From ........... Daily News Miner

Fairbanks, AK

July 27, 1996

CHARLES L. GRAY - Publisher Emeritus, PAUL J. MASSEY-Publisher,

KELLY BOSTIAN - Managing Editor, SAM BISHOP Editorial Page Editor


Staff and alumni celebrated 50 years of [Roman] Catholic schools in Fairbanks this week. But Immaculate Conception School and Monroe Catholic High School have not only survived, they've improved with every year. Fairbanks can be proud of their progress.

[Roman] Catholic education started in the basement of Immaculate Conception Church in 1946. The interest of the community was actually quite strong at the start. The school opened with 72 first- through fourth-grade students, which, given the size of the town, was quite an impressive start. As a percentage of the children in the area, that's well above today's total [Roman] Catholic school enrollment of 550.

Such schools provide an important alternative for the entire Fairbanks community. One measure of that importance is monetary. People from across the town gather each fall and give several hundred thousand dollars through the HIPOW auction. And while some children from wealthy families attend, the schools are by no means the exclusive province of the rich. Many families with only meager means sacrifice greatly to send their children there.

But just as important are the volunteer efforts that these schools attract. Parents, alumni and staff often go out of their way to make it work.

For more about [Roman] Catholic schools, read the feature in the News-Miner's Heartland magazine this Sunday, July 28. The articles and photographs reflect some of the memories and affection that so many Fairbanksans have for their [Roman] Catholic schools.


[whacha think they think about the Vatican fulfilling the

"Great Whore" prophetic description of Jesus's Revelation ?]