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Holy Cross teachers go West by far Northwest this summer

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Dialog reporter

 

Vacation lessons learned include how to track Alaskan mushers and ‘brain-based instruction’ in Vegas

DOVER — Summer camp has long been a staple of the American landscape, but it’s not just for students anymore. Several teachers from Holy Cross School in Dover spent part of the summer far from Kent County in efforts to make classroom experiences for their students that much better.

Two fourth-grade teachers, Stephanie Seeney and Cathi Bolton, spent 10 days in June in Alaska for the Iditarod Teacher Summer Camp, fulfilling a dream Seeney had harbored for several years. She had incorporated the Iditarod – the annual thousand-mile dog-sled race – into her math curriculum for a while, and finally had the opportunity to go learn about the race first-hand, as well as meet many of the people involved. Read more »

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Pope names bishops for Cleveland and Juneau — updated

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WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop Nelson J. Perez of Rockville Centre, New York, to head the Diocese of Cleveland.

The pope also has named Vincentian Father Andrew Bellisario, currently serving in the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska, to head the Diocese of Juneau, Alaska.

Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop Nelson J. Perez of Rockville Centre, N.Y., to head the Diocese of Cleveland.(CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)

Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop Nelson J. Perez of Rockville Centre, N.Y., to head the Diocese of Cleveland.(CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)

The appointments were announced in Washington July 11 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Perez, 56, succeeds Bishop Richard G. Lennon, who resigned in December at age 70 citing health reasons. Bishop Perez has been an auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre since 2012. He is vicar for the diocese’s Hispanic Apostolate.

Bishop-designate Bellisario, 60, succeeds Bishop Edward J. Burns, now head of the Diocese of Dallas. Since 2015, the Vincentian priest has served Hispanic Catholics in the Anchorage archdiocese. He is a former provincial of his religious congregation’s Western U.S. province.

During his introduction to the diocese and the media at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist July 11, Bishop Perez said he was absolutely thrilled to come to Cleveland to lead a church with many rich ethnic cultures.

“I’ve been getting texts and calls and emails since 6 o’clock this morning. Thank God I got up early,” he said. “And they all had this theme: ‘Congratulations and Cleveland rocks!’”

Bishop Perez said that the 677,000 Catholics in the eight counties of the diocese show that the church in Northeast Ohio remains vibrant and alive. He said he looked forward to working alongside the faithful as missionary disciples, as Pope Francis calls the faithful to be.

“I hope that these 670,000 missionary disciples will go out, each one of them, and call more people to get to know Jesus Christ and love the church,” Bishop Perez said. “Those 670,000 people that make up this local church, our church, my church, is all potential. And we have to be joyful and excited and enthusiastic about that.”

Bishop Perez was welcomed by Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of Toledo, Ohio, who has served as apostolic administrator of the Cleveland diocese since Bishop Lennon’s retirement. Both share a connection with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, where they served as priests in the past.

The new bishop also expressed gratitude to the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s leaders, retired Bishop William F. Murphy, and the diocese’s current bishop, Bishop John O. Barres, for guiding him during his five years as an auxiliary bishop in the diocese. “Both have helped me to learn how I can imitate their love for the church,” he said.

In his opening remarks, he addressed offered a few words in Spanish to Cleveland’s Latino Catholics. He recapped his background including his work in evangelization and ministry to Hispanics throughout his priesthood.

Bishop Perez will be installed as the 11th bishop of Cleveland Sept. 5.

He was born in Miami in 1961, the son of Cuban parents. He briefly described how his parents fled their homeland in 1960 because of restrictions on their freedom under the regime of Fidel Castro. The Perez family moved to New Jersey a few years later when the bishop was a child.

Bishop Perez graduated from Montclair State University in New Jersey with a bachelor degree in psychology. He taught for a year at Colegio la Piedad, a Catholic elementary school in Puerto Rico, before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia to study for the priesthood.

