Diocesan Priests Offer Reflections about AB Wester

Friday, May. 29, 2015
Diocesan Priests Offer Reflections about AB Wester + Enlarge

Some of the things I will remember and appreciate about Bishop Wester’s eight years of episcopal ministry “in this local vineyard” are 1) the wonderful “face” he was able to put onto the Roman Catholic Church in Utah and the articulate spokesperson he has been; 2) his gifts, which I was able to witness first hand as Vicar for Clergy, of compassionate counseling and discernment that he brought to his relationship with his fellow priests; 3) the power and elegance he brought to his preaching; and 4) his conviction and dedication to the immigrant, marginalized and less fortunate, even when his being a champion for the voiceless and his support of social justice brought him criticism and disdain. 
I also appreciated his gentle sense of humor and quick wit. 
I consider myself very fortunate to have had the privilege of serving as his Vicar General for four years. He taught me a lot and showed me consummate patience and kindness. 
Msgr. Colin F. Bircumshaw
Vicar General
Diocese of Salt Lake City

Dear Archbishop,
I have enjoyed working closely with you at the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Thank you for your insights, direction and example. 
The Easter Season daily Mass readings recount the journeys of Saint Paul. In each place he shared his unique gifts; in each place they were sad when he left; and in the next place rejoicing that he arrived. 
It has been our joy to know you and your unique gifts.
 I am sad; we are sad. Go with God.  
Fr. Martin Diaz
Cathedral of the Madeleine

When I first met the Archbishop Wester, as the Bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, he asked for my name. I know it would be hard for Westerners to get an Indian name right; Bishop Wester got it right away with right pronunciation. 
Afterwards he remembered my name every time I met him. It showed his interest in his priests. I liked it very much.
He came to St. Patrick Church to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation each year since 2010, when I took charge of the parish. Amidst his tight schedule, he found time to come twice in 2012 — for the 120th anniversary celebration of the parish in September and for the 25th anniversary of my priestly ordination in November. 
I always love to have the bishop visit the parish at least once a year. 
It is a blessing, and 2012 was a GREAT BLESSING. It showed his love and interest to be with the faithful and his priests. I am really proud to have worked with him for eight years. My prayers are always with him in his new assignment as the Archbishop of Santa Fe.
Father Lourduraj Gally Gregory
Saint Patrick Parish   

Among Archbishop Wester’s many contributions to the diocese during his tenure here are his support of youth and young adult ministries, his fraternal relationship with the clergy of the diocese, his outreach to the diverse peoples of the diocese, and his strong support of Catholic education. The impact in these areas of his leadership will be long-lasting.
Msgr. Robert Servatius
Blessed Sacrament Parish, Sandy

Bishop Wester is a wonderfully gifted unifier, having the ability to articulate issues and situations in such a way as to bring persons to the place where they can listen for meaning. As a marvelous communicator, he has a graced way of synthesizing. He is a holy bishop and out of his prayer life, he has constantly modeled for us the words of his coat of arms, “Abide in Christ.” He is a special gift for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, and will be deeply missed by us.
Msgr. Michael Winterer (Retired)

Archbishop Wester is truly a leader guided by the Holy Spirit. His love for the Lord is palpable. He has an effervescent spirit that communicates with great gentleness and caring. His love for ‘the least among us’ is his daily pathway. He seeks out the weak and the vulnerable and becomes their voice. He truly lives out his “Abide in Christ” motto each and every day. 
His love for the Lord’s Word is inspiring to us priests and provides us a model in our preaching and daily prayer. 
I feel truly blessed to have known him and will always treasure our happy times listening to music and sharing a simple meal. May the Lord continue to bless him with all the gifts of His gracious Spirit. 
We will miss you, dear friend, colleague and gentle shepherd. 
Msgr. Terence Moore (Retired)

Our dear Archbishop
Thank you for being our Bishop at the Salt Lake City diocese for the past 8+ years. 
Surely you will be missed by all of us at the Vietnamese parish in Kearns, and especially at the yearly Mass celebration for Vietnamese New Year “Tet” and the Sacrament of Confirmation ceremony. 
Your leadership has strengthened our faith and your work toward immigration reform has encouraged our people greatly. 
May you, in your new assignment, be as much loved as you have been here with all of us. 
Gratefully yours, 
Father Thuy D. Ha and the Vietnamese Catholics 
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish
N.B.: Personally, I have lost a valued customer for haircuts.

Thank you for being a great example of a bishop. We will miss your kind face, always with a smile; we’ll miss your good sense of humor and the trust that you gave us, your ability to listen, your kindness and humility. 
Wishing you the best.  
May God bless you!
Father Omar Ontiveros  
Saints Peter and Paul Parish

Archbishop Wester is a gentle shepherd who is very loved by all his flock, which he guided and was compassionate to. 
He made us feel closer to our Lord. I am very thankful for having met him, and his example makes me grow in my ministry. 
Thank you, Archbishop Wester, for your love and closeness to the Hispanic community, especially to the Hispanic priests who are joyfully serving in this diocese. You are a great gift to the Church.
Father Fernando Velasco  
Parochial Vicar
St. Francis of Assisi Parish

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