From 1933 to 1944, he taught metaphysics at the Facultés catholiques de Lyon.
In 1942 he became superior general of the Prado fathers.
In 1947, he was made auxiliary bishop of Lyon.
The same year, with the support of Cardinal Gerlier, he and several other Prado fathers established a Prado worker-priest community in Gerland, a working class area of Lyon. The experience lasted five years.
In 1950, the International YCW invited him as a speaker at its World Congress in Brussels.
Bishop Ancel also played a particularly active role at Vatican II, especially in the drafting of Gaudium et Spes, and Dignitatis Humanae.
He died on 11 September 1984.