Parish Appreciation Series: St. Joseph

From Fr. Michael Kim:

“I know that the church is not a building. I know Sunday is just a part of church life, but the last few weeks felt like a condensed symbol of loss. It hurt to know that our people would feel the loss, too. I missed standing in the narthex before Mass. I missed my parishioners coming forward for prayer and confession. I missed singing together, shaking hands, hugging, raising their voices, and receiving Communion.

To overcome these difficult and suffering times, I am hosting Facebook Live to encourage people to make spiritual communions from home. For those who are not familiar with online platform, I am mailing some letters to notify them of the guideline and precautions from the Archdiocese of Anchorage.

In addition to our online service for Sunday Mass, we are hosting Bible reflections, Rosary prayer, Stations of the Cross, and Eucharistic Adoration. By hosting online services through Facebook Live, we were able to reach people locally and globally, and it provided a sense of community. St Joseph’s parishioners have a special affection and love for their local parish as the presence of the church in their community, and that’s a beautiful thing.

I am trying to figure out how we can continue to serve our community and make people feel not isolated and alone. The first time I celebrated Sunday Mass without people on March 15th, I decided to pray Novena and began praying Rosary via Facebook Live. Every evening, 5:30pm, I prayed the Rosary with my parishioners, some Catholics from California, and my friends from Korea, Japan, Mexico, and Italy. During nine days, I realized that we are all closely connected with each other and deeply united with our God. The Church is being changed by the coronavirus pandemic, but I sense a new spirit of fraternity emerging from our collective suffering during this hard time.

I hope this time of crisis brings out new and better ways of taking care of each other, praying for neighbors and doing stewardship and charity for those in need. In these difficult and suffering times we follow the ongoing stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. We do this, not out of fear, but out of love for our neighbors. We are not a people of fear because we know Christ is always with us, even in these moments of challenge. We will hold onto each other in thoughts and prayers because of our love for each other.”

From Debbie Collins:

“Father Michael is doing a great job with video Mass. He offered a novena for everyone’s safety, stations of the cross and Adoration. The faith formation teachers have not put anything in place at this time, however most work in the school as support staff and teachers, so are in contact with the students on a daily basis.”

To learn more about St. Joseph Parish, visit:

Facebook page:

About the Parish Appreciation Series:

We asked several parishes 3 simple questions:

  • What challenges are you facing right now?
  • How are you addressing these challenges at your parish?
  • How has your parish community been blessed, despite these difficult times?

The responses have been nothing short of overwhelming: we received over 6,000 words from over 15 parishes, full of hope and courage to face the unknown in service to God’s people. Through this series of posts, each parish shares their story as we’ve received them, with minimal editing, to allow the voice of each person to speak, in all their humanness.

We pray that they inspire you to hope, just as they have inspired us. Stay safe out there, guys.

How to Get Connected:

Here are a few ways to stay in the loop with the latest news & updates:

  • Follow along online. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for other news and updates, or email Anna Schulten to be added to a special email list:
  • Connect to your parish. Make sure you know how your parish communicates: via website, bulletin, MyParish app, phone tree, or other means. If you’re not sure, ask!
  • Offer to help. Contact your parish to learn about volunteer opportunities.
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