It was a touching farewell mass and reception Sunday for Bishop George Niederauer, who will take up his duties as archbishop of San Francisco Feb. 15, after serving as the bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City for 11 years.
More than 1,000 people filled the downtown Cathedral of the Madeleine, including representatives of different churches.
"It's been my task, my privilege and my job to serve the local Catholic diocese. I was welcomed by Catholics, by LDS and by everyone. You have been the good news in my life . . . I promise to pray for you always," he told the assembly, reported The Salt Lake Tribune.
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. sat in the first pew. He told the Tribune that the bishop’s "words of encouragement and admonition resonate across religious boundaries."
Rev. Rick Lawson, rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Salt Lake City, told the Tribune that the bishop was able to grasp Utah’s religious uniqueness “and move us forward. He has had dialogue with the whole community. We can all say, 'he's our bishop.'”
At the reception that followed the mass at the Grand American Hotel, hundreds lined up to greet the bishop, who sat in front of a large tapestry with his motto: "To give and to serve."