Category: Alaska

Vandalism at Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage

Long time, no blog – but unfortuantely I come bearing bad news.

Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage, Alaska was pretty badly vanalized the other day. I frequented the Cathedral whenever we went up, and it is overseen by the AMAZING Dominican priests.

altarvandI will try and update as more information comes out, but for now you can check some of the O.P.’s facebook pages:

He took a video walk-through of the vandalism. While some may say that this isn’t a big deal, or turn this and make it into an opportunity to speak to what the Church or the Cathedral could/should do differently – that distracts from the fact that someone had intent in their heart to do this. It wasn’t the first time something happened either. This is an ongoing problem, and the worst part is this is a church/parish that does more than almost any other parish I have ever seen to give back to the community.

Please keep them in your prayers.

Alaska Readers & Lovers of Catholic Education – A Family Needs Your Kindness


I saw this on a friends Facebook page, and I hope I am not overstepping any bounds, but I figured since I can’t responsibly do much on the financial end the least I could do was spread the word.

A Catholic family in Alaska needs your help. Here is the story from the donation page set up by some friends:

Valerie Shaut and her husband Richard are beloved teachers at Holy Rosary Academy in Anchorage, Alaska. Valerie teaches kindergarten and Richard teaches fifth grade. Richard also works part time at Home Depot. They have lived this way for the past 11 years, very frugally, the two of them along with their now 18 year old son Christian in a small, 550 square foot apartment at the school. 
Over the years, they have engaged in street ministry in Anchorage, feeding and clothing the homeless. They have spent time in Nicaragua at an orphanage there, as well as helping to raise funds for that mission while in Anchorage. They are ardent fundraisers for Bean’s Cafe, a local service provider for the homeless, encouraging their students to see the needs around them and to be more caring and service-oriented. 

Recently, a sudden and unexpected illness placed Richard Shaut in the hospital for 22 days and 8 surgeries–with a total bill of $172,000 after his insurance capped out. 

The Shauts are currently in the process of adopting two children from Nicaragua (seen in picture above). Just last year, they purchased a fixer-upper in Anchorage because of this incredible opportunity. Unfortunately, the financial situation resulting from the illness has placed this adoption at risk.

Valerie has since gotten a second job and is working 7 days a week. Richard is back to teaching and doing as much as he is able, although he is still weakened from the surgeries. 

Those of us who are blessed to know this giving and selfless family hope to do what we can to alleviate these expenses. Not only will the Shauts benefit from the assistance, but the two children waiting for their beloved “forever home” with the Shauts will have a more secure chance of reaching that dream.

Please help as much as you can.

While I don’t know this family, I do know many members of Holy Rosary Academy. I can tell you that it is one of the most devout communities and schools I have ever come across. Knowing the person that posted this message, it signals that this family and this cause is worthy.

Please do what you can, and spread the word. I don’t have a donate page here for the very purpose of being able to “go to the well” when I have to. If you have ever thought of “donating” here or “tipping” instead do this. If everyone that has read this blog today donated just $5, we could double what has already been pledged.

If nothing else… please pray for them. This appears to be a family that has given so much, it is time we live up to our calling and give freely.


AK: Anchorage Dominicans to celebrate Rosary Sunday

As I still have a strong connection to Alaska, and intend to be back there soon enough, I will occasionally post updates on things there. Plus, a large contingent of my readers hail from there, so I have to keep them happy. Add to that the fact that the Cathedral there is served by the very devout Dominican Order, and you can bet I will be posting updates.

From the Catholic Anchor:

The Dominican religious order maintains an ancient practice to honor the rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the first Sunday in October. The Dominicans of Holy Family Cathedral will celebrate this custom on Sunday, Oct. 7 – feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. That day the 9:30 a.m. Mass will be celebrated as a sung high Mass according to the Dominican Rite. Dominican Father Michael Sweeney will deliver the homily. After the post-communion prayer, rosaries will be blessed. And fresh roses will be blessed as a sacramental and distributed to the congregation. The Mass will end with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Rosary Sunday will be preceded by a novena to Our Lady of the Rosary starting on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the 9 a.m. Mass. Throughout the novena, the rosary will be said a half-hour before all scheduled Masses.