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.
I want to thank Fr. Robert for the seven years that he faithfully served as the Pastor of Saint Nicholas Church. Over the past seven years, Fr. Robert has taken an already vibrant community and made it an integral asset to the diocese.
With the departure of Father Robert from Saint Nicolas Church, I would like to announce that effective
13 August 2016, Father Stanislaw Jaszek will be assigned as the Pastor of Saint Nicholas Catholic Church. In addition, Father Stanislaw Jaszek will remain as the Pastor of both Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Delta Junction and Holy Rosary Church in Tok. Given our priest shortage, it is imperative that the priests that we have in the diocese cover multiple parishes.
I have been working hard with other bishops and traveling to spread the word about our priest shortages. Some of my efforts are coming to fruition and I am happy to announce that the Diocese of Lincoln will be sending us Father Thomas Kuffel for a period of three years for pastoral ministry in the Diocese of Fairbanks. Effective 14 June 2016, Father Thomas Kuffel will be assigned as the Pastor of Saint Joseph Church in Nome as well as the Pastor of Saint Francis Xavier Church in Kotzebue, Saint Jude Church in Little Diomede and Saint Ann Church in Teller.
I also want to thank Father Vince Burns from the bottom of my heart, who volunteered his pastoral care to the Diocese of Fairbanks and has spent the past year in Nome shepherding to the faithful flock in the Northwest!
I ask for your continued prayers for vocations in the Diocese of Fairbanks.
Yours in Christ,
†Most Reverend Chad W. Zielinski
Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska
Diocese of Fairbanks