Fr. Austin Vetter installed as new Bishop of Diocese of Helena

Posted at 1:58 PM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 14:45:29-05

Father Austin Vetter was installed as the 11th Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena in an Ordination Mass Wednesday.

The Ordination Mass for bishop-elect Vetter began at 2:00 p.m. at the century-old Cathedral of St. Helena.

Born in North Dakota, Vetter is the youngest of 12 children. He attended North Dakota State University and Cardinal Muench Seminary in Fargo.

He was ordained as a priest in 1993.

According to a news release from the Diocese of Bismark, before his appointment to bishop in October, he served as rector of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Light of Christ Catholic Schools in Bismarck.

Once installed, Bishop Vetter will oversee a diocese that covers 51,922 square miles of western and north-central Montana.

Visiting guests for the event include: Cardinal Roger Mahoney, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles; Archbishop King Sample, Metropolitan Archbishop of Portland in Oregon; Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States; Bishop David David Kagan, Bishop of Bismark; Bishop James Checchio, Bishop of Metuchen; Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien, Grand Master, Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem; and Bishop Michael Warfel, Bishop of Great Falls-Billings.

The previous Bishop of the Diocese of Helena, George Thomas, was named the bishop of the Diocese of Las Vegas in February 2018.

The Diocese of Helena was established on March 7, 1884, and initially included the entire area of Montana. Today, 80 priests and 34 permanent deacons serve in the Diocese of Helena across 57 parishes and 38 missions.