The following news briefs and event notices appear in the January issue of the Catholic Anchor, the official newspaper and news website for the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska.
Search continues for longest married couple in Alaska
Worldwide Marriage Encounter, the Christian marriage enrichment program, is launching its annual search for the longest married couple in the United States and Canada.
Last year there were 50 state winners recognized at the same time for their longest marriages. The chosen Alaskan couple will be invited as honored guests at the World Marriage Day Celebration in Anchorage on Feb. 5.
Previous state winners can still vie for the overall national title, but only new couples will be recognized at the state levels.
In addition to the longest married couple for the entire United States, recognition will also be given to a couple from each state and territories who has achieved that distinction. Gifts will be presented to the national winner by the WWME national leadership team at a ceremony to be held at the winner’s location.
Nominations, which are open to all husband and wife couples regardless of religious affiliation, may be submitted by email or by phone. To nominate one’s own marriage or another’s requires the name of the couple, their wedding date and where they currently reside, plus a contact phone or email address of the individual nominating the couple. Submission may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or given over the phone at (321) 544-3440. All nominations must be received by Jan. 10.
Alaskans to join global celebration of marriage
A World Marriage Day celebration sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter will take place Feb. 5 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Anchorage. A special wedding Mass will be celebrated by Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz, followed by the renewal of wedding vows, dinner and dancing. Tickets are available in area parishes or online at alaskawwme.org. For more information, call James or Shaharriet at 644-8677 or (Espanol) Felipe y Ana at 929-8450.
Alaska Catholic Youth Conference runs June 6-9
Registrations are being accepted for the next Alaska Catholic Youth Conference, which will run June 6-9 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral and Lumen Christi High School in Anchorage. This year’s theme is “Boundless Mercy.”
Annually more than 200 youth attended. The three-day conference typically includes liturgies with Alaska’s three bishops, social activities, service projects, interactive workshops and music concerts, all aimed at inspiring faith.
The opening keynote for this year’s event will be Bishop Frank Caggiano, head of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn.
ACYC is sponsored by the Alaska Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Archdiocese of Anchorage. For more information, contact coordinator Bonnie Bezousek at email@example.com or (907) 297-7732. Interested attendees may also contact Matthew Beck, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Anchorage Archdiocese, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (907) 297-7734.
Dominican priest to lead silent retreat
The annual Legion of Mary silent retreat is set for Feb. 5-7 at the Holy Spirit Center in the mountains just outside Anchorage. Dominican priest Father Dominic David Maichrowicz, from Holy Family Cathedral, will lead the retreat. The event is open to all men and women, not just Legion members. Registration is required as space is limited. For information about pricing and registration, call Liz at (907) 947-8335.
Catholic school students to perform Oscar Wilde play
Drama students from Holy Rosary Academy in Anchorage will perform Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” on Friday, Jan. 22, at 1 p.m. at Holy Rosary’s St. Dominic’s Hall. The play will be performed again twice on Jan. 23 at 12 p.m and 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Lunney Center. A $25 dinner, beginning at 6 p.m., will be available before the 7 p.m. Jan. 23 performance. To RSVP, email email@example.com or call 276-5822
UAA club connects fellow Catholic students
The Cardinal Newman Club at the University of Alaska, Anchorage meets in the Cuddy Hall cafeteria area for prayer and Scripture reflection on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and Fridays at 9 a.m. Students who wish to connect with fellow Catholic students on campus may do so by contacting the Newman Club chairperson Garrett Rossing at firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-0776. Rossing is organizing a Mass on campus during Ash Wednesday for college students, staff and faculty. Details are forthcoming.
Training for parish nursing Jan. 19
Registered nurses interested in serving as a parish nurse are invited to register for the course, “Foundations of Faith Community Nursing” that begins in January. The 40-hour course is designed to provide the basic knowledge and skills needed to initiate a parish nursing program.
According to a notice about the program, parish nurses serve faith communities as “trusted partners as they listen, council and pray with fellow parishioners,” in addition to providing health care.
According to the Providence website, programs like parish-based nurses are part of a national trend in which faith groups partner with health care-givers. Nationally there are more than 10,000 faith community nurses who provide education, resources and advocacy for members of their congregation. These providers work to catch problems early as well as help people understand their medication and treatment plans.
For more information about the upcoming training sessions in January, call 212-5053 or visit the website Alaska.providence.org/choose/mission/Pages/faith.aspx
Catholic schools Mass set for Feb. 3
This year’s Catholic schools Mass will be celebrated Feb. 3, at 1:30 p.m., at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Anchorage. The annual liturgy brings together hundreds of students, parents and educators from Catholic schools across the Anchorage Archdiocese. The public is welcome to attend.
Youth entries sought for rosary essay contest
Entries are being sought for the 2016 “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest. This national competition is sponsored by Family Rosary to encourage children to participate in “an inspiring faith experience” as they express their belief through art, poetry and prose.
The contest is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Each year the competition attracts more than 1,000 finalist entries from approximately 22,000 participants nationwide. Children and teens from Catholic schools, parishes, home schooling and other Catholic organizations are invited to participate.
According to organizers, this year’s theme — “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers and sisters?” — is about doing God’s will. It is by listening to the Father and understanding his wishes for us that we join the family of Heaven.
In Matthew 12:46-50, Jesus is told that his mother and brothers are waiting to speak to him. Jesus asks, “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” He then holds out his hand toward his disciples and says, “Behold my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
“By doing God’s will, we are welcomed into the family of Jesus and His Holy Mother Mary,” said Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C., president of Holy Cross Family Ministries. “That’s why we must listen ever so closely. It is difficult to hear God speak when we are distracted by so many things: texting, email, commercials, friends, activities. It is important to set aside quiet time for prayer and meditation so we can connect with God and learn of his desires for us.”
The “Try Prayer! It Works!” Contest asks entrants to use creativity to depict their faith. For details or to download an application for the contest, go online to FamilyRosary.org/TryPrayer. All entries must be postmarked by Feb. 1, 2016. For more information, call Holy Cross Family Ministries at (800) 299-7729.
Babysitters needed for Clare House
Babysitters are needed while moms at the Clare House shelter are in workshops and meeting with case managers, Tuesday evenings, 6:30-8 p.m. and Wednesday evenings, 5:45-8 p.m. Volunteers are also needed to help Clare House staff with office work and front desk duties on Wednesday evenings, 5:45-8 p.m. and Thursday and Friday mornings, 9 a.m.-noon. For more information, email email@example.com
Mat-Su Catholic school’s annual auction
Our Lady of the Valley School in Wasilla will hold its 9th annual dinner auction on April 16 at the Curtis Menard Sports Center in Wasilla. Tickets are $45 for early birds and $55 after Feb. 28. Reserved table seating is available. Donations and sponsors are being accepted. For more information, call 376-0883.