By Father Mike Galbraith
The North Star Catholic
St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church is located in the Mendenhall Valley, twelve miles north of Juneau, Alaska, in the Southeastern Panhandle. The original church was first established and built in 1962 as a mission of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in downtown Juneau. In 1972 the church was established as a parish, as the population of Juneau began to grow and expand in and around the Mendenhall Valley. As the population grew in the valley, it became apparent a larger church was needed. The new church was completed in 2001 and now serves about 800 families with a youth program and religious education program of 150 children.
Fr. Mike Galbraith, pastor of St. Paul’s, oversees the ministries at the parish along with Fr. Jose Thomas, who serves as the parochial vicar. Deacon Mike Monagle is the acting deacon and has responsibilities for adult bible studies and RCIA. The National Shrine of St. Therese falls under the liturgical administration of St. Paul’s and provides priestly ministry for its weddings, funerals, and summer Masses on Sunday.
The parish serves and helps support three major charity organizations: The Glory Hall, Love Inc. and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Many of our parishioners and the Knights of Columbus are active in serving these organizations both in financial support and with their time and talent. Since the start of COVID-19, we have been livestreaming the Mass daily through our Facebook page and have found it to help provide spiritual guidance for the past year of the pandemic. Fr. Mike believes that St. Paul’s will again become vibrant as we come out of the pandemic and grow all the more, addressing the community’s spiritual needs.
St. Paul’s continues to be an active and growing community for many different demographics and cultures throughout the Juneau area. Our parishioners consist of active and retired Coast Guard families, young families, a large Filipino community, and a growing Hispanic group of very active parishioners.
St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church,
9055 Atlin Drive. Juneau, Alaska 99801