A native of San Francisco, California, John Charles Wester was ordained a Roman Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of San Francisco on May 15, 1976. He has earned degrees from Saint Joseph College, Saint Patrick College, Saint Patrick Seminary, the University of San Francisco and Holy Names College.
After his priestly ordination, many facets of ministry in the Church followed in the Bay Area that included assignments as an associate pastor, pastor, high school faculty member, director of campus ministry, high school president, assistant superintendent for high schools, and administrative assistant to Archbishop John R. Quinn. On July 25, 1997, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, named Reverend Wester a Prelate of Honor, giving him the title of Monsignor. He then served as the vicar for clergy in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. In 1998, Monsignor Wester was ordained auxiliary bishop of San Francisco and appointed to serve as the vicar general. From 2005-2006, Bishop Wester served as the apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. On January 8, 2007, he was named Bishop of Salt Lake City and installed on March 14, 2007. His kind and giving spirit reflects his Episcopal motto: Abide in Christ.
Throughout Bishop Wester's ministry, he has served on many Church boards and committees not only in California, but throughout the nation. He has traveled to many countries, including third world countries, witnessed diverse cultures, visited the poorest of the poor and worked towards immigration reform on a local, national, and international level. He presently serves on several committees of the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops):
Catholic Education Foundation Advisory Board, Member
Committee on Catholic Education, Member
Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Consultant
Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, Consultant
Committee on Migration, Consultant
Region XIII, Chair
In addition, BIshop Wester serves on several national boards:
Catholic Relief Services Board as chair of its subcommittee on overseas operations
Mexican American Catholic College's board of trustees
National Association for Lay Ministry, Episcopal Moderator
National Association of Catholic Chaplains
Saint Patrick Seminary Board
Zen/Ch'an - Catholic Dialogue
As the sphepherd for the Diocese of Salt Lake City, Bishop Wester's ministry comprises the entire State of Utah, a total of 84,990 square miles and a burgeoning Hispanic population. The bishop's dedication to his people is evident as he travels across the diocese to spread the Good News of our Lord, celebrate liturgies, dedicate new parishes and missions, bless new Catholic facilities, confer the Sacrament of Confirmation and meet with laity, religious and civic leaders in the spirit of working for the common good.