About Me

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Douglas, Alaska, United States
I have lived in Alaska since 1978, having come to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer. I fell in love with Alaska and now live on Douglas Island with my husband and two dogs.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Merry Octave of Christmas!

I love the Octave of Christmas - it gives us a chance to celebrate, and celebrate, and celebrate.   We remembered St. Stephen on the 26th, St. John the Evangelist on the 27th and today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents

Today is a more somber feast.  The feast commemorates the killing by King Herod of all the little firstborn sons two years old and younger, in Bethlehem and the surrounding areas.  This was to ensure that the newborn King of the Jews would also be killed.  Fortunately for the Holy Family, they had received a warning from an angel and had escaped to Egypt.  I can't imagine the horror of this day in history.  Here is a version of the Coventry Carol, which tells the story:

Tomorrow is the feast of the Holy Family.  On the eighth day, we celebrate the feast of the Solemnity of Mary.  Lots of celebrations and remembrances packed into the week after Christmas!

I thought I would show you some of my favorite ornaments from our tree, which we finally put up on Christmas Eve.  They are all either hand made or were gifts.  No glass baubles on our tree!

Our clothespin reindeer, which we made a few years ago.

Phoebe's styrofoam bell, which she made 20 years ago, and 
a close up of one of the little trees from the banner our friend Deirdre made for us!

Miguel's eagle that he stitched in third grade.

This grumpy reindeer is saying "Watch it, bub!" to the dove.

A print of Our Lady of Guadalupe that Charles made.

The finished product!

And, as an added bonus, my snow man collection!

Have a wonderful week and the Happiest of New Years!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Death of a Good Priest

It was a sad beginning to the month.  We lost one of our priests to cancer.  Fr. Jim Blaney, OMI (Oblates of Mary Immaculate), who had been in our Diocese for over 25 years, died at the age of 76.

He had ministered in Haines and Skagway, Prince of Wales Island and Sitka during his tenure here in Southeast Alaska.

He became part of every community he lived in.  He was adopted by the Tlingit tribe and was a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.  He was a chaplain for the fire department and all of this was in addition to the work of being pastor of his parish, which he loved.  His favorite quote was "Be good to God's people."  Even as he was dying, he would assure visitors that he was fine.

He comforted his sister and brother in law and his brother OMI, Fr. Pat (our pastor) by telling them: "My bags are packed and I am ready to go!  I'll see you in eternity."

Charles and I traveled to Sitka for the vigil and funeral.  Charles planned and coordinated all the liturgies, morning prayer, evening prayer, the procession and the funeral itself.  It all went like clockwork.  I was very proud of Charles (I always am)!

Here are some photos of the events.

At the vigil

The procession was led by a Coast Guard honor guard

We processed from the Church to Centennial Hall for the funeral

Arriving at Centennial Hall

The priests removed the casket from the hearse...

...and served as pallbearers.

With Fr. Jim's death, we lost 1/10 of our priests.  Please pray that we will be able to get another priest from somewhere and pray for vocations for our diocese!

For an obituary and photo of Fr. Jim please click here.