Hundreds of children from Holy Rosary Academy sang Advent songs before a packed audience at the Loussac Library in Anchorage on Dec. 10.

Young students from Holy Rosary Academy sing during the school’s annual Advent concert on Dec. 10.

The school traditionally performs its annual Lessons & Carols Advent concert at Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral, but this year the conservative K-12th grade school had to relocate after refusing to concede control of its curriculum and operations to Anchorage-Juneau Archbishop Andrew Bellisario.

Despite having to scramble to find a new location, the school pulled off a successful concert with more than 160 parents and supporters attending the performance, which included traditional Advent hymns, scripture readings and a hand-bell choir.

Holy Rosary Headmaster Mark Newcomb welcomed attendees and thanked Mayor Dave Bronson for helping the school find a venue on short notice. Organizers said they extended an invitation to Archbishop Bellisario, but he refused to attend.

Earlier this year, Bellisario demanded that the traditional Catholic school, of roughly 150 students, grant him authority to hire and fire staff, control the classical curriculum and make all health and hygiene decisions, including when to shut down the school. Holy Rosary’s refused these demands, and can now no longer promote itself as a Catholic school or have priests celebrate Mass for children and staff, or teach classes and hear confessions.

Click the above image to watch a video of Holy Rosary Academy students performing their Dec. 10 Advent concert at the Loussac Library in Anchorage.

Many area Catholics view the archbishop’s actions as grossly inconsistent given that he has taken no similar actions to withhold the sacraments from high profile pro-abortion politician Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who openly opposes the church’s teaching on the sanctity of unborn life. Similarly, conservative Catholics have, for decades, pointed out that Providence Alaska Medical Center provides a litany of medical services that directly oppose the church’s moral teachings. This includes contraception, sterilization and cross-sex hormones for those who wish to appear as members of the opposite sex. Nevertheless, the hospital continues to enjoy the archbishop’s approval to access priests and celebrate daily Mass.

Unlike a church-run archdiocesan school, Holy Rosary was founded by homeschooling parents in 1987 as an independent Catholic school that holds fast to the traditional teachings of the faith, while offering a classics-based curriculum, rooted in Greek, Latin and the theology, philosophy and literature of the Western cannon. It is open to children of all backgrounds, and has long operated independent of the archdiocese with past bishops never demanding to have direct control over the school, but choosing to respect the fact that it was founded, built, funded and developed by private Alaska citizens.

Over the years, the school has won national awards for its academics, and is widely considered the most academically rigorous K-12th grade schools in the state.

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Anchorage children’s concert relocates after bishop bars access to cathedral

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • DoneWithIt says:

    This is demonic, luciferian behavior.
    Evil, immoral, and vile.
    To treat this Catholic community – the children, the parents, and the workers in this manner is wholly despicable.
    This epitomizes Hubris in a small, weak little man.
    He will experience harsh judgment at the Gates of St. Peter.

    • Matthew Myers says:

      So true.
      At least someone is telling him to flee from the coming wrath.
      It’s better than all of the worthless, bobble head, yes-man minions around him.

  • John J Otness says:

    The light will shine in the darkness. The Pope the Bishops the Priests all who counter GODS word
    by their continuation. of giving Sacrements to the Baby murdering Politicians are clearly being
    held accountable for their Blasphemous behavior.. GOD Bless you Parents for standing up for your
    children against the religious tyranny… GOD Sees your Courage. And Thank you Mayor Bronson its time to
    take Our great city back!

    • Di says:

      Your are blaming without knowing what you are talking about. Holy Rosary is an independent, Catholic School from the Mid-west that came to Alaska to open a school on their own, without a church invitation. All the related type Catholic Schools from that accredited group do not have parishes and will move on if and when they want too. They borrow clerics and priests as they go. Archbishop invited them into a parish and Archdiocese but they said no, as they are independent from parishes and the parish responsibility. That is all the Archbishop can do. In other words, Holy Rosary is a transit school when they want to move to another state or territory as a non-profit and does not fit their curriculum under our state law. They are not a mission school or one related to any parish. Their choice. They have refused all parishes as they go.

