Friday, October 20, 2017 at 2:21 PM
Spanish Mass with Fr. Shijo will be on Wed. 10/25 at 7pm.

About Our Parish

Parish History.

Kodiak, the oldest city in Alaska, was settled by a group of Russians in 1791 led by the explorer Baranov. With the settlement came priests of the Russian Orthodox Church. They have served Kodiak's people of mixed Native and Russian decent for more than 150 years. The first of other Christian denominations arrived in the 1920's.

In 1944 the first Catholic sisters and priests arrived in Kodiak. After Ft. Greeley had been established during World War II, the mayor of Kodiak requested the Army Chaplain, Fr. Conway, to obtain religious sisters to manage Kodiak's new hospital. Fr. Conway applied to Bishop Crimont, who notified Msgr. Gallant. A short time later, Msgr. Gallant accompanied by five Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, arrived at Kodiak to establish the first Catholic parish. He celebrated the first Mass on November 19, 1944. The Orpheum Theatre was used for Sunday Mass until a one-story framed building known as the Wayfarers Club was leased from the Erskine Company in January 1945 to be the Catholic Church.

Msgr. Gallant was succeeded by Fr. Walsh, who, after a few weeks, was replaced by Fr. Vincent Edge of the Atonement Fathers. He remained for one year. Fr. Louis Fink, S.J., then took over as pastor until the spring of 1953. In March of that year, Fr. Frank Talbot, S.J., was assigned as pastor. Under Fr. Talbot, the small parish was expanded to over twice its original size. In 1954 a grade school was established for the first three grades. This eventually expanded to eight grades and was staffed by the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart until 2009.

St. Mary’s Parish has changed notably since its beginnings in 1944. The parish moved its location in 1966 two miles from the center of town where it is presently located on Mill Bay Road. In 1990, construction began on a new church building in order to accommodate a larger congregation. Funds, donated from the Archdiocese of Anchorage from the sale of land in Kodiak, allowed the parish to build the new structure without the incumbency of a mortgage. The new building was occupied in 1991, and today, the parish church, school, thrift shop, and Marian center continue to serve the various needs of the people of Kodiak.

St. Mary’s Parish remains a dynamic, multicultural, faith-filled community that is the spiritual home of over 300 families. As the only Catholic parish on the island, St. Mary’s is also visited by many travelers who have come to spend time on Kodiak, “Alaska’s Emerald Isle!”  For more information about Kodiak Island, visit: http://www.kodiak.org/

 

 

 


 

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