Fairbanks is the largest diocese in the United States, covering 400,000 square miles of glacial wilderness in northern and western Alaska. Most “bush” parishes, accessible only by plane, are located in small towns inland or in Eskimo villages along the coast. With few priests, the diocese struggles to maintain a Eucharist-centered Church in this huge mission land. The bishop gives high priority to training native deacons, lay leaders, youth ministers and catechists in the 24 villages scattered along the Bering Sea. Proclaiming the Gospel is a rewarding but tough ministry here, seriously hampered by vast distances, poor and unpredictable weather, high fuel and travel costs, equipment breakdown, and a never-ending shortage of personnel.
The Diocese of Fairbanks has:
- 17,500 Catholics (11% of total population)
- 49 parishes and missions (30 without resident priest)
- 9 active priests
Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska
1316 Peger Road
Fairbanks, Alaska 99709-5199