Reverend Peter Francis Gorges, 84, died suddenly on October 9, 2019, at Providence Transitional Care Center in Anchorage, Alaska.
Fr. Peter was born on August 27, 1935 in the Bronx, New York, NY. Son of Michael and Genevieve, he was the second oldest of four sons. He graduated with a Business degree from Manhattan College in the Bronx and went to work as an auditor for a bank in New York City until he was drafted into the army. In basic training he became a chaplain’s assistant and was assigned to Fort Richardson, Alaska. There he recognized the need for priests in Alaska and decided to enter St. John’s Seminary in Boston, Massachusetts, committing to returning to Alaska.
Newly ordained, Fr. Peter moved to Alaska in the summer of 1968. His first assignment was to the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Juneau (1968-1969). From there he served as Pastor at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Wrangell and St. Catherine of Sienna Parish in Petersburg (1969-1972); St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Juneau (1972-1981); St. Catherine’s and
St. Rose (1981-1986); Holy Name Parish in Ketchikan (1986-1988); the Cathedral (1988-1999); and finally St. Gregory Nazianzen Parish in Sitka (1999-2001) where he retired.
Fr. Peter celebrated his 50th anniversary as a priest in 2018. He also served when available the mission communities of Hoonah, Metlakatla, Kake, Tenakee, Gustavus and Pelican. He was the longest serving priest in the history of the Diocese of Juneau.
Fr. Peter was active in the Charismatic movement, serving as the liaison for the Diocese to the National Catholic Charismatic Renewal from 1975 until his retirement. He was also an enthusiastic participant in ecumenical pastor associations in the parishes where he was assigned.
He is survived by his younger brothers, Gregory (Mary Jane) of West Palm Beach, Florida, and Mark (Barbara) of Cheyenne, Wyoming; 9 nieces and nephews, 8 great nieces and nephews, one great-great niece and numerous cousins spread throughout the lower 48 with one niece in England. He was preceded in death by his parents, Michael and Genevieve, his older brother
Michael (Agnes) and sister-in-law Anne Marie.
In Anchorage, a viewing of Fr. Peter will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral from 10:00am to 11:00am, on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00am. A reception will follow.
In Juneau, a viewing of Fr. Peter will be held at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary from 3:00pm to 6:00pm, on Thursday, October 17, 2019, followed by a Vigil service at 6:00pm. A reception will follow.
The Funeral Mass will be held at St. Paul the Apostle Church on Friday,
October 18th at 11:00am. The interment will take place immediately after Mass at Alaskan Memorial Park, followed by a reception back at St. Paul the Apostle Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Fr. Peter’s name to Catholic Community Service, Inc., 1803 Glacier Highway, Juneau, Alaska, 99801.