Meet the New Bishop in the Carolines: Julio Angkel

Julio Ankel, the new Coadjutor Bishop of the Caroline Islands.

On November 18, Rome announced the appointment of a coadjutor bishop with the right of succession. In lay terms, that means a bishop to assist the current head of the diocese, Amando Samo, and to succeed him when he retires.

This announcement was long awaited by the diocese. Bishop Amando, who replaced Bishop Martin Neylon in 1995, has handled the Diocese of the Carolines by himself for the last 22 years despite the debilitating effects of a stroke some years ago.

Fr. Julio Angkel, the new appointee, is from Chuuk, where he was ordained a priest in December 1983. [AC 8-32: Clergy gathered outside the cathedral after Fr. Julio?s ordination]

Clergy gathered outside the cathedral after Fr. Julio?s ordination

Born on Parem, Fr. Julio spent most of his ministry in Chuuk, but he has had experience in other parts of the Pacific as well. He was on Guam for a time before continuing his priestly training in Manila and? Fiji. Soon after his ordination, he visited most of the other islands in Chuuk to introduce himself to the people he would serve for the next three decades. Not long ago Fr. Julio also served as vicar of Pohnpei for three years.

Fr. Julio Ankel on his post-ordination tour.


Fr. Julio on his post-ordination tour.

Wherever he went, Fr. Julio brought a sense of down-to-earth pastoral concern. Those of us who watched from a distance had to admire the ease with which he dealt with his people. As he walked with them, his heart was clearly theirs.


The date of Fr. Julio?s consecration has not yet been decided, but many are putting their bets on February 2, the anniversary of the elevation of the Carolines to the status of a diocese. Meanwhile, we all support our old friend Julio and the even older friend (Amando) that he will assist in the years to come.

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About the author

Francis X. Hezel, SJ
Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Francis X. Hezel, SJ, is a Jesuit priest who has lived and worked in Micronesia since 1963. At different times he has served as high school teacher, school administrator, pastor, and regional superior to the Jesuits of Micronesia. He spent thirty years directing the Micronesian Seminar, a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Pohnpei, Micronesia. He has written and spoken widely about social change and its impact on island societies. He has also written several books on Micronesian history, including The First Taint of Civilization, Strangers in Their Own Land, and The New Shape of Old Island Cultures. His most recent book, Making Sense of Micronesia: The Logic of Pacific Island Culture, is available through University of Hawaii Press.