By Dominique Johnson
For the last two years, Father Dwight Hoeberechts, OMI, has served as pastor of St. Gregory Nazianzen parish in Sitka. Last month, he received news from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) that he would be reassigned to a parish in New Orleans, Louisiana.
As he reflected on his time as pastor at St. Gregory’s, he said the fondest memories are, “Being with the people.” He recalled how he arrived from the east coast in Sitka site unseen and how the parishioners helped him feel at home. He also shared how he enjoyed celebrating daily Mass in the Ave Maria chapel.
Father Dwight said he enjoyed being a part of the small community, where people would recognize him in the store. He also enjoyed attending the city assembly meeting so that he would know the issues facing the city. “This is how I would learn about the challenges of the people of Sitka, so I could talking about them in my homilies.”
Another joy Father Dwight recalled from his time in Sitka was serving with Father Peter Gorges. “I was able to learn from his 51 years of ministry serving the people of Alaska.”
As he prepares for the next chapter in his ministry Father Dwight wanted to share with the people of Sitka and the Diocese of Juneau, “I am thankful I was able to serve you for the last two years, I will keep you all in my prayers and I ask God to maintain your faith.”
Father Dwight’s last day in Sitka will be July 22nd and Father Marino Cho, KMS has been assigned to serve St. Gregory Nazianzen Parish.