Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alaskan Priests Gather for the 2nd Time in History

By Father Scott Joseph Garrett
Pastor Holy Rosary Mission

This is only the second time in the history of the Archdiocese of Anchorage that all the priests from all three dioceses came together. The first time was when Pope John Paul II visited Anchorage in the 1980’s. Priests from the dioceses of Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau met in Anchorage March 8-10 for convocation and the celebration of Archbishop Hurley’s 40th year as a bishop (59 years as priest).

Priests stayed at the Marriott’s Fairfield and the conferences were held next door at the Crowne Plaza. In the past the Archdiocese of Anchorage, without the other two dioceses, had the convocation in Talkeetna, Alaska.

Monsignor Stephen Rossetti presented several talks about “What makes a happy priest?” During the discussion I was able to take several pictures of priests from all three dioceses. Approximately sixty priests, who are ministering in the State of Alaska, were present. Most of these priests are currently serving temporarily in the three Alaskan dioceses.

In addition, there are several pictures of the Mass we celebrated, Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at Our Lady of Guadeloupe for Archbishop Hurley’s 40th anniversary.


Here are the names of all of the priests who are currently ministering in the state of Alaska.

The priests line up to process in for the Mass at Our Lady of Guadeloupe. The Mass was in honor of the Most Reverend Francis T. Hurley. Archbishop Hurley celebrated his 40th year as a bishop.

The Most Reverend Edward Burns (bishop of Juneau), the Most Reverend Donald J. Kettler (bishop of Fairbanks), and our own Most Reverend Roger L. Schwietz, OMI process in.

Father Eric Wiseman looks on as during the Homily given by Archbishop Hurley.

Deacon Harry Moore lifts up the Gospel book as the bishops process in. Also in procession, to speak about Archbishop Hurley's 40 years as a bishop, was Bishop William Skylstad of the Diocese of Spokane.

Archbishop Hurley delivers a homily about suffering and forgiveness.

What makes a priest happy? Monsignor Stephen Rossetti opens up the discussion.

Father Vincent Beuzer, SJ comments on the joys of priesthood.

Recently incardinated (is now a permanent member of the Archdiocese of Anchorage) Father Vincent Blanco, pastor of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, looks on during the presentation. My home parish, Our Lady of Guadeloupe, donates money to our heating fuel fund.

From Left to right, Fr. Tom Gills of the Air Force, Tom Lilly of the Archdiocese of Anchorage, and Father Scott Garrett of the Archdiocese of Anchorage pose for a picture during the convocation in Anchorage.

Father Tom Lilly (pastor of SEAS in Anchorage) chats with a fellow priest. Father Tom and I graduated from the Mount Angel Seminary at the same time and were ordained together May 24, 2003. SEAS contributes to our heating fuel fund at Holy Rosary.

Father Tom Killeen, who is helping out the Archdiocese on Anchorage in Cordova, stands up and makes a point during the discussion. Saint Joseph in Cordova donates $100 per month to our heating fuel fund.

Father Steve Moore, former pastor of Holy Rosary Mission in Dillingham, Alaska listens intently to our discussion. Father Moore is the pastor of Saint Benedict and is helping with Saint Andrew in Eagle River. Both parishes contribute to our heating fuel fund.

Father Scott Settimo, Diocese of Juneau, returns to our table after a break. Scott and I were class mates at Mount Angel Seminary.

Father Ross Tozzi (left) and Father Sean Thomson, shown below, were my class mates at Mount Angel seminary. They are both incardinated into the Diocese of Fairbanks. Father Ross graduated a year before me and Sean a couple of years after. Every time I need a favor from Father Ross he knows its coming because I always address him as "my buddy ole pal."

Father Peter Gorges, Diocese of Juneau, celebrated mass for me at Saint Theresa in King Salmon.

Father Luz Flores, one of the two Filipino priests who incardinated into the Archdiocese of Anchorage this past year, is the pastor for Big Lake and Willow.

Another fellow seminarian, Father Edmund Penisten, is a diocesan priest for Juneau. Ed's Parents, Ruth and Mike, live in Eagle, River.

Father Dominic DeMaio, OP, is a Dominican who is on loan to us from their community in California. All the Dominicans at Holy Family Cathedral are on temporary assignment with the Archdiocese of Anchorage. The Dominicans have ministered at the Anchorage Cathedral for over 50 years.

Below are the Dominicans Father Francis Le, OP (Pastor of the Cathedral, right), and Father Vincent Kebler, OPo, and Brother Dominic David Maichrowicz, OP.

Father Francis Le, OP, speaks about an experience he had during his priesthood.

Father Dan Hebert, one of the ten diocesan priests assigned to the Archdiocese of Anchorage, is the pastor of Holy Cross in Anchorage. Holy Cross donates one percent of their monthly collection to Holy Rosary parish in Dillingham to help us pay for our heating fuel.

Father Bill Hanrahan, middle, is a retired military priest who resides in Seward, Alaska. He has helped out our mission for the past two years during Holy Week. Father Bill is also a pilot.

