WASHINGTON (February 15, 1999) -- Pope John Paul II has named Msgr. Thomas J. Olmsted, President and Rector of Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio, as Coadjutor Bishop to Bishop Eugene J. Gerber of Wichita, Kansas.
Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, announced the appointment.
A Coadjutor Bishop enjoys the right of succession which means that he becomes head of the diocese immediately upon the retirement or death of the incumbent diocesan bishop.
Thomas Olmsted was born on January 21, 1947, in Oketo, Kansas.
After graduating from St. Thomas Seminary, Denver, in 1969, he completed his priestly formation at the North American College in Rome and the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was ordained for the diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, July 2, 1973.
Following ordination, Bishop-elect Olmsted was assistant pastor, Cathedral of the Risen Christ, Lincoln, from 1973 to 1976; studied Canon Law from 1976 to 1979 (he graduated summa cum laude from the Gregorian in 1981); served in the Vatican Secretariat of State and as spiritual director of the North American College from 1979 to 1988; and as pastor of St. Vincent de Paul
Church and promoter of justice at the diocesan tribunal from 1989 to 1993, when he was named Dean of Formation at the Pontifical College Josephinum.
He was appointed President and Rector of the Pontifical College Josephinum in 1997.
Eugene J. Gerber was born April 30, 1931 in Kingman, Kansas. He studied at St. Thomas Seminary and Wichita State University and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Wichita on May 19, 1959. Appointed Bishop of Dodge City on October 16, 1976, he was transferred to the Diocese of Wichita on November 17, 1982.
The Diocese of Wichita, established in 1887, comprises 20,000 square miles in the State of Kansas. It has a Catholic population of about 107,000 in a total population of 911,000.