Ordained in 1989 as a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Bishop Perez served as a parochial vicar in one parish and pastor of two others. He also was the founding director of the Catholic Institute for Evangelization, an archdiocesan office for adult faith formation development and lay ministry training. In addition, he served as assistant director of the Office for Hispanic Catholics of the archdiocese.

In 2012, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Rockville Centre diocese. There, he was a member of the Corporate Board of Directors for Catholic Health Services, vice chair of Catholic Charities, and served on the Priests Personnel Board, Presbyteral Council and Diocesan Advisory Committee for Hispanic Ministry.

He is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs and is a former member of the bishops’ subcommittee overseeing the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

At a mid-morning introduction at St. Ann’s Hall at the diocesan Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Juneau, Bishop-designate Bellisario said he was surprised to learn Pope Francis wanted to appoint him to the Southeast Alaska diocese the last week of June by Archbishop Pierre.

“Totally stunned and floored was I to the point that I was having trouble breathing,” he told diocesan staff. “Yet the grace of God was in the exchange, the Holy Spirit I believe because once I was able to catch my breath, I was able to say emphatically and completely ‘Yes.’”

Bishop-designate Bellisario said he wrote a letter of acceptance to Pope Francis and shared the words of St. Vincent de Paul, who founded the religious order to which he belongs: “St. Vincent told the members of what he called his little company … ‘Let us love God, my brothers. Let us love God but let it be with the sweat of our brows.’

“I now declare that it is with the strength of my arms and the sweat of my brow that I completely dedicate myself to serving you,” the newly named bishop said.

He also recalled his upbringing in southern California by Depression-era parents, who came to the U.S. from Italy. He said his parents, Rocky and Mildred, stressed the importance of helping others who were less fortunate.

“My dad always told me, ‘You have to look out for the little guy. There is no one to care for the little guy.’ I always suspect the reason he always said that was because he himself was a little guy,” Bishop-designate Bellisario said.

As immigrants, his parents faced “were treated unfortunately the way that immigrants are treated today,” he said, adding that their devotion to the Catholic faith helped inspire his vocation to the priesthood as a Vincentian.

A native of Los Angeles, the bishop-designate was ordained in 1984. After ordination he served on the staff of St. Vincent’s Seminary in Montebello, California, first as assistant dean of students and then dean of students.

He served in parish ministry in California from 1986 through 1998 before becoming director of the De Paul Evangelization Center in Montebello. In 2002, he began an eight-year period as superior of the Vincentians’ Province of the West.

Beginning in 2003, he also took on added responsibilities as director of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Province of Los Altos Hills, California. In 2015, Bishop-designate Bellisario headed north to Alaska to serve as superior of the International Mission of the Vincentians and parochial vicar of St. Anthony Parish in Anchorage. After a year he became pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Anchorage.

His episcopal ordination was set for Oct. 10.

 

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Pope tells archbishops not to be ‘armchair Catholics,’ but apostles

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The Catholic Church’s new cardinals and new archbishops must be willing to risk everything, patiently endure evil and bear crosses like Jesus did, Pope Francis said.

“The Lord answers our prayers. He is faithful to the love we have professed for him, and he stands beside us at times of trial.” Just as he accompanied the apostles, “he will do the same for you,” the pope told five new cardinals and about 30 archbishops named during the past year.

Pope Francis presents a box containing a pallium to Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, N.J., at the conclusion of Mass marking the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 29. New archbishops from around the world received their palliums from the pope. The actual imposition of the pallium will take place in the archbishop's archdiocese. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis presents a box containing a pallium to Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, N.J., at the conclusion of Mass marking the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 29. New archbishops from around the world received their palliums from the pope. The actual imposition of the pallium will take place in the archbishop’s archdiocese. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis addressed the new cardinals and archbishops during his homily at a Mass in St. Peter’s Square June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, who are the patron saints of the Vatican and the city of Rome.

The Mass was celebrated the day after Pope Francis created new cardinals from El Salvador, Mali, Laos, Sweden and Spain. Thirty-six archbishops appointed over the course of the past year were also invited to come to Rome to concelebrate the feast day Mass with Pope Francis. They came from 26 countries.

