Mission Statement

By drawing close to Christ, the Alaska Mission team is devoted to sharing His light, peace and joy to every person they encounter with a focus on intentional relational ministry with youth and young adults. Our mission is to love with the heart of Christ.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” - John 8:12

I have given them thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth. As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. - John 17:14-18

About the Mission

Alaska Mission invites you to serve the northern-most Catholic mission diocese in our country! In June 2018, a group of young men and women began a new type of lay missionary work in relational ministry to young adults within the Fairbanks Diocese for an entire year.  Their ministry spans the cultures and ages found within the Diocese to include both adult and youth formation with Alaskan Natives and non-natives who call this Diocese home. Through ongoing spiritual formation within the diocese and intellectual formation through partnership and training with the Catechetical Institute of Franciscan University, the team of missionaries strives to aid the church in Alaska with catechesis for the youth and young adults.

 

Join the Team

Spend a year in Fairbanks, Alaska

While this year’s team will be heading back to their out-of-state homes in May, Melody Doudna, mission founder and team leader, is already beginning to recruit a new set of 4 missionaries for the following year. “I am looking for a team of 4 young adults on fire for their faith and willing to answer Christ’s call to be His hands and feet and heart to His children here at the very ends of the earth. If you are a young man or woman considering what God wants for your life for the next year, and you think this might be for you, please give me a call!”

Email: alaskan.missionaries@gmail.com

Phone: 907-712-4829

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now accepting Applications

 

OUR TEAM

 
Deirdre Grace   Hi, my name is Deirdre Grace. I've lived in Alaska my entire life; born here, raised here, work here and hopefully I'll die here. I'm not in a rush for that last part or anything though!  My family and I weren't always Catholic. We bounced around between different Christian denominations. My dad studied a lot of spiritual books and theology and when I was about five we entered the Russian Orthodox Church. It was a beautiful experience and inspiring. The rituals and beliefs are so closely linked to Catholicism it finally let us straight into the Catholic Church's arms. I loved the Orthodox Church and the people I knew there became like family. We started Catechism classes for the Catholic church after my dad started reading the Church Father's and the Council of Nicea when I was seven. We finally were received into the Catholic faith as a family when I was 8 years old and have only grown stronger in our faith since then.  I have a relatively large family; there are 11 of us kids and I'm the fifth one. I love my childhood in the wild woods of Alaska and wouldn't trade it for anything. We were all home-schooled and being the Nenana librarian’s children we all became avid readers.  I love reading, cooking, music, writing, hard work, anything that has anything to do with the outdoors and animals. I grew up mushing which is the state sport here and absolutely love it!  The first year the Alaska Mission was here, my brother and I started getting to know them. We helped out when we could and I could see the good impact they were having. I love my faith, I love these wonderful people (my fellow missionaries) and I love Alaska! I wanted to do more with sharing my faith, so when I heard they were looking for new missionaries for this next year I said absolutely! I hope to give my all to the missions and to my brothers and sisters in Christ this year.

Deirdre Grace

Hi, my name is Deirdre Grace. I've lived in Alaska my entire life; born here, raised here, work here and hopefully I'll die here. I'm not in a rush for that last part or anything though!

My family and I weren't always Catholic. We bounced around between different Christian denominations. My dad studied a lot of spiritual books and theology and when I was about five we entered the Russian Orthodox Church. It was a beautiful experience and inspiring. The rituals and beliefs are so closely linked to Catholicism it finally let us straight into the Catholic Church's arms. I loved the Orthodox Church and the people I knew there became like family. We started Catechism classes for the Catholic church after my dad started reading the Church Father's and the Council of Nicea when I was seven. We finally were received into the Catholic faith as a family when I was 8 years old and have only grown stronger in our faith since then.

I have a relatively large family; there are 11 of us kids and I'm the fifth one. I love my childhood in the wild woods of Alaska and wouldn't trade it for anything. We were all home-schooled and being the Nenana librarian’s children we all became avid readers.

