal Dolan said the church and believers must be vigilant in defending the right to freely practice their religion.

Fairbanks Catholic radio station, KQHE 92.7 FM, broadcast and live streamed the entire talk and Q&A session immediately following. The station also covered the Solemn Vespers liturgy with Cardinal Dolan at Our Lady of Guadalupe on March 25 as well as the March 26 Mass and homily by Cardinal Dolan at Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Cardinal Dolan, one of the biggest names in the U.S. Catholic Church was in Anchorage for four days to speak at the annual Alaskan Priests Convocation, which includes priests from all three Alaska dioceses — Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau.

Click here to view photos from this event.

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Why Alaskans must define ‘medically necessary’ abortions

istockphoto

istockphoto

By JAN MCCOY

Currently in Alaska abortionists are defining medical necessity for the purposes of public funding for Medicaid abortions. The problem is that those who make a living on abortion believe that an abortion becomes “medically necessary” simply by the fact that a woman does not want to be pregnant.

When Jan Whitefield, M.D., one of Alaska’s most prolific abortionists, testified in court in regard to our parental involvement law he admitted under oath that since 1985 he had found medical necessity for state-paid abortions in all but about 10 cases. Whitefield finds medical necessity whenever a pregnancy is “a theoretical hazard to her mental health,” which for him includes interference with a woman’s work or education plans, her “independence,” or even merely if she views her pregnancy as an “affront.”  more…

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Three of Cardinal Dolan’s Alaska events to be broadcast live online

Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Cardinal Timothy Dolan

 Broadcasts begin with March 24 public talk in Anchorage

CatholicAnchor.org

Fairbanks Catholic radio station, KQHE 92.7 FM, will broadcast and stream three live events with Cardinal Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan during his upcoming trip to Alaska.

The first broadcast will cover the March 24 presentation at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Anchorage, where Cardinal Dolan will give a public talk titled “Three Challenges Facing Pope Francis and the Church.” The broadcast will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will include a Q&A session with the audience following the talk.

The second broadcast will cover the Solemn Vespers liturgy with Cardinal Dolan at Our Lady of Guadalupe on March 25 at 7:30 p.m.

The final broadcast will be the March 26 Mass and homily by Cardinal Dolan at Our Lady of Guadalupe at 5:30 p.m.

Listeners outside the Fairbanks area can listen to all broadcasts online by going to www.kqhe.org and clicking the “ON AIR” tab.

Cardinal Dolan, one of the biggest names in the U.S. Catholic Church is coming to Anchorage to speak at the annual Alaskan Priests Convocation, which will include the priests from all three Alaska dioceses — Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau.

The outspoken and garrulous cardinal just completed a three-year term in 2013 as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Whether providing an invocation at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions in 2012, appearing at Fordham University before 3,000 cheering students to talk about being Catholic with the comedian Stephen Colbert, or meeting privately with President Barack Obama over concerns about the federal health care mandate on contraception and abortion causing drugs, Cardinal Dolan did not shrink from becoming the very public voice of the Catholic bishops during his tenure.

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The church is not for the left or the right

Fr. Michael Shields

Fr. Michael Shields

By FR. MICHAEL SHIELDS

CatholicAnchor.org

 

A favorite quote of mine comes from George Bernard Shaw: “God created man in his image and then man returned the favor.” We might say the same about how many people try to make the church into the image of the present culture or serve the present political agenda. The left wants the church to be left and the right — right.

If the church was merely a human institution this would be understandable but as a both human and divine institution, it stands in the culture to convert souls to the Gospel. Just like the Christian is not of the world but in the world, the church presents a Gospel that challenges those of all political views with the desire that all be saved. The church is for the salvation of the world.

I experienced the broadness of the church as a young priest while serving in Palmer, Alaska. One Sunday we blessed animals on the feast of Saint Francis — and as an added note I decided to bless the hospital across the street because I had heard a local doctor was performing abortions there. more…

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It’s our duty to protect the vulnerable

 Safe Environment

By JENNY MICHAELSON

CatholicAnchor.org 

“Things have a price and can be sold, but people have dignity; they are worth more than things and are above price….”

“In a frail human being, each one of us is invited to recognize the face of the Lord…”

Jenny Michaelson

Jenny Michaelson

Pope Francis spoke these words last year in his address to the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations. These statements bring to mind images of the many people I have met in my life who would be considered vulnerable: James, my proud 95-year-old neighbor and historian; Anne, a trusting 89-year-old widow for whom we gave rides to church; Tom, the 23-year-old man with Down syndrome and autism in my sacramental preparation class — he taught me more about recognizing Christ’s love than I could ever imagine. How incomplete my life and our world would be without these souls and the lessons they teach us.

