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  • Inside: Sharing the Yup’ik Language Q&A with Dr. Ray Guarendi Message from Bishop Chad W. Zielinski Organizers Hope Conference Will Leave People “Excited and Proud to be Catholic”

    Diocese of Fairbanks - February 2018 - Volume 23 Number 1

    Missionary New Name New Look!

    to the people of Northern and Western Alaska Disciples

  • Editor David Schienle

    Contributors Rev. Robert Fath

    Misty Mealey Leigh Scarboro Barbara Tolliver

    Patty Walter Bp. Chad Zielinski

    Proofreaders Deb Leibee

    Misty Mealey Barb Tolliver

    Rev. Ross Tozzi Patty Walter

    Credits

    “Missionary Disciples” is a publication of the Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks which serves northern and western Alaska. Its purpose is to provide a regular opportunity for all ministries throughout the Diocese to share information so that our tremendous diversity may enrich our common mission of service to the people of our Diocese. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact David Schienle at the Chancery at (907) 374-9500 or library@cbna.org.

    February Edition

    Diocesan Magazine - Content

    Follow Us @

    dioceseoffairbanks.org WWW

    Diocese of Fairbanks

    Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks

    Diocese of Fairbanks

    2 DIOCESAN MAGAZINE | FEBRUARY 2018

    Message from Bishop Chad W. Zielinski Bishop Chad W. Zielinski The Office of Faith & Family Formation Rev. Robert Fath Safe Environment Barbara Tolliver From Workshop for 25 to a Scriptural Dinner Sr. Kathy Radich, OSF Sharing the Yup’ik Language David Schienle Q&A with Conference Speaker Dr. Ray Guarendi Misty Mealey Organizers Hope Conference Will Leave People “Excited and Proud to be Catholic” Misty Mealey

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    Bishop Chad Zielinski with Billy Charles and grandson as they check a fishing net under the ice in Emmonak, AK.

    Cover Image

  • Message from Bishop Chad W. Zielinski

    My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, As the Catholic Bishop of Fairbanks, I usually split my “office” time between our diocese’s chancery building in Fairbanks and traveling to the lower 48 states for meetings. Occasionally, though, I get to visit a few of our 38 bush parishes, which can only be accessed by plane, boat, snowmachine, or ATV. Last month, I was blessed with just such a trip, and spent almost two weeks of the Christmas season visiting the mostly Yup’ik villages of Kotlik, Emmonak, and Alakanuk on the lower Yukon River. I began my visit in Kotlik, where I celebrated the First Holy Communion of nearly a dozen children, then Confirmed three others. After a potluck at the community hall that included traditionally native foods such as salmon, akutaq, and moose, we gathered for Yup’ik dancing, which tells the unique story of their village. I was amazed to see the age ranges of those dancing, from preschoolers to the elderly; you could see how dances are passed from generation to generation. The men drumming and singing set a rhythm for the dancers’ movements that pierced all our hearts—it was as if the dancers were artists, carefully etching visible pictures onto the souls of those of us who watched. As I sat among them, I experienced a deep peace within my heart, mind, and soul as the dancers’ synchronized movements brought to life their ancient Yup’ik wisdom. I then trekked via snowmachine from Kotlik to Emmonak with Joe and David, two local guides who knew the trails along the Yukon like the back of their hands. It was wonderful to see the beauty of nature, with foxes running across meadows and moose eating branches from nearby trees. I celebrated Christmas Eve in Emmonak at an overflowing church, then traveled right away to Alakanuk for a Christmas morning service. The sun rose right as Mass began, which was a beautiful way to greet the newborn Christ Child. The congregation sang both Christmas hymns and Yup’ik songs, then added native drumming and singing after Communion. I watched the people come alive as their deacon led them in the traditional hand movements. During my visits to these villages, I spent numerous hours visiting individuals and families. I was humbled to see the good people of God sincerely seeking Christ for healing, hope, and strength. During Confession and in our conversations, they courageously named the difficulties they face daily that tear at the unity of their families and village life. Amidst these challenges, however, there is incredible social outreach woven into the fabric of Yup’ik life. Every person is known in the village and no child or adult goes unwanted or unloved. Native Alaskans have a keen awareness of each other’s needs, which I saw manifested in their quiet yet generous sharing of food, firewood, fuel oil, clothing, and Christmas gifts. In his Christmas Eve address, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that the Virgin Mary’s “yes” to God was a powerful act of humility that changed salvation history and gave us our Savior: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38). But God wants our “yes,” too. As I reflect on my time with the Yup’ik people this past Christmas, I realize their social interaction is actually a resounding “yes!” to God that affirms their native traditions, their Catholic faith, and the value of each person in the village. Their caring for one another echoes Mary’s humble “yes” to the Archangel Gabriel. I saw this illustrated most poignantly at the Christmas Eve Mass in Emmonak. In the middle of the liturgy, a little three-year-old girl walked up to the Nativity scene set up in front of the altar. She peered into the stable most intently, then suddenly smiled, clapped her little hands, and walked back to her seat—satisfied and happy that Jesus had been born and was now comfortable and safe in the manger. Even at that tender age, she already had the missionary heart so characteristic of the Yup’ik people, that yearns to share God’s love with others. This

