The 2023 Charity Initiative for the Diocese of New York and New Jersey is devoted to the raising of financial support to enable the Diocese of Alaska to grow their newly-established Clergy Stipend Fund. The clergy and the churches of the Alaskan Diocese face a deeply troubling financial situation. Most Alaskan Orthodox Christians live in small rural communities where the cost of living is extraordinarily high.
Archbishop Michael shares the following remarks about this Diocesan Charity Initiative:
“Over the past two centuries, as Alaska has been assimilated into Western culture, the evil one has arrayed strong forces against the Orthodox Faith there, attempting to stamp it out. Today, encroaching secularism and societal challenges continue to pose a potent threat to the health and stability of the hundreds of thousands of Alaskans residing in small towns and villages.
The median family income for the state of Alaska is $77,790 per year. But the median stipend for native priests is $7,200 per year, a salary that is $26,000 below the poverty line for a family of four. Almost all the clergy and their wives worry about a future that is so financially fragile. Some priests have been forced to leave priestly ministry to provide for their families. And, pious young men considering the priesthood have hesitated to answer the call, with abject poverty looming in their future.
I am sure you are as shocked as I was upon learning these dire statistics. This is heartbreaking!”
To watch a video presentation by His Grace, Bishop Alexei of Sitka and Alaska, on the history and present needs of the Diocese of Alaska, click here. For more information on the churches and ministries of our Mother Diocese, visit the Diocese of Alaska website at www.odosa.org.
Parishes and individuals may send donation checks, payable to the Diocese of New York and New Jersey and with “2023 Alaska Initiative” in the memo section, to the Diocese of NY/NJ, 33 Hewitt Avenue, Bronxville, NY 10708.
Thank you for your prayerful and material support of our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters in “America’s Holy Land” – the Diocese of Alaska!