This Advent season, episodes of Sharing the Word in Western Alaska feature the Sunday gospel reading and a radio-friendly homily. Pat (Patrick) Tam gave voice to the episodes.
Tam is a Catholic parish worker who lives in Emmonak. He arrived in the village as a Jesuit volunteer in 1981 and has devoted his life to being part of the community.
Tam also helped write the episodes, as part of a collaborative effort including priests, sisters, and Yup’ik deacons and laypeople from around the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. They air every Sunday and Holy Day of Advent.
This is a section from the December 27 episode, for the Day of the Holy Family:
Today’s gospel tells us [Jesus] grew and became strong; he was full of wisdom.
Did he grow, become strong, and become wise on his own? It was Joseph and Mary’s responsibility as parents to teach Jesus his faith, his culture, and how to make wise decisions and became strong, not just physically but spiritually and intellectually. …
The family is where children learn, grow, and become strong. Parents, maybe you need to ask yourself, how am I – like Mary or Joseph – helping my child to grow strong?”From Sharing the Word in Western Alaska
Image at top: Pat Tam stands in front of a map of Indigenous homelands in Alaska and Canada.