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​Pope names bishop of Salt Lake City as archbishop of Santa Fe; accepts resignation of Archbishop Mi

April 27, 2015 | posted by USCCB

Topics: In the Press


Pope names bishop of Salt Lake City as archbishop of Santa Fe; accepts resignation of Archbishop Michael Sheehan

Pope Francis has named Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, 64, as Archbishop of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Michael Sheehan, 75, from pastoral governance of that diocese.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, April 27, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

John C. Wester was born November 5, 1950, in San Francisco. He earned a bachelor’s degree (1972) from Saint Patrick College, in Mountain View, Calif., and a master’s in divinity (1976) from St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, Calif. He also holds a master’s in spirituality (1984) from the University of San Francisco, and a master’s (1993) from Holy Names College, in Oakland.

He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of San Francisco on May 15, 1976.

Following ordination, he held numerous assignments including associate pastor of Saint Raphael Parish in San Rafael, Calif. (1976-1979). He served as faculty member, then director of campus ministry, and president of Marin Catholic High School, in Kentfield, Calif. (1979-1986). He was appointed assistant superintendent for high schools for the Archdiocese of San Francisco (1986-1988), and administrative assistant to Archbishop John R. Quinn (1988-1993). He was appointed vicar for clergy in the Archdiocese of San Francisco (1997-2007).

In 1998, he was ordained auxiliary bishop of San Francisco and appointed to serve as vicar general. From 2005-2006, Bishop Wester served as the apostolic administrator of the archdiocese. On January 8, 2007, he was named bishop of Salt Lake City and was installed on March 14, 2007. He is chairman of the USCCB Communications Committee.

Michael J. Sheehan was born July 9, 1939 in Wichita, Kansas, and ordained a priest of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, on July 12, 1964. He was appointed bishop of Lubbock on March 29, 1993. Pope John Paul II appointed him as archbishop of Santa Fe on August 17, 1993 and was installed on September 21, 1993.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe comprises 61,142 square miles in the State of New Mexico. It has a total population of 1,295,074 people, of whom 323,850, or 25 percent, are Catholic.