Assignment Record – Rev. Rene Astruc, s.j.

Summary of Case: A native of France, Astruc was ordained a Jesuit priest of the Oregon Province in 1954. He spent his career in Alaska, among the Yup'ik people. There have been at least two accusations against Astruc, as revealed in Fairbanks diocese's bankruptcy documents in 2010. In 2007 three women are said to have come forward with accusations that Astruc sexually abused them as minors. Astruc died in June 2002.

Ordained: 1954
Died: June 28, 2002


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State/Country Position Notes


San Francisco archbishop was John Joseph Mitty (1935-1961).

1957 Alma College Los Gatos CA    
1957       France Tertianship  


Bishop of Fairbanks was Francis Doyle Gleeson, s.j. (1948-1968).

1963 St. Michael's St. Michael's AK 1/1  
1957 1963   Stebbins, Hamilton, Chaneliak, Kotlik, Bill Moore's Slough AK   These were stations of St. Michael's.
1963 1965 Holy Cross Mission Holy Cross AK 1/2 Holly Cross had a grade school with 74 students and a high school with 15 students.
1963 1965   Pimute, Flat, Shageluk, Railroad CIty, Holikachuk AK   These were stations of Holy Cross Mission.


Gleeson was succeeded by Robert Louis Whelan, s.j. (1968-1985).

1970 St. Mary's St. Mary AK 1/2,1/3 Superior St. Mary's had a grade school with 124-137 students and a high school with 100-110 students. Both schools had mostly boarders, and some day students.
1965 1970   Pilot Station AK   This was a station of St. Mary's.
1970 1975 Chancery Fairbanks AK In the 1971 Directory only, Astruc is listed in the Fairbanks diocesan pages under Comission for Liturgy, Sacred Music and Sacred Art. In the 1972-1975 Directories Astruc is indexed as at 1316 Peger Rd., which is the address for the Chancery; he is not, however, listed in the Fairbanks diocesan pages.
1975 1976         Astruc is not indexed in the 1976 Directory, nor is he listed in the Fairbanks diocesan pages.
1976 1978 Chancery Fairbanks AK Astruc is not indexed in the 1977 or 1978 Directories, but he is listed in the Fairbanks diocesan pages under Commission for Liturgy, Sacred Music and Sacred Art .  


Anchorage bishop was Francis Thomas Hurley (1976-2001).

1980 Jesuit House Anchorage AK 1/1  


Fairbanks bishop was Robert Louis Whelan, s.j. (1968-1985).

1982 St. Joseph's Kotlik AK 1/1  
1980 1982   Emmonak AK   This was a mission of St. Joseph's in Kotlik.


Anchorage bishop was Francis Thomas Hurley (1976-2001).

1996 Jesuit House Anchorage AK    
1996 1998     France   Per Astruc's obituary, he retired to France in 1996, but returned to Alaska less than a year later. However, Louis J. Renner, s.j. in his book Alaskana Catholic: A History of the Catholic Church in America, writes that Astruc was in France until late 1998, when he returned to Kotlik, AK.


Fairbanks bishop was Michael Joseph Kaniecki, s.j. (1985-2000).

2001 St. Joseph's Kotlik AK 1/1  
1999 2001 St. Lawrence Mountain Village AK    

Oct. 2001

Anchorage bishop was Roger Lawrence Schweitz, o.m.i. (2001-).

June 2002 Mary Conrad Center Rest Home Anchorage AK  

Although the Directories list Astruc as at the Joe Prince Jesuit Community in St. Mary's AK (1997-2001), Renner writes that he was moved to the rest home after falling ill.

Astruc died June 28, 2002.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1955-2002)

On His Way Home, By Donna Wiench, Northwest Jesuit, Spring 2002
Astruc, Priest in Bush, Dies, By Mike Dunham, Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), June 30, 2002
Fr. Rene Astruc, S.J., Northwest Jesuit, 2002
Excerpt from Bankruptcy Reorganization Documents for Fairbanks Diocese Jan. 25, 2010, p. 1
Alakanuk - Saint Ignatius Catholic Church, Diocese Of Fairbanks, No Date
Emmonak - Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Diocese Of Fairbanks, No Date
Mission of Change in Southwest Alaska: Conversations with Father René Astruc and Paul Dixon on Their Work with Yup'ik People, by Ann Fienup-Riordan
Alaskana Catholica: A History of the Catholic Church in Alaska, by Louis L. Renner, s.j.


Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Astruc's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on March 21, 2013