News & Happenings around the Anchorage Archdiocese

Editor’s note: The following is a list of news and upcoming events from around the Archdiocese of Anchorage.

Archbishop Etienne will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving for his 25th anniversary of priesthood on Sunday, July 16th at 9:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co Cathedral.  You are very welcome to attend thought he knows you may be celebrating Mass at your home parish.

Father Mark Francis Manzano called to Seattle

Dominican priest Father Mark Francis Manzano is departing Alaska after five years serving at Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage. He also taught science and math at Holy Rosary Academy. He will now be ministering at the Newman Center at the University of Washington in Seattle.

During his time in Anchorage, Father Manzano worked with the Hispanic community at Holy Family Cathedral, celebrating sacraments and supporting the Spanish prayer groups and ministries. The Vincentian priests at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral will step in to provide Spanish language Mass for parishioners at Holy Family.

Fathers & priests invited to annual ‘Fathers Hike’

For the eighth straight year, a group of Alaska Catholic men, both laity and priests, will lace up hiking boots, strap on backpacks and march into the mountains.

The three-day trek, beginning on Thursday, July 13, and concluding Saturday, July 15, is known as the “Fathers’ Hike.” The adventure brings men together to forge friendship, deepen faith and test their physical limits. Started by a handful of parishioners at Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage, the informal outing has the blessing of the Dominican priests and religious brothers who serve the cathedral. The trek, though, is essentially an informal hike with friends — no fees, waivers or liability.

According to organizer Beav Deering, the aim of the hike is to provide fathers and priests time to be together with other men for adventure and inspired conversations in Alaska’s backcountry.

Each year several priests join the hike, celebrating daily Mass on giant, moss-covered mountain boulders and hearing confessions along the alpine trails as requested.

The hike is open to priests, dads and men who are Catholic, as well as those considering Catholicism or men who simply want to strengthen their commitment to fatherhood and family. The trek is meant to challenge adults physically and spiritually.

The hikes, which go far afield from groomed trails, have taken place in the Chugach Mountain Range outside Anchorage and the Talkeetna Range north of Palmer. In past years, 10-14 men have participated in each hike. Depending on weather, this year’s trek will take the men on a 21-mile loop, off trail and into the backcountry near Lost Lake and Mt. Ascension near Seward.

Deering told the Catholic Anchor that the hikes are “intentionally difficult” with the aim “to challenge and push the comfort levels of even some of the most savvy outdoorsmen in the group.” But he clarified that one need not be an accomplished mountaineer to join the trip — every year novice hikers have successfully completed the trip.

For more information, contact Beav Deering at or (907) 258-0386.

Mountain retreat with priests in July

Ask the hard questions, have fun and meet other young Catholics who are looking for a new depth and intensity in their faith. Father Louis Pascal, Brother John, and Sister Teresa Immaculate of the Community of St. John aim to provide a rich spiritual environment that encourages young adults to seek the truth about their life in the light of God by leading them to the person of Christ.

This year’s Young Adult Eagle Eye Summer Institute is for those ages 20-35. It takes place July 15-23 in the mountains near Anchorage. The theme for this year’s gathering is “Passion with a purpose: How can I do what I want and want what I should?”

Each day of the institute follows the rhythm of the liturgical observances of the Community of St. John, including morning, midday and evening prayer and daily Mass. The participants will begin by hiking the Crow Pass Trail for three-and-a-half days and then return to Holy Spirit Center in Anchorage for four-and-a-half days of theology and philosophy. For more information about Eagle Eye, contact Rachel and David Andrews at or call (907) 349-1258.

Friar to speak on finding purpose in one’s life

On July 12 Father Louis Pascal from the Community of St. John will give a talk at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Anchorage titled, “Passion with a Purpose: How can I do what I want and want what I should?” The talk begins following the 5:30 p.m. Mass and is open to the public.

Dominicans gear up for annual ‘Friars’ Fest’

Saturday, Aug. 12, will be a festive day at Holy Family Cathedral as parishioners and guests celebrate the Fifth Annual Friars’ Fest in the parish courtyard. The festival runs 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is open to all visitors and passersby.

The event began in 2012 as a community-building event for the cathedral. Proceeds in the past have helped fund the cathedral windows and the popular Dominican forums. Numerous parishioners participate in planning and executing the festival that includes international food booths, daylong entertainment, items for sale, balloons, raffles, split-the-pot and various games for attendees of all ages. There will also be a Dominican photo booth along with various tables and booths.

Cathedral parishioners of Filipino, Polish and Spanish descent will offer homemade national foods during the event. Additionally, chicken and ribs will be on the grill at the Knights of Columbus barbecue, and there will be lemonade, popcorn, hot dogs and Tastee Freez desserts.

Before leaving, fairgoers will have a chance to stop by the Women of Holy Family booth to take home homemade baked goods. On stage throughout the day will be nonstop entertainment including numerous cultural dancing groups — Mexican, Spanish, Filipino and Irish.

A favorite in the game department is the pie toss. Long lines typically form for the balloon man. Games and activities (sidewalk chalk painting, face painting) for small children are available throughout the day.

