Cathedral renovation moves forward

Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Juneau, Alaska. 1913.

Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Juneau, Alaska. 1913.

By Cathy Price

The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Renovation Steering Committee has been meeting for the last two years with the goal of making a decision on what to do about the physical condition of the deteriorating cathedral building. We have reviewed the work and documents of past Building Committees. A sub-group of the steering committee met twice to determine fundamental liturgical and pastoral requirements of a cathedral. This work was vital because our church was originally constructed as a parish church in 1910. In 1951 the church was designated a cathedral, but the physical requirements of being a cathedral were never addressed.

At the last steering committee meeting we reviewed the Request For Proposal (RFP) for Consultation, Architectural and Engineering Services for Renovation of the Cathedral. After final revisions and corrections were completed the decision was made to send it out. All the architectural firms in Juneau, in addition to a few outside of Alaska, received a copy of the RFP. Responses were to be submitted to the diocese by September 8, 2014. A copy of the RFP is on the diocesan web site for public review.

www.dioceseofjuneau.org/news/267

A sub-group of the steering committee will review these submissions and decide on a final architectural firm to go forward with this project.

The estimated cost for the project as stated in the RFP, is one to three million dollars. The committee is exploring many options to help finance the renovation. One option that will continue is the Cathedral parish’s Sunday collection for the Building Fund. There will be grant requests developed and sent out, and also fundraising projects organized in the future.

A very important key to the success of this project is prayer. We need your help. The Steering Committee is requesting that you pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us as we make these important decisions.

Donations to the Cathedral Building Fund can be made online at
www.juneaucathedral.org/about/donations 

 

Knowledge of scripture is knowledge of Christ

St. Jerome, by El Greco

St. Jerome, by El Greco

ALONG the WAY
By Deacon Charles Rohrbacher

September 30th is the feast day of St. Jerome, the fifth century Church Father and scripture scholar. A priest of Rome, it was Jerome who was asked by the Pope to translate the Old and New Testaments into Latin from the original Hebrew and Greek and it was his translation, the Vulgate, which was the official Roman Catholic translation of the Bible until the Second Vatican Council.

Jerome was a complicated, contradictory and oftentimes curmudgeonly figure in our tradition who frequently entered into oftentimes verbally intemperate polemics with his fellow Christians. His polemics are, I think, best set aside, but what he has to say about sacred scripture merits our attention. He boldly declared that, “Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ,” which is at once challenging and compelling.

By ignorance, I think that Jerome is not so much talking about a lack of academic formation in the scriptures—as necessary and indispensable as biblical scholarship is for our understanding of the sacred text. Rather, I think he is speaking primarily of how a failure on our part to enter personally and deeply into the word of God is an obstacle to truly knowing Jesus, the incarnate Word of God.

Despite the provision of a rich selection of the sacred scriptures in our liturgies since the Second Vatican Council and a truly remarkable flourishing of biblical scholarship in our Church during the last century, I think that as a community of disciples we continue to struggle with the ignorance of scripture that Jerome warns us about.
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Defeating the violence and ideology of ISIS

By BISHOP EDWARD J. BURNS
A BISHOP’S PERSPECTIVE, in the Juneau Empire – September 14, 2014

The horrific videotaped beheadings last month of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff have become emblematic of the ruthless barbarism of the so-called Islamic State and its fighters and supporters. Also known as ISIS, this extremely violent radical Islamic movement has become notorious for mass killings of captured Syrian and Iraqi soldiers; threatening Christians and other religious minorities with death or dispossession and expulsion unless they convert to Islam; genocidal violence against the Yezidi religious minority; enslavement and coerced “marriage” of captured Yezidi, Christian and Shia women and girls and the barbarous stoning, crucifixion and beheading of hostages like Foley and Sotloff and those deemed by ISIS to have violated sharia law.

Deacon Mike Monagle assists Bishop Edward J. Burns as he blesses law enforcement and fire/rescue vehicles present at the annual Blue Mass on August 24 in Juneau honoring law enforcement and military personnel.  (Photo by Matthew S. Brown)

Deacon Mike Monagle assists Bishop Edward J. Burns as he blesses law enforcement and fire/rescue vehicles present at the annual Blue Mass on August 24 in Juneau honoring law enforcement and military personnel. (Photo by Matthew S. Brown)

Last Wednesday night, the President outlined his strategy for defeating the self-declared Islamic State, which currently controls large parts of Syria and western and northern Iraq. The United States and its allies in Europe and in the region will attack ISIS militarily in Iraq and Syria while providing the Iraq and the Kurdish peshmerga with the arms and training to defend themselves against ISIS attack.

