Roman Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks
|Diocese of Fairbanks
Dioecesis de Fairbanks
|Ecclesiastical province||Province of Anchorage|
|Area||409,849 sq mi (1,061,500 km2)|
|(as of 2006)
|Established||August 8, 1962|
|Cathedral||Cathedral of the Sacred Heart|
|Patron saint||St. Therese of Lisieux|
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks (Latin: Dioecesis de Fairbanks) is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the northwestern United States, comprising the northern regions of the state of Alaska. It is led by a bishop which serves as pastor of the mother church, Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in the City of Fairbanks. The diocese is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Anchorage.
The See of Fairbanks was established from the Prefecture Apostolic of Alaska on July 27, 1894 which was created from the Diocese of Vancouver Island. It was elevated to an apostolic vicariate on December 22, 1916. The Diocese of Juneau was carved out of the apostolic vicariate on June 23, 1951. On August 8, 1962, the apostolic vicariate was elevated to a diocese.
In February 2008, the diocese announced plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, claiming inability to pay the 140 plaintiffs who filed claims against the diocese for alleged sexual abuse by priests or church workers dating from the 1950s to the early 1980s. The Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, was named as a co-defendant in the case, and settled for $50 million. The Diocese, which reports an operating budget of approximately $6 million, claims one of the diocese’s insurance carriers failed to "participate meaningfully".
As of 2007, the diocese contains 47 parishes, 27 priests, providing service to 18,000 Catholics, in an area of 409,849 square miles (1,061,500 km2). It also has 20 religious sisters, 18 religious brothers.
- Paschal Tosi, S.J. (1894–1897)
- Jean Baptist Rene, S.J. (1897–1904)
- Joseph Raphael John Crimont, S.J. (1904–1945)
- Walter James Fitzgerald, S.J. (1945–1947)
- Francis Doyle Gleeson, S.J. (1948–1968)
- George Theodore Boileau, S.J. (1964-1965) coadjutor bishop
- Robert Louis Whelan, S.J. (1968–1985)
- Michael Joseph Kaniecki, S.J. (1985–2000)
- Donald Joseph Kettler (2002–2013)
Churches & locations
Services are provided in English. But due to the growing Hispanic population in Fairbanks, services are also provided in Spanish.
The diocese has only 2 schools for education.
- Immaculate Conception Elementary, Fairbanks
- Monroe Catholic High School, Fairbanks
Due to the vast area, low population density, and financial restraints, the diocese has no hospitals.
- Hospital ministry - Catholic services to the sick & injured in existing hospitals & nursing homes.
- Stephen ministry - interdenominational companions for people in grief, illness, loss, family breakdown, etc.
The diocese provides communication to its community by:
- The Alaskan Shepherd, a newsletter
- KNOM radio. Established in 1971, KNOM is the oldest Catholic radio station in the country.
|Wikisource has the text of a 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia article about Prefecture Apostolic of Alaska.|
- "Fairbanks Catholic Diocese filing for bankruptcy". KTUU.com. WorldNow. 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2008-03-03. "More than 150 claims were filed against the church for alleged crimes at the hands of clergy or church workers between the 1950s and 1980s."
- United Press International (2008-02-15). "Diocese of Fairbanks plans bankruptcy". ArcaMax. ArcaMax Publishing, Inc. Retrieved 2008-03-03. "Robert Hannon, who serves as a special assistant to Bishop Donald Kettler and is the diocesan chancellor, told the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News that officials believe bankruptcy is the fairest way to compensate victims."
- Baldino, Megan (2008-02-15). "Diocese of Fairbanks to file for bankruptcy". CNA. Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2008-03-03. "The negotiations allegedly failed because one of the diocese’s insurance carriers did not “participate meaningfully.” ... Robert Hannon, chancellor and special assistant to Bishop Donald Kettler, said bankruptcy would provide a way for church assets to be distributed fairly among abuse victims."
- "Diocese hopes to continue operations despite Chapter 11 petition". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Archived from the original on 2009-07-20.