Articles by Charlie Ess

Flying priest: Bush pilot brings sacraments to remote Alaskans

The weather in western Alaska poses challenges for flying. On one particular Sunday Father Garrett had embarked upon a trip to a tiny village. Gusty winds and a gut feeling told him to stop short and land at the airport in King Salmon. He spent the night, winds diminished, and he decided to take off the next morning. Like many times before, he warmed up the engine, taxied out to the runway and throttled up to begin his takeoff. No sooner had he begun gaining altitude than the engine — his only engine — blew up.

Partnership takes new approach to health care for Alaska’s homeless

“I don’t believe there’s ever been a partnership where the three hospitals in town have come together around an issue like this,” she observed. “You have to remember that this is a business industry and there’s competition. So what’s happened here is that leadership teams at our hospitals have seen the bigger picture, and they’ve come together with passion and good intentions to help the most vulnerable people in our community. It’s amazing.”

Multi-generational family keeps Alaskan cemetery focused on the Resurrection

Bury the dead. The words may seem over-simplified in the pragmatic rush of everyday life, but not for those Alaskans who have taken on the task of honoring them as prescribed within the corporal works of mercy. For Dan Belanger, burying the faithful departed and looking ahead to what awaits them in the hereafter comes as an inheritance — an duty he admits befell him with the passing of his father, but not without a bit of preparation. In the context of the battlefield, Dan knows death all too well, but deeper down, he forges ahead in a legacy that honors death as the gateway to eternity.

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