Enaa neenyo! Quyana tailuci! Qaimarutin!
("Welcome!" in Koyukon Athabascan, Central Yup'ik and Inupiaq)
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
After a long period of prayer, reflection and consultation with diocesan leaders and outside specialists, I find a need to restructure the chancery's operations. This restructure is intended to make our missionary diocese more responsive to the peoples' needs. Having worked with many to review our operations, all agreed changes were necessary as the current structure is not sustainable. I am sensitive to the varied emotions this announcement will create. Please know, these changes are not made lightly.
Since becoming your bishop, in my travels throughout the diocese, I have visited and anointed the sick in their homes, talked with people following Mass and in pastoral gatherings. Time and again people have asked for help to strengthen their families. This desire finds an eloquent expression in Pope Francis' recent Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia:
"The covenant of love and fidelity lived by the Holy Family of Nazareth illuminates the principle which gives shape to every family, and enables it better to face the vicissitudes of life and history. On this basis, every family, despite its weaknesses, can become a light in the darkness of the world." Amoris Laetitia p51-52
Therefore it seems appropriate to have an office of Faith and Family Formation, which will include many of the duties of Religious Education and Youth Ministry.
I am asking Fr. Robert Fath to direct the office. Fr. Robert already oversees our vocations efforts, and I view this new office, and his expanded role as united at the deepest level. Good vocations come from healthy families. As director of this office, Fr. Robert will travel throughout the diocese and work collaboratively with ministers and the people to nurture this vision.
We are also redistributing roles and responsibilities of several other offices in the chancery. Stephen Ministry, will be funded by and operate out of the Cathedral. Human Resources will be dissolved with many of its tasks absorbed at the statewide level by the Alaska Conference of Catholic Bishops. Also, being restructured is our diocesan office of Development. We are realigning and combining our stewardship efforts to operate more efficiently and to explore new ventures.
I know this announcement will be hard for some. Several of those being released in this plan have been with us for years and have served with distinction. I remain grateful for their service. I thank them and the people who continue to serve us from the bottom of my heart. Please continue to pray for our diocese and the fine men and women who serve it and have served it so well over the years. Please know I join you in those prayers.
Your Brother in Christ,
†Most Reverend Chad W. Zielinski
Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska
Diocese of Fairbanks
The Diocese of Fairbanks and Catholic Extension have partnered in an incentive program in an effort to build a permanent endowment that can be stewarded and retained for years to come. The income from this endowment will support the cost of seminarian education in the Diocese of Fairbanks. Qualifying donations must be new or increased gifts of $1,000 or more, or raised through special fundraising events designated for the program. Catholic Extension will match each qualified gift, up to a total of $50,000.
What is the process for accepting seminarians?
Seminarians are accepted through a lengthy and thorough process conducted by our Vocation Director, Fr. Robert Fath and Bishop Chad Zielinski. It includes a psychological test, background check, medical evaluation, and multiple conversations to assist men discerning this vocation. Candidates must be practicing Catholics who have completed their sacraments and have a high school diploma. A college degree is preferred.
What expenses are seminarians responsible for paying?
Though many seminarians’ families can and do contribute very genersously to their personal expenses, most come from families of very modest incomes. The average cost of educating and forming each seminarian, annually, in our diocese is $30,000. Their expenses include everything from tuition, room and board to books, stipends, and health insurance.
How do we promote new vocations in the Diocese of Fairbanks?
We strive to make personal contact in multiple ways, including in-person, by phone, by email and through social media. Bishop Chad and Father Robert visit schools, parishes, and campus ministries to talk about vocations. The best advocates for promoting vocations are parents.
16 April 2016
To: Diocese of Fairbanks
From: Bishop Chad W. Zielinski
Subject: Summer Assignments
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The greatest challenge that we face in the Diocese of Fairbanks is our priest shortage with 16 priests, 6 of which are over the age of 70 to minister the Sacraments of the faithful in our 46 parishes. The good news is that your prayers are working and we will have three seminarians this fall. In order to focus our efforts in the area of vocations, effective 13 August 2016, Father Robert Fath, will be working as the Vocations Director based in Fairbanks.
The Alaska Catholic Youth Conference will be held June 6-9 in Anchorage .
ACYC registration is open! If you register before May 1, there is a $25 discount! You are strongly encouraged to register through your parish because it is a two step process ( online and hard copy) ! Online registration only is INCOMPLETE!
Do it all at once with your parish youth minister !
Bishop Chad Zielinski Introduction to Pope Francis' Postsynodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, The Joy of Love
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am pleased to share with you our Holy Father’s Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, The Joy of Love.
As you may remember, Pope Francis convened two Synods on the family. This document represents his reflections of those gatherings. Also recall, the Holy Father solicited the insights and experiences of all of the faithful with a questionnaire. In fact, those of other faiths were invited to respond to the questions found in the survey. Pope Francis clearly sought to cast his nets wide in gathering material for his discernment. If you recall too, our diocese participated in that process and in some small measure, we have played a role in Amoris Laetitia.
USCCB will host a media teleconference at 10 a.m. Eastern, which will be streamed live at: http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/holy-see/francis/apostolic-exhortation-press-conference.cfm
Participants will include:
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, chairman, USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth
Helen Alvaré, JD, Professor of Law, The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University
Moderator: Norma Montenegro Flynn, USCCB Office of Public Affairs
Other experts who will not participate in the call but who can be reached for comments through their own media contact, are:
Kurt Martens, JCD, Professor of Canon Law, The Catholic University of America
John S. Grabowski, Ph.D., Professor of moral theology & ethics, The Catholic University of America.
Please join Bishop Chad Zielinski and the Office of Stewardship and Development for a conversation about life insurance and estate planning
Saturday, April 16th, from 2-5 PM, at the Kobuk Center.
Also attending will be local New York Life agents Linda and Erik Hulbert, who can share real-life stories about these subjects and what they may mean to people in our community. Like many others, their family suffered an unexpected tragedy and was unprepared for it. Since then, they have worked hard to help others plan ahead for difficult times.
to the people of Northern and Western Alaska
Diocese of Fairbanks – April – Volume 21 Number 4
Four years ago Catholic Home Mission Appeal profiled our diocese in this video. This week the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops posted the video on its webpages. Though some four years old, the video remains an accurate reflection of serving the Church in Northern Alaska.
In its latest issue, the magazine of the Knights of Columbus, Columbia profiled Bishop Zielinski. Here is a link to the article.”