Pope Francis appoints Fairbanks bishop Zielinski to steer Minnesota diocese

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Bishop Chad W. Zielinski / Diocese of Fairbanks Rome Newsroom, Jul 12, 2022 / 05:08 am (CNA). Pope Francis on Tuesday appointed former Air Pressure chaplain and Fairbanks Bishop Chad Zielinski to steer the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota.The seat of the Diocese of New Ulm, which covers virtually 10,000 square miles southwest of Minneapolis, has been vacant since August 2020, when Bishop John M. LeVoir resigned at age 74 for health reasons.Zielinski, 57, has been bishop of Fairbanks since 2014. He might be put in within the Diocese of New Ulm on Sept. 27.Earlier than turning into a bishop, Zielinski served for 12 years as an Air Drive chaplain; his ultimate two years he was stationed at the Eielson Air Drive Base in Alaska, 26 miles southeast of Fairbanks. He is an avid fisherman.The Diocese of Fairbanks covers over 409,000 square miles in northern Alaska. The diocese with the most important geographical unfold within the U.S., Fairbanks has round 11,500 Catholics and 46 Catholic parishes, only 9 of which may be reached by automotive. The world’s complete population is round 166,800.The Diocese of New Ulm has 59 parishes and serves virtually 51,000 Catholics.Bishop Zielinski was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1964, and is the oldest of five youngsters.He enlisted within the U.S. Air Drive after highschool. During his army profession, he served excursions of obligation in warfare zones, including Iraq and Afghanistan.Whereas attending college in Ohio, he felt a call to the priesthood, and after a tour of obligation in 1986, entered the seminary. He was ordained a priest in 1996 at the age of 31, after which served for a time in parishes in Empire and Maple City, Michigan.After the 2001 terrorist attacks, he felt a call to help these in the army, and his bishop allowed him to hitch the Archdiocese for the Army Providers.As a army chaplain, he was stationed at totally different Air Drive bases throughout the U.S., and in Suffolk, England. “As I depart the vast expanse of Northern Alaska, I'm absolutely conscious of the countless blessings I acquired from 46 parishes,” Zielinski stated in a July 12 assertion.“The trustworthy of all the Diocese of Fairbanks patiently helped type me to be the shepherd I am in the present day,” he added. “Our Native Alaskan brothers and sisters have opened my thoughts and heart to the cultural beauty and richness of their conventional way of life.”“I come to the Diocese of New Ulm with the identical open heart and mind, wanting to study and encounter new blessings as I go to parishes and households on this lovely prairie land of south and west-central Minnesota,” he stated.