Francis Doyle Gleeson

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Francis Doyle Gleeson, S.J. (January 17, 1895 – April 30, 1983) was an American prelate of the Catholic Church. He was the first Bishop of Fairbanks from 1962 to 1968, previously serving as Vicar Apostolic of Alaska (1948–62).

Life and church[edit]

Gleeson was born in Carrollton, Missouri, to Charles and Mary (Doyle) Gleason, but later moved with his family to Yakima, Washington.[1] He received his early education at the parochial school of St. Joseph's Church, and attended Marquette Catholic High School before studying at Gonzaga University in Spokane. He entered the Society of Jesus (more commonly known as the Jesuits) in 1912, and studied philosophy at Mount St. Michael Scholasticate in Spokane and theology at St. Francis Xavier in Oña, Spain.[1]

Gleeson was ordained to the priesthood in Oña on July 29, 1926.[2] Returning to Washington, he served as rector of Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma.[1] He then served as superior of St. Stanislaus Mission in Lewiston, Idaho; rector of the Jesuit novitiate in Sheridan, Oregon; and superior of St. Mary's Indian Mission in Omak, Washington.[1]

On January 8, 1948 Pope Pius XII named him Titular Bishop of Cotenna and Vicar Apostolic of Alaska. He was consecrated a bishop on April 8, 1948 by Archbishop Edward Daniel Howard of Portland. The co-consecrators were Bishops Charles Daniel White of Spokane and Martin Michael Johnson of Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. The Diocese of Juneau was established on June 23, 1951 and the area served by Bishop Gleeson was reduced to the northern part of Alaska. On August 8, 1962 Pope Blessed John XXIII named Bishop Gleeson as the first bishop of the Diocese of Fairbanks. From 1962-65 he attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council. Pope Paul VI accepted his resignation as Bishop of Fairbanks on November 15, 1968 and named him Titual Bishop of Cuicul.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who XIV. Grosse Pointe, MI: Walter Romig. 
  2. ^ Cheney, David M. "Bishop Francis Doyle Gleeson, S.J.". [self-published source]
  3. ^ "Bishop Francis Doyle Gleeson". Retrieved 2010-05-13. [self-published source]
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Walter James Fitzgerald
Vicar Apostolic of Alaska
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Bishop of Fairbanks
Succeeded by
Robert Louis Whelan

Episcopal lineage
Consecrated by: Edward Daniel Howard
Consecrator of
Bishop Date of consecration
Robert Dermot O'Flanagan October 3, 1951