By SISTER PAT MAGEE
Editor’s note: Between June and August of this summer Adrian Dominican Sister Patricia Magee and Brenda Stratton, an associate of the religious community, have digitally scanned, organized and archived more than 6,000 photographs taken over the past five decades in the Anchorage Archdiocese. The following text is excerpted from a report Sister Magee issued about the work.
As the main workers on this project, we have enjoyed learning the history and growth of this archdiocese. Moreover, scanning the pictures has shown us clear examples of ongoing parish life throughout the last 50 years. We have both agreed that this has taken us on a spiritual journey. We have been impressed with the community events and the many people taking part and we have seen Eucharist celebrated for so many different occasions. These are the ways that this archdiocese has grown in faith and parishes.
Also, there are scenes of parish celebrations, children’s programs, liturgies, church dedications and most evident, the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, first communion, matrimony and even ordinations.
The inclusion of the various cultural groups and celebration with Alaska Natives in church as well as in their communities is very evident, too.
The best of all is viewing photo after photo of priests, who no matter what the setting are smiling with joy. While we have worked we have felt God present in those places and with us.
Because the Archdiocese of Anchorage is relatively young its history is still within the life-time of many who are still alive. Picture after picture gives witness to the Catholic faith continuing to be alive and taking in the breath of the Spirit year after year after year.