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Beginning in 1873, messengers of the Roman Catholic faith set out to preach the gospel and build institutions for good in Alaska. In the small villages and nomadic camps, these men and women began their work, which is chronicled in this new and voluminous work.
"One of the main intents of this volume," we read in the author's Preface, "is to keep alive for posterity the memory of many major Catholic Alaskan figures--clerical and lay, Native and non-Native, living and deceased--by the recording of their lives and deeds."
Alaskana Catholica ("a unique gift, whether to give or to receive") is a reference work in the format of an encyclopedia. It offers readers something more than mere bare-bones reference data and Who's Whos. Moreover, some entries have a story about the given entry's subject attached to them. Some have a "tapestry" woven out of a series of quotations from the mission diary of the given place attached to them. These stories and tapestries give readers a kind of "you are there" experience, of being present at an event of the past or at a place remote to them. Close to 400 images illustrate Alaskana Catholica.
Embellished with several hundred photographs, the text is cross-referenced throughout by use of bold type to indicate entries that expand on the individual or place being discussed. A thorough bibliography and comprehensive index add to the book's accessibility and ease of use.
"Published for the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, by the Arthur H. Clark Company. Contains a bibliography, and index. Supplemented by an introduction and chronology. Printed on acid-free paper and bound in blue linen cloth with foil stamped spine and color dust jacket."
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