Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted2018-09-08T11:16:02+00:00

The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted

Bishop of Phoenix

The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., July 2, 1973. He was ­installed as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix December 20, 2003.

Prior to his arrival in Phoenix he served as Bishop of Wichita, Kansas, after being ordained Coadjutor Bishop on April 20, 1999. Before serving in Wichita, he served as the Rector / President of the Pontifical College Josephinum, a Catholic Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.

Since 1974, Bishop Olmsted has been a member of the Jesus Caritas ­fraternity of priests, and thus has been deeply influenced by the witness and wisdom of Charles de Foucauld and by the prayers and encouragement of many brother priests.

For 16 years, Bishop Olmsted lived in Rome, Italy, where he obtained a master’s degree in theology, a doctorate in Canon Law, and worked more than nine years in the Secretariat of State of the Holy See. During the nine years of serving in the Holy See, he resided at the Pontifical North American College and assisted seminarians with spiritual direction.

Having been reared on a family farm on the Kansas-Nebraska border, he attended a single-room grade school near Oketo, Kansas, and a small rural high school in Summerfield, Kansas. His first contact with Catholic schools came when he entered St. Thomas Seminary College in Denver, Colo., from which he graduated in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.

Birthday: January 21, 1947
Ordination to the priesthood: July 2, 1973
Ordained a bishop: April 20, 1999

Bishop Olmsted’s Columns, Pastoral Letters and Exhortations

Pastoral Letter from Bishop Olmsted and Bishop Nevares Regarding Recent Abuse Scandals

We write you this day to express our own deep level of sadness and anger about the recent revelations surrounding Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and the newly released Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. These shameful and evil actions have harmed many innocent people, especially the young; and they are utterly inexcusable. This has also caused great pain, confusion and dismay among us all — laity, religious and clergy — who remain committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are sorry that you have had to endure this anguish.

Reflections On Amoris Laetitia (The Joy Of Love)

On the feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 2016, Pope Francis issued his Apostolic Exhortation on Love in the Family — Amoris Laetitia in Latin, in English “The Joy of Love.” In this Apostolic Exhortation, there is much to move the heart and fire the imagination. Some parts are exceptionally beautiful and will leave you with a hunger for more as well as a desire to return to them often.

Evangelizing through Catholic Schools, an Apostolic Letter from Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted

Catholic schools, thanks be to God, are places of evangelization by assuring that all students have the basic Gospel message proclaimed to them, are confronted with a choice, and then given the freedom and help to make a response in faith. Faith comes from what is heard, thus students cannot respond to the Gospel until they have first heard it.