Huslia - Saint Francis Regis Catholic Church
Diocese of Fairbanks
Huslia - Saint Francis Regis Catholic Church Web Site
The Athapaskan Indian village of Huslia, located on the left bank of the Koyukuk River 70 miles north of Galena, came into being in the late 1940's and early 1950's, when people of a settlement called "Cutoff" four miles away, moved to this new location. The name changed to Huslia in 1952.
The Huslia Catholic Community has had no resident priest. Alaskan Shepherd archives claim that 25 early Catholic residents "moved back and forth between the Catholic and Episcopal Churches." Huslia was visited infrequently by the Jesuits before 1955. Clergymen stops in the village for liturgies became more regular after that year with the arrival of Fr. James Plamondon, S.J., who served the community until 1962. Early in his stay there, Fr. Plamandon worked with the native men of Huslia to build the present church.
The Franciscan Friars from Galena ministered to Saint Francis Regis Parish for several years beginning in 1986. Sisters began to assist in the spiritual life of the Catholic community beginning with Sister Patricia Waters, S.F.C.C. She was in residence from 1983 until 1986. Brother Robert Ruzicka, O.F.M., also served the parish briefly.
Diocesan priests also served at Huslia. Fr. Patrick Bergquist is one. Another is Fr. Edward Hartman, a retired United States Army Major serving the Diocese of Fairbanks. He visited the Huslia parish once a month from Galena between the years 1995 and 1997.