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Diocese of Fairbanks List of Needs 2015 (PDF)


Prayer Request

Prayer Request


April 20, 2015


My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


     I am a strong believer in prayer. We spend much of our day-to-day lives focused on work and projects, family and friends. Often prayer is an afterthought or is forgotten altogether. But when we take time to give thanks or remember our relationship with the Lord, we touch the real ground of our lives. I think of this connection when I reflect on the words of Jesus, in St. Luke's Gospel:


"To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened." Luke 13:20,21


Anyone who has made bread recognizes the amazing properties of yeast. If you let the dough stand for an hour or two it grows larger and larger. Prayer is like that. The Spirit of the Lord works within us; our hearts are enlarged and we can reach out to others with love and generosity.


    As I pass my first one hundred days as bishop, I am asking for your prayers and help. I have travelled to just a few of our parishes, both on the road system and out in the bush. Those trips convince me we have some big challenges before us. We need priests and seminarians. At the moment, we have only 16 priests to serve 46 parishes. Two priests are working in the Central Yukon region and five work in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region, where most of our parishes lie. We have been blessed with dedicated deacons, religious, and laity, trained to provide Communion Services in the absence of a priest.  Still, the Catholic people of Northern Alaska yearn for the fullness of the Mass.


    When I learned there was an annual Bishop's Appeal where I ask for your prayers and help to sustain our Missionary diocese, I knew instantly how to best use the gifts you provide: work to attract more priests and seminarians. And so, I fervently urge you to:






    Faith is a verb, not a noun. What I mean by that is that once we have said "Yes" to our Lord and agree to be His disciples our work isn't over, it has just started. When we believe in Jesus' message and His sacrifice, it is as if we become the "three pecks of flour."  His Spirit enters into us, like the yeast. Like the yeast, the Spirit works to transform us. It doesn't happen all at once, but gradually. Furthermore, the more we surrender to His will, the more we can understand the words of St. Paul:

" is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Galatians 2:20


    One of the lessons I learned in my 16 years as an Air Force airman and chaplain is that for any mission to be successful every person in the unit must work together. So, my brothers and sisters, in this Bishop's Appeal, I am asking for your prayers; I am asking you to join me in this life-long process of building up the Church in this Missionary diocese.


    Please help me draw more priests to our diocese and raise up more men for the priesthood.


Sincerely in Our Risen Lord,

Chad W Zielinski

Bishop of Fairbanks


Did you know?


Liturgy of the word with Holy Communion (LWHC) services are celebrated on Sundays when a priest is not in the village. At this time, on any given Sunday there are at least 18 of the 24 parishes in the Y-K Delta region that celebrate LWHC. In parishes where there are deacons, the deacon leads the service. In parishes that do not have deacons, lay women and men lead the services.


Parishes that have assigned priests (only 14) see a priest about every three to eight weeks (these parishes have Sunday and daily Mass while the priest is there. His visit could be a few days or up to two weeks.) Parishes that have priests coming from Fairbanks celebrate Eucharistic about once every three months. The priest coming from Fairbanks may be in a village only three to four days.


Serving the Parish Communities of:

Alakanuk - Aniak - Barrow

Bethel - Chefornak - Chevak

Delta Junction - Emmonak - Fairbanks

Galena - Healy (also Denali Park) - Holy Cross

Hooper Bay - Huslia - Kalskag

Kaltag - Kotlik - Kotzebue

Koyukuk - Little Diomede Island - Marshall

McGrath - Mountain Village - Nenana

Newtok - Nightmute - Nome

North Pole - Nulato - Nunam Iqua

Pilot Station - Ruby - Russian Mission

Saint Marys - Saint Michael - Scammon Bay

Stebbins - Tanana - Teller

Tok - Toksook Bay - Tununak - Unalakleet