SALT LAKE CITY — From time to time, we are blessed with religious leaders whose influence transcends denominational boundaries to lift and inspire people of all faiths. Archbishop George H. Niederauer is such a leader.
His exemplary service will long be remembered not only by the Catholic faithful of the Diocese of Salt Lake City but also by many others among all religions in Utah. Government officials and leaders of community agencies will also reflect with gratitude on his labors to make life better in the cities and towns of our state.
He is a man of quick wit and good humor, unyielding integrity and immense capacity. Above all, he is our friend. His presence in Salt Lake City will be greatly missed as he answers the call to shepherd the work of the Catholic Church in San Francisco, northern California, Utah and Nevada.
Ecclesiasticus wrote, “A faithful friend is a strong defense: and he that hath found such an one hath found a treasure.” Archbishop Niederauer has been a faithful, treasured friend in defending all that is good, those values and virtues which the Apostle Paul described as true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report.
In an environment where religion is sometimes used as an excuse to divide, he always led with a voice of respect and common decency. With wisdom and compassion, he reached out in meaningful, heartfelt ways to help us better understand one another.
Especially noteworthy were his tireless efforts as a founding member of the Alliance for Unity, a leadership group committed to improving relationships within Utah’s increasingly diverse population. He has a gift for bringing people with differing views into harmonious agreement. He builds consensus and cooperation through patience, humor, kindness and meekness.
Through many community initiatives, he demonstrated his sound judgment, sharp mind and gentle stewardship. His leadership was the catalyst to bring together religious, community and law enforcement leaders to fight pornography addiction.
His sincere concern and compassion for the disadvantaged, regardless of religious affiliation, is readily apparent in the hands-on assistance he has given personally and in the relief work he has directed through Catholic Community Services. It has been our privilege to cooperate with him on a number of these humanitarian projects.
Archbishop Niederauer, a faithful friend, will be dearly missed. We know that many will be blessed in the Archdiocese of San Francisco by his able leadership and caring service. Our prayers, love and best wishes go with him.
THE FIRST PRESIDENCY
Gordon B. Hinckley
Thomas S. Monson
James E. Faust