SWEET – Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School students Karmen Kane, right, and Sophia Stark make chocolate-dipped strawberries Wednesday night during the Keet Family Night. Hundreds attended the event, which included a chili dinner, activities and heart-shaped cookies. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Fr. Peter F. Gorges Dies; Served Here 1991-2001

Rev. Peter Francis Gorges

Rev. Peter Francis Gorges, 84, died suddenly on Oct. 9, 2019, at Providence Transitional Care Center in Anchorage.
Fr. Peter was born Aug. 27, 1935, in the Bronx, New York, the second oldest of four sons of Michael and Genevieve. 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 U.S. 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 great-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.
A memorial Mass will be offered on Sunday, Oct. 20, during the 11 a.m. Mass at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church in Sitka. After the memorial Mass will be a potluck reception, downstairs in the church hall.
In Anchorage, a viewing of Fr. Peter will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 16, followed by a Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. A reception will follow.
In Juneau, a viewing of Fr. Peter will be held at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary from 3 to 6 p.m., on Thursday, October 17, followed by a Vigil service at 6 p.m. A reception will follow. The Funeral Mass will be held at St. Paul the Apostle Church 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 18. 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.

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