Pope Francis has named Father Austin A. Vetter, 52, the Rector of Holy Spirit Cathedral in Bismarck, North Dakota, as the eleventh Bishop of Helena. The announcement was made this morning, Tuesday, October 8, 2019. Bishop-elect Vetter’s 10 a.m. Helena press conference will be live-streamed on the diocesan website.
Bishop Vetter will be ordained Bishop and Installed as the eleventh Bishop of Helena on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, at the Cathedral of St. Helena. Details will be forthcoming.
Bishop-elect Vetter is the youngest of twelve children, born in Linton, North Dakota, and raised on a farm nearby. He attended North Dakota State University and Cardinal Muench Seminary in Fargo, North Dakota, the Pontifical North American College and the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Italy. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Bismarck on June 29, 1993.
He has served at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit (both as Parochial Vicar and most recently as Rector), as a religion instructor at St. Mary Central High School in Bismarck, as Pastor of St. Martin Parish in Center, North Dakota, as Pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Dickinson, North Dakota, and as Pastor of St. Leo the Great Parish in Minot. Among the roles he held for the Diocese are: Director of Permanent Diaconate, Director of Continuing Education of the Clergy, a member of the Presbyteral Council and a member of the Personnel Board. He held the post of Director of Spiritual Formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome for six years, concluding in 2018, and then was named as Rector of the Cathedral.
Let us pray for Bishop-elect Vetter as he prepares for his episcopal ordination and installation as Bishop of Helena, that he will always hear the voice of the lord who called him as our shepherd.