The Diocese of Fairbanks in northern Alaska includes many Catholics from different Native American tribes, who suffered the the scourge of child sexual abuse following generations of suppression by the government. Without minimizing the grief born by the indigenous, the faith among the people in this diocese is resilient, strong, and inspiring.
This year their bishop, Bishop Chad Zielinski, offered a Mass of Hope and Healing with a special focus on this broader experience. The altar was resplendent with Easter flowers still – despite the bitter cold and snowstorms that week – and special pins and information packets were made available, along with access to the Victim Assistance Coordinator and the Child Protection Officer. Attendees were given pinwheels to take home for their own gardens, too.
Photos courtesy of Alicia Menard, Victim Assistance Coordinator, Fairbanks