Anchorage cathedral vandalized


The historic Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage was vandalized on Dec. 2. The Dominican priests who staff the parish found it damaged and in disarray at about 4:30 p.m.

A video of the damage taken by Dominican Father Mark Francis Manzano shows overturned pews, spilt holy water, toppled liturgical furniture, including the archbishop’s presider’s chair and debris scattered throughout the sanctuary. Advent candles and the ambo were also thrown to the floor and a microphone connected to the sound system was ripped out.

On his Facebook page Father Manzano noted that while the damage was considerable, “it could have been much worse.”

“By the grace of God, the tabernacle, the relics, and the ambry were all secured and left untouched,” he observed.

The cathedral will mark its 100th year anniversary next year. It was the first church built in Anchorage and remains a historic landmark, even hosting Pope John Paul II during his 1981 visit to Anchorage.

Father Manzano noted that as the cathedral church for the Anchorage Archdiocese, the downtown parish tries to “intentionally keep our doors open from an hour before the morning Mass until the conclusion of Vespers in the evening.”

“Now we are rethinking our schedule,” he posted. “We are rethinking lots of things now since this is the second vandalism event within one week of each other.”

A week prior vandals damaged one of the priests’ cars, busting a back window. Over the last few years the cathedral has been targeted by vandals who have damaged outdoor statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary as well as a number of saint statues.

In the most recent incident the tabernacle was undamaged and that the Blessed Sacrament was not violated but the altar was stripped.

Police are investigating the incident.

'Anchorage cathedral vandalized' have 5 comments

  1. December 2014 @ 12:52 am Gini Hostman

    Such a shame that hatred caused such damage. Deacon Jim and I have wonderful memories of our years at Holy Family Cathedral. We pray that all will be restored. God bless you one and all.


  2. December 2014 @ 3:06 pm Shirley

    So sorry to hear of vandalism. Lovely Cathedral. Our parish in the 60’s and 70’s when we lived there. Children Baptized there. Here in Raleigh we have had to shorten the hours because of vandalism, downtown Cathedral. Do not give up or give up hope God will watch over you and your mission.


  3. December 2014 @ 7:39 am Dan Winters

    When I travel to Anchorage from Unalaska, on business, I stay at the Captain Cook. During my daily breaks, I go to this Cathedral to pray the Mid Day Prayer. I’d hate to see it locked during the day but understand if it is. God Bless. Diaconate Aspirant, Dan Winters.


  4. December 2014 @ 6:08 pm Bob Bird

    Evil hates the Catholic Church. My guess is that this was not done by downtown drunkards, but by people who fully understand what they are attacking. Since this was done during the day, they knew their time to inflict damage had to be brief. If they ever get in during night hours, expect their target to be the Blessed Sacrament. Placing security cameras around the grounds might help. But please do not lock the church during the day. Christ made Himself vulnerable, and continues to do so in modern times. And so must we.


  5. December 2014 @ 3:10 pm tony roma

    Pity. Good it wasn’t worse.


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