The concelebrants included Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, New Jersey; and Archbishops Paul D. Etienne of Anchorage, Alaska; and Charles C. Thompson of Indianapolis. All three of the U.S. prelates have deep connections to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Archbishop Etienne was a priest of the archdiocese and Cardinal Tobin is the former archbishop.

In what has become the standard practice, the pope did not place the pallium on new archbishops during the liturgy. Rather, after the Mass, the pope handed each archbishop a pallium folded up in a small, simple wooden box tied with a brown ribbon as a soloist sang “You Got to Walk that Lonesome Valley,” a traditional American gospel song.

The actual imposition of the woolen band was to take place in the archbishop’s archdiocese in the presence of his faithful and bishops from neighboring dioceses. The pallium symbolizes an archbishop’s unity with the pope and his authority and responsibility to care for the flock the pope entrusted to him.

After the Mass, Cardinal Tobin told Catholic News Service that St. John XXIII had said “cardinals and bishops are the coat hangers on which the church hangs its tradition. Now I don’t like being a coat hanger, but the thing I like to wear the most is the pallium.”

Being made of lamb’s wool, the pallium is a reminder of “the need and really the obligation of the bishop to look for the one who is lost and then bring the lost one back on his shoulders,” the cardinal said. “I hope to do that in Newark.”

Archbishop Etienne noted that the pallium also is “symbolic of the unity of the metropolitan archbishops with the Holy Father and, through him, with the universal church.”

It tells an archbishop that his role is to be a good shepherd to his flock, “to help the people entrusted to my pastoral care to learn to live in unity and peace, to manifest that truth and love of Jesus Christ and the Gospel,” he said.

“The role of every priest, and particularly every bishop, is to be more and more transformed into Christ and that’s my prayer,” Archbishop Etienne said. “And then whatever burdens come and challenges, I’ll find my peace because I will be firmly convinced in experiencing his presence with me.”

Archbishop Thompson told CNS he received the pallium from Pope Francis as a gift for the sixth anniversary of his ordination as a bishop.

Pope Francis “has been such a great model, example and witness, and to receive this from him,” the archbishop said, is “a reminder to go forth. I think about Jesus at the Last Supper when he washed the feet of the disciples and said, ‘Now, go and do as I have done.’”

Archbishop Thompson said he kept watching Pope Francis during the Mass and looking at the pallium the pope wears as a symbol of the universality of his mission. “I watched him in his role of being the shepherd” and knew the pope was calling him “now to go forth and be that shepherd for the people entrusted to my care.”

In his homily at the Mass, the pope said the life of every apostle is built on: constant, edifying prayer; a firm, passionate profession of faith; and a willingness to patiently endure persecution.

People must ask themselves whether they are “armchair Catholics, who love to chat about how things are going in the church and the world,” he said, or if they are “apostles on the go,” who are on fire with love for God and ready to offer their lives for him.

Apostles of Christ “know that they cannot just tread water or take the easy way out, but have to risk putting out into the deep, daily renewing their self-offering,” he said.

Christians must follow the Lord completely and live according to his ways, not ways guided by personal self-interest, he said. Christ’s way “is that of new life, of joy and resurrection; it is also the way that passes through the cross and persecution.”

In different parts of the world, “often in complicit silence, great numbers of Christians are marginalized, vilified, discriminated against, subjected to violence and even death, not infrequently without due intervention on the part of those who could defend their sacrosanct rights,” the pope said.

However, there is no Christ and no Christian without the cross, he said. “Christian virtue is not only a matter of doing good, but of tolerating evil as well,” he said, quoting St. Augustine.

Enduring evil means “imitating Jesus, carrying our burden, shouldering it for his sake and that of others,” knowing that the Lord is by one’s side.

Finally, the pope said, prayer is another essential element of the life of an apostle as it “is the water needed to nurture hope and increase fidelity. Prayer makes us feel loved and it enables us to love in turn.”