I love reading, cooking, music, writing, hard work, anything that has anything to do with the outdoors and animals. I grew up mushing which is the state sport here and absolutely love it!

The first year the Alaska Mission was here, my brother and I started getting to know them. We helped out when we could and I could see the good impact they were having. I love my faith, I love these wonderful people (my fellow missionaries) and I love Alaska! I wanted to do more with sharing my faith, so when I heard they were looking for new missionaries for this next year I said absolutely! I hope to give my all to the missions and to my brothers and sisters in Christ this year.

 
Melody Doudna   My name is Melody Doudna. I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, and have a passion for evangelizing and spreading the love of Christ wherever I am. Some of my missionary experiences have been in the Ohio Valley and Austria through my studies at Franciscan University. Additionally, I spent the summer of 2017 in Far East Russia.  While working in Russia, I saw so much hurt in the broken families I encountered. I learned to pray daily for each person: “Come Holy Spirit, fill their hearts with the Father’s Love.” Prayer is the backbone of this new mission trip to Alaska, because when we offer all to God, we are doing more with His help than we could ever dream of doing on our own. When I received God’s call for me to return to my home state of Alaska for mission work, I realized the truth that it is God’s Mission that I am being called to join. His mission, not mine. A true missionary will go anywhere and accept anything that Our Lord asks of him or her because God can see the whole picture and I can’t. It is a very humbling truth, but it is also very freeing. I have experienced the most personal freedom in being able to give everything over to Him.  I invite you to join me either in person or through prayer or financial support to follow the Lord to Alaska and help me be a witness of Christian joy there!

Melody Doudna

My name is Melody Doudna. I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, and have a passion for evangelizing and spreading the love of Christ wherever I am. Some of my missionary experiences have been in the Ohio Valley and Austria through my studies at Franciscan University. Additionally, I spent the summer of 2017 in Far East Russia.

While working in Russia, I saw so much hurt in the broken families I encountered. I learned to pray daily for each person: “Come Holy Spirit, fill their hearts with the Father’s Love.” Prayer is the backbone of this new mission trip to Alaska, because when we offer all to God, we are doing more with His help than we could ever dream of doing on our own. When I received God’s call for me to return to my home state of Alaska for mission work, I realized the truth that it is God’s Mission that I am being called to join. His mission, not mine. A true missionary will go anywhere and accept anything that Our Lord asks of him or her because God can see the whole picture and I can’t. It is a very humbling truth, but it is also very freeing. I have experienced the most personal freedom in being able to give everything over to Him.

I invite you to join me either in person or through prayer or financial support to follow the Lord to Alaska and help me be a witness of Christian joy there!

 
Robert Bernard   My name is Robert Bernard. I was born into the Catholic Faith and raised by my wonderful parents, Stan and Mary Ann. I lived in Buffalo, New York before attending school at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. I am currently a graduate student at Franciscan. Within the next several years I hope to move to Rome and begin work on a doctorate in sacred theology. (My first love may be theology but my second love is economics.) I have always been moved by the beauty found in everyday things and I am passionate about music (especially classical and jazz), literature, and architecture. I also love outdoor sports—hiking and camping.  I have had a passion for mission work and travel since a young age, embarking on my first overseas mission at 15. My previous mission experience includes work with orphaned youth in Cuzco, Peru and Deva, Romania. When I was younger, I saw mission work as an opportunity to share my developing gifts and talents with others. As I experienced mission life I began to realize that the most important aspect was sharing the love of Christ. Sometimes this means nothing more than simply spending time with others. While in Romania, I saw the profound impact of five strangers who barely spoke the language on a developing Catholic community. I made a decision then to remain open to full-time mission work after I finished school. About a year later, I was invited to join a budding mission in Alaska. I followed the call because there is nothing greater for me in this life than to be the cause of joy through works of charity—leading others to Christ. I firmly believe that to be a missionary, in the easy moments and in the hard, is nothing more than living the Gospel.

