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.
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 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.