Archbishop officially disassociates Holy Rosary Academy as official Catholic school - Must Read Alaska
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Archbishop officially disassociates Holy Rosary Academy as official Catholic school

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On Oct. 27, 2021, Holy Rosary Academy, one of the most academically successful private schools in Alaska, has been separated from the Catholic Church by the top Catholic in the state, the Archbishop of Anchorage-Juneau

In a letter to the school, Archbishop Andrew Bellisario wrote that the school had not met his nine mandates, which included provisions involving curriculum and health mandates. Some Catholics reached out to Must Read Alaska and said the mandates included a mask mandate for students. The crackdown from the archbishop started several months ago and the school and his office have been negotiating since.

Bellisario’s Tuesday letter was a followup from last week’s ultimatum. In it, he acknowledged he had heard form Catholics wanting him to reconsider.

“I understand the concerns and frustration with this situation and I share in their disappointment. It does worry me that some children and parents feel they are being abandoned by their Archdiocese. It is important for me to express that I have always kept the care, education and safety of the children and all Catholics of the Archdiocese in the forefront of my decision,” he wrote.

“As your Archbishop, I am ultimately responsible for every Catholic institution in the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau, including any privately owned and operated Catholic school. I have insisted that the members of the Board of Trustees accept the minimum standards that I specified in order to fulfill my obligation under Church law to protect all of the people of God in this Archdiocese, including those served by Holy Rosary Academy. In any diocese, it is the bishop who has the authority to determine whether a school is a Catholic school,” he wrote.

“I respect the right of the members of the Board of Trustees to make decisions for Holy Rosary Academy. The Board of Trustees cannot expect the privileges of a Catholic school without accepting the obligations of this recognition. I have clearly explained what is necessary to grant Catholic recognition to Holy Rosary Academy in the new Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau. I want to do so, but it is impossible for me to grant recognition without acceptance of the minimum standards that I specified,” Bellisario wrote.

“Regrettably, as of today, October 26, 2021, I do not recognize Holy Rosary Academy as a Catholic school. Holy Rosary Academy does not have the obligations or privileges of a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau. The students. parents. families, staff and supporters of Holy Rosary Academy will always be welcome to celebrate Mass and receive the sacraments in their own parishes. If, at any time, the members of the Board of Trustees decide to agree to accept and adhere to the minimum standards of a Catholic school as I have specified.
they are welcome to request recognition of Holy Rosary Academy as a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau,” the he wrote.

The school board of trustees and headmaster sent a note to parents on Wednesday morning, acknowledging the decision.

“We have prayed fervently, offered Masses, adored Our Lord for hours on end seeking guidance and a peaceful resolution to this situation, and we have our answer. We must trust in His will and go forth confident in the work we are doing here at the School, a vibrant and beautiful place of classical learning, Catholic faith, and true joy. With record enrollment, strong fundraising, an amazing faculty, and outstanding recognition for HRA this year, a bright future lies ahead for our students, families, and staff,” the school wrote to the Holy Rosary community. The school has an enrollment of about 150 students, 39 percent of whom are racial minorities. 14% of students are of Asian or Pacific Islander, or of Hawaiian heritage, and 10% are hispanic.

Starting Wednesday, Holy Rosary Academy will be known as a “Classical School in the Catholic Tradition,” but not a church-controlled Catholic school.

“This will have no impact on our desire to form saints and students ready for a life well-lived,” the board wrote. “We will continue to offer our school as a model for living by the laws of our Creator as we depend on the Trinity, Our Blessed Mother, and the angels and saints to guide us in our efforts to lead others to sanctity. Our classrooms will remain filled with the wisdom of the ages, our hearts will remain open to Truth, Beauty and Goodness. In conversation with the Church fathers, our souls will still reach towards heaven and the open arms of our Christ and His Father,” the board wrote to parents.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • He is not listening to the Holy Spirit. He is listening to his pride and he is listening to the devil. He is weaponizing the sacraments against good kids because he wants institutions to be leftist and he wants complete ironfisted control.

    • He is listening the way all leftists do. The way Anchorage City Council listens and the way our deposed and disgraced former mayor listened and the way the Biden Administration listens. They “listen “ and then do exactly what they had intended to do in the first place to further their leftist political agenda. They do not care what people say or think unless they are the correct people. And if anyone thinks this is anything but another leftist grab for power, they are mistaken.

