Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted

The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted is the bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix. He was installed as the fourth bishop of Phoenix on Dec. 20, 2003, and is the spiritual leader of the diocese's Catholics.

The first American citizen to be canonized a saint was an immigrant to our country and her life was dedicated to the care of immigrants. Coming to America, however, wasn’t what Frances Cabrini had in mind when she journeyed from Milan to Rome in AD 1887 to meet with the Successor of Peter. She wanted be a missionary in China. From the time she received the Sacrament of Confirmation at the age of 8 she had dreamed of witnessing to Christ among the Chinese; and that desire had only grown as she discerned her call to Religious Life and took St. Francis Xavier as her patron. But Pope Leo XIII told her, “Go not to the East but to the West — to New York rather than China.” He urged her to follow the large throng of emigrants who were leaving Italy each week for America.

En septiembre de 1772 AD, Fray Junípero Serra volvió a San Diego, agotado en cuerpo y espíritu. Había caminado por tres semanas, viajando desde el norte de California hasta la primera misión que había fundado. A pesar de su habitual disposición optimista, estaba agotado por la escasez de alimentos, agobiado por el dolor agudo desde la incurable herida en su pierna y sobre todo enredado en un conflicto acalorado con Pedro Fages, el virrey de la provincia de Las Californias de Nueva España.

In September of AD 1772, Friar Junípero Serra returned to San Diego, exhausted in body and spirit. He had just walked for three weeks, travelling all the way from northern California to the first mission he had founded. Despite his usual optimistic disposition, he was worn down by the scarcity of food, hampered by the sharp pain shooting from the incurable wound in his leg, and above all ensnarled in a heated dispute with Pedro Fages, the lieutenant governor of the Las Californias province of New Spain.

For many good reasons, Edith Stein is remembered and honored today, perhaps none being more significant than her constant quest for truth and love.

Por muchas buenas razones, se recuerda hoy día a Edith Stein y quizás ninguna razón es más importante que su constante búsqueda de la verdad y el amor.

Es por providencia de Dios, que ahora tenemos, por primera vez en la historia, un Papa Jesuita. No ha de sorprender, entonces, que el Papa Francisco se sienta cerca a San Ignacio y que haya sido grandemente impactado por su vida y su enseñanza.

By God’s providence, we now have, for the first time in history, a pope who is Jesuit. It should come as no surprise, then, that Pope Francis would feel close to St. Ignatius and be greatly impacted by his life and teaching.

He was happy to serve in relative obscurity since it left him time most days for private prayer and study, time to deepen his knowledge and love of Christ; but God had very different plans in mind.

Él estaba feliz de servir en relativa oscuridad porque le dejaba tiempo casi todos los días para oración y el estudio privado, tiempo para profundizar en su conocimiento y amor de Cristo; pero una vez más Dios tenía planes muy diferentes en mente.

Five hundred years ago, in AD 1515, a man was born whom the world would come to know as the Apostle of Rome and one of the Church’s funniest saints.


Support the Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Listen to The Bishop's Hour on iTunes
Support the Holy Land Magazine
Subscribe to The Catholic Conversation podcast on iTunes!