As is customary, a delegation from the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople attended the Mass for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Before the Mass, Archbishop Job of Telmessos, head of the Orthodox delegation, joined the pope in prayer at the tomb of St. Peter inside St. Peter’s Basilica. The two also stopped before a bronze statue of St. Peter, which was adorned with a jeweled tiara, ring and red cope.

Contributing to this story were Cindy Wooden and Junno Arocho Esteves.

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Pope names Alaskan bishop to head Dallas diocese

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WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has named Bishop Edward J. Burns of Juneau, Alaska, to be bishop of Dallas, succeeding now-Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, who headed the Dallas Diocese until he was named in August to be the first prefect of the new Vatican office for laity, family and life.

Pope Francis has named Bishop Edward J. Burns of Juneau, Alaska, to be bishop of Dallas, succeeding now-Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, who headed the Dallas diocese until he was named in August to be the first prefect of the new Vatican office for laity, family and life. Bishop Burns is pictured in a late June photo in Rome. (CNS/Carol Glatz)

Pope Francis has named Bishop Edward J. Burns of Juneau, Alaska, to be bishop of Dallas, succeeding now-Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, who headed the Dallas diocese until he was named in August to be the first prefect of the new Vatican office for laity, family and life. Bishop Burns is pictured in a late June photo in Rome. (CNS/Carol Glatz)

Bishop Burns, 59, has headed the Diocese of Juneau since 2009. A priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, he is a former rector of St. Paul’s Seminary in Pittsburgh and former director of the U.S. bishops’ national offices dealing with clergy, vocations and priestly formation.

The appointment was announced Dec. 13 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Burns will be installed as the eighth bishop of Dallas Feb. 9.

In a statement, he said he is “humbled and grateful” for his new appointment and “at the same time, this announcement fills my heart with gratitude for the privilege and honor of serving the priests, deacons, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Juneau.”

“I am profoundly grateful for my experience in southeast Alaska and I pray for God’s grace as I take on my new duties as chief shepherd of the Diocese of Dallas,” Bishop Burns said.

Bishop Burns is the current chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People. He also is a member of the bishops’ Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions and has been a member of their Administrative Committee.

He was named bishop of Juneau by Pope Benedict XVI Jan. 19, 2009, and ordained a bishop March 3, 2009, at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh, his home diocese. His installation was April 2, 2009.

The 37,600-square-mile Diocese of Juneau is considered one of the U.S. church’s home mission dioceses. Out of a total population of 75,000, it has 10,000 Catholics.

In a recent interview with Catholic News Service in Juneau, Bishop Burns said that when he became diocesan bishop there, he learned that 10 percent of its population was Catholic and 60 percent didn’t identify with any religion.

“I thought to myself, ‘What a wonderful challenge this is going to be,’” he said. “It’s an opportunity for us to engage in the new evangelization, because it’s not like these people have never heard of Jesus Christ, or the Gospel message, or that they’ve never been in contact with the church. It’s just that they choose to be secularists. They have chosen to step aside from their religion or faith.

“For us, it’s a wonderful challenge,” Bishop Burns said, “to awaken in them a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

The son of Geraldine Little Burns and the late Donald P. Burns, Edward J. Burns was born Oct. 7, 1957, and raised in the Pittsburgh area. After high school, he attended St. Paul Seminary/Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and sociology. He then attended Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., graduating in 1983 with a master of divinity degree and a master’s degree in theology. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh June 25, 1983.

After ordination, then-Father Burns served in parish ministry, diocesan administration, and in vocation and seminary work. He was the director of clergy personnel for the Pittsburgh diocese when then-Bishop Donald W. Wuerl of Pittsburgh released him to serve at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington.

On the national level he was executive director of the USCCB’s Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation from 1999 to 2008. Pope Benedict named him a monsignor in 2006. Msgr. Burns returned to Pittsburgh in August 2008 as rector of St. Paul’s Seminary and director of the diocesan preordination formation department and office for vocations.

Now-Cardinal Wuerl, who is archbishop of Washington, issued a statement on Bishop Burns’ new appointment, calling it “a joy to hear” that Pope Francis “has entrusted” the Dallas diocese to him.