    • Mr.Myers—you are quite mistaken. I am, in fact a member of Fr. Joseph’s parish, since 1983. I have had the pleasure of his pastorship since he arrived here. I don’t have any response to your accusations against this good man, other than to say it is your loss if you don’t know him personally. I hope you will make an honest effort to examine your reasons for your remarks against a priest that I personally know to be reverent, honest, and deeply caring of his parish.

  • Perhaps this is a good thing to now be completely free of the extremist progressive influence out of the diocese.

    • Yes, but having him take away the Sacraments from good kids and harassing or taking the Priestly faculties away from a Priest that does the right thing? Pure evil.
      To us Catholics, it’s very important.
      I wonder if these people even believe in God. I don’t see how.
      Anyone at the Archdiocese that is helping with this horrible injustice should check themselves. If they believe in God at all, they should seriously be concerned for where they are going to spend eternity. Attacking kids because you want to destroy conservatives is sick and wrong.

      • Does he have the authority to take away the sacraments or the priestly faculties from a practiing Catholic priest?

        • He does. He is the Bishop. There can be situations where that authority is properly used. If there were actual abuses going on and the guilty parties refused to stop, it could be warranted to seek justice and repentance.
          At Sacred Heart in Wasilla, Fr Joseph McGilloway is a parish wrecking ball and a tyrant. He has driven away many faithful Catholics (and their money). Many have gone to other parishes to flee from his arrogant wrathfulness or fear of other harms and abuses.
          Taking away his parish or his faculties could be warranted to stop the abuse, but he usually only attacks faithful Catholics, so this Archbishop instead really likes the cut of his jib. No such justice for Wasilla people in sight.
          The same thing with the Anti-Catholic abortion and artificial contraception loving Providence hospital. The Archbishop could threaten them with such sanctions and it would be warranted. It would be justice.
          Nope.
          He attacks good faithful Catholic kids, their families, and their great school.
          It is the opposite of justice.

          • Gosh—Fr. Joseph must have a doppleganger!! Do you even know him? The Fr. Joseph I know is not the one you describe, but is a much loved pastor. Such a scurrilous attack is totally unwarranted.

          • Not really. Let’s stick to facts. He didn’t go full tyrant mode until Sacred Heart in Wasilla. I’m guessing that you don’t live in the valley under his reign of wreckage.
            If you do, the scales on your eyes block out reality with unimaginable efficiency.

  • I congratulate the School in rejection of the the increasingly corrupt Catholic Church pushing the Laws of man on the children of God. Our faith is in God and the immune system He gave us, not in mans attempt to play god.

    • Sounds like Protestant laws of man. That’s not really what this is about.

  • A sad state of affairs but highly reflective of the current disorder of American society. I stand with Holy Rosary’s board of trustees and leadership and wish them continuation of the success they currently enjoy. We must also recognize that as we edge ever closer to the end times their will be a strong polarization of opinion and yes a divergence of good and evil even in the church as we have known it. ! John H Slone class of ‘67’ St Cathrines Academy Valley City NoDak.

  • Vatican has always been corrupt…the bishop is just following his master’s orders. #NWO

  • Wow.
    This school is a beautiful thing. The most “Catholic” entity in Alaska.
    And this Luciferian “priest” seeks to destroy the best school in Alaska?
    He is taking the lead of the current Pope – who is preaching and practicing Liberation theology and Neo-Malthusian philosophy.
    This is Evil.
    This Wrong.
    Bellisario will pay in H E Double Hickey Sticks one day.

  • That archbishop is nothing but a leftist in rightist clothings. Shame!

  • Archbishop Andrew Bellisario and the Marxist pope both rose through the “catholic” ranks when the pedophilia epidemic going on in the catholic church was known by members of the public. To my knowledge, there is no historical evidence that either one voiced an alarm early in their careers to warn the authorities, parishioners, constituents, or the general public. Their failure to confront and help seek an end to the rampant pedophilia early in their careers amounts to much more serious behavior than enabling the perverted members of the church hierarchy.

