His Holiness, Pope Francis, has named Bishop John C. Wester the twelfth Archbishop of Santa Fe, N.M. Bishop Wester, the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City and a native of San Francisco, Calif., has led Utah’s Catholics since March 2007.
Bishop Wester is in Santa Fe, where the announcement of his appointment will be made this afternoon. His installation as Archbishop will take place in Santa Fe’s Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi on Thursday, June 4, at 2 p.m. Bishop Wester remains the administrator of the Diocese of Salt Lake City until his Santa Fe installation.
While the Catholic people of Utah are honored to have their bishop selected as Archbishop of Santa Fe, they will be sad to see him leave and greatly appreciate his ministry over the past eight years. Under his leadership the Diocese of Salt Lake City has grown significantly.
Bishop Wester will bring wonderful gifts to the people of the historic Archdiocese of Santa Fe. His Episcopal motto, Abide in Christ, reflects his pastoral heart that so graciously embraces others, with special concern for the multicultural dimension of the Catholic Church. The bishop’s commitment to social justice, especially care for the undocumented and the poor, is noteworthy, as is his ecumenical collaboration in Utah and beyond. He was recognized nationally as the Chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration. He presently chairs the USCCB Committee on Communication.
Once Bishop Wester is installed as Archbishop of Santa Fe, the seven Utah priests who serve as Diocesan Consultors will meet to elect a priest to administer the Diocese of Salt Lake City until the appointment of a new bishop, which is not expected for some months.
Bishop Wester will hold a press conference Tuesday, April 28, at the Chancery Building, 303 East South Temple Street in Salt Lake City at 10 a.m. and be available afterward for questions.