Young Alaska Catholics see pope in Brazil despite last-minute funding scare

When a Las Vegas tour company declared bankruptcy last month, some young Alaska Catholics feared their dream of seeing Pope Francis in Brazil would not come true. They and their families had paid the company about $4,000 apiece for the trip, and the bankruptcy filing locked up that money. The National Catholic Reporter picks up the story from there: how Alaska parishes and individuals, not all of them Catholic, kicked in the money to make the trip happen.

"If we were ever going to have any credibility when we talk about how much we support our kids, we knew this was the time we had to show it," said Bishop Edward Burns of Juneau. ...

The three [Alaska bishops] sat down with NCR on Tuesday morning in the modest Rio hotel on the Copacabana beach where the Alaskans are staying and told the story. The bishops said they faced three options:

-- Canceling the trip

-- Covering the pilgrims' losses so they at least wouldn't be out $4,000

-- Finding a way to raise enough money to go to Rio anyway

They made an immediate decision to do with the third option, they said.

Read more: From one end of the world to another, Alaska rocks Rio