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Our New Bishop

Bishop Chad Zielinski
Bishop Chad Zielinski. (Image: Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks.)

In November, KNOM broke the news that our region would soon have a new bishop after an interregnum of more than a year.

As reported in a story by news director Matthew Smith, Pope Francis has named Father Chad Zielinski to helm the Diocese of Fairbanks. One of only three dioceses in Alaska (after Juneau and Anchorage), the diocese Fr. Zielinski will lead is the northernmost in the USA, and it’s massive: 410,000 square miles, including Nome and our listening area.

Prior to his ordination as a priest in 1996, Bishop Elect Zielinski served for four years on active duty in the Air Force. In the 2000s, now as a chaplain, he served on tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and then became a military chaplain at Fairbanks’ Eielson Air Force Base in 2012. He’s slated to be ordained as the Bishop of Fairbanks in December, filling the position left vacant after Bishop Donald Kettler was asked to lead the diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota in 2013.

While KNOM receives no subsidies from the Diocese of Fairbanks, our mission extends their ministry through Catholic programming, including Sunday Mass, daily Rosary prayers, and inspirational spots.

We invite you to join in well wishes and prayers that Bishop Zielinski’s tenure will be one of renewal for the diocese and for the faithful in our listening area.

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Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.