4 priests given new posts in Anchorage Archdiocese, more coming
Kodiak to welcome priest from St. Louis
By PATRICIA COLL FREEMAN
Four priests are preparing for new posts in the Archdiocese of Anchorage – including one coming to Alaska from the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Notices on additional priest reassignments are expected later this summer.
PRIEST PILOT TO WASILLA
Effective August 1, Father Scott Garrett, pastor of Holy Rosary Church in Dillingham will become pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Wasilla.
Father Garrett was ordained to the priesthood in 2003 and has been pastor of Holy Rosary Church since 2005. In addition to tending the Dillingham parish, Father Garrett once a week pilots a small plane to the missions of St. Theresa in King Salmon/Naknek and St. Peter the Fisherman in Clark’s Point. When time permits, he flies also to about 25 villages along the Aleutian Islands, bringing the sacraments to Catholics in those remote outposts.
Plans for a new priest at Dillingham have yet to be determined, according to Father Scott Medlock, the archdiocese’s vicar for clergy. As part of the decision process, in May, Father Medlock traveled to Dillingham “to get to know the community and to listen to their needs.”
FATHER FOURNIER TO DUTCH HARBOR
Father William Fournier, current pastor of Sacred Heart Church, will move to St. Christopher-by-the-Sea in Unalaska. After a five-month stint at the Dutch Harbor parish, Father Fournier will retire from full-time ministry.
Father Fournier was ordained a priest in 1973 in Duluth, Minn. He has served as pastor of Wasilla’s Sacred Heart Church since 2007. The parish is spiritual home to about 800 families.
OUTDOORSMAN PRIEST TO KODIAK
In mid-July, Father Joseph Classen of the Archdiocese of St. Louis will become pastor of St. Mary Church in Kodiak.
Father Classen will be in Alaska on a three-year appointment, after responding to a recent call by St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson urging priests to consider helping in Alaska.
“I’ve always had an interest in mission work” and “I love Alaska,” said the 37-year-old priest, who asked to be sent north.
Father Classen was ordained a priest in 2003 and currently is pastor of Holy Spirit Church in Maryland Heights, Mo.
An avid outdoorsman, he has written several outdoors-themed books and is host of an outdoors-themed radio show broadcast across the Midwest.
He considers it a “real blessing” to use his affinity for nature as “an evangelization tool.”
“It’s a great way to bring people back to the church and back to the Lord,” he explained. “It’s being a fisher of men, a fisher of people and also a fisher of fish.”
FATHER WISEMAN ‘READY TO TRAVEL’
Also in July, Father Eric Wiseman, who was ordained a priest in 2005 and has led St. Mary Church in Kodiak since 2009, will move to St. Benedict Church in Anchorage. From that base, he will travel the circuit of Southcentral’s Catholic mission parishes that lack a resident priest.
The cheerful Father Wiseman said he is ready to go “wherever I’m needed.”
Commenting on the itinerant life of a priest, he added, “You pack your mental suitcase and be ready to travel.”
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If I was young again, I would gladly offer my diaconate services to the Bishop there. Besides I love cold weather!!!