News & Upcoming Events around the Anchorage Archdiocese


The following is a list of news briefs and upcoming events around the Archdiocese of Anchorage.

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 Francis Therese and Brother Daniel Kolbe 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 14-July 24 in the mountains near Anchorage. The theme for this year’s gathering is “Justice: The First & Necessary Step to Mercy.”

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 vital link between justice & mercy

On July 13 Father Francis Therese from the Community of St. John will give a talk at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Anchorage titled, “Justice: The First and Necessary Step to Mercy.” The talk begins following the 5:30 p.m. Mass and it is open to the public.

Alaskans prep for World Youth Day

Teens and young adults around the Anchorage Archdiocese are preparing for World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland this summer.

The international, weeklong gathering celebrates the Catholic faith with special Masses, devotions and audiences with the pope. Initiated by Pope John Paul II in 1986, the event draws hundreds of thousands of youth (mostly from ages 16 to 35) from around the world and takes place every couple of years at different locations around the globe. For more information, contact Theresa Austin or Bob McMorrow at

Retreat set for engaged couples

Engaged couples – Catholic and non-Catholic alike – are welcome to join the Engaged Encounter retreat at the Holy Spirit Center from Friday, June 3, to Sunday, June 4. The program provides marriage preparation primarily for couples that are planning to marry in the Catholic Church. However, couples that are not Catholic are also welcome to attend. For information, contact Deacon Mick Fornelli at or (907) 297-7770.

ACYC accepting registrations

Registrations are still 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 from across Alaska attend the gathering. The three-day conference includes liturgies with Alaska’s three bishops, social activities, service projects, music concerts and a variety of interactive workshops from visiting and Alaskan presenters, including presentations in English and Spanish.

The opening keynote speaker for this year’s event will be Bishop Frank Caggiano, head of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn. Bishop Caggiano has spoken to youth at the past two World Youth Day gatherings in Sydney and Rio de Janeiro. He also serves as the episcopal adviser for The National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry.

In addition to priests from The Community of St. John and sisters from The Dominican Sisters of Nashville, this year’s gathering also includes Pedro Rubalcava, a nationally known speaker and musician who serves as director of Hispanic ministries for Oregon Catholic Press. Heather Shaw and Horacio Gonzalez of the Diocese of Juneau will serve as conference emcees and will host a special Tuesday evening event with youth and the three bishops of Alaska.

The Alaska Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Archdiocese of Anchorage sponsor ACYC. For more information, contact Bonnie Bezousek via email at or by phone at 297-7732. Interested attendees may also contact Matthew Beck, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Anchorage Archdiocese, at or 297-7734.

50th anniversary party for CSS

Catholic Social Services will host an open house on June 17, 1-4:30 p.m. to celebrate its 50th year of serving Alaska’s most vulnerable populations. The celebration will take place at Catholic Social Services at 3710 East 20th Avenue in Anchorage.

Free concert June 6 at co-cathedral

The Archdiocese of Anchorage and the Alaska Catholic Youth Conference will host a free concert with Pedro Rubalcava on June 6, 7:30-9 p.m., at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Anchorage. All are welcome to attend. Rubalcava is a nationally known speaker and musician who serves as director of Hispanic ministries for Oregon Catholic Press.

Clare House needs household supplies

Clare House, Catholic Social Services’ homeless shelter for women with children, born and unborn, is in need of basic household supplies such as socks, toilet paper, diapers (sizes 4-6), liquid detergent, bath towels, pillows and twin size, water proof, zippered mattress protectors. Donations may be dropped off at 4110 Spenard Road in Anchorage.

Food pantry in need of meats

The Catholic Social Services-run St. Francis House Food Pantry is in need of meats. Small, prepackaged meats including chicken, sleeves of ground beef, sausages and hotdogs are welcome. The pantry cannot take wild game or fish unless a licensed meat processing facility packages it. Donations may be dropped off at 3710 E. 20th Avenue in Anchorage.

Marriage Encounter weekend nears

On Aug. 26-28, Worldwide Marriage Encounter will host its “Explore, Rediscover and Connect!” weekend at St. Therese’s Camp in the Mat-Su Valley. Those interested in attending are urged to reserve tent, RV space or cabins at Saint Therese’s Camp. The weekend is for “joy-filled priests and married couples who want to ensure their sacrament of marriage or holy orders remains a top priority,” states a notice from the group. To watch a video about the event or to apply for the weekend, visit

Abortion healing outreach offered

Project Rachel is a confidential support group for post-abortive women and others who have been impacted by abortion. The group meets in Anchorage. The ministry of the Archdiocese of Anchorage helps those from all faith backgrounds who may be suffering from the emotional trauma of abortion. The group is free and open to the public with the aim of fostering healing, peace and reconciliation with the Lord. For more information, call the group’s confidential phone line at 297-7781 or toll-free (866) 434-3344.

Summer Catholic camp registration

The summer’s first session of St. Therese’s Camp in the Mat-Su Valley begins June 22. According to a notice from the Catholic camp, its programming for children in grades 3-8 includes “swimming, kayaking, canoeing, singing, campfires, archery, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, arts and crafts and outdoor skills training in a fun and vibrant lakefront setting in the Mat-Su Valley while sharing the joy of the Catholic Faith.” For more information go online to or call (907) 232-2066.

St. Vincent de Paul Society public event July 23


The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Anchorage is inviting longstanding, new and prospective members to attend an orientation course on July 23 at Holy Family Cathedral.

Founded in the mid-1800s, the international society focuses first on the spiritual growth of its members and then encourages them to serve the needs of the poor. The society has two aims: to do a great deal of spiritual good to its members through the exercise of charity, and to do a little spiritual and temporal good to a few poor families in the name of Jesus Christ.

“Whenever I explain our unique mission to people, they are fascinated and interested to learn more,” said Ed Cabarles, president of the society’s Anchorage Conference. “We’re not a relief agency. We’re something much more than that. I’d like for us to express that more clearly.”

The upcoming “Ozanam Orientation Training” (named after the founder of the society, Frederic Ozanam) introduces new and prospective members to the mission and purpose of the society.

The training session also re-acquaints existing members with the group’s spirituality and heritage. For existing members, the “Ozanam” fulfills a mandatory training requirement for Vincentians.

Three spiritual instructors from the society’s Western Region will lead the upcoming training at Holy Family Cathedral’s Education Center on July 23, beginning at 9 a.m.

For more information, visit To RSVP for the upcoming training, email name and phone number to

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