Bishop Robert Vasa has been appointed coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Santa Rosa in California to succeed Bishop Daniel F. Walsh when he retires.
“I am happy to learn of Bishop Vasa’s assignment to the Diocese of Santa Rosa, and look forward to introducing him to our parishioners and working in partnership to lay the foundation for our diocesan future,” Bishop Walsh commented in a Jan. 24 statement.
The 73-year-old Bishop Walsh had requested the assistance of a coadjutor. He has headed the diocese since the year 2000.
Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the apostolic nuncio to the U.S., announced the appointment in Washington on Jan. 24.
Bishop Vasa, 59, has led the Diocese of Baker in Oregon since January 2000.
He was born in Lincoln, Nebraska and studied for the priesthood at St. Thomas Seminary in Denver and Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Lincoln in May 1976 and received a License in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1981.
In Lincoln he served as the diocese’s chancellor, judicial vicar and vicar general.
The new coadjutor bishop is a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions. He also serves on the conference’s Task Force on Health Care.
The Diocese of Santa Rosa said that Bishop Vasa will take up residence in the diocese on March 4. A Mass of Reception and Welcome will be celebrated at St. Eugene’s Cathedral in Santa Rosa on March 6 at 10:30 a.m.
Bishop Vasa will become Bishop of Santa Rosa upon the retirement of Bishop Walsh. Under church law, all bishops must submit their letter of resignation at the age of 75.
The Diocese of Santa Rosa covers 11,711 square miles. It has a population of over 909,000 inhabitants and 169,567, or 18 percent, of those people are Catholic.