Ready for Takeoff

Memoirs of the Alaskan Clergy from 12,000 Feet

“How was your weekend?” may be a typical comment you hear around the water cooler in offices nationwide. Imagine our surprise when we asked the same question to Father Scott Garrett of Sacred Heart Parish in Wasilla, Alaska.

“My typical weekend,” he said, “starts on Friday morning when I get up at 4:00 a.m. and begin praying, exercising, plugging in the airplane, checking the weather, preflighting the airplane, and flying to Clarks Point for 11:30 a.m. Mass and then back to Dillingham. Saturday I also start my day at 4:00 a.m., pre-flight, weather check, plug in plane, pray, exercise, and I am in the air by 9:00 a.m. to King Salmon for Saturday Mass at noon. Sunday I get up at 4:00 a.m., exercise, pray, write my homily for the next week and prepare for Mass at 12:30 p.m.”

One may not consider piloting a plane to be an important part of a priestly vocation.  However, flying is a necessity in the Archdiocese of Anchorage—the most flexible and efficient way to reach faith communities in this part of the country.

The Archdiocese of Anchorage must provide this flight travel so that priests can get to Catholics in the "Bush" who otherwise would be unreachable. Thanks to our donors, Catholic Extension helps cover ever-rising fuel costs so that Father Garrett can continue his ministry. He noted, “My greatest joy is the thrill of flying, the fact that very few people actually do my job, the ruggedness and knowing people appreciate my service.”

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