In the bishop’s years of ministry as a diocesan priest, at the USCCB and in Alaska, “I have seen the great pastoral care and spiritual leadership with which Bishop Burns has faithfully served the church,” Cardinal Wuerl said Dec. 13. “The Diocese of Dallas is blessed to be gaining an extraordinary shepherd, and he brings with him our prayers for his pastoral ministry.”

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Pope names new bishops in Alaska and Virginia

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WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz of Anchorage, Alaska, and appointed Bishop Paul D. Etienne of Cheyenne, Wyoming, to be his successor.

Pope Francis also accepted the resignation of Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington, Virginia, and named as his successor Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh, North Carolina.

The changes were announced in Washington Oct. 4 by Msgr. Walter Erbi, the charge d’affaires of the apostolic nunciature to the United States.

Both Archbishop Schwietz and Bishop Loverde are 76, Canon law requires bishops to submit their resignation to the pope at age 75.

Archbishop Schwietz has headed the Archdiocese of Anchorage since 2001. Bishop Loverde has headed the Arlington Diocese since 1999.

Bishop Burbidge, 59, will be installed as Arlington’s fourth bishop Dec. 6 at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington. The date for Archbishop Etienne’s installation as Anchorage’s fourth archbishop has not yet been announced.

Archbishop Etienne, 57, has headed the statewide Diocese of Cheyenne since December 2009.

Bishop Paul D. Etienne of Cheyenne, Wyo., concelebrates Mass in 2012 at the Vatican. . (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Bishop Paul D. Etienne of Cheyenne, Wyo., concelebrates Mass in 2012 at the Vatican. . (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

On a national level, he is chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions and has been president of Catholic Rural Life since 2013. He also is serving his second term as a member of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People.

Born June 15, 1959, in Tell City, Indiana, Paul Etienne attended the Pontifical North American College in Rome and he holds bachelor and licentiate of theology degrees from the Pontifical Gregorian University, also in Rome.

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in 1992. After ordination, he served in several Indianapolis parishes, and was director of vocations for the archdiocese.

Archbishop Schwietz, a native of St. Paul, Minn., was ordained an Oblate of Mary Immaculate priest in 1967. He was appointed bishop of Duluth, Minn., in 1989, and ordained a bishop Feb. 2, 1990. In 2000, he was appointed coadjutor archbishop of Anchorage, a year before succeeding Archbishop Francis T. Hurley.

The Archdiocese of Anchorage covers about 139,000 square miles. Out of a population of about 483,000, a little over 27,000, or 6 percent, are Catholic.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh, N.C., processes with other U.S. bishops after concelebrating Mass in 2012 at the Vatican. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington, Virginia, and named Bishop Burbidge as his successor. (CNS photo/Alessia Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo)

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh, N.C., processes with other U.S. bishops after concelebrating Mass in 2012 at the Vatican. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington, Virginia, and named Bishop Burbidge as his successor. (CNS photo/Alessia Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo)

Bishop Burbidge, a native of Philadelphia, has headed the Raleigh Diocese since 2006. Before that, he served his home archdiocese as auxiliary bishop for four years. He was ordained a bishop Sept. 5, 2002.

Born June 16, 1957, in Philadelphia. Michael Burbidge studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. He holds master’s degrees in theology, administration and education, and has a doctorate in education.

He was ordained a priest for the Philadelphia archdiocese in 1984. After ordination, he served as dean of formation and administrative assistant to the archbishop. He also served on the board of seminary admissions, the priests’ personnel board and on the priests’ council.

Bishop Loverde, who was born in Framingham, Mass., was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Norwich, Conn., in 1965. He was named an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Conn., in 1988, and was ordained a bishop in April of that year. In November 1993, he was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, New York, and was installed in January 1994. He served there until his appointment as bishop of Arlington.

The Diocese of Arlington covers 6,500 square miles in Northern Virginia. Out of a total a population of 3.2 million people, about 458,000 or 14 percent, are Catholic.

