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
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
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