  • jh says:

    Andrew Bellisario disassociates the Holy Rosary Academy as a Catholic School?
    A phenomenal Catholic School that offers a Christian vision of reality, a set of values based on the loving, caring, challenging mission of Jesus?
    Looks to me, Archbishop Andrew Bellisario has done little to confront the immoral sinful behavior of the leftist transgender.
    Why did it take him so long to report the misconduct by Alaska priests????
    A leftist Catholic priest from California?

  • chad says:

    I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a new conclave coming soon. Hopefully with a new pope We will get a better archbishop.

  • kris spencer says:

    GOOD for them for holding their ground! As in politics, there are conservative and liberals in religion. A spirit that wants to take over and control the curriculum is the same spirit of perversion we see in the public schools. The school doesn’t need “authorities” like that and will do just fine w/o his services. I hope this school believes that Jesus is the high Priest and is the only one who intercedes for us. (Hebrews 4:14-5:10, Heb 7:25 & other passages)

  • Theresa says:

    Pray for our bishops and priests!
    Christ prayed for unity at the Last Supper -he was praying for his bishops and priests even as He knew one was going to betray Him and another deny Him.
    Pray for our priests to turn like Peter, and avoid the fate of Judas.

  • Greg in Homer says:

    If I were a parent of a child at this school the first question I would ask is who is Archbishop Andrew Bellisario’s boss, what is his phone number, and when can I call him. After the phone call, if I don’t get the response I expect, my next question is who is that person’s boss. Keep working your way up the food chain and eventually, you will find a sympathetic person empowered to make a decision. I can not imagine that the Catholic church supports alienating a school full of kids and their parents. The time for accepting things as they are is over. Take action patriots, and get some results.

    • AKY says:

      Sorry, but you ultimately get to the super-woke, tree hugging, trans ‘compassionate’, ‘save the Earth from the hoards of people’, ‘all religions are equal’ pope. Bellisario is just one of his useful idiots.

    • Dee Cee says:

      The direct answer to your question “who is Bellesario’s boss” is: Pope Francis. Good luck getting him on the phone.

    • Trish+Wagner+Mikolajczyk says:


  • Mom of Three says:

    Maybe they should become a Lutheran private school. Missouri Synod of course…. Martin Luther got a few things right!

  • david Boyle says:

    Unfortunately, the archbishop has become WOKE. This is why Catholics leave the Church. It would have been very interesting if the Holy Rosary choir had sung at the Anchorage Baptist Temple. Great singing and a greater school.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Big supporter of Holy Rosary.
    Thank you for standing up to this woke Archbishop Bellisario He’s a wolf in sheep clothing

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    Bellisario sounds like a ‘woke’ politico cloaked in Priests clothing. Tragic. Keep him in prayer.

  • Renee says:

    Archbishop’s behavior is reflective of a soulless administrator, not a father of souls.

  • Wake Up says:

    The catholic church has been going down the wrong path
    for a long time. I’m sure there are many Christian churches in Anchorage that would have allowed the children a venue for their concert.

  • Matthew Myers says:

    The Archnemesis is at it again – punishing good Catholic kids because he hates their conservative parents. Bellicosio, have you NO SHAME?!?!
    Deep shame on you!
    How long, Lord?

  • Jeff says:

    St Teresa of Avila:
    “Once, while approaching to receive Communion, I saw with my soul’s eyes more clearly than with my bodily eyes two devils whose appearance was abominable. It seems to me their horns were wrapped around the poor priests’s throat, and in the host that was going to be given to me I saw my Lord with the majesty I mentioned placed in the priest’s hands, which were clearly seen to be His offender’s; and I understood that that soul was in mortal sin. “
    “ The Lord Himself told me to pray for him and that He had permitted it so that I might understand the power of the words of consecration and how God does not fail to be present”

    What this Bishop is doing is but an outward sign of something far worse underneath. He is allowing at the hospital works that destroy life while at the school destroying that which is the future life of the Church.

    Pray for his soul.