Robert Bernard

My name is Robert Bernard. I was born into the Catholic Faith and raised by my wonderful parents, Stan and Mary Ann. I lived in Buffalo, New York before attending school at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. I am currently a graduate student at Franciscan. Within the next several years I hope to move to Rome and begin work on a doctorate in sacred theology. (My first love may be theology but my second love is economics.) I have always been moved by the beauty found in everyday things and I am passionate about music (especially classical and jazz), literature, and architecture. I also love outdoor sports—hiking and camping.

I have had a passion for mission work and travel since a young age, embarking on my first overseas mission at 15. My previous mission experience includes work with orphaned youth in Cuzco, Peru and Deva, Romania. When I was younger, I saw mission work as an opportunity to share my developing gifts and talents with others. As I experienced mission life I began to realize that the most important aspect was sharing the love of Christ. Sometimes this means nothing more than simply spending time with others. While in Romania, I saw the profound impact of five strangers who barely spoke the language on a developing Catholic community. I made a decision then to remain open to full-time mission work after I finished school. About a year later, I was invited to join a budding mission in Alaska. I followed the call because there is nothing greater for me in this life than to be the cause of joy through works of charity—leading others to Christ. I firmly believe that to be a missionary, in the easy moments and in the hard, is nothing more than living the Gospel.

 
Michael Kohler   My name is Michael Koehler and I have been truly blessed to have grown up in a remote area northwest of Tok, AK. Living as a Catholic in bush Alaska has given me a great love and admiration for the beauty of God’s creation. Being the middle one of four kids I have been spoiled rotten and am always on the prowl for food. This hunger seems to of spread to my spiritual life as well and now I am constantly in search of the delights of Christ.  This hunger for Christ grew more fervently in the last four years of my life. While looking forward to my 21st birthday this winter I am also looking back and am thankful for all the time and experiences I have had in my life thus far. Graduating high school, this spring, at my age, is a tale worthy of Shakespeare; laden with adventure, tragedy, and love. I have also had many adventures in the workforce ranging from horse wrangler, small business manager, entomologist, farmer, and a fun experience live capturing lynx (FWS study) with a fascinating Mormon turned atheist. Also, having a mom who is a GP and has traveled all over rural Alaska has in turn given me a great desire to spread the very good news to a group of people in very strong need of this good news. I look forward to learning more about each of my fellow missionaries and learning from this year of mission!

Michael Kohler

My name is Michael Koehler and I have been truly blessed to have grown up in a remote area northwest of Tok, AK. Living as a Catholic in bush Alaska has given me a great love and admiration for the beauty of God’s creation. Being the middle one of four kids I have been spoiled rotten and am always on the prowl for food. This hunger seems to of spread to my spiritual life as well and now I am constantly in search of the delights of Christ.

This hunger for Christ grew more fervently in the last four years of my life. While looking forward to my 21st birthday this winter I am also looking back and am thankful for all the time and experiences I have had in my life thus far. Graduating high school, this spring, at my age, is a tale worthy of Shakespeare; laden with adventure, tragedy, and love. I have also had many adventures in the workforce ranging from horse wrangler, small business manager, entomologist, farmer, and a fun experience live capturing lynx (FWS study) with a fascinating Mormon turned atheist. Also, having a mom who is a GP and has traveled all over rural Alaska has in turn given me a great desire to spread the very good news to a group of people in very strong need of this good news. I look forward to learning more about each of my fellow missionaries and learning from this year of mission!

