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Ministry at the Edge of the World

A landscape of Diomede, Alaska, in wintertime: a small airplane sits on a runway made of ice, with village houses nestled at the base of a steep hill in the background.
The village of Diomede, Alaska. Photo: Matty Guiffre, KNOM.

Nowhere is the need for rural Alaska broadcasting more evident than in the village of Diomede, where Nome parish priest Father Tom Kuffel is visiting as this newsletter goes to press.

Father Tom serves several small, isolated parishes. Typically, he is the only Catholic priest within thousands of square miles. When not in Nome, he travels to villages by truck, small airplane, or even helicopter, to celebrate Mass and provide sacraments and ministry.

Diomede is a community of 170 people located along the cliff face of a small island in the Bering Strait, adjacent to the International Date Line. While on Diomede, Fr. Tom will celebrate Mass at Saint Jude Church. Once back in Nome, his voice will continue to be heard each Sunday morning: via a radio tuned to KNOM.

A weather-worn wooden church, perched along a snowy, steep cliff face.
Diomede’s St. Jude Catholic Church, perched along the cliff face of Little Diomede Island in the Bering Strait. Photo: Matty Guiffre, KNOM.

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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.