Our neighbor in Bethel, which is actually in the Fairbanks Diocese, is Father Chuck Peterson, SJ (Jesuit). Fr. Peterson and Spruce Lynch (our musician at Holy Rosary) knew each other when Spruce was living in Bethel.

Here are the big three looking cool and casual. From left to right are Bishop Burns of Juneau, Archbishop Schwietz, and Bishop Kettler of Fairbanks.

Enjoying himself, Archbishop Schwietz smiles as he listens to our speaker Monsignor Stephen Rossetti.

Retired Archbishop Hurley attended the convocation as well. We had a lot to talk about because we are both pilots and we have both flown in the Bristol Bay area.

The animated Bishop Burns shares a few comments with our group.

Father Al (AJ) Fisher visited Holy Rosary Dillingham three years ago. I celebrated Christmas mass at Saint Theresa in King Salmon, while, 64 air miles away, Father Al celebrated Christmas mass at Holy Rosary in Dillingham. It was a good thing Al was their because the weather was too bad to fly in that evening.

Another fellow seminarian is Father Thomas Weise, Pastor at the Cathedral in Juneau. Father Tom is an avid outdoorsman and a great cook, besides being a dynamic priest.

Father Tom Brundage (pastor of Saint Michael in Palmer), left, is the temporary canon lawyer for our Archdiocese. He is the reason I am able to stay the Pastor of Holy Rosary Mission out here in Bristol Bay. Hopefully we can persuade Father Brundage to stay here, well, forever! Saint Michael Parish contributes $150 per month to our heating fuel fund. Father Tom Lilly, pastor of Saint Elizabeth, is on the right.

Monsignor Rossetti drifts around and listens to the discussion. Below are Father Tom Gills (Air Force) and Father Dominic DeMaio, OP.

Father Pale is another one of my seminary buds. Yes, he is from Samoa. He was visiting our Archdiocese.

Father Nelson Marilag is a Filipino priest on loan to us for four years. Father Nelson is currently assistant pastor at Saint Michael in Palmer.

Father Fred Bugarin, pastor of Saint Anthony in Anchorage, was my supervisor when I was on pastoral year in Kodiak, 2001. Father Fred was also, at one time, the pastor of Holy Rosary in Dillingham.

Below, Father Frank Reitter slips through the sacristy at Our Lady of Guadeloupe. Father Frank has worked with our Diocese on and off for the past several years.

Another major contributor to our heating fuel fund is Father Dick Tero. Father Tero is the pastor of Sacred Heart in Seward, Alaska. One of the ten actual diocesan priests assigned to our archdiocese, Father Tero also served a few years as pastor of Holy Rosary out here in Dillingham.

Here are a few very nice pictures taken by Ron Nicholl, a parishioner at Our Lady of Guadeloupe, www.aknicholl.com.

We thank God for all of the wonderful priests we have in Alaska. May we always love our people as God loves us!


Anonymous said...

Great Pictures, Scott! But it was Hurley's 40th anniversary as a bishop, not 60th. Let us hope he lasts that long.

Steven Moore

Holy Rosary Mission said...

Hey Steve, thanx for the heads-up. I think I changed all of the 60's to 40 years. Yes, let us hope he sees 60! Scott

Anonymous said...

Fr. Scott, I loved seeing the pictures of all the Mount Angel Alumni. I hear that Pale is going to "go on loan" to Fairbanks. I'll be visiting Anchorage and Fairbanks in June with my brother, Fr. Ralph, OSB. I look forward to hooking up with some of the guys.
Fr. Odo Recker, OSB

Unknown said...

It was a joy for me to be there with all the priests and bishops of Alaska. I was impressed by the dedication and faith of them all. Alaska is blessed to have such wonderful men. Msgr Steve Rossetti

Anonymous said...

Fr. Odo, great to hear from you. I hope Pale goes for Fairbanks, or Anchorage, or Juneau. I am always open to having a Benedictine come out to Dillingham for retreat or to help out. Please consider that. Fr. Scott

Anonymous said...

Msgr Steve Rossetti, we enjoyed having you here as well. I look forward to your next visit. You are welcome out here in Dillingham any time! Fr. Scott

Anonymous said...

It was wonderful to see those pictures. May God continue to abundantly bless all of you and the work you do to build up the Kingdom of God in Alaska.

It barely feels like seven years since that beautiful June day at St. Patrick's...


Aying_the Servant said...


Ken Podowski said...

I think the pictures of Alaska are beautiful. I was hopeing to see a picture of an old friend and priest, Tom Gills. I hope all of you continue in your mission to bring everyone into God's family.

God Bless,

Unknown said...

Father Tom Killeen - Leadville, Colorado misses you.

Happy trails, Padre.

George Gipson

Chassidy said...

This is awesome!

Anonymous said...

Anybody can tell me how can I contact or find Father Luzvimindo C. Flores,please. I'm here at Alaska right now,I'm the niece of Antonio Tiu.... My name is Grace Tiu
Tel. no.# 928-446-0765. Thank you and God bless.