Thomas Olmstead

Roman Catholic prelate; 4th Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona

Thomas James Olmsted (born January 21, 1947) is a person with a title in an American Church called the Roman Catholic Church. The title is called Bishop and means he is on of the leaders of the church. He is the fourth and current Bishop of Phoenix. Before he was the Bishop of Phoenix, he was the Bishop of Wichita from 2001 to 2003.

Thomas James Olmsted
Bishop of Phoenix
ChurchRoman Catholic
ProvinceSanta Fe
AppointedNovember 25, 2003
InstalledDecember 20, 2003
PredecessorThomas J. O'Brien
Other postsApostolic Administrator, Eparchy of the Holy Protection of Mary of Phoenix
OrdinationJuly 2, 1973
by James A. Hickey
ConsecrationApril 20, 1999
by Eugene J. Gerber, James Patrick Keleher, Fabian Bruskewitz
Personal details
Born (1947-01-21) January 21, 1947 (age 75)
Oketo, Kansas
Previous postBishop of Wichita
Alma mater
MottoJesus Caritas

Early lifeEdit

Thomas James Olmsted was born in Oketo, Kansas and his parents names were Pat Olmstead and Helen Olmsted. He also has two brothers and three sisters.[1] He was raised on a farm in a city called Beattie, and attended school high school in a town called Summerfield.[1] He then studied religion at a school called St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in a city called Denver, in a state called Colorado, where he obtained a college degree called a "Bachelor of Arts." The degree he earned was in the subject of Philosophy in 1969.[1]


Olmsted became a priest on July 2, 1973. The church made him work for the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, which means the church in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska [2] He then served as an associate pastor or "helping priest" at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ. After that he went to Rome where the Church made him study to become a doctor of Religion.[1]

Olmsted earned a doctor degree in Rome, and returned to United States in 1989.

Episcopal careerEdit

Bishop of WichitaEdit

On February 16, 1999 he was made the Bishop of Wichita, Kansas, by Pope John Paul II. The Bishop before that time was named Eugene Gerber.

Bishop of PhoenixEdit

Olmsted was later named the fourth Bishop of Phoenix on November 25, 2003. He replaced another Bishop who was named Thomas O'Brien.

Excommunication of Margaret McBrideEdit

In May 2010, Olmsted said that a woman who was a member of his church could not be a member of his church anymore. This is called being excommunicated. This woman was named Sister Margaret McBride. He did this because Sister Margaret McBride had given permission at a hospital for a woman to have an abortion, or have her fetus removed from her body before it is ready to come out and survive. She gave this permission because the doctors thought the woman would die if the baby was not removed.,,[3][4][5][6]

After this happened Olmsted said that the hospital this happened at could not be called a Catholic Hospital anymore. This hospital was St. Joseph's Hospital in mid-town Phoenix.,[7][8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Biography of Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted". Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. Archived from the original on 2008-08-28.
  2. "Bishop Thomas James Olmsted".[self-published source]
  3. Catholic Healthcare West - St Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center Statement on Bishop Olmsted Announcement - Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Catholic News Agency: "Sister violated more than Catholic teaching in sanctioning abortion, ethicist says" May 19, 2010
  5. Catholic News Agency: "Catholic sister told Phoenix bishop abortion was allowed by Church teaching" May 18, 2010
  6. Diocese of Phoenix: "Questions and Answers Re: the Situation at St Joseph's" Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine May 18, 2010
  7. Olmsted, Thomas (2010-12-21). "St. Joseph's Hospital no longer Catholic" (PDF). Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.[permanent dead link]
  8. Gilbert, Kathleen (December 13, 2011). "Phoenix nun that OKed abortion no longer excommunicated, says hospital; diocese mum". LifeSiteNews. Retrieved August 25, 2013.