FAIRBANKS -- The Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks has scheduled an August mass to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Officials say Bishop Donald Kettler will celebrate a mass of thanksgiving at 10 a.m. Aug. 12 at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Pope John XXIII officially established the diocese on Aug. 8, 1962, but officials say the history of the church in Alaska stretches back to the 18th century.
The diocese covers 400,000-square miles and includes multiple Alaska Native villages.
The church filed for bankruptcy after numerous claims of clerical sexual abuse, reaching a bankruptcy settlement with more than 300 victims.
The diocese emerged from reorganization in 2010.
Kettler says the upcoming mass is a time of celebration, as well as a time to acknowledge the church's failure and "apologize to anyone who has suffered."