Bishop Vasa, 59, will eventually succeed Bishop Daniel Walsh, 73, of Santa Rosa in California, upon the latter's retirement. As of yet, a successor has not been named for the Baker Diocese.

Robert Vasa was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. From 1972 to 1976, he studied at Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas, Texas, from where he obtained a Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Lincoln in 1976.

In 1979, he was sent to further his studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, earning a Licentiate of Canon Law in 1981.

He was named bishop of the Diocese of Baker in 2000.

The Diocese of Santa Rosa has a population of 898,000, of which 167,945 are Catholic. The diocese counts with 101 priests, 35 permanent deacons, and 87 religious.