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)

Most Rev. 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 on Dec. 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

1973-1976
First assignment as a priest: associate pastor, Cathedral of the Risen Christ, Lincoln, Nebraska
1976-1979
Doctoral Studies at the Gregorian University, Rome
1979-1988
Assistant at the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, and assistant spiritual director at Pontifical North American College, Rome
1989-1993
Pastor, St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Seward, Nebraska
1993-1997
Dean of Personal Formation at the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio
1997-1999
Rector/President of the Pontifical College Josephinum
1999-2001
Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas
2001-2003
Bishop of the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas
1999-2007
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Priestly Formation Committee
2000-2003
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Consecrated Life Committee
2002-2003
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Administrative Committee
2000-2003
Board of Directors, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
2003-present
Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix
2005-2007
Chair of USCCB Committee on Priestly Formation
2005-2008
Member, USCCB National Advisory Council
2008-2009
Apostolic Administrator of Diocese of Gallup
2008-Present
Member, USCCB Committee on Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs
2009-Present
Member, Catholic Association of Latino Leaders
2010-2011
Member, USCCB Missions Committee
2011-Present
First Vice-Chairman, Vox Clara Committee
2011-Present
Board of Directors, Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership
2011-Present
Board of Trustees, Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary
2011-Present
Board of Directors, Courage
2011-Present
Episcopal Advisory Board, Augustine Institute, Denver
2011-Present
Board Member, Catholic Association of Latino Leaders
November 2011
Episcopal Advisor to the USCCB Secular Institutes
November 2011
Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty