Pope Francis Has Appointed Fr. Austin Anthony Vetter as 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Helena

On October 8, 2019, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, appointed Father Austin Anthony Vetter as the eleventh Bishop of Helena. Mass for his ordination as a bishop and installation as Bishop of Helena will take place at the Cathedral of St. Helena on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.

Austin Anthony Vetter was born in Linton, N.D., on September 13, 1967, to August and Loretta Vetter. The youngest of 12 children, he was raised on a farm and educated in the Linton Public School System. After graduation, he attended North Dakota State University and Cardinal Muench Seminary in Fargo, N.D. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy, he studied at 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 by Bishop John F. Kinney at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Bismarck, N.D., on June 29, 1993.

Father Vetter’s first assignment was serving as Parochial Vicar at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. Father Vetter was a religion instructor at St. Mary’s Central High School in Bismarck from 1994 to 1999. In North Dakota, he served as pastor of St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Center, St. Patrick’s Church in Dickinson, and St. Leo the Great in Minot.

From 2004 to 2007, Father Vetter was an adjunct faculty member for the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., where he taught The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest. Father Vetter has held various roles in the Diocese of Bismarck, including serving on the Presbyteral Council, Priest Personnel Board, Vicar for the Permanent Diaconate, Master of Ceremonies to the Bishop, and Director of Continuing Education of the Clergy.

Father Vetter served as Director of Spiritual Formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy, from July 2012 through June 2018. He currently serves as Rector of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit and is a Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Light of Christ Catholic Schools in Bismarck, N.D.


The diocese will hold a press conference today, October 8th in the Brondel Center at the Cathedral of St. Helena.