July 15, 2024

Washington, D.C. – Pope Francis has named Father Robert F. Christian, OP, as the new auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

The appointment was publicized in Washington on March 28, 2018 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Father Christian was born December 2, 1948 in San Francisco.  He entered the Order of Preachers at St. Albert Priory in Oakland in 1970 and made his Solemn Profession as a Dominican in 1974.

He was ordained a priest in Oakland on June 4, 1976.

Father Christian has a B.A. in English from the University of Santa Clara (1970) and a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Albert College, Oakland (1973).  In 1977, he received a Master of Divinity degree from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Oakland.  In 1981, he earned a Licentiate of Sacred Theology (S.T.L) from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome.  In 1984, he earned his doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) also from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum).

Assignments after ordination included: teacher at Dominican College in San Rafael (1976-1979); conventual lector (parochial ministry) at Blessed Sacrament in Seattle and Director of the Newman Center at the University of Washington (1984-1985); Professor (Sacraments and Ecclesiology) at the Angelicum, Rome (1985-1997); Socius and Vicar, Western Dominican Province, acting administrator during absence of Provincial, and lecturer in theology at the Graduate Theological Union (1997-1999); vice dean and professor at the Angelicum (1999-2014); delegate to provincial chapters (years 1981, 1983, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2011); Socius to Provincial Chapter (1983, 1999); Sabbatical (2014-2015); Master of Students, Western Dominican Province (2015-present).

Other appointments include: Peritus at the 1990 Synod of Bishops on Priestly Formation; Prior of the 75-member resident community of friars at the Angelicum; member of Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission; Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (2013-present).

The Archdiocese of San Francisco comprises 1,016 square miles. It has a total population of 1,776,095 people of which 441,736 or 25 percent, are Catholic. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone is the current Archbishop of San Francisco.