Pope Francis Names Rev. Steven Maekawa, O.P., Bishop-elect of Fairbanks

With joy and gratitude to God, the Dominican Friars of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus announce that Pope Francis has named one of our own, Rev. Steven Maekawa, O.P., Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska. Fairbanks is the largest diocese in the United States by land mass, covering over 400,000 square miles and home to approximately 12,000 Catholics. In your kindness, please remember Bishop-elect Maekawa in your prayers as he prepares to lead his flock in Alaska.



Pope Francis Names Father Steven Maekawa, O.P., as Bishop of Fairbanks

WASHINGTON - Pope Francis has named Rev. Steven Maekawa, O.P., a priest of the Dominican Province of the Holy Name of Jesus, Western Province, Oakland, California, and current pastor of Holy Family Old Cathedral in Anchorage, Alaska, as the new Bishop of Fairbanks. The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C. on July 11, 2023, by Cardinal-designate Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Father Maekawa was born November 22, 1967, in Washington State. He received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Washington in 1990, and a Master of Divinity in 1998 from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkley, California. He took his profession of vows for the Order of Preachers, a religious order, on September 14, 1991, in the Dominican Province of the Holy Name of Jesus, Western Province, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 29, 1998 at St. Augustine Church in Oakland, California.

Bishop-elect Maekawa’s pastoral assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar at St. Dominic Church in San Francisco, California, 1998-2002; director of the Newman Center at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, 2002-2005; prior at St. Dominic Priory (Novitiate) in San Francisco, California, 2005-2007 and 2012-2016; and director of vocations for the Western Dominican Province, 2007-2015. Since 2016, he has served as pastor at Holy Family Old Cathedral in Anchorage, Alaska.

Bishop-elect Maekawa’s ministries for the Dominican Province & Commissions include: member of the Provincial Vocations Commission, 1999-2003; member of the Provincial Council, 2003-2007 and 2015-present; member of the Sexual Misconduct Advisory Group, 2003-2007; member of the Provincial Formation Council, 2005-2016; and chair of the Provincial Vocations Commission, 2007-2015.

Bishop-elect Maekawa also served as chaplain in the U.S. Navy Reserve: 14th Marines, 2001-2002; Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, 2002-2005; assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army, Afghanistan, 2004; 23rd Marine Regiment, 2005-2006; and 2nd Battalion 23rd Marines, 2007. He was awarded a special medal in active duty, 2009-2011.

The Diocese of Fairbanks is comprised of 409,849 square miles in the State of Alaska and has a total population of 164,025, of which 11,876 are Catholic.