St. John by the Sea parish will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its church in Klawock, Alaska on April 26. Bishop Kenny dedicated the Klawock church on April 28, 1992. The parish plans to celebrate its 25th anniversary on Wednesday, April 26, with Fr. Pat Travers presiding at the Mass; Fr. Peter Gorges and Fr. Edmund Penisten, current pastor of the parish, will concelebrate.

St. John by the Sea parish is made up of all the Catholic communities on remote Prince of Wales Island, and was served from its early years following its 1925 designation as a mission of St. Rose of Lima parish in Wrangell, by priests traveling intermittently from the communities of Wrangell, Petersburg and Ketchikan. In 1974 Sr. Marguerite Gravel, CSC began pastoral ministry at Craig and at other communities on the island; Bishop Michael Kenny assigned full-time ministers to Prince of Wales Island beginning in the 80’s. St. John by the Sea became a parish in the late 1980’s. Following the arrival of Sr. Laetitia Lariviere, IHM, in 1987 and Father James Blaney, OMI, in 1988, the need for a church in Klawock became evident. “Many talents and many hands working together soon created a center for the Catholic community,” notes Fr. Louis Renner in Alaskana Catholica. “The Native designs incorporated into the Church reflect the desires of Bishop Kenny to reach out to all the peoples of Southeastern Alaska, whether Catholic or not.”

Watch for photos and further details in the May Southeast Alaska Catholic.