Nearly 50 Alaska priests gathered in Anchorage for several days of formation, fellowship and to celebrate Mass in honor of three of their members who recently died. On Feb. 24 the priests gathered for Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Anchorage with Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz, Juneau Bishop Edward Burns and Fairbanks Bishop Chad Zielinski.
Traveling thousands of miles, a unique statue of the Virgin Mary appeared in Anchorage in early March.
Rooted in four centuries of Catholic devotion, the statue — La Virgen de La Defensa (Mother of Our Defense) — is the centerpiece of lively celebrations, prayers and the preservation of Catholic identity for the residents of two particular villages in Mexico, Atemajac de Brizuela and Juanacatlan.
Christ indeed has risen from the dead. He has banished the darkness and taken away the terror of death. Forever now he rules all time and space and power. The forces of evil can fling their threats and stir up their violence, but never win. He is risen, our God is alive and with us. And his message: “Peace be with you.”
The Alaska Legislature is set to hear testimony on three separate bills this week dealing with religious liberty for clergy in performing marriages, the rights of a child born alive during an abortion and the mandatory expansion of contraception availability.
Religious liberty advocates are reportedly working on a plan to amend an Anchorage law that carves out new rights to those who identify as gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual. Those seeking to change the law hope to strengthen religious liberties so that business owners do not have to violate deeply held religious beliefs by being forced to provide goods and services for causes they cannot in good conscience support.