Pope Francis has named Vincentian Father Andrew Bellisario, age 60, as the next Bishop of Juneau. He succeeds Bishop Edward Burns who was installed as bishop of the Dallas Diocese earlier this year.
Bishop-elect Bellisario’s appointment was announced in Washington, D.C. on June 11 by the pope’s representative to the United States, Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre.
“I am humbled and grateful to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for appointing me as the next Bishop of Juneau,” Bishop-elect Bellisario said of his appointment. “It is with humility, respect and great joy that I look forward to serving the people of the Diocese of Juneau.”
Anchorage Archbishop Paul Etienne called him a “wonderful priest and a great administrator.”
“Mostly, he is warm-hearted, and with his Vincentian missionary spirit, will be a fine new Bishop for Juneau,” he wrote in a July 11 blog post.
“I have had the opportunity to watch Father Andrew in action on numerous mornings when I attend Our Lady of Guadalupe for weekday Masses,” Archbishop Etienne added. “He is genuine and caring, and it is clear that the parishioners love him in return.”
Bishop-elect Bellisario is a member of the Congregation of the Mission (commonly known as the Vincentians) founded by Saint Vincent de Paul in 1625.
Born in Los Angeles, Bishop-elect Bellisario entered the order at Santa Barbara and was ordained priest on June 16, 1984. He has ministered as a parish priest in numerous parishes across California and served as dean of students at St. Vincent’s Minor Seminary at Montebello. He also served as director of the De Paul Evangelization Center at Montebello and as superior of the De Paul Center Residence there. He was provincial superior of the Vincentians Western Province from 2002 to 2010 and director of the Daughters of Charity at Los Altos from 2003 to 2015.
Most recently, he has served as the Superior of the international group of Vincentians in Anchorage, helping to establish a community to serve Latino Catholics in Alaska. Since May of 2016 he has been the pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Anchorage.
Bishop-elect Bellisario’s episcopal ordination and installation as the sixth bishop of Juneau will take place on October 10. His new diocese comprises 37,566 square miles and has a total population of 75,000 with about 10,000 Catholics.