Last Christmas, Western Alaska lost a good friend.

Father Charles Jon (Chuck) Peterson, SJ, died on December 24, 2020, at 82 years old, in San Jose, California, from complications of Covid-19.

His memorial Mass was broadcast on KNOM, live from Sacred Heart Cathedral in Fairbanks.

Fr. Peterson served most of his vocation in Western Alaska. His assignments included ministries in Bethel, St. Mary’s, Nome, Fairbanks, and many Western Alaska villages.

Fr. Peterson worked to train Yup’ik men to be deacons in the far-flung villages of Western Alaska. He later expanded his experience to the airwaves, as producer of KNOM’s weekly program “The Lord Be With You!”, which helped local deacons prepare for the upcoming Sunday’s liturgical celebrations.

Photo: Father Charles Jon “Chuck” Peterson celebrating Mass.