    My Daughter attended Holy Rosary Academy and I am happy to see the Academy’s separation from a deviant, money obsessed, organization that has irrevocably harmed a significant number of devote Catholics worldwide.

    • I’m was certainly not Catholic but back in 1967, and Army basic training, I met a young guy that had earlier worked in a home for alcoholic priests. Caught my attention but little did I know that there was much more sinister goings on within the Catholic church.
      This organization deserves little IMO, but I don’t have a horse in the race either. The school seems to be doing its job (also IMO).

  • Well! What a rude awakening for Catholic parishioners. There is only one who deserves your prayers and that is Jesus Christ. None of the ‘saints’ nor the “holy” pope and bishops died for you. They never will give up their Mercedes and BMWs, their lives of luxury so to save you. This awakening is probably all for the best. Afterall Jesus died for those still following Catholicism.

    • He cares and still remembers the Catholics parishioners whom he still knocking at the door of your hearts

      • I hope you never get ill Jen as only Jesus Christ deserves prayers. By your rule no one can pray for you to get better.

        You make the protestant mistake of assuming that prayer only means worship. Withbthat narrow definition younare correct only God should be worshiped.

        But to a catholic AND many protestants prayer can mean more than worship.

        No one worships a Saint, they pray for them for help no different than you may for a sick relative . This is called intercession, the Bible talks about it in several quotes.

        Mercedes? You must be confusing the televangelists with Catholics

    • Anti-Catholicism much?
      Let me guess, Baptist?
      Let me guess, you’re vaxxed too?

    • Is that more Protestant traditions of men? That’s not really what this fight is about. BTW, Christians were asking St. Joseph (after he died but one of the “cloud of witnesses” alive in heaven) for his prayers of intercession before all of the books of the New Testament were written. We will stick with the original Christian practices, thank you.

    • Jen, if you would like to learn more about the way Christianity has been for 2000 years and counting, I’d be happy to keep responding. However, here should be more about the diabolical injustice perpetrated against good kids by Bellisario and his henchmen.

  • Follow God not a priests who act like a god…. Better to do what is good than to follow a lost person

  • This is a sad day to be sure. It is verification that the evil we’ve long understood from afar has finally landed upon our doorstep. I believe it will steel our Catholic resolve to remain true to the conservative values which form our Faith life. The division has already started. May God have mercy on us all.

  • “We have prayed fervently, offered Masses, adored Our Lord for hours on end seeking guidance and a peaceful resolution to this situation, and we have our answer.”
    .
    Eisegetical versus exegetical. He found the very answer he was looking for. Yet another example of churches casting their pearls before the deviant leftist governments… Sad

  • Classy response by Holy Rosary.
    Nothing but respect for the Board. They have set a quiet but powerful example for the student body that we owe our allegiance first to God, not man.
    Too many adult hypocrites have soured our youth’s view of rules and axioms. This board has shown otherwise. May they flourish as never before with fantastic students of integrity.

    • Indeed! It is a firm & powerful stand by the Board. They live and practice their core values. The decision I made to enroll my child 12 yrs ago (from K and now a senior) was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am so proud of what he has become- he has strong faith & conviction, a deep sense of purpose, and a belief system that is rooted to his core. Our family is praying for Bishop Bellisario!

