Monday, April 27, 2015

The Diocese of Salt Lake City and its bishops

His Excellency, John C. Wester, served as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City. Who were his predecessors?

Bishop Lawrence Scanlan, first bishop of Salt Lake City

The Apostolic Vicariate of Utah was established by Pope Leo XIII in 1887. Also in 1887, 29 January, to be exact, Lawrence Scanlan from Ballytarsna, Ireland was ordained a bishop and named the head of the Apostolic Vicariate. Prior to being ordained a bishop, Scanlan was a priest of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. In 1891, Pope Leo XIII elevated the Apostolic Vicariate of Utah to a diocese. By doing so, he created the Diocese of Salt Lake City.

A list of the diocese's bishops follow:

Lawrence Scanlan- 1891-1915 (died 10 May 1915)
Joseph Sarfield Glass, C.M.- 1915-1926 (died 26 January 1926- our only bishop, thus far, who belonged to a religious order- Congregation of the Mission, or Vincentians)
John Mitty- 1926-1932 (named Coadjutor Archbishop of San Francisco, 29 January 1932)
James Kearney- 1932-1937 (named Bishop of Rochester, NY, 31 July 1937)
Duane Hunt- 1927-1960 (died 31 March 1960)
Joseph Federal- 1960-1980- (named Coadjutor to Bishop Hunt in 1958, succeeded upon Bishop Hunt's death, retired 22 April 1980)
William Weigand- 1980-1993 (named Bishop of Sacramento, 30 November 1993)
George Niederauer- 1994-2005 (named Archbishop of San Francisco, 15 December 2005)
John Wester- 2006-2015 (named Archbishop of Santa Fe, 27 April 2015)

The Diocese of Salt Lake City, prior to Bishop Federal being installed as Bishop Hunt's coadjutor bishop, had one auxiliary bishop: Leo Steck. A priest of the Archdiocese of St Louis, Bishop Steck was appointed and ordained in 1948 (he was the titular bishop of Ilium), but died prematurely on 19 June 1950.

Archbishop Robert Joseph Dwyer, first priest from Utah to become a bishop

In the history of the Diocese of Salt City, two priests of our diocese have been ordained bishops: Duane Hunt, who, as noted above, served as bishop of Salt Lake City, and Robert Dwyer, who served first as bishop of the Diocese of Reno from 1952-1966 before becoming Archbishop of Portland, Oregon, where he served from 1966 until he encountered poor health in 1974, which caused him to resign. He died in 1976. Archbishop Dwyer was the first native Utahn ordained a priest.

Bishop Joseph Federal participated in all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council. It was also Bishop Federal who, on 26 December 1976, the Feast of St Stephen, ordained 11 men the first permanent deacons for our diocese.

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