Although downplayed in the President’s speech, this new resolve to stop the advance of ISIS is a direct response to the plight of Iraq’s minority Christians, tens of thousands of whom were forced to flee to Iraqi Kurdistan in July and August. Alongside them are thousands of Yezidi believers who fear they will be killed or enslaved if ISIS fighters overrun their last places of refuge in northern Iraq. More…

Employment opportunity: Fund Development Director

Catholic Diocese of Juneau Chancery Office

Employment opportunity:
Fund Development Director, Diocese of Juneau, Alaska

Responsible for planning and implementing all areas of fundraising for the diocese, its parishes and missions, and special projects.

Complete Job Description for Fund Development Director

Please send cover letter and resume by October 19, 2014, to:
Mr. Larry Bussone
Business Manager, Diocese of Juneau
415 Sixth Street, Suite 300
Juneau, Alaska 99801

Questions regarding the position can be addressed to
Mr. Bussone at 907 586-2227 ext. 27,
or by email at diocesebm@hotmail.com.

Reflecting on a just wage this Labor Day weekend

By Bishop Edward J. Burns
“A Bishop’s Perspective” in the Juneau Empire – August 31, 2014

On a recent conference call with all the priests of the Diocese of Juneau, we were discussing the need to readjust the salaries of the priests depending on where in Southeast Alaska they are assigned due to the difference of food prices. The cost of food on Prince of Wales Island is different than here in Juneau. In order to provide what is proper, we have to look at people’s needs and offer what is right and just. In regards to those who work, this means providing a just wage.

We are in the midst of celebrating a long weekend as we commemorate Labor Day tomorrow. For many it marks the end of summer, the return to school and the start of football season. The holiday, established by the federal government in 1894, celebrates the ingenuity of our American workers and the contributions they have made to the strength and prosperity of our country over the years.

Here in Alaska, we have been blessed with a fairly strong economy, yet almost 10 percent of our brothers and sisters statewide live below the poverty line. This number of course is higher in some regions of the state and lower in others. Ultimately it means a family of four is living on less than $29,820 annually. Parents many times have to work countless hours a week to make ends meet. This leads to parents being absent from their children which then has other consequences.

Although our state minimum wage is slightly more than the federal minimum wage, a full-time minimum-wage worker can still live in poverty. Our Catholic social teaching asks us to be vigilant and support the common good. Work is more than just a job; it is a reflection on our human dignity and a way to contribute to the common good. In 1891, Pope Leo XIII wrote an encyclical titled Rerum Novarum (On Capitol and Labor). The teaching called for the right of all workers to receive wages sufficient to provide for their families. Subsequent popes have reaffirmed this teaching over the years. The Church must continue to be a strong voice for the poor.

Minimum wage earners are people who work, yet many times find it difficult to afford rent, food or leisure time. Many of these workers need two or three jobs to maintain their families. No one who works full time should be poor. Imagine working every day and still needing food stamps. Even with government assistance, too many families still seek help at community pantries and food banks. I believe that we should reflect on the minimum wage in order to assess if it is sufficient for our families.
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Debating just-war theory in light of Islamic State and past Iraqi wars

By Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — In the days that followed Pope Francis’ Aug. 18 remarks on U.S. airstrikes earlier in the month against Islamic State, the buzz was about whether the pope had actually given his consent to them.

The more sobering post-buzz reality is how one stops what, in the pontiff’s words, is an “unjust aggressor.”

Does the United States go in, alone or as part of a broader coalition of nations? Or, to use the language of just-war theory, is the United Nations the “competent authority” to judge these particulars?

Pope Francis appeared to endorse the U.N. during his in-flight news conference returning to the Vatican from South Korea.

A handout picture made available by the U.S. Department of Defense Aug. 27 shows a U.S. Air Force fighter jet refueling over northern Iraq Aug. 21. Catholic experts are debating the just-war theory in light of the current threat from the Islamic State and past Iraq wars. (CNS photo/Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel, courtesy U.S. Department of Defense, via EPA)

A handout picture made available by the U.S. Department of Defense Aug. 27 shows a U.S. Air Force fighter jet refueling over northern Iraq Aug. 21. Catholic experts are debating the just-war theory in light of the current threat from the Islamic State and past Iraq wars. (CNS photo/Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel, courtesy U.S. Department of Defense, via EPA)

“A single nation cannot judge how to stop this, how to stop an unjust aggressor. After the Second World War, there arose the idea of the United Nations. That is where we should discuss: ‘Is there an unjust aggressor? It seems there is. How do we stop him?'” he said.

“The U.N. charter permits military intervention in response to armed attack at the invitation of a legitimate government or with the approval of the U.N. Security Council,” said Gerard F. Powers, professor of the practice of Catholic peacebuilding at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

“In this case, you can make the case that the unilateral intervention is, from a legal point of view, legitimate, because it’s at the request of a legitimate government, in this case, the Iraqi government,” he added.
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