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.
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.
“It is not enough to say ‘I am free’,” Blessed John Paul II was accustomed to say, “One needs also to say ‘I am responsible.’” Human freedom is both a gift and a responsibility. It cannot be achieved without the hard work of overcoming selfishness, developing self-discipline, learning obedience, building virtues, and making constant efforts [...]
“Give me liberty or give me death,” Patrick Henry’s famous cry, at our nation’s birth, continues to stir hearts today; the struggle for freedom is no less urgent now, as evidenced in rallies and fortnights throughout our country protesting against the HHS mandates and other threats to religious liberty.
The 25th of this month of July will mark the 44th anniversary of one of the most prophetic documents in the history of the Church, Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life). Paul VI, in the face of enormous pressure from both outside and inside the Church, reiterated in this historic encyclical the constant [...]
In the nuptial blessing of a wedding Mass, the following words are found, “May your abundant blessing, Lord, come down upon this bride and upon her husband, her companion for life, and may the power of your Holy Spirit set their hearts aflame from on high, so that, living out together the gift of Matrimony, [...]
Following is the text of the remarks made by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted at the June 8, 2012, Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally in Phoenix: In the movie released a week ago, “For Greater Glory,” the leader of the campaign for religious freedom in Mexico, less than a century ago, General Enrique Gorostieta Velarde, [...]
Editor’s note: This is the second part in a series of columns by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted that celebrated of the holy Year for Priests. It was originally published Nov. 5, 2009. From his earliest years as a child, Miguel Pro loved to play practical jokes and to make people laugh. He could mimic the voices and [...]
Editor’s note: This is the first part in a series of columns by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted that celebrated of the holy Year for Priests. It was originally published Oct. 1, 2009. Fr. Pro did not support the armed insurrection against the Mexican government’s anti-Catholic actions. Nonetheless, he was arrested and executed without trial. The plan of [...]
A particularly dramatic moment of human freedom occurs in a Catholic wedding when a man and woman stand before the altar and answer three “questions of clarification” about the nature of marriage, just before the vows are exchanged. “Have you come here freely, and without reservation?” The couple answers, Yes. “Will you honor each other [...]
At the Council of Albi, held in AD 1254, in southern France, the Catholic Church responded to a threat to human life and marriage called the Cathari heresy (also known as the Albigensian heresy). The Cathars believed that pregnancy was the greatest evil that a person could commit. If the Cathari heresy had prevailed, it [...]