Press Release from Diocese of Phoneix:

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted as the Apostolic Administrator Sede Plena of the Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix. Bishop Olmsted will also retain his current Office as Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix.

The announcement was publicized in Washington on August 1, 2018 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Olmsted has served as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix since December 20, 2003.

Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, Bishop Olmsted served as Bishop of Wichita, Kansas from 2001-2003, after being ordained Coadjutor Bishop on April 20, 1999. Before serving in Wichita, he served as the Rector and President of the Pontifical College Josephinum, a Catholic Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. Since 1974, Bishop Olmsted has been a member of the Jesus Caritas ¬fraternity of priests. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., July 2, 1973.

For 16 years, Bishop Olmsted lived in Rome, where he obtained a master’s degree in theology and a doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University (1981) and worked more than nine years as an official in the Vatican Secretariat of State from 1979 to 1988. During his time in Rome, he was also an assistant spiritual director at the Pontifical North American College.

Bishop Olmsted is currently a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

Bishop Olmsted’s full statement follows:

“The Holy Father has named me as the Apostolic Administrator for the Eparchy of Phoenix, also known more formally as the Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix. (An eparchy is the same as a diocese in the Roman / Latin Church.)

Let me first state that this appointment has not come about because of any personal misconduct of any kind on the part of Bishop Pazak. Indeed, Bishop Pazak remains as the Bishop of this Eparchy.

However, over the past year there have been some disagreements about administrative matters within the Byzantine Ruthenian Church here in North America, of which the Eparchy of Phoenix is a part. Because of some unfortunate legal developments in these matters, their resolution has been unnecessarily complicated, which have unintentionally endangered the peace, unity and communion within the Eastern Catholic Church.

The Holy Father has determined that it is necessary to appoint an Apostolic Administrator for the time being in order to:

- facilitate the task of resolving these legal matters, and;
- to support the efforts on everyone’s part to build up the communion within among the other eparchies of the Eastern Catholic Church.

There is no fixed term to my appointment, and I am happy to serve in any way that will support my brothers and sisters in this Eparchy.”

The Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix (formerly known as the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Van Nuys) is the Catholic eparchy (diocese) governing most Byzantine Ruthenian Catholics in the Western United States. The Eparchy’s territorial jurisdiction consists of thirteen Western States. Currently, Holy Protection Eparchy of Phoenix has 19 parishes and one mission under its canonical jurisdiction.

The Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona comprises 43,967 square miles. It has a total population of 4,734,036 people of which 1,188,243 or 25 percent, are Catholic.

Media Contact
Robert DeFrancesco
Director of Communications
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(602) 354-2130

 https://dphx.org/pope-francis-names-bishop-thomas-j-olmsted-as-apostolic-administrator-of-the-byzantine-eparchy-of-phoenix/


Teachings of Christ

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 ESV)

Joachiam and Anna Rejoice

Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed, * for God has heard Joachim and Anna * and He promises manifestly that they, against all hope, would give birth to the Maiden of God * from whom the Uncircumscribed One Himself would be born, becoming man, * and he commanded the Angels to cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the whole world celebrates * the conception of Anne which was brought about by God, * for she gave birth to the one who, beyond understanding, * gave birth to the Word. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The soul has followed Moses and the cloud, both of these serving as guides for those who would advance in virtue; Moses here represents the commandments of the Law; and the cloud that leads the way, its spiritual meaning. The soul has been purified by crossing the Sea; it has removed from itself and destroyed the enemy army. It has tasted of the waters of Marah, that is, of life deprived of all sinful pleasure; and this at first had seemed bitter and unpleasant to the taste but offered a sensation of sweetness to those who accepted the wood. Next it enjoyed the beauty of the palm trees of the gospel and the springs; it filled itself with the living water, that is, the rock. It took within itself the bread of heaven. It overwhelmed the foreign host - a victory due to the extended arms of the Lawgiver, which thus foreshadowed the mystery of the Cross. Only then can the soul go on to the contemplation of transcendent Being.

St. Gregory of Nyssa