By: Jim Fair, Zenit.org
Pope Francis has merged the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska, and the Diocese of Juneau and has erected the new ecclesiastical circumscription of the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau. At the same time, he named the current bishop of Juneau and apostolic administrator for Anchorage, Andrew E. Bellisario, CM as the new metropolitan archbishop of Anchorage-Juneau.
Archbishop Bellisario has also been serving as apostolic administrator of Anchorage since June 2019. He is a member of the religious order, the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentian Fathers and Brothers).
Archbishop-elect Andrew Eugene Bellisario, C.M., was born on December 19, 1956, in Los Angeles, California, in the archdiocese of the same name. After attending Saint Stephen Elementary School in Monterey Park (1963-1971), and the Saint Vincent minor seminary in Montebello (1971-1975), he entered the Congregation of the Mission in Santa Barbara (1975). He carried out his studies in philosophy at the Saint Mary Seminary in Perryville, Missouri (1976-1980), and in theology at the DeAndreis Seminary in Lemont, Illinois (1980-1984).
He was ordained a priest on June 16, 1984, for the Congregation of the Mission at Saint Vincent’s Parish in Los Angeles.
Since priestly ordination he has held the following roles: dean of students at the Saint Vincent minor seminary in Montebello, California (1984-1986); parish vicar (1986-1989) and parish administrator (1989-1990) of the Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal parish in Montebello; parish priest of the Saint Vincent de Paul parish in Huntington Beach, California (1990-1995) and of the Sacred Heart parish in Patterson, California (1995-1998); bursar and consulter of the province (1996-2002); director of the De Paul Evangelization Center in Montebello (1998-2002); superior of the De Paul Center Residence in Montebello (2001-2002); provincial (2002-2010); director of the Daughters of Charity in Los Altos, California (2003-2015); parish priest of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Concathedral in Anchorage, Alaska (2014-2017); and superior of the International Missions in Alaska (2015-2017).
Appointed as bishop of Juneau on July 11, 2017, he received episcopal consecration the following October 10.
On June 7, 2019, he was appointed as apostolic administrator of Anchorage.
The Archdiocese of Anchorage is comprised of 138,985 square miles in the State of Alaska and has a total population of 481,023 of which 24,115 are Catholic. The Diocese of Juneau is comprised of 37,566 square miles in the State of Alaska and has a total population of 75,000 of which 7,249 are Catholic.