Bishop Robert Vasa Appointed Coadjutor Bishop for the Diocese of Santa Rosa

January 26, 2011 by  
Filed under The Pelican Group News

Diocese of Santa Rosa – January 24, 2011

Bishop Walsh Welcomes His Designated Successor

Santa Rosa, CA, January 24, 2011 – His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Most Reverend Robert F. Vasa as Coadjutor Bishop of Santa Rosa in California. Bishop Vasa has been bishop of Baker, Oregon since January 2000.

A Coadjutor Bishop is the designated successor of the current bishop of the diocese. He assists the current bishop, who remains at the head of the diocese, in the various aspects of pastoral and spiritual leadership of the people. On the retirement of the current bishop, Most Reverend Daniel F. Walsh, Bishop Vasa will become the sixth Bishop of Santa Rosa.

Under church law, all bishops must submit their letter of resignation when they reach age 75, or earlier if circumstances indicate it. Once that resignation is accepted by the Holy Father, Bishop Vasa will automatically become bishop without any formal ceremony of installation.

Bishop Walsh, who had requested the assistance of a coadjutor, expressed his pleasure with the appointment. “I am happy to learn of Bishop Vasa’s assignment to the Diocese of Santa Rosa,” he stated, “and look forward to introducing him to our parishioners and working in partnership to lay the foundation for our diocesan future.”

Bishop Vasa was born on May 7, 1951 and ordained a priest for the diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska on May 22, 1976. He served in various parish, school and diocesan assignments during his ministry as a priest in that diocese. In addition to his Master of Divinity degree from Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas, Texas, he received a License in Canon Law (JCL) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1981. He was appointed Bishop of Baker on November 19, 1999.

Bishop Vasa will take up residence in the diocese on March 4, 2011. A Mass of Reception and Welcome for Bishop Vasa will be celebrated at St. Eugene’s Cathedral, Santa Rosa on March 6th at 10:30 a.m.

The Bishop is the steward of grace of the supreme priesthood, especially in the Eucharist…. The Eucharist is the center of life of the particular Church. The Bishop and priests sanctify the Church by their prayer and work, by their ministry of the word and of the sacraments. They sanctify her by their example, not as domineering over those in their charge but being examples to the flock. Thus, together with the flock entrusted to them, they may attain to eternal life. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #893)

O’Meara Ferguson welcomes Bishop Vasa to his new ministry as Coadjutor Bishop of Santa Rosa. We promise our prayerful support as he assumes his new responsibility as a “steward of grace” for the Church of Santa Rosa.


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