Father Francis M. Monroe, S.J. had arrived on July 1, 1904. Church documents retell how Monroe stood on the banks of the Chena that day, “penniless, landless and forlorn.” The next day, he offered Mass in a private home. And on the first Sunday, area Catholics came to the District Court Building, where Father Monroe offered the first public Mass in Fairbanks. Once the church was built, a hospital was his next goal. Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
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