Fr. Rene Astruc, S.J.
Fr. Renè "Nucang'in" Astruc, a French Jesuit who with skill and sensitivity harmonized church teachings
and Alaska Native spirituality, died June 28, 2002 in Anchorage after a long struggle with kidney cancer. Fr.
Astruc had worked as a preacher, teacher and school administrator in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta since 1950. But he will most likely be remembered for offering acceptance and appreciation of Yup'ik customs, including traditional dance and potlatch ceremonies that had been misunderstood and banned by Catholic missionaries before him. Fr. Astruc was born in Versailles, France, on Sept. 17, 1924. He felt called to serve the Native people of Alaska, and entered the Society of Jesus with that desire. He was ordained in 1954 and worked in small Yup'ik Eskimo villages for most of the rest of his life.
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