Salt Lake's Roman Catholic Bishop Assigned to Lead Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Roman Catholic Bishop John Wester is leaving Salt Lake City to lead the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
The announcement came early Monday morning as officials at the Vatican in Rome announced that Bishop Wester had been selected to become the next Archbishop of Santa Fe. He will replace retiring Archbishop Michael Sheehan who has held the post for 22 year. Sheehan introduced Wester at a news conference in Albuquerque on Monday, praising his successor.
“He will be such a perfect fit for our church here. And the experience that he has had and the involvement he has in the national level as well will help our local archdiocese of Santa Fe to have a real presence in the working of the Catholic Church in the United States,” said Sheehan.
Wester was ordained a priest in 1976 and served in his native Archdiocese of San Francisco before coming to Salt Lake City as Bishop in 2007. He told reporters that he is excited about his new assignment, but he will deeply miss Catholics in Salt Lake.
“For the past eight years, I have been very privileged to be a shepherd of a very dynamic and growing and grace-filled community of believers in the Diocese of Salt Lake City, a diocese I’ve called for over eight years. And so as I come to you today, I will say right away that my weaknesses are my own, but my strengths are the result of the love and support I received from God’s holy people in Salt Lake City,” said Wester.
Wester will be officially installed as the new Archbishop of Santa Fe on June 4th. After that, governing priests in the Salt Lake diocese will elect a temporary administer who will serve until Pope Francis chooses a new bishop. That process could take several months.