  • Distancing the school from a shepherd that believes being Catholic means following every dictate, whim and opinion of the clergy regardless of their lack of valid authority – that defines clericalism – is in the best interest of Holy Rosary and its families. Clinging to the eternal Truths contained in Catholic Tradition and the Magisterium *teaching within its proper scope of authority* will keep them in better stead than flowing with the increasingly secular humanist and progressivist tide currently sweeping the Church hierarchy.
    While it is fitting that the bishop can determine that an institution cannot claim the name “Catholic” when it is defying the Church’s perennial teachings, it is not reasonable to extend this determination based on things that have no foundation in Church teaching. If the bishop was asking for HRA staff to sign a mandatum certifying that instructors are teaching within the full communion of the Catholic Church, that would make sense, and the staff of HRA would undoubtedly comply without hesitation. But it falls far outside the pale to demand medical interventions (e.g. forcing children to wear masks, or even worse, take abortion-tainted shots), submission of curricular choices (that are not only Catholic but also highly effective) to bureaucrats outside the school (who oversee numerous other “Catholic” schools that are nowhere near as effective in communicating either the Faith or basic tenets of education), let alone demanding obedience to nine “business and legal procedures.”
    Without rejecting the Bride of Christ herself – the universal Church – shaking the dust of the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau from HRA’s feet seems quite appropriate at this point. In fact in many eyes, this will reaffirm the school’s commitment to the eternal Faith rather than a facsimile formed in the spirit of the age.
    What is tragic is the removal of the Blessed Sacrament – the Real Presence of our Lord Jesus’ Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity – from the school’s chapel, where little children and their teachers adored Him in person and in the Sacrifice of the Mass. What is tragic is the barring of priests from coming to the school to offer children, staff and families reconciliation with Our Lord through the Sacrament of Confession, instructing them and inspiring boys to consider the priesthood themselves. What is tragic is the tremendous scandal that both Catholics and non-Catholics alike see played out before them: a consecrated Prince of the Church abusing his authority to take temporal control of an educational institution which will not bow to the spirit of the time.
    God calls us all to conversion. There’s no exception for clergy, and Satan works especially hard to take them down since they can take so many souls with them. We should do what we always should be doing: pray, fast and sacrifice for our Church, our clergy and ourselves.
    May God have mercy on us all.

  • I’ve always liked you Jen but what a nasty, stupid and hypocritical comment.

    • Nasty?? I respond to here but I wouldn’t say it was nasty.

      It comes from a point of misunderstanding. It takes a lifetime to understand someone’s faith, but only moments to master someone else’s.

      From an outsider of both catholicism, and protestantism, It seems many protestants spend an uneccessary amount of time defining how they’re not Catholics rather than why they are what they are.

      Believing Catholics worship saints or Mary and misunderstanding intercession appears to stem from this.

      It’s ok for protestants and Catholics to have some things in common, they after all worship the same god

      • We have much in common. The true Doctrines in Protestantism are those that have been held by Christians for 2000 years. They are what was kept in the splits away from the Catholic Church.
        More in common than not.

        • The “split away from the Catholic Church” left many of the “true Doctrines” behind. It also was the catalyst for the hundreds of new “denominations” for a Church that was created as ONE entity. “…upon this rock I will build My Church,” not Churches.

          • Yep

  • As an Alaskan Catholic you are doing a pathetic job taking care of your flock.

    Pope Woke must be proud of you.

  • So what this guy is saying is that if you don’t put this untested, man made chemical into your body and bloodstream you’re done. Wow, he’ll give up on his people just like that. Next will be CRT so the parents of those kids at HRA should be relieved at this point. This man is not serving the lord, he’s serving himself. Did they have vaccines in biblical times? I don’t think they did.

  • Most interesting….

    From spreading the word OF God, to believing one IS God’s spokesperson, speaking FOR God, and making decisions UPON God’s behalf….all without the actual message FROM God regarding said decisions, but rather as an administrator of the CHURCH that professes to spread the word OF God….

    Seems a vicious cycle of corruption and power mongering by mere administrative mortals who demand subservience unto themselves, rather than the God they falsely claim to represent….

    Seems to this agnostic that the truthfulness and faithfulness dogma is exhibited by the school, rather than the power hungry administrator…

    Just sayin’….

  • The Catholic Cartel is now and has been for millennia, an evil entity which can only exist due to the self imposed blindness of generations of faithful. Any soul with eyes to see can witness the wickedness of this clan of criminals, abusers and deceitful thieves of peoples faith and good intentions. How many lives destroyed through hidden child sexual abuse. Alaskan and Canadian native children disappeared or abused to destruction.
    Look at the current Communist Pope who demands we tear down walls, as he hides inside the walls of the Vatican. I am in awe when I reveal the criminality to church goers and they can only turn away and ignore, ignore, ignore. LA LA LA LA LA “I can’t hear you! I feel good in the church!”

  • I think this is tied to the Homosexual student who wanted to return to HRA this school year as the opposite sex. When rejected by HRA which was operating from a Moral and Legal standing. What was the Juneau Bishop only reaction excommunication for HRA.
    The Elephant in the room is simple, when Catholic children are not allowed to attend Mass, who wins,
    Good or Evil?
    Bishop B is a complete loser I will never give a penny to the Corrupt Alaska Catholic Church, instead my donations in the future will go to HRA, former school of my child.
    Go HRA Knights!

