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Map of Diocese with Contact Information




Diocesan Magazine

Diocese of Fairbanks e-Magazine, Nov 2020

The Alaskan Shepherd



Arctic Footprints

Spring 2020



Mountain Village lies at the foot of the 500' Azachorok Mountain, the first mountain encountered when traveling up the Yukon River from the coast. It is located on the north bank of the Yukon River, 87 miles upstream from its mouth.

Mountain Village was a summer fish camp until the opening of a general store there in 1908. This prompted residents of Liberty Landing and Johnny's Place to immigrate. A post office was established in 1923, followed by a salmon saltry in 1956 and a cannery in 1964. All three have since closed. The city government was incorporated in 1967. Mountain Village became a regional education center in 1976, when it was selected as headquarters for the Lower Yukon School District.

In 2011, according to the Alaska Department of Labor, the population was 835. A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community, the Asa'carsarmiut Tribe. Mountain Village is a Yup'ik Eskimo community with traditional subsistence practices. Subsistence foods relied upon include salmon, moose, and waterfowl. Some residents also trap.

Baptisms were recorded in the region as early as the 1890's by missionary priests of the Society of Jesus. They continued to visit from Pilot Station until finally the first church in Mountain Village was built in 1921, after which priests sometimes resided in the village.

The church at Mountain Village was first dedicated to Saint Barbara but was later rededicated to Saint Lawrence. The original church building was removed and replaced by a new building in 1957. Finally the present church was built in the late 1980's. It was dedicated on August 23, 1987 by Bishop Michael Kaniecki, S.J.

The Catholic community of Mountain Village continued to be served by priests of the Society of Jesus for many years. Religious Sisters have also been an important presence at Saint Lawrence, including Sisters of St. Ann and Sisters of St. Joseph.

In recent years, due to priest shortages, the church was served by parish administrators who saw to the day to day activities of parish life, and by pastoral coordinators who coordinated liturgies, marriages, and baptisms. Both positions however, are currently vacant.

Parishes in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta are served on a rotating schedule by ministry teams which may include priests, deacons, and religious and trained lay staff members. Presently St. Lawrence parish is served by visiting priests and ministers from the Diocesan Yukon-Kuskokwim Subregion B.