St. Christopher's Parish is located in Willow, Alaska. Willow is 70 miles north of Anchorage and covers 470 square miles. Approximately 2000 people live in this area. In spite of our small population we have a U. S. Post Office, an elementary school, a public library, a community hall, fire and ambulance service, an air field plus the usual businesses found in small communities.

The first inhabitants of this area were Tanaina Indians. The discovery of gold in Willow Creek in 1897 attracted non-natives to to this region, but it wasn't until 1964 that mass was first celebrated in Willow. A few years later, land was donated for a Catholic Church and a double-wide trailer was moved onto the property. The trailer and its accompanying outhouse is still in use today.

Needless to say, this trailer has outlived its usefulness which is what prompted our parishioners to begin the building process. We have grown to 22 registered families and sometimes we run out of seating capacity in our church....especially in the summer when people come to their recreational cabins and travellers from outside Alaska stop in for mass.

We are a mission Church and without a resident priest or a parish administrator. We have a "circuit" priest who comes at least twice a month to celebrate mass with us. When we are not scheduled for a priest a deacon comes from 29 miles away to conduct a word and communion service. Since we have no resident priest everyone pitches in to keep our parish alive and well.

Building a church started five years ago as a grass roots project. Parishioners wrote up the project and presented it to Archbishop Hurley. After receiving his approval we polled our members as to what they wanted in a new church, promoted various fundraisers and conducted a pledge drive. A building committee was formed in 2000 and it met on a weekly basis until an architect came on board. Plans were eventually finalized and a builder hired. Building our new church will begin in August 2001!!!!

As you can well imagine this is quite a financial undertaking for twenty-two families. We have been blessed with very generous donors, both in and out of our parish......both with money and services. In spite of our best efforts we are still $80,000 short of paying for our new church. Once the building is erected, it still will need to be furnished. This will be an ongoing project for years to come.

We are actively seeking donations to our church building efforts. If you wish to help us fulfill our dreams a check can be made to: St. Christopher's Church and mailed to

St. Christopher's Church
P.O. Box 412
Willow, AK 99688

If you donate $500.00 or more your name will be inscribed on a plaque in the gathering area of the new church. Thank you for visiting our site.