Our Priest

The Diocese of Fairbanks is a mission diocese, and often our parish will go months or years without a permanent parish priest. 

Currently we share a pastor with three rural parishes in Alaska,  our administrator is based out of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Fairbanks.

Pastor - Fr. Tom Kuffel

© www.knom.org 

From KNOM Radio Mission:

96.1 FM | 780 AM | “Yours for Western Alaska”

"Born and raised in Wisconsin, in a rural suburb outside Milwaukee — amid “farm fields, marsh, and many lakes,” he says — Tom graduated from high school in 1980, then studied at Gonzagaand Marquette Universities, earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at the latter in 1984. His first work out of school was as a teacher at the Jicarilla Indian Reservation near Dulce, New Mexico, after which he traveled to Rome, to study theology at the Angelicum: St. Thomas University in the City. A year into his studies, he decided to become a priest. Tom became FatherTom in 1989 and, after his ordination, stayed in Italy but worked in mission trips to the small Caribbean island of Grenada. It wasn’t the “tourist side of the island” that most see, Father Tom clarifies, but rather “the other side”; he worked with the “poor, homeless, and outcasts” alongside the Missionaries of Charity. In 1992, he received a Licentiate in Theology and returned stateside, beginning a 15-year tenure as a pastor for small, rural parishes — as well as a high school teacher and, eventually, a youth camp director — in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.  Father Tom then ventured to Alaska and served for many years in the Fairbanks area, within Alaska’s interior. He came to Nome in the early summer of 2016 and says he’s enjoying his time serving the communities of the parish — people who are “friendly and engaging” — even amid the adjustments of living in a place as isolated and as resource-limited as Western Alaska."


Please see the attached letter from Bishop Chad regarding the transfer of Fr. Fred Bayler and the reassignment of Fr. Tom Kuffel.

Fr. Frederick Bayler

Fr. Mariusz Wirkowski from Poland was the most recent priest assigned to Healy.