    • I will also be donating to the only genuine Catholic school, HRA.
      All Catholics should be aware that all parishes pay a 17%? tax to the archdiocese. Give goods and services that can’t be raked by the arch-nemesis.
      As to the motive, Abshp B has always gone after faithful Catholics. He wants to turn all things to the almighty left. If your program is traditional or faithfully Catholic? His response has always been convert or kill.

  • Great. A larger shovel and more furious digging is just what is needed to fix the chasm the Church has put itself in over the past 50 years. So the desperate need for leadership grows, politically, intellectually, and spiritually………..

  • Few of the commenters here have any idea what they are talking about. No, the HRA board did not act in a “classy” manner and stand up for the conservatives vs. the evil left.

    They acted in a selfish, short sighted manner full of hubris and disregard for parents and students.

    The Diocese is asking for a few simple things in order for the school to use the Catholic “brand.” Some ability to look at their religious curriculum and insure that it’s in line with doctrine, as well as the ability to approve things like speakers – which should be in line with what’s going on at places like the Cathedral anyway, and perhaps the biggest sticking point of all: they must follow the health and safety regulations that the Diocese puts forth. And considering the fact that a few years ago not one but TWO of the fourth grade fathers were in jail for sexually abusing their own children, one simply cannot argue that these people have proven themselves capable of looking out for the health and safety of their own community with no need for external review.

    This is really about the pandemic response, pure and simple.

    HRA has refused to do an ounce of mitigation, and even now refuses to wear masks both in school and in mass. As a result, they had a large outbreak of teachers and students a few weeks ago, and were forced to close. Lord knows how many transmission chains were created by their irresponsible behavior, and stubborn refusal to adhere to an ounce of Christian charity for their neighbors in Anchorage. Several of the teachers are HRA are highly vulnerable individuals, suffering from a variety of serious medical issues.

    Shame, shame, shame on the board for their horrible lack of leadership in the last 18 months.

    The Board includes Mr. Mario Bird – of recent national fame for representing Jamie Allard in her quest to harass Providence Hospital (also Catholic) for refusing to treat a terminally ill covid patient with invermectin, which no hospital will do.

    It is in the best interests of everyone at the school to work with the Diocese – and giving them a small say on things like religious curriculum and speakers is par for the course when you are availing yourself of all of the benefits of the Diocese, including priests, weekly mass, and the ability to call yourself a Catholic school.

    The board needs to be flushed out and selected from parents, not political zealots, several of which have no children at the school. Parents in fact do not even have a representative on the board, they never have. The board is a self perpetuating, self interested entity – and they are going to be the ruination of a lovely school.

    • So you’re a woke leftist. Got it. You’re fooling nobody.
      All you had to say is,…
      “I’m a woke leftist.””
      All you had to say.

    • Formee has parent,
      According to a previous article,
      HRA recieved an endorsement from the cardinal Newuman society and indication their catholic curriculum is sound and founded in Catholic doctrine

      The Archdiocese of Anchorage on the other hand is NOT they water down their teachings leaving out Catholic fundamentals and focus heavily on leftist ideals over Catholic doctrine

      The parishioners would fair better if HRA took over the diocese curriculum instead

  • I do not rescind my remarks. I DO apologize how spoke them, I didnt speak those words from a place of Love. I will do better next time.

    Scripture does say “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

    And Hebrews 4:14 – 15 “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we DO NOT have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet he did not sin.”

  • Good for Holy Rosary – Martin Luther understood.

    • They didn’t just become protestant, they are infact more catholic than the bishop

  • Its probably the best thing that ever happened to the school

  • I lost my faith after Vatican II. With the help of Ann Barnhardt I may regain it. “www.barnhardt.biz”
    She is a convert to Catholicism and an incredible woman and has a deep understanding of catholic doctrinal law. I think she would agree with the decision taken by Holy Rosary leadership.

    • We would be glad to welcome you back home. Just realize that the place is a damned mess right now and we have just barely started to tidy up.
      If you come back in, could you help us put the trash out on the street?
      (I’ll leave it to you to figure out what trash I’m talking about.)

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