Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted

Contact Bishop Olmsted

Diocese of Phoenix
400 E. Monroe St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004-2336

(602) 354-2488

(602) 354-2427 (fax)

The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted

Fourth 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.

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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

First assignment as a priest: associate pastor, Cathedral of the Risen Christ, Lincoln, Nebraska
Doctoral Studies at the Gregorian University, Rome
Assistant at the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, and assistant spiritual director at Pontifical North American College, Rome
Pastor, St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Seward, Nebraska
Dean of Personal Formation at the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio
Rector/President of the Pontifical College Josephinum
Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas
Bishop of the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Priestly Formation Committee
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Consecrated Life Committee
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Administrative Committee
Board of Directors, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix
Chair of USCCB Committee on Priestly Formation
Member, USCCB National Advisory Council
Apostolic Administrator of Diocese of Gallup
Member, USCCB Committee on Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs
Member, Catholic Association of Latino Leaders
Member, USCCB Missions Committee
First Vice-Chairman, Vox Clara Committee of the Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith
Board of Directors, Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership
Board of Trustees, Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary
Board of Directors, Courage
Episcopal Advisory Board, Augustine Institute, Denver
Board Member, Catholic Association of Latino Leaders
November 2011
Episcopal Advisor to the USCCB Secular Institutes
November 2011
Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty