Father Scanlon who had a major hand in establishing Dominican friars in Anchorage, died on Nov. 19 of respiratory failure in Los Angeles, Calif. He was 82. Earlier this year he was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease.
Father Scanlon served as provincial leader over the entire Western Dominican Province from 1969 to 1977. During that time, he worked with the Anchorage Archdiocese in agreeing to send Dominican friars to Alaska in 1974 to care for and run Holy Family Cathedral in downtown Anchorage. For the past 42 years, a community of Dominican friars has continued to serve the Anchorage Archdiocese, bringing in scores of dynamic priests and religious brothers, many of them scholars and acclaimed authors.
More than two decades after helping establish the Anchorage community, Father Scanlon joined the Alaskan friars when he was assigned to serve as pastor of the downtown cathedral in the late 1990s. He later served again in Alaska for a number of years, heading the Hispanic ministry for the archdiocese and making monthly trips to St. Mary Church in Kodiak to serve the growing Hispanic community there.