Their stories are horrific. They arrive at our boarders looking for a better life. Unaccompanied minors whose parents tell them go, run for your lives. Single mothers fleeing with their little ones to escape sex trafficking by local gangs. Families and asylum seekers trying to find a better life, free from violence and extortion. The human toll currently happening at our borders is unacceptable on so many levels.
We, the Catholic Bishops of Alaska, stand in solidarity with Bishops from across the United States condemning this deplorable situation. It must come to an immediate end. Executive and congressional leadership must work together in solving this crisis.
As citizens of this country and as pastors, we turn our attention to the inhumane and disgraceful practice of separating children from their parents at the US / Mexico border. As of Friday, June 15, the United States Department of Homeland Security confirmed 1,995 minors traveling with 1,940 adults were separated from April 19 through May 31. Some of these children are as young as 18 months old. The lack of humanity is overwhelming.
We raise our voices in protest against such injustice, and join our hearts in solidarity with these immigrant families who seek only safety and asylum. We acknowledge the right of the government to secure our borders, but implore it be accomplished without damaging young lives or rupturing family bonds. A just nation can and must do better. This deplorable situation highlights the need for the leaders in our country to come together in service of the Common Good and reform our nation’s immigration laws. Sincerely,
+Paul D. Etienne, D.D., S.T.L., Archdiocese of Anchorage
+Chad Zielinski, Diocese of Fairbanks
+Andrew Bellisario, C.M., Diocese of Juneau
+Roger L. Schwietz, O.M.I., Archbishop Emeritus of Anchorage
REJOICE AND BE GLAD! HOLINESS AND LIVING YOUR VOCATION
JULY 14TH 9-4PM AT ST RAPHAEL’S PARISH
Sister Dorothy Giloley, SSJ, and Fr. Al Smith, OSFS, will present a day retreat at St. Raphael’s parish
on July 14th from 9-4PM. Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Al at 4pm.
The retreat is entitled, “REJOICE AND BE GLAD!
HOLINESS AND LIVING YOUR VOCATION.”
Topics include: Discerning your Vocation, Praying the Examen,
Finding God in All Things, and Living a Devout Life.
Breakfast and Lunch are provided and a $10 suggested donation to cover food and material costs is much appreciated. To reserve your spot and a receive a free copy of St. Francis de Sales’ “Golden Counsels” booklet please RSVP by July 3rd to Patty Walter at 374-9536.
During the annual celebration of World Youth Day, in February, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, addressed young people saying, “Young people need to know that someone truly believes in you...know that the pope has confidence in you, that the Church has confidence in you!” As bishop of the Diocese ofFairbanks I want our young people to know that I, too, have confidence in you. I have a great desire to see you grow in your faith, be confident in the support you received from your families and parishes and become the missionary disciples that Christ desires you to be. To that end, I want to encourage all of our young people in middle school and high school to consider attending the Alaska Catholic Youth Conference in Anchorage June 3-6!
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13). We know this scripture speaks of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. We know this real act in history--the Son of God coming down from heaven to become man and dying on a cross--is the foundation of our redemption. We know that through Christ’s sacrifice, we were adopted into God’s family. We are his children! We are children of a loving father who sustains and nurtures us every second of every day. In love, he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved (Ephesians 5:1).
So God has adopted you. But have you adopted your children?
We currently have only 18 priests to minister in 46 parishes across our expansive diocese. In order to better serve the faithful of our diocese, Bishop Chad Zielinski is making some pastoral changes this summer.
Effective 2 July 2018, Fr. Stan Jaszek will be assigned to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region. Effective 2 July 2018, Fr. Stan will be assigned to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region. Fr. Thomas Sagili will move from his current assignment on the Seward Peninsula to assume the role of Parochial Vicar and remain in residence at Saint Patrick’s Church in Barrow, AK on 29 June 2018. Fr. Kaspar Mallavarapu will remain the Pastor of Saint Patrick’s Church.
Please continue to pray for vocations in the Diocese of Fairbanks.
The best way we can protect our Church (parishes and schools) from sexual predators is to prevent predators from working with youth or vulnerable adults. Therefore our first line of defense is to conduct a background check. “A thorough, consistent screening process may also discourage would-be offenders from targeting your organization [the Church]….[therefore] an employee or volunteer….must be screened before getting started….[this] should include: completion of an application, interviews, reference checks and criminal background check.” (Praesidium Report)
This month’s goal: to have all Church employees and volunteers update their background check if it has not been done in over five years. How do you know if you need one? Check with your immediate supervisor. We, the Fairbanks Diocese, are mandated by the USCCB to have anyone listed below background checked and then again every five years thereafter. Following is the list of those who need a background check.
Thank you so much to everyone who helped make our beautiful annual Chrism Mass and the reception that followed such a huge success this year. Each person plays a vital part in orchestrating these events, and it takes many people, all working together as a team, to achieve that level of success.