Pope names new Santa Fe Archbishop

SANTA FE (KRQE) – New Mexico Catholics will soon have a new leader. Pope Francis has named a new Archbishop for Santa Fe. The pontiff appointed Most Rev. John C. Wester to take over as the 12th Archbishop of Santa Fe.

Bishop Wester comes from Salt Lake City, Utah, where he serves as Bishop of Salt Lake City. He will take over for Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan who has reached the age limit for that position, according to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

“Being in the diocese is a large family,” said Wester. “There are going to be happy moments and sad moments, but we’ll be in it together. I’m really looking forward to this opportunity,” he said.

In a news conference Monday afternoon, Wester said he word of his appointment initially brought shock, surprise, wonderment, even fear at first, but he said he is looking forward to serving in this position.

Wester was first ordained as a priest in 1976 in San Francisco. He was appointed Bishop of Salt Lake City in January 2007.

Archbishop Sheehan said Wester was his top pick and said Wester reflects the same spirit and values of Pope Francis.

“I think Bishop Wester is a very balanced man. He avoids the extremes of ultra conservative, ultra liberal. He’s just right down the line,” said Sheehan.

Wester’s installation mass will take place on Thursday, June 4 at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe.

More information on Archbishop-elect Wester can be found online at Vatican Radio.

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