The Archdiocese of San Francisco announces that Pope Francis has today appointed Fr. Robert Christian, O.P., as auxiliary bishop. Fr. Christian is a Friar of the Western Dominican Province and currently serves as Master of Students of the province.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said, “I am overjoyed to welcome Fr. Christian back to his native San Francisco. We first met while studying in Rome some forty years ago and we are now all blessed that Bishop-Elect Christian joins us to serve our priests, religious, deacons and all the people of the Archdiocese. ”Robert Francis Christian was born in San Francisco in 1948 to Robert Francis and Gloria Jean Christian. He was raised in St. Brendan Parish and attended St. Brendan and St. Vincent de Paul grammar schools. In 1966 he graduated from St. Ignatius High School and from Santa Clara University in 1970. That year he entered the Dominican Novitiate in Oakland.
Fr. Christian was ordained in 1976 at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Oakland and started his teaching career immediately thereafter at Dominican College. After later receiving his doctorate in theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (The Angelicum) in Rome he began a long teaching career there as professor of theology. He is presently a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and a member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission.
Bishop-Elect Christian said “I am delighted to minister in the area where I was born and raised, and where I have numerous relatives and friends. I know I can count on the prayers of many people, and I am eager to serve the people of the City and Archdiocese that I call home.”
His episcopal ordination is planned to take place at St. Mary’s Cathedral by the beginning of summer.