New Assignment: Rev. Fred Bayler


18 April 2019

To: Diocese of Fairbanks
From: Bishop Chad W. Zielinski

Subject: Assignment for Reverend Fredrick Bayler

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Effective Friday, 24 May 2019, Reverend Fredrick Bayler will be assigned as the Parochial Administrator of Holy Lady of Guadalupe in Healy, St. Theresa in Nenana and Denali Park, while Reverend Thomas Kuffel continues as the Pastor. Reverend Fredrick Bayler has requested to retire from active ministry and will do so effective 13 September 2019.

Read more: New Assignment: Rev. Fred Bayler

April is dedicated to Child Abuse Awareness

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8 April 2019

“The unborn child occupies a space in Navajo culture that can best be described as holy or sacred….”-Navajo Nation

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

As usual, my March travels took me from one end of the country to the other--in addition to visiting villages in western Alaska, I traveled to Washington, D.C, to see two Navy friends ordained bishops and attended a listening session in Arizona with Native Americans. Much discussion during these travels focused on the abuse scandals, which I wanted to share with the faithful in our diocese.

While in Washington, D.C., I was sitting outside a coffee shop in clerics when an older man approached and asked to join me. Of course, I said yes. Not far into the conversation, he asked if I had some inside intel on the crisis in the Church. I assured him he knew as much as I did, from media reports and information coming out of dioceses. I expressed frustration about the abuse of minors and negligent Church leaders. I sensed he needed to hear something hopeful, so I shared that in addition to safeguarding young people through our Safe Environment program, our diocese is tackling the crisis through spiritual warfare. Our priests fast and pray every Friday for survivors, as reparation for sins by clergy and religious. We also set aside special days for all the faithful to pray for the conversion of the Church. My priests, my people, and I are in this battle together.

Read more: April is dedicated to Child Abuse Awareness

Responding to Love: Sacred Life

Besides heaven itself, what greater gift could there be than a child? And what greater responsibility could there be than raising a child? As a Catholic I believe God knows us individually, and has created us according to His purpose. I often pray this simple prayer for my children and family: “Dear Jesus, help us to become who we are in you.” Not only is Jesus, the risen Christ, our model of behavior and goodness, but to become fully who we are in Him, completes God’s unique design for each of us.
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to fall away, it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). The term “millstone” is mentioned several times in Scripture. Very heavy and hard, it was used to grind grain for bread in each town or village, and was a well-known site. There could be no mistaking this dramatic usage of the word.

Fr. Bala Gangarapu Departure


28 February 2019

Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Fr. Bala Gangarapu will be returning to his home diocese of Hyderabad in India by 1 July 2019. In June 2014, Fr. Bala was granted permission to work in the Diocese of Fairbanks for a total of five years from his Archbishop.

Fr. Bala traveled to many of our remote villages, and recently served at Sacred Heart Cathedral and Immaculate Conception Church (Fairbanks). He made several trips down the snowy and icy roads to care for the parishes in Healy and Nenana. Thank you for your generosity in serving the good people of God in the Diocese of Fairbanks. It has been an honor and privilege to work with Fr. Bala and we will all miss him dearly.

Sincerely in Christ,

†Most Reverend Chad W. Zielinski
Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska
Diocese of Fairbanks

Chrism Mass 2019


1 March 2019 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

As we prepare to enter into the holy season of Lent, a time of purification and preparation through acts of prayer, penance, and alms giving, I would like to invite you all to celebrate with me the Chrism Mass. The Mass will take place on Tuesday, April 9th at 7:00 pm. The celebration of this liturgy is one of the most significant Masses we celebrate as a diocese. It is an opportunity for the people of God in the diocese to come together with their bishop to express the unity of the Church.

Read more: Chrism Mass 2019


Daniel Oberreuter, the lead singer of the Catholic band The Thirsting, will be offering a Come Hold My Son Parish Mission Concert at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Sunday, March 31 at 7:00 pm. Monday thru Wednesday, Daniel will conduct the road system mission starting with Mass each evening at 6:00 pm and mission talks at 7:00 pm. He will share his personal testimony and a powerful message on the Rosary, Eucharist and Confession. Daniel has performed at World Youth Day 2016 and at hundreds of churches across the nation. Bring your family and friends to experience this opportunity for evangelization within your community. For more info, visit


Fiarbanks FLyer 18X24

February 21: Day of Prayer and Adoration


All are invited and encouraged to sit in Adoration on Thursday, February 21st during the hours of 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM at Sacred Heart Cathedral. This day of Adoration will take place during “The protection of minors in the Church” Meeting, to be held in the Vatican from 21 to 24 February 2019 and our extended Adoration will be held only on the first day. 

The February Meeting will see Presidents of Bishops’ Conference from all over the world coming together. The Meeting will include plenary sessions, working groups, moments of common prayer, listening to testimonies, a penitential liturgy, and a final Eucharistic celebration. Pope Francis will be present for the entire duration of the Meeting.

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Prophets for Life

“Prophets for Life"

The following is a homily delivered by Bishop Chad Zielinski at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Sunday, February 3, 2019. He invites all Catholics in our diocese to embrace a call to be “prophets for life” in these challenging times.

Today the first reading is from the Prophet Jeremiah. What is a prophet? A prophet is a messenger called and sent by God to communicate His will to the people. Prophets knew God’s will and they had the responsibility of calling Israel back to a life-giving, covenantal relationship with God when she wandered from it through sin.

Last Sunday, the first reading was from the Prophet Nehemiah. We heard Ezra the priest reading from the scroll, the law, and the people were weeping. They realized they had wandered away from God’s law through sin. Nehemiah saw their repentant hearts and announced an end to their weeping and instructed them to rejoice in God.

Read more: Prophets for Life