WASHINGTON (November 25, 2003) -- Pope John Paul II has appointed Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Wichita as Bishop of Phoenix.
Bishop Olmsted succeeds Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien who resigned in June. Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan of Santa Fe has been serving as Apostolic Administrator of Phoenix.
Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, announced the appointment.
Thomas Olmsted was born January 21, 1947, in Oketo, Kansas.
After graduating from St. Thomas Seminary, Denver, in 1969, he completed studies 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 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 in Columbus, Ohio.
He was appointed President and Rector of the Pontifical College Josephinum in 1997.
Bishop Olmsted was named Coadjutor Bishop of Wichita, February 16, 1999. He was appointed Bishop of Wichita on October 4, 2001.
Thomas J. O'Brien was born Nov. 29, 1935, in Indianapolis. Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Tucson May 7, 1961, he was appointed Bishop of Phoenix, Nov. 24, 1981 and ordained January 6, 1982.
The Diocese of Phoenix was established in 1969. It has a Catholic population of approximately 530,000 in a total population of about 3.6 million.