John Charles Wester

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Born : November 5, 1950
Deceased :

Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco, 1998-2007
Bishop of Salt Lake City, 2007-2015
Archbishop of Santa Fe, 2015 – present

Arms of John Charles Wester

Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco
Arms of John Charles Wester

Bishop of Salt Lake City
Arms of John Charles Wester

Archbishop of Santa Fe

Official blazon


As common in US episcopal heraldry, the arms show the arms of the (arch)diocese impaled with the personal arms of the bishop.

The arms show in chief the Sacred heart of Jesus, surrounded by thorns and surmounted by flames,. This represents Archbishop Wester's personal devotion to the Sacred Heart and his complete reliance on Christ's ineffable and unfathomable love. It was on Friday, June 19, 1998, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, that Archbishop Wester received news of the Holy Father's call to become a bishop.

The red rose is an ancient symbol of Mary, the Mystical Rose. Archbishop Wester's family has lived for many years in Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Daly City where he attended grammar school and furthered his deep devotion to the Mother of God, a devotion which took its beginnings in the cradle of his home where the rosary was often prayed.

The Book of the Gospels is open to the first words of the Gospel of Saint John the Evangelist , Archbishop Wester's patron saint: In Principio erat Verbum et Verbum erat apud Deum. (In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God.)

The pronounced use of blue and green gives witness to Archbishop Wester's Swedish and Irish heritage, and so honors his father and mother, Charles and Helen, the first teachers of their son in the ways of faith and love.

The motto, "Abide in Christ" also honors the Evangelist of the Fourth Gospel and is taken from Jesus' discourse at the Last Supper, John 15:4 "Abide in me, as I abide in you."

The achievement is completed with the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of bishop by instruction of the Holy See, of March 1969, confirmed in March 2001.

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Literature :, 2017