 
Ashley Roberts   Hello! My name is Ashley Roberts and I am local to the Fairbanks/North Pole area! I have been Catholic all of my life, but it wasn't until high school when I started to take my faith seriously and begin to seek The Lord and fall in love with Him. Although, still in its infancy, I have burning aspiration for filmmaking and creating projects that inspire others to look up towards Our Lord, Jesus. In addition to that, I also am very passionate about writing and music. I truly believe that it is through beauty, that this generation will be enlightened and seek out the truth which is our Catholic faith.  Within the school year of 2018-2019 I had been attending The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) for Digital Journalism. During this time, I had been building my relationship with the Alaska Mission by establishing close friendships with the missionaries. This is how I had come to know the astounding gift that the Alaska Missions is for this great state, as it is greatly needed in our communities. I am so very thankful for St. Marks, which was the Catholic home parish for UAF, for providing such an atmosphere and support system for their students. It was there that the Lord began to speak into my heart his desires for me. However, It wasn't until after a long uphill battle between my will and Our Lord’s that I realized where I was needed. After deciding to take a break from my schooling to become apart of the Alaska Mission, I experiences abounding grace and peace. I am still experiencing this as of now, leading me to believe that this mission is truly where God is calling me to be.  All I can express further is how blessed and thankful I am to be able to become the hands and feet of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. To be able to to reach out to those who need us most and introduce God’s love and mercy into their lives. God is truly faithful. God is truly loving and it is my only wish that I may bring this truth to others.

Ashley Roberts

Hello! My name is Ashley Roberts and I am local to the Fairbanks/North Pole area! I have been Catholic all of my life, but it wasn't until high school when I started to take my faith seriously and begin to seek The Lord and fall in love with Him. Although, still in its infancy, I have burning aspiration for filmmaking and creating projects that inspire others to look up towards Our Lord, Jesus. In addition to that, I also am very passionate about writing and music. I truly believe that it is through beauty, that this generation will be enlightened and seek out the truth which is our Catholic faith.

Within the school year of 2018-2019 I had been attending The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) for Digital Journalism. During this time, I had been building my relationship with the Alaska Mission by establishing close friendships with the missionaries. This is how I had come to know the astounding gift that the Alaska Missions is for this great state, as it is greatly needed in our communities. I am so very thankful for St. Marks, which was the Catholic home parish for UAF, for providing such an atmosphere and support system for their students. It was there that the Lord began to speak into my heart his desires for me. However, It wasn't until after a long uphill battle between my will and Our Lord’s that I realized where I was needed. After deciding to take a break from my schooling to become apart of the Alaska Mission, I experiences abounding grace and peace. I am still experiencing this as of now, leading me to believe that this mission is truly where God is calling me to be.

All I can express further is how blessed and thankful I am to be able to become the hands and feet of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. To be able to to reach out to those who need us most and introduce God’s love and mercy into their lives. God is truly faithful. God is truly loving and it is my only wish that I may bring this truth to others.

 

 

On November 30, 2017,  the Most Reverend Chad W. Zielinski endorsed the missionary intentions of Melody Doudna.  

 
“I AM EXCITED THAT A “HOME-GROWN” YOUNG ADULT HAS TAKEN THE INITIATIVE TO APPROACH OUR DIOCESE TO ASSIST US IN OUR MISSIONARY ACTIVITIES. I HAVE A GREAT DESIRE TO SEE HER SUCCEED. YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND PRAYERS WILL MAKE THAT A REALITY.”
— Bishop Chad W. Zielinski

Join the Team

Spend a year in Fairbanks Alaska

Alaska Mission is still looking for new members to join us in this fruitful service. If you would like to know more about this mission contact Melody Doudna.

Email: alaskan.missionaries@gmail.com

Phone: 907-712-4829

In-Kind Donations

Fairbanks Cars and Lodging

Alaska Mission is looking for reliable transportation in the form of multiple donated vehicles so that we can travel to remote communities to train future catechists. We are also looking for lodging for the year or part of the year.

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Financial Goal 

$70,000

Alaska Mission is fundraising 70,000 dollars for their work in Alaska. This team will be spending a year in Fairbanks, Alaska, to bring catechesis and youth adult ministry to areas starving for priests and missionaries. Please prayerfully consider donating to this mission.