To Mass by boat, plane or whatever means necessary at Alaska parish

Categories: Latest News

September 1, 2015

Father Thomas Weise kayaks off the shoreline of the Shrine of St. Therese in Juneau, Alaska. In terms of Catholic population, the Diocese of Juneau is small with 10,600 Catholics. Yet it covers an area of about 53,000 square miles. Priests often travel by sea plane, and sometimes even kayak, to get to more remote locations. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec) See AMERICAN-PARISH- Aug. 26, 2015 and to come.

Father Thomas Weise kayaks off the shoreline of the Shrine of St. Therese in Juneau, Alaska. In terms of Catholic population, the Diocese of Juneau is small with 10,600 Catholics. Yet it covers an area of about 53,000 square miles. Priests often travel by sea plane, and sometimes even kayak, to get to more remote locations. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

KLAWOCK, Alaska (CNS) — The challenges of managing most parishes don’t usually extend to needing to travel by airplane and boats to celebrate Mass.

But when your Delaware-sized parish is part of a diocese that itself is larger than 22 U.S states, the standard ways of operating really don’t apply.

Catholic News Service reporters visited communities across the country over the past few years in a project to learn about some of the parish structures that have evolved in the United States.

As Pope Francis visits the U.S. in September, the CNS parish studies became a way of looking at what it might take to give the pope a sense of some of the many different models that make up the “American Parish.”

Read more in The Visitor…