Village carries the faith, despite past priest abuse

by Shane Iverson on August 11, 2011

Deacon Ray Waska Sr. marries Duka Leonard Westlock and Tammi Alexie at the Sacred Heart Church in Emmonak. Deacons are the primary carriers of the faith in Western Alaska.

The Catholic faithful in the Yup’ik Eskimo village of Emmonak have more responsibility than ever for the fate of the church in their village. About one fifth of the village still attends the Sacred Heart Church, despite revelations over the last decade that jesuit priests operating there, chiefly in the 1960s and 1970’s, perpetrated sex crimes on hundreds of children.

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