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Lisa M.
Republican AK

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  • Tribute to Father Fernando ``Fred’’ Bugarin

    by Senator Lisa Murkowski

    Posted on 2015-01-22

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    MURKOWSKI. On January 25, 1975, Father Fred Bugarin was ordained as a priest in the Archdiocese of Anchorage by Archbishop Joseph T. Ryan. This week marks the 40th anniversary of Father Fred's ordination. On Saturday evening, friends of Father Fred will gather in St. Anthony's parish hall to celebrate his 40 years of faith and service. I join with the Anchorage community in expressing my appreciation to Father Fred for his good works.



    Father Fred was born in the Philippines and migrated to Anchorage with his family in 1963. He was age 14 at the time. He graduated from West High School in 1967 and went on to study humanities and theology at the University of Dallas/Holy Trinity Seminary. Following his ordination, Father Fred was assigned to St. Benedict's parish as an assistant pastor. In 1978 he was selected as the first resident pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Wasilla and served there until 1981. He was subsequently promoted to direct the permanent diaconate and ministries program for the archdiocese.

    Five years later, while on sabbatical, Father Fred set out on a new direction--to reconnect with his roots in the Philippines and enrolled at the East Asian Pastoral Institute in Manila where he became immersed in East Asian thought and culture. Father Fred signed up for the Maryknoll Associate Priests Program and upon completion of the training he was sent off to Mindanao in the southern Philippines. Father Fred had much to learn. He grew up in the northern Philippines and the language and culture of the southern Philippines was much different. Yet he was determined to connect with the people he served no matter how steep the learning curve. It was the right fit--a 5-year contract turned into an 8-year experience. What was to have been a short sabbatical turned into a life changing event.

    Upon his return to the United States, the Archdiocese of Anchorage assigned Father Fred to Kodiak Island, a diverse community with an economy revolving around the fishing industry. Blue collar workers, mainly from the canneries, made up the bulk of the parish. During fishing season the population includes Filipinos, Salvadorans, Mexicans, Vietnamese, Samoans and Laotians among others. Father Fred regarded Kodiak as a laboratory for incorporating what he learned through his work in the Philippines.

    After 5 years in Kodiak, Father Fred was reassigned to St. Anthony's parish where he remains today. He is known throughout Alaska for his work in building inclusive parishes and is active in interreligious activities in Anchorage. Since 2003, Father Fred has been involved with Alaska Faith and Action Congregations Together, has taught foundations of Christianity at Alaska Pacific University and has facilitated fatherhood workshops for the Alaska native community. In 2011, Father Fred was awarded the doctor of ministry degree from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA.

    [[Page S419]] Father Fred has left a very powerful impression on every community he has served. He is an inspiration to his fellow pastors. I am honored to recognize Father Fred for his good works and wish him many long years of continued service to his faith and to his community. ____________________

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