Pope appoints Salt Lake City Bishop George H. Niederauer as new Archbishop of San Francisco


Today Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop George Hugh Niederauer, bishop of Salt Lake City, as metropolitan archbishop of San Francisco.

His installment as Archbishop will take place in San Francisco’s Cathedral of Saint Mary on Wednesday, February 15, 2006. Bishop Niederauer remains an administrator in Salt Lake City until his California installation.

Bishop George Hugh Niederauer was born on June 14, 1936 in Los Angeles, California Bishop George H. Niederauer was ordained the eighth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City January 25, 1995, before his nomination today.

On receiving news of Bishop Niederauer’s selection as Archbishop, Monsignor J.
Terrence Fitzgerald, Vicar General of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, reflected: “The Catholic people of Utah are honored to have their bishop selected as Archbishop of the Metropolitan See in San Francisco. Bishop Niederauer will bring wonderful gifts as Shepherd of the Archdiocese. His sharp mind, quick wit, compassionate heart and generosity are qualities we will greatly miss. The bishop’s ecumenical outreach and frequent presence at both civic and Catholic events leaves a significant impact on Utah. No doubt the people of Utah will feel great sadness at his departure. We wish him well.”

Bishop Niederauer, After attending St. Catherine’s Military Academy in Anaheim, he studied at St. Anthony’s High School in Long Beach and graduated in 1954. During his freshman year at Stanford University, he decided to enter St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California, from which in 1959 he earned a Bachelor of Philosophy degree.

He further  completed his studies with a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from Loyola University, Los Angeles. On April 30, 1962,  he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Father Niederauer’s first priestly assignment was as assistant pastor at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, Claremont. In 1966, he completed a Doctor of Philosophy degree in English Literature from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

From 1972-1994, he served as spiritual director at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo. During those years he was also an instructor in Spiritual Theology. From 1987-1992, he served as rector of the seminary. From 1992-1994, he co-directed the Cardinal Manning House of Prayer for priests in Los Angeles.

Named a Chaplain to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, in 1984, with the title Monsignor, and a Prelate of Honor in 1988, Monsignor Niederauer was then appointed eighth Bishop of Salt Lake City on November 3, 1994.

Bishop Niederauer has supported many local causes in his ten years as Bishop, including interfaith efforts through the Alliance for Unity, urging civic responsibility, the needs of migrant workers, youth and young adults, in addition to serving as the chair of the Utah Coalition Against Pornography since 2000. In 2004 he received the Gandhi Peace Award from the Gandhi Alliance for Peace.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco  has a population of 425,210, and currently has  425 priests,  62 permanent deacons 62 and 1004  religious.

He published one book:“Precious as Silver: Imagining Your Life with God” at Ave Maria Press in 2003. His personnal hobbies are classical music, stamp collecting, reading and film appreciation.

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