    DIOCESAN MAGAZINE | FEBRUARY 2018 3

  • child’s “yes” was a simple desire for Jesus to be “okay” and her little hands reflected the joy of that affirmation to Him. I visited Kotlik, Emmonak, and Alakanuk to give my rural parishioners God’s blessings at Christmastime. But I left those villages a very blessed man myself, as I encountered their “yes” to each other, to God, and to me. Happy New Year! In 2018, may we all encounter the Risen Christ even more intimately, and be transformed by saying “yes” to His call to make the world a better place to live.

    Yours Sincerely in Christ,

    †Most Reverend Chad W. Zielinski Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska

    Bishop & Diocesan Calendar

    The Diocesan Online Calendar may be viewed at:

    http://dioceseoffairbanks.org

    February Catholic Schools Week

    Families Fully Alive Conference at Catholic Schools of Fairbanks Catholic Trust Northern AK Meeting St. Andrew’s Dinner Ash Wednesday Finance Council Meeting Rite of Election at Sacred Heart Cathedral Priest Convocation in Anchorage

    March Chrism Mass, Sacred Heart Cathedral Distribution of Oils, Bethel, AK Holy Week

    Jan. 29 -Feb. 2

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    4 DIOCESAN MAGAZINE | FEBRUARY 2018

    Bishop Chad giving a blessing at Sacred Heart Church in Emmonak, AK

    Bishop Chad giving a homily at Sacred Heart Church

  • The Office of Faith & Family Formation

    Rev. Robert Fath

    SEMINARIAN SUPPORT FUND RAFFLE!

    Help support our seminarians in formation by trying your luck at winning this LeVoageur canoe valued at $1,500. This beautiful wooden canoe will be raffled off on

    the Feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha (April 17th) at noon at the chancery office. Tickets are $20 and will go on sale beginning Friday, February 9th at the Families Fully Alive

    Conference and in parishes the weekend after. All proceeds will be added to the seminary endowment. Only 500 tickets will be sold, so buy yours now!

    National Marriage Week- Feb. 7-14 National Marriage Week (Feb. 7-14) is a great opportunity “to focus on building a culture of life and love that begins with supporting and promoting marriage and the family,” says Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., Chairman of

    the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family and Youth in his letter to all U.S. bishops. The annual observance of National Marriage Week in the United States encourages a conversation on how strong

    marriages promote and sustain strong societies by curtailing poverty and benefiting children. Resources for National Marriage Week can be found by visiting www.foryourmarriage.org or the USCCB website.

    DIOCESAN MAGAZINE | FEBRUARY 2018 5

  • New Resources in the Faith and Family Formation Office With the assistance of a grant, we were able to purchase the following resources that individuals or parishes may borrow from the office.

    CATHOLICISM SERIES For the first time, in breathtaking and high- definition cinematography, the truth, goodness, and beauty of Catholicism are illustrated in a multimedia experience. Journey with Bishop Robert Barron to more than 50 locations throughout 16 countries. Be illuminated by the spiritual and artistic treasures of this global culture that claims more than one billion of the earth’s people. Learn what Catholics believe and why. Disco