Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us always!
During the installation Mass in September, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Pope Francis’ representative to the United States, read the Holy Father’s decree of May 19, 2020, uniting Anchorage and Juneau into the new Metropolitan Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau.
Since that time, we have been working on the many challenges of unifying the two former dioceses. Some evident fruits of our efforts so far are The North Star Catholic paper, the new website aoaj.org, unified social media, and now the new name for our Annual Catholic Appeal: United in Mission.
United in Mission aptly describes the reality of Pope Francis uniting southern Alaska into one archdiocese. United as Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we participate in the Mission of the Church. We build up the community of faith (Acts of the Apostles 2:42-47), and we proclaim the good news of Christ through evangelization (Matthew 28:16-20). Participation in the Annual Catholic Appeal is a meaningful way we live out our Catholic faith under the banner United in Mission.
Each year the stewardship committee will choose a different theme that will help us focus on an aspect of our lived experience United in Mission. For our first United in Mission appeal beginning in May, the stewardship committee selected: God’s Work, Our Hands. This theme helps us focus on our responsibility as missionary disciples of Christ. We pray that our hands may be the hands of Jesus. We pray that in all we do, we may become more like Him. We freely give of our time, talent, and treasure in service of God, one another, and those in need.
Please join me in participating in the Annual Catholic Appeal for 2021, United in Mission: God’s Work, Our Hands.
Sincerely in Christ,
Archbishop Andrew Bellisario, C.M.