John Charles Wester

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Most Rev. John Charles Wester
Bishop of Salt Lake City
Coat of arms of John Charles Wester.svg
Church Roman Catholic Church
See Salt Lake City, UT
In office March 14, 2007 - present
Predecessor George Hugh Niederauer
Successor incumbent
Personal details
Born (1950-11-05) November 5, 1950 (age 64)
San Francisco, California
Styles of
John Wester
Coat of arms of John Charles Wester.svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor

John Charles Wester, (born November 5, 1950) is an American Roman Catholic Bishop. On January 8, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Wester as the ninth bishop to serve the Diocese of Salt Lake City.


Early life and clerical formation[edit]

John Charles Wester was born in San Francisco, California on November 5, 1950, the fourth generation of his family born there. Wester attended Our Lady of Mercy Parish School in Daly City, CA.

Wester graduated from St. Joseph's College Seminary, Mountain View, California, in 1972, and then attended St. Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree in 1976. Wester went on to earn a Master of Applied Science (M.A.S.) from the University of San Francisco in 1984, and then a Master of Arts (MA) in spiritual theology at the Holy Names College in Oakland, California in 1993.

Priestly apostolate[edit]

Wester was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of San Francisco on May 15, 1976 at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco. Three years later, in 1976, he was appointed Associate Pastor at Saint Raphael Parish in San Rafael. In 1979, he became a teacher and Director of Campus Ministry at Marin Catholic High School. Wester later went on the become President of the high school, and eventually was named Assistant Superintendent for High Schools. In 1988, he became Assistant to the Archbishop.

Wester's first appointment as Pastor was at Saint Stephen Parish in San Francisco, in 1993.


Wester returned to the Pastoral Center in 1997 to become the Vicar for Clergy, where he was named a Monsignor. The following year, Pope John Paul II appointed him Titular Bishop of Lamiggiga and Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. After becoming Auxiliary Bishop, Wester held the title of Moderator of the Curia until 2003. While he was Episcopal Vicar for Clergy, Wester also served as Vicar General of the Archdiocese.

He was installed as Bishop of Salt Lake City by Metropolitan Archbishop of San Francisco George Hugh Niederauer on March 14, 2007 at the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Over 50 Catholic bishops attended the installation, including Archbishop Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, Archbishop Emeritus Theodore Edgar McCarrick of Washington D.C., Papal Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Pietro Sambi, and Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Also in attendance were Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., Salt Lake City Mayor Ross "Rocky" Anderson, President Thomas S. Monson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah.[1]

Memberships and Special Responsibilities[edit]

Since his consecration, Wester has been involved with the USCCB as a member of the Bishops Committee on Vocations, Chairman of Northern California Ch'an/Zen-Catholic Dialogue, Consultant for the Subcommittee on Interreligious Dialogue, member of the Migration Committee, the Pastoral Practices Committee, World Mission Committee, the Subcommittee on Lay Ministry, and as the USCCB bishop-liaison to Asia.

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
George Hugh Niederauer
Bishop of Salt Lake City
January 8, 2007–
Succeeded by



  1. ^ Barbara Stinson Lee. "Bishop John C. Wester installed with joy, gratitude". Intermountain Catholic (Diocese of Salt Lake City). Retrieved April 9, 2007.