For more information, contact Letha Flint at 227-3201. All food, games and purchases are paid for with tickets costing $1 each, or $5 for six. Tickets are available at St. Paul’s Corner, the Cathedral bookstore and gift shop on the corner of 5th Avenue and H Street. Tickets will also be available at Masses the end of July and the first weekend in August, and at the fair. Credit cards are accepted.

Summer Catholic camp has openings and financial aid

St. Therese’s Camp in the Mat-Su Valley began last month. The Catholic summer camp offers weeklong programming for children in grades 3-8 and includes “swimming, kayaking, canoeing, singing, campfires, archery, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, arts and crafts and outdoor skills training in a lakefront setting outside of Wasilla.

This year the camp still has openings for boys for various weeks between June 25 and July 30, and for girls in the week of July 30-August 4. The camp also has financial aid which it hopes to use to help many campers enjoy a week of Catholic summer camping.

The camp will have a priest on site for the duration of each week, and during weeks one and two (June 25-30 and July 2-7), there will be five religious sisters from the Sisters of Life. During week four (July 23-28) the camp will feature two religious sisters from the Nashville Dominicans. Registration can be completed online at For more information, call Director Rudy Poglitsh at 907-232-2066.

Youth awarded for essays on Catholic values

Catholic Daughters of the Americas in Anchorage presented award certificates to three young Catholics for their winning submissions in this year’s youth essay competition.

Each year the Catholic Daughters holds the contest that focuses on an aspect of the Catholic faith. This year’s award winners wrote on the topic: “Ways to serve God at camp through my Catholic faith.” The winning essayists received free admission to a weeklong summer camp experience at St. Therese’s Camp in Wasilla.

The winners were Yordana Sidum from St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church in Anchorage, Maria Koop from St. Patrick Church in Anchorage and Josiah Davidson from St. Michael Church in Palmer.

The competition was open to the entire archdiocese and 27 submissions were received.

“It was very difficult for our judges as all applicants had wonderful things to share with us about themselves and their faith,” said Kerry Whitney, a member of the Catholic Daughters in Anchorage.

The winners were honored during a June 14 meeting in Anchorage with the Catholic Daughters. They enjoyed a pizza dinner with desserts and other refreshments.

“Once again the Catholic Daughters are most thankful to all of our participants and are quite proud of our three St. Theresa’s campership essay winners,” Whitney said. “These young individuals stand out among their peers — not only in their service to the church but to their community as well.”

St. Francis Awards nominations open

The Anchorage Archdiocese annually recognizes individuals and groups who serve in support of their parishes. An awards dinner in their honor will be held Oct. 5 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral (in the Lunney Center). Nomination forms are available online at The nomination deadline is Aug. 25. For more information, go online to the archdiocese website. For questions, contact Laurie Evans-Dinneen at (907) 297-7789.

Br. Francis Shelter seeks volunteers

The Brother Francis Shelter Medical Respite Program is in need of volunteers to help change and launder bedding two days a week. This is a commitment of two or three hours and volunteers would need to start between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to finish before the shelter opens for guests. For more information, contact Laura Rice at

Abortion outreach offers healing

Project Rachel is a confidential support group for post-abortive women and others who have been impacted by abortion. This ministry of the Archdiocese of Anchorage is open to all faith backgrounds and is free and open to the public. For more information, call the group’s confidential phone line at 297-7781 or toll-free (866) 434-3344.

Five Dominicans-in-training headed to Alaska

In what is believed to be a first, five men training to become priests for the Western Dominican Province will visit Alaska with a Dominican priest to make a special tour of the state. For more than 40 years, the Western Dominicans have staffed Holy Family Cathedral in downtown Anchorage.

From July 10-20 the five novices, along with their novice master Father Anthony Roseveaer, will tour with special receptions, forums and other activities so the historic Anchorage cathedral can get to know its future friars.

To cover the cost of the trip, the cathedral is attempting to raise $5,000 for travel and instate expenses. For more information or to donate, email or call (907) 276-3455.

Teacher needed in Kodiak school

Saint Mary’s Catholic School in Kodiak has a full-time grades 1-2 elementary teacher opening. To apply, send a resume to the following address: Teri Schneider, Saint Mary’s School, 2932 Mill Bay Road, Kodiak, AK 99615 or email:

Women’s shelter needs donations

Clare House in Anchorage is run by Catholic Social Services to provide moms and children a safe haven from living on the streets. The outreach is in need of the following items: women’s deodorant, lotion, shampoo, liquid laundry detergent, liquid softener, dryer sheets, large black trash bags, white trash bags and totes (bins with covers). Donations can be dropped off at Clare House at 4110 Spenard Road. Donors can also order these items at the Amazon Wish List

Food pantry seeks volunteers to help shoppers

Saint Francis House Food Pantry, run by Catholic Social Services, is looking for volunteers to help clients shop the pantry as personal shoppers. The pantry is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and every fourth Wednesday, 4-6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Laura Rice at

Lumen Christi accepting new students

Lumen Christi High School in Anchorage is now accepting applications for enrollment in grades 7-12 for the 2017-18 school year. The school aims to provide a “rigorous Catholic education in a Christ-like environment.” Financial aid is available. For more information, go online to or call 907-245-9231.

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