Parish profile: St. Francis Xavier, Valdez

By Deacon Dan and Trish StoweThe North Star Catholic St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, the oldest Catholic Church in South Central Alaska, is located in Valdez, at the head of the eleven-mile long Prince William Sound fjord. Fr. Turnell celebrated our first Mass in Mrs. Johnson’s boarding house in 1903. The first church building was…

Parish profile: St. Gregory Nazianzen, Sitka

By Father Marino Cho, KMSThe North Star Catholic St. Gregory Nazianzen Parish is situated in Southeast Alaska, about 98 miles south of Juneau, our state capital. However, Sitka has been established much longer and was capital of Alaska from 1867 to 1906. In 1867, a petition signed by 120 people was sent to the Bishop…

Parish profile: Holy Family, Anchorage

By Letha FlintThe North Star Catholic It was July 10, 1915. T.J. Wendler bid $175 for two lots in downtown Anchorage. As soon as Andrew Christianson acknowledged the bid, Wendler yelled, “These lots are for a church and a hospital.” Christianson dropped his gavel. Wendler had his lots. On September 14, construction began on Holy…

Saints among us: Alan and Nancy Muise

By Anna SchultenThe North Star Catholic Alan Muise and his wife Nancy, began their ministry in Alaska when Alan was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage in 1991 as an F-15 pilot. “I enjoy doing music ministry the most,” said Alan. “We had been in music ministry at all the air bases that…

Ask Father Leo: Was Mary illiterate?

Dear Fr. Leo:My sister sent me something published by a Jesuit magazine that suggested Mary was illiterate. As I had not thought about that before, it occurred to me that perhaps Mary is the second smartest person ever in the world, the first of course being her Son. If Mary studied scripture, she would have…

The naked lady

My daughter lives in the old Italian neighborhood of South Philadelphia. Like all urban areas, the demographics are changing, but there’s still a vibrant Italian outdoor market and restaurants and delis which sell the best Italian food this side of Rome. She has a friend who works in a bar and restaurant in the area….

Bring dating violence out of the dark

Every month, there is indeed a designation to bring awareness to many health concerns or causes. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. According to youth.gov, National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention is an issue that impacts everyone – not just teens – but their parents, teachers, friends and communities as well.” The hope…

Small acts of kindness help make our communities better places to live

“None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.”– Mother Teresa Mother Teresa’s words are so timely. Our city, our state, our country, and our world continue to face great challenges, and at times these challenges seem far…

Prison ministry in the Archdiocese continues, despite COVID challenges

By Annette AllevaThe North Star Catholic “I was in prison and you visited me.” These words of Jesus are a call to action for a number of folks in the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau, who minister to men and women in several area jails and prisons. This ministry of presence, primarily, has suffered a tremendous decline…

St. Joseph, pray for us

The most beautiful banquet table I ever saw was in a parish hall when I was ten years old. It must have been 40 feet long, with another table intersecting it at the mid-point. From end to end, up and down, placed upon it were the most delicious looking foods imaginable. There were all sorts…

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