Author Archive: Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted was installed as the fourth bishop of Phoenix on Dec. 20, 2003.
Since 1974, Bishop Thomas James 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 dgree 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 direction.
Having been reared on a family farm on the Kansas-Nebraska border, he attended a single-room grade school near Oketo, Kan., and a small rural high school in Summerfield, Kan. 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.
When Pope Francis greeted Pope Emeritus Benedict at their initial meeting following the Papal Conclave, his first words were, “We are brothers.”
With filial affection and deep gratitude, I greet you in my own name and the name of my Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares and all the clergy, religious and laity of the Diocese of Phoenix, and I assure you of our best wishes and prayers as you prepare for retirement from the duties of the Petrine ministry.
Apostles of Mercy — A Pastoral Letter to the Priests of the Diocese of Phoenix from the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted On the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.
The close connection between faith and forgiveness is evident from the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. His first words recorded by St. Mark resound with this message (Mk 1:15): “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”
The Holy Father has allowed the granting of Plenary indulgences for the faithful during the Year of Faith at places and dates determined by the local bishop. An indulgence is the remission before God of the temporal punishment for sin the guilt of which is already forgiven, which a properly disposed member of the Christian faithful obtains under certain conditions.
In this fourth part of our series, we shall now consider the third stage of education for freedom, which is known as maturity in charity.
In the previous part of this series, we looked at the first of three stages of education for human freedom, and saw how it is built on natural inclinations given to us by God and on the discipline of obedience. Now, we shall consider the second stage, where we progressively interiorize what has been learned in stage one. Here, personal initiative comes to the fore and virtues begin to be formed. We develop a consistency of personal intention to act in accord with excellence.