Archdiocese hits half-century mark next month

Established on Feb. 9, 1966, by Pope Paul VI, the Anchorage Archdiocese turns 50 years old next month. To mark the historic day a special Mass will be celebrated on Feb. 9 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Anchorage. The liturgy begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception following.

The event is part of the ongoing “Season of Blessings” in which the archdiocese is celebrating key milestones of the Catholic faith in Southcentral Alaska.

This past summer the archdiocese marked Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz’s 25th anniversary as a bishop. Then in October the archdiocese hosted an event at the Anchorage Museum on the history of the local church. Throughout the past year Holy Family Cathedral has been celebrating its 100th anniversary as a parish, which will conclude later this year with the installation of new stained glass windows.

In March, the archdiocese will release a book detailing the history of the local church. It will initially be available in a hardcover edition and later in paperback.

Later this year, on May 14, the archdiocese will celebrate 50 years of Catholic Social Services — the charitable outreach arm of the church in Alaska.

In addition to the many events, the archdiocese has also sent local churches digitized historic photos of their parish. Some of the photos date back to early missionary days before the archdiocese was formally recognized in 1966. That was the year the late Archbishop Joseph Ryan was installed as the first archbishop of Anchorage and Holy Family Church became Holy Family Cathedral, the seat of the newly established archdiocese.

All of the upcoming events are free and open to the public. For more information, call Kenny Gerling at (907) 297-7790 or email

'Archdiocese hits half-century mark next month'
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