Ministry at the Edge of the World
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.
It was great seeing Father Tom out here. Also, there are currently only about 70 people living on the island. Not only that, but the church has been closed since November, so mass was held in school’s cafeteria.
Is it possible to visit Diomede?
It seems to be a fascinating island and culture.