John Charles Wester

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
John Charles Wester
Archbishop of Santa Fe
Archdiocese Santa Fe
Appointed April 27, 2015
Installed June 4, 2015
Predecessor Michael Jarboe Sheehan
Other posts Chairman of USCCB Communications Committee
Ordination May 15, 1976
Consecration September 18, 1998
by William Joseph Levada, John R. Quinn, and Patrick Joseph McGrath
Personal details
Birth name John Charles Wester
Born (1950-11-05) November 5, 1950 (age 66)
San Francisco, California
Previous post Bishop of Salt Lake City
Alma mater Saint Patrick Seminary
Styles of
John Charles Wester
Coat of arms of John Charles Wester.svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Archbishop

John Charles Wester, (born November 5, 1950) is an American prelate of the Catholic Church, the twelfth Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

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 of San Francisco. In 2007 Wester was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City. On April 27, 2015 Wester was appointed by Pope Francis to succeed Michael Jarboe Sheehan as the twelfth Archbishop of Santa Fe.


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, California.

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 an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. After his consecration on September 18, 1998, Wester served as 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. Attendees included 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, 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barbara Stinson Lee. "Bishop John C. Wester installed with joy, gratitude". Intermountain Catholic. Diocese of Salt Lake City. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Gonzalo Duarte García de Cortázar
Titular Bishop of Lamiggiga
June 30, 1998 – January 8, 2007
Succeeded by
José Luis Mendoza Corzo
Preceded by
George Hugh Niederauer
Bishop of Salt Lake City
January 8, 2007 – April 27, 2015
Succeeded by
Oscar A. Solis
Preceded by
Michael Jarboe Sheehan
Archbishop of Santa Fe
June 2, 2015 – present