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Utah Catholics Say Goodbye to Archbishop Wester

Courtesy of the Diocese of Salt Lake

This weekend, Utah Catholics will say goodbye to the Most Reverend John Wester who has led the Diocese of Salt Lake for more than eight years.  Wester was recently appointed Archbishop of Santa Fe and will begin his service there next week.   

When now Archbishop John Wester looks back on tenure as the leader of the Salt Lake Diocese, he says he’s excited about the growing diversity among Utah Catholics.

“I always say we need to become who we already are. That we are a multi-cultural diocese. For example, eighty percent of the Catholics in Utah speak Spanish.    We have Vietnamese, and Filipino and Togan and African American and different  groupings of people.  We need to keep working at uniting ourselves, integrating so that we are one diocese, one face, brothers and sisters in Christ,” says Wester.

Wester is set to report to his new job as Archbishop of Santa Fe on Monday, but not before the faithful get a chance to say goodbye. Wester will preside over a farewell mass at the Cathedral of the Madeleine Sunday morning at 11. Later in the afternoon, people are invited to an open house at Little America Hotel.  Wester says he feels a little humbled by the spotlight.

“I think it’s a celebration of church and community.  It’s not a celebration of me, it’s a celebration of all of us together in recognition that in our church when the Bishop leaves there is kind of an end of one chapter and we await a new chapter,” says Wester.

After Wester departs, governing clergy will elect an administrator who will lead the Diocese until Pope Francis appoints a new Bishop.  

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