POPE MERGES DIOCESES OF ANCHORAGE AND JUNEAU AND NAMES FIRST BISHOP
Pope Francis joined the Archdiocese of Anchorage and the Diocese of Juneau and made one ecclesiastical territory of Anchorage-Juneau (United States) and he appointed Bishop Andrew Bellisario, CM, currently Apostolic Administrator of Anchorage as its first Metropolitan Archbishop.
By Vatican News
On Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that Pope Francis has merged the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska, with the Diocese of Juneau. The new Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau will be led by its first Archbishop, Andrew Bellisario, Bishop of the Diocese of Juneau and Apostolic Administrator of Anchorage. (vatican photo)
Andrew Eugene Bellisario was born in 1956 in Los Angeles, California. He attended primary school at St Stephen’s Elementary School in Monterey Park, California.
He entered the minor seminary of St Vincent de Paul in Montebello, California in 1971. In 1975 he entered the Congregation of the Missions (Vincentians) in Santa Barbara. He undertook philosophical studies at St Mary’s Seminary in Perryville, Missouri, beginning in 1976, followed by theological studies at DeAndreis Seminary in Lemont, Illinois (1980-1984), after which he was ordained a Vincentian priest on 16 June 1984.
He first served as Dean of Students at St Vincent de Paul Minor Seminary in Montebello, California (1984-1986), followed by various parish assignments: parrochial vicar (1986- 1989) and parish administrator (1989-1990) of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish in Montebello; pastor of Saint Vincent de Paul Parish in Huntington Beach, California (1990-1995) and Sacred Heart Parish in Patterson, California (1995-1998).
He then became Treasurer and Provincial Councilor for the Vincentians (1996-2002), followed by the position of Director of the De Paul Evangelization Center in Montebello (1998-2002); Superior of the De Paul Center Residence in Montebello (2001-2002); Provincial Superior (2002-2010); Director of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul in Los Altos, California (2003-2015); Pastor of the Co-Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Anchorage, Alaska (2014-2017); and Superior of the International Missions in Alaska (2015-2017).
Pope Francis appointed him the Bishop of Juneau, Alaska in July 2017. He was consecrated Bishop on October 10 that same year. On June 7th, 2019, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Bellisario as Apostolic Administrator of the Anchorage Archdiocese.