Fr. Scott has served at St. Patrick's since January of 2002. He was ordained to the priesthood on July 26,1996 as a diocesan priest of the Archdiocese of Anchorage. He hopes to continue serving St. Patrick's for many years to come.
Fr. Scott has a passion for celebrating the liturgy, for developing strong parish faith formation programs for all ages, and for providing parishioners with opportunities to serve those most in need in our community. He is the Archdiocesan Vicar for Clergy and in that capacity serves on Archbishop Roger Schwietz's Executive Council. He is a board member of Catholic Social Services, the broadest provider of social service programs in Alaska, and of Covenant House Alaska, a shelter for homeless teens. He is a former board member of the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group and of Anchorage Project Access, an agency that facilitates pro bono medical care for low income people without medical insurance.
Fr. Scott loves to bike, in the mountains and on the road, and to climb mountains. His most recent "big adventure" was training for and completing the Fireweed 200 in July of 2010, a one day, two hundred mile road bike race from Sheep Mountain Lodge to Valdez. (See below to learn more about Fr. Scott's race.)
Fr. Scott was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. He was raised in the United Methodist Church. Fr. Scott, who grew up on a lake, swam competitively from an early age. His claim to fame was breaking a Florida state record in the 25 yard back stroke as an eight year old! As a teenager he also raced 16' Hobie Cat sail boats. Scouting was a big part of Fr. Scott's youth. He is an Eagle scout who served as a scoutmaster as a young adult.
While attending the University of Notre Dame as an undergraduate (1973-77), Fr. Scott met his wife, Maria Elena. Maria Elena is a life-long devout Catholic. Fr. Scott began attending mass with his roommates and with Maria Elena as an undergraduate. Fr. Scott studied German, economics, and the classics in a Great Books program. Fr. Scott and Maria Elena received the Sacrament of Marriage on June 12, 1978 at Notre Dame's Sacred Heart Basilica.
After working for three years as an account executive at Merrill Lynch in Orlando, Fr. Scott returned to Notre Dame to study law. He graduated with a J.D. in 1983. Although he is a member of the Maryland Bar and did some limited pro bono work representing the homeless, he never practiced law full time.
During law school, Fr. Scott began to discern God calling him to become an ordained minister. Immediately after graduating from law school, he entered seminary in the Duke Divinity School. He graduated with an M.Div. summa cum laude in 1986. He served as a United Methodist pastor for nine years.
Fr. Scott has always attended mass on a weekly basis with Maria Elena. His love for the Catholic faith, especially, for the Eucharist deepened over the years. In 1992, Archbishop Francis Hurley of Anchorage received Fr. Scott into the Church. Fr. Scott and Maria Elena moved their family to Anchorage. Saint John Paul II gave Archbishop Hurley permission to ordain Fr. Scott to the priesthood in 1996.
Fr. Scott and Maria Elena have three grown children, two wonderful daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren who all live in Denver. Our oldest son, Aaron, and his wife, Maureen, are expecting twins, Sean and Grace, in September 2014. Our number two son, Matthew, and his wife, Amy, have two beautiful girls, Emma and Lyla. Our youngest child and only daughter, Angela, is our joy!
Fireweed 200 Race Report written by Fr. Scott, July 2010
(to the Development Director and Executive Director of Catholic Social Services)
Hi, Adele -- and Susan,
Yes, I was there at the Fireweed 200 and finished. But what relentless headwinds!
After riding 75 miles into the headwinds east to Glennallen, I expected some relief as we headed south toward Valdez. At the Glennallen intersection, I looked up at the flags and saw them fluttering furiously straight out to the north. I couldn't believe it.
So, as you know, we fought strong headwinds almost all the way to Thompson Pass 165 miles into the race. It was an interesting experience at several points to look at my Garmin and see I was riding a negative 2% grade downhill, but only be going 14-15 mph and feel like I was pedaling uphill. Normally, I would be riding 26-27 mph on such a grade.
I had trained using aerobars but, since this was my first season training with them, I knew that I could only ride in them for about 50 miles. Unfortunately, I had ridden most of those 50 miles on the way to Glennallen.
At about 120-130 miles, I began to get dehydrated even though I had been drinking a 24 oz. bottle of water every hour. After increasing my water intake substantially, I felt better. I had to switch all of my nutrition to the PowerBar Endurance drink because my stomach wasn't even able to digest a PowerBar with plenty of water.
Fortunately, I had great support along the way from Maria Elena, my wife, and Cathy Tappel, the wife of a friend and parishioner, John Tappel, who trained with me and also completed the 200. They faithfully provided water, fuel and encouragement every hour the entire way.
At around 140 miles, I began to reflect that my extensive training is what was keeping me going into the headwinds. Otherwise, I'm quite certain that I would have bonked. I had ridden seven or eight 120-130 mile rides during my training. I don't have a diesel engine so my stamina was all due to the training.
From the top of Thompson Pass to Valdez, it rained with 48 degree temperatures.. I had been warned about the likelihood of headwinds along this final 30 mile stretch, but, since they weren't nearly as strong as the headwinds we had been fighting the rest of the day, I didn't particularly notice them -- that is until they stopped for one short stretch and I found myself riding significantly faster with no greater effort.
But for the headwinds, I think that I would have probably reached my goal of around 12 hours. Instead, I finished at 13:36. I was surprised to see that I had finished five minutes behind the leader of my 50+ age group in second place. The guy ahead of me finished about an hour slower than his time last year. I finished about 15 minutes ahead of the third place finisher in my age group who completed the ride last year in 10:39. I'll be interested to learn from him why his time was so much slower. Was it the headwinds? Was he sick or injured?
So that's the report. It was a good, challenging experience. I was satisfied with having completed such a tough ride -- but even more satisfied to have completed all of the training that made it possible for me to finish the race.
It was also nice to have raised several thousand dollars for Catholic Social Services along the way!
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