Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz announced new parish assignments for several clergy of the Anchorage Archdiocese.
In a letter sent to parishes on Palm Sunday, the archbishop announced that Father Tom Brundage, pastor of St. Andrew Church in Eagle River and judicial vicar for the archdiocese, will be returning to his home archdiocese of Milwaukee in mid-June.
Father Brundage has been on loan from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee since 2006 and has served at the parish priest at St. Michael Church in Palmer, Holy Family Church in Glennallen and St. Andrew Church in Eagle River.
“A combination of the needs of his home archdiocese, as well as family considerations are the reasons for this change,” Archbishop Schwietz said of Father Brundage. “I want to thank Father Brundage for his many years of dedicated and effective pastoral ministry to our people.”
“His extra work as judicial vicar and advisor are proof of his dedication to the church and have been especially helpful to me,” Archbishop Schwietz added. “Although I was hoping that he could be with us a few more years, I understand the needs that he has expressed and wish him God’s blessings in his new ministry.”
Noting that the archdiocese is “short of priests at this time,” Archbishop Schwietz said he will take on the office of pastor at St. Andrew effective June 16. Deacon Arthur Roraff, a seminarian for the archdiocese, will be assigned to St. Andrew as parochial vicar and the parish priest upon his ordination to the priesthood on June 19. Additionally, soon-to-be ordained deacon, Mark Merrill, will assist the parish in administrative and financial matters.
Archbishop Schwietz also announced that Father Scott Garrett, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Wasilla, will be on sabbatical from June to November of this year. During his absence, Father Jacob Stronach will serve as parochial vicar at the parish. Father Stronach is a Benedictine monk from Mt. Angel Abbey in Oregon. He has been in Alaska since last August after being granted permission by his abbot to serve in the Anchorage Archdiocese for a three year period. Father Stronach was ordained to the priesthood two years ago and served in the military before joining the Benedictine abbey 10 years ago. Father Garrett will continue to serve as Sacred Heart’s pastor upon his return in November.