  • Burke Mees says:

    Exsurgat Deus et dissipentur inimici eius

  • John Fleming says:

    Ease up on the criticism of our Archbishop. Harsh rhetoric does nothing to fix a problem. Efforts are being made by both sides to turn this situation in a better direction. Respect for one another and prayer can solve most every problem. This is not a war, but more of a misunderstanding. Get on your knees and avoid the soap box.

    • MMD says:

      I am sorry, but you are mistaken in that this very definitely is a war. It is not a war with the Archbishop, per se, but against powers and principalities who are hell-bent on destroying the Faith in Anchorage, especially as it is expressed and lived by young Catholic families. The Archbishop is unfortunately being used as a pawn in that war. Yes, we need to conduct ourselves in Christian charity, and to pray and fast strenuously so that we can be one, as Jesus prayed. But calling a raging war for the bodies and souls of the children “a misunderstanding” does a great disservice to those engaged on the front lines, and does not allow people to confront the truth of the reality of living as part of the Church Militant.

    • Katie Novcaski says:

      Thank you John. While I vehemently disagree with the Archbishop’s decision, prayer, not judgemental comments and discussion, will be what powers change. Speaking up respectfully is fine and good, but God’s power is how change will come about……

    • HRA parent says:

      With all due respect, John, if its simply a misunderstanding, the ball is in the Archbishop’s court to clear it up.
      The Archbishop has harmed the lambs of his flock by denying them the sacraments, the spiritual guidance of Archdiocesan priests, and even going so far as to attempt to cut HRA students off from access to the sacraments through the Byzantine church in Anchorage, which is not under his jurisdiction.
      Why are the lambs being denied the sacraments while the wolves are always welcome to the Feast and never publicly rebuked or denied the name Catholic?
      Why are the children being cut off from the spiritual guidance of our priests, while Providence continues to slaughter lambs and disfigure the Image of God in man (through early inductions, cross-sex hormone treatments and sterilization), with no denial of access to the sacraments or the name of Catholic?
      These are legitimate questions that should be answered directly by the Archbishop in order to clear up this “misunderstanding” and, more importantly, to rectify the grave scandal brought about by it.
      Certainly, we should be on our knees. Certainly, we should act always in charity. But I believe there is also room for just anger -anger at the injustices done to us and to our children by Archbishop Bellisario. Certainly, that just anger should lead us to our knees, but I’d cut a little slack for those who might “take to the soapbox” to air their grievances and bring these harmful deeds into the light, so they can be addressed.

    • Matthew Myers says:

      I agree. We must pray.
      However, this Archbishop has become the Archnemesis of faithful Catholics. It is time to publicly withstand this bully of good kids to his face when he does things so reckless, destructive, and satanic.

  • John Fleming says:

    MMD and the HRA Parent. I understand your anger, but you may not be aware of many of the facets that have led to this unfortunate circumstance. The HRA Board has asked that supporters of the school be civil and respectful in their criticism. Some have, most have not. Many unkind and crude things have been stated that were based on limited knowledge or perhaps wrong information. Several others have criticized an erroneous decision with by utilizing inappropriate language or down right “gutter like” comments. They are acting like leftists. Be critical, state your concern, and watch you language.

    • HRA parent says:

      John, many of us have asked the Archbishop for further clarification and been given nothing more than “please read the Archbishop’s letter.”
      Many of us have come to expect the chancery and the Archbishop to refrain from dialogue with anyone outside of special interest groups, completely ignoring the legitimate, immediate and oftentimes grave concerns of his flock.
      Sure, watch your language, but sometimes you’ve got to call a spade a spade.
      Again, the ball is in the Archbishop’s court to clear up any misunderstandings.

  • OAPsSkweez says:

    Ultimately, “the boss” is a loving Heavenly Father and, through His son, Jesus Christ, is in control. Seems to me that the headmaster and parents are following in their footsteps and teaching correct principles. Stay strong, Holy Rosary! The demands that the archbishop made should definitely NOT be in the hands of one person!
    “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” Doctrine and Covenants 121:39