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Michigan priest named new bishop of Fairbanks

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Pope Francis has appointed Father Chad W. Zielinski, a priest of the Diocese of Gaylord, Michigan, to be bishop of the Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska.

The appointment was announced Nov. 8 in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop-designate Zielinski, 50, is currently serving in the Archdiocese for the Military Services and is on active duty as an Air Force chaplain stationed at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. The base is about 25 miles southeast of Fairbanks.

He will succeed Bishop Donald J. Kettler, who was named bishop of St. Cloud, Minnesota, in September 2013.

Bishop-designate Zielinski’s episcopal ordination and installation Mass will be Dec. 15 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. Vespers will take place the evening before at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

His home diocese plans to celebrate Masses of thanksgiving in the Diocese of Gaylord in January, but the details have not been finalized.

“I was completely shocked,” the newly named bishop was quoted in a news release on the Gaylord diocese’s website. “I just couldn’t believe it. It is nothing I have ever even thought about.”

The Catholic Anchor, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska, reported that Bishop-designate Zielinski wrote to his parishioners at Eielson telling them he spent a long time praying in the chapel after he finally comprehended the pope’s request.

“My simple approach to this call in life is to love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul and all my mind and serve my brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Fairbanks,” he told his parishioners.

According to the Catholic Anchor, he has chosen as his episcopal motto, “Illum Opertet Crescere” (“He must increase”). It is from the Chapter 3 of St. John’s Gospel. In the passage St. John the Baptist expresses his joy at the arrival of Jesus and he tells the disciples, “He must increase; I must decrease.”

Born in Detroit Sept. 8, 1964, to Donald and Linda Zielinski, Chad Zielinski is the oldest in a family of five children. He grew up in Alpena, Michigan, in the Diocese of Gaylord.

After high school, he entered the Air Force in 1982. While stationed in Idaho, he applied for admission to the seminary in the Diocese of Boise. He completed his studies at Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Oregon, in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.

In 1994, he returned to the Gaylord Diocese and completed his master of divinity degree at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He was ordained a priest of Gaylord June 8, 1996.

After his parish assignments, service on the presbyteral council and an appointment as pastor for administrative affairs of the diocesan mission to Hispanics, then-Father Zielinski received permission in 2002 to serve as an Air Force chaplain.

Since then he has been on active duty. His deployments have included serving troops in war zones in the Middle East, the corps of cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and as vocation recruiter for the Archdiocese for the Military Services.

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services called Bishop-designate Zielinski “an exemplary priest.”

“His service as a recruiter of Air Force chaplains brought us into frequent contact,” the archbishop told the Catholic Anchor. “He later impressed me with his piety, zeal and immense kindness in his service at the Air Force Academy. The faithful in Fairbanks will find in him a shepherd after the heart of Jesus. I only regret losing a fine chaplain.”

Anchorage Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz, apostolic administrator of Fairbanks since Bishop Kettler was named to St. Cloud, said Bishop-designate Zielinski has the qualities needed to serve the people of Fairbanks.

“He has learned to work with people from all backgrounds, and do so under the stresses of war. Yet he is also humble and prayerful. I understand why the Holy Father chose him as a servant leader for Fairbanks,” the archbishop said.

Gaylord Bishop Steven J. Raica, himself ordained to head the Michigan diocese just three months ago, said he is inspired by the bishop-designate’s faithfulness, humility and devotion.

“Father Chad is an avid fisherman,” Bishop Raica said. “Our Lord seemed to favor fishermen when he called his first disciples — Peter, Andrew, James and John. They responded with a resounding ‘Yes!’ to our Lord’s invitation: “Follow me!’

“Now Father Chad has heard this invitation from the successor of Peter, Pope Francis, to join him on a unique mission as the bishop of Fairbanks. Father Chad has responded with his resounding “Yes.”

The Diocese of Fairbanks is the geographically largest diocese in the United States, covering close to 410,000 square miles in northern Alaska. Out of a total population of about 164,000, about 7 percent are Catholic, or 11,000.

 

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