How protective I would feel if someone threatened to harm them. I am sure we all have someone in our life like this.

As adults, most of us have experienced a time or situation where we felt and were vulnerable. Maybe we were completely dependent on others for transportation, meals, finances, decision-making or personal care. These times may have been after a surgery or injury or illness, but for many of us they were temporary.

When I experienced these moments, I certainly recall how much I was at the “mercy” of someone else not only to help me get through my daily routine, but to ensure my worth and dignity. It is important for us to recall these times so we can understand and empathize with our family and neighbors who may experience some form of vulnerability. It is our duty to protect the vulnerable and ensure their safety. In doing so, we protect their dignity and intrinsic worth. more…

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School-choice measure set for Alaska Senate debate on Wednesday

BY LISA DEMER

ldemer@adn.com

JUNEAU — Senate President Charlie Huggins said Monday he expects a proposed constitutional amendment that would restructure Alaska’s educational system to go before the full Senate Wednesday even though opponents appear to have enough votes to kill the measure.

“My assumption is we have the votes,” Huggins, R-Wasilla and a measure co-sponsor, said without being specific. “We’re going to be good. I’m fully confident.”

The proposed amendment would allow public money to be spent on private and religious schooling. It would require approval of two-thirds of the Senate and the House, or 14 of 20 senators and 27 of 40 representatives. If passed by the Legislature, it would go to voters in the November general election.

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Sacred art points Catholic school students to deeper reality

At boy walks by a newly installed statue of Christ at the entrance of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Anchorage on Aug. 21. At right, a child gazes upon a new mosaic depicting the communion of the saints. — Photo by Joel Davidson

At boy walks by a new statue of Christ at the entrance of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Anchorage at the start of the current school year. — Photo by Joel Davidson

By ALEXANDRA THEIS

CatholicAnchor.org

For 2,000 years sacred art in the form of paintings, sculpture and stained glass have brought the truths of the church to life by providing the faithful with a visual means of deeper devotion and understanding. This historic emphasis on art is still evident in Catholic school education across the Archdiocese of Anchorage. From a detailed mural replicate of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” that welcomes those entering Lumen Christi High School in Anchorage to the bronze statuary and detailed stained glass in the newly renovated St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Elementary School, sacred imagery fills the hallways and colors the imaginations of hundreds of Catholic school students in Anchorage, Kodiak and the Mat-Su Valley.

The role of sacred art in education is similar to its purposes through the centuries in churches across Europe and elsewhere when it served as a means by which countless Christians gained a thorough education of Scripture, church doctrine and the lives of the saints.

Speaking at an Anchorage Theology & Brew event in January, local artist and art historian Dr. Laura Walters said sacred art offers the faithful a “bare” and “emotional” connection to the faith through “dramatic scenes that people can really identify with.” more…

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Alaskans should think twice before signing living wills

Jan McCoy

Jan McCoy

By JAN MCCOY

CatholicAnchor.org

The introduction of a couple of bills in the Alaska Legislature this session aim to establish a registry where you can file an advance directive for health care, for easy access by health professionals. These measures beg at least a couple of questions. Can an advance health care directive comport with Catholic teachings on end of life issues, and if so, should you have one?

Living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care are what we call advance directives — attempts to leave instructions to others in case you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious and unable to make medical decisions or speak for yourself. Like it or not, you probably can’t avoid these documents because federal law requires that a hospital ask you on admission whether you have signed an advance directive and present you with one if you so desire. Also most people are presented with these documents when doing estate planning. From a legal perspective, you do not have to sign them in either case. more…

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GALLERY: Ash-crossed foreheads mark university students in Anchorage, AK

CatholicAnchor.org

University of Alaska, Anchorage students, faculty and staff received ashen crosses on their foreheads March 5 for Ash Wednesday — the start of the Lenten 40-day period of prayer, fasting and alms giving that culminates in Holy Week and Easter Sunday.

Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz traced the ashes on about 20 people who attended the midday gathering in the university’s library. Father Patrick Brosamer, associate pastor or St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, assisted during the liturgy.

The event was coordinated through the Cardinal Newman Club, a campus group for local college students. more…

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