Pope’s letter appointing Archbishop Etienne to Anchorage

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Editor’s note: The following is a translation from the Latin, of Pope Francis apostolic mandate appointing Archbishop Paul Etienne as the new archbishop of Anchorage. It was read aloud at the Nov. 9 installation Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral by the pope’s ambassador to the United States, Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre.

[From] Francis, Bishop Servant of the Servants of God:

To Our Venerable Brother, Paul Dennis Etienne, until now bishop of Cheyenne, appointed shepherd of the Metropolitan See of Anchorage, greetings and apostolic blessing.

Since in everything we are fully engaged in serving Jesus the King of all Mercy, we, who have been elected to the governance of the Apostolic See, pay particular and careful attention to the selection of those ordinaries, who, joined in a special bond with the Roman Pontiff as metropolitans, deal with the rather weighty matters of their ecclesiastical provinces. For this reason, we direct our thoughts especially and with great affection to Anchorage, “The City of Lights and Flowers,” currently in need of a shepherd, owing to the resignation of its former bishop, Our Venerable Brother Roger Lawrence Schwietz, a member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. In our search for someone possessing the requisite virtues enabling him to govern this ecclesiastical community in the State of Alaska, we, accordingly, turn to you, venerable brother, who, in our judgment, are endowed with the pastoral experience and the qualities of character needed for taking up this important office.

Therefore, upon consultation with the Congregation for Bishops, by the fullness of our apostolic authority, we release you from the bond of the church in Cheyenne, and we name and appoint you metropolitan archbishop of Anchorage, granting to you the obligations and the rights prescribed by canon law. In addition, we mandate that the clergy and the faithful of your archdiocese be informed about this our decree and decision and that they warmly welcome you as their shepherd and guardian of the truth.

Finally, venerable brother, as you set out for that truly beautiful northern part of America, we have the utmost confidence that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without original sin and Mother of all believers, will look upon you with her loving countenance and that Saint Joseph, her spouse, and Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, the devoted patron saints of the church in Anchorage, will accompany you with their prayerful intercession.

Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, on the fourth day of the month of October, in the year of the Lord two thousand sixteen, during the Jubilee of Mercy, the fourth of Our Pontificate.

— Francis

Editor’s note: This mandate was originally released in Rome on Oct. 4 by Msgr. Francesco Di Felice, Protonotary Apostolic.


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