Posts tagged Bishop Olmsted

Listen to Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted’s annual Christmas message to the people of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. People in the Phoenix area have been hearing this message throughout the week in the lead up to Christmas on KEZ 99.9 FM.

2013 Mass of Thanksgiving for Emergency Personnel (Blue Mass) 
SS. SIMON AND JUDE CATHEDRAL (NOV 7) - The annual “Blue” Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and concelebrated by Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares to give thanks for Arizona Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters, and Emergency Medical Crews - all those who lay their lives on the line to protect our communities daily.

Candles were lit as the names of each emergency responder who died this year were read. Please keep these men and women and their families in your prayers:
Deceased In the Line of Duty
Officer Timothy A. Huffman, AZ Dept. of Public Safety
Detention Officer Jorge Amiun Vargas, Maricopa Co. Sheriffs
Firefighter Bradley S. Harper, Phoenix Fire
Office Daryl Raetz, Phoenix Police
Firefighter Andrew Ashcraft, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Anthony Rose, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Christopher MacKenzie, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Clayton Whitted, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Dustin Deford, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Eric Marsh, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Garret Zuppiger, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Grant McKee, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Jesse Steed, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Joe Thurston, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter John Percin, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Kevin Woyjeck, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Robert Caldwell, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Scott Norris, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Sean Misner, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Travis Carter, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Travis Turbyfill, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter Wade Parker, Prescott Fire 
Firefighter William Warneke, Prescott Fire 
Other Deceased
Engineer Joseph T. Frost, Phoenix Fire
Engineer Jack V. O’Brien, Phoenix Fire
Captain Edward Morrell, Phoenix Fire
Engineer Delbert L. Prange, Phoenix Fire
Retired Firefighter Brandi Schamadan, Phoenix Fire
Firefighter George L. Lawson, Phoenix Fire
Engineer Harry A. Kinnery, Phoenix Fire
Retired Captain William M. Lietz, Phoenix Fire
Retired Firefighter Jesus Razzo, Phoenix Fire
Retired Firefighter J.W. DeBusk, Phoenix Fire
Captain James L. Hopper, Phoenix Fire
Captain Clarence W. Auckly, Phoenix Fire
Captain Dwight S. McGee, Phoenix Fire
Engineer Donald E. Reid, Phoenix Fire
Captain Timothy London, Phoenix Fire
Retired Captain Sal Garcia, Phoenix Fire
Engineer Donald F. Mills, Phoenix Fire
Engineer Peter S. Hawking, Phoenix Fire
Captain Robert S. McIndoo, Phoenix Fire
Officer Steven Davis, AZ Dept. of Public Safety
Retired Fire Marshall Elmer “Mac” McCarty, Prescott Fire 
Retired Engineer Medic Jeffery Lee Moore, Prescott Fire 
Retired Civilian Thelma “Fran” Hanna, Phoenix Police
Retired Lieutenant Larry Beimers, Phoenix Police
Retired Sgt. Marvin Jewell, Phoenix Police
Retired Civilian Josie Rocha, Phoenix Police
Retired Sgt. Donald Casey, Phoenix Police
Retired Sgt. Philip Potter, Phoenix Police
Retired Officer Willie Brice, Phoenix Police
Retired Officer Sterling Smith, Phoenix Police
Retired Officer Allistair MacLeod, Phoenix Police
Retired Sgt. Dennis Keith, Phoenix Police
PACE Secretary Susan Hendrickson, Phoenix Police
Retired Officer John Dee, Phoenix Police
Retired Officer Melvin Leavell, Phoenix Police
Retired Officer Andrew “AJ” Miller Jr., Phoenix Police
Officer Brian Micensky , Phoenix Police
Retired Civilian Robert Park, Phoenix Police
Analyst/Programmer II Brandt Nitzsche, Phoenix Police
Retired Sgt. James Yahner, Phoenix Police
Retired Officer Richard “Pat” Flinn, Phoenix Police
Municipal Security Guard Gary Fitch, Phoenix Police
Retired Officer Joseph “Pepe” Valenzuela, Phoenix Police
Retired Sgt. Paul Morton, Phoenix Police
Retired Civilian Margaret “Fina” Williamson, Phoenix Police
Retired Officer Glenn Martin, Phoenix Police
Retired Officer William Sanders, Phoenix Police
Senior IT Systems Specialist Robert Holtz, Phoenix Police
Sgt. Paul Ackzen, Phoenix Police
Retired Sgt. Andrew Ohms, Phoenix Police
Retired Sgt. Fred Stuart Sr., Phoenix Police
Sgt. Earl “Doug” Kingdon, Phoenix Police
Retired Officer Mitchell Rea, Phoenix Police
Retired Officer George Frederick, Phoenix Police
Retired Officer Billy “BJ” Starr, Phoenix Police
Border Patrol Agent Gregory Stateman, US Border Patrol
Retired Lieutenant Jose “Joe” Garcia, Mesa Police
Retired Officer Jay Winfrey, Mesa Police
Retired Assistant Chief Ken Stone, Mesa Police
Retired Deputy Warden David Christenson, AZ State Prisons (COTA)
Warden Antonio Baca, AZ State Prisons (Douglas)
Retired Correctional Captain Juan Villarreal, AZ State Prisons (Douglas)
Retired Correctional Officer II Ronald Gay, AZ State Prisons (Eyman)
Correctional Sergeant Pattie Manriquez, AZ State Prisons (Eyman)
Correctional Officer II Charles Morehead, AZ State Prisons (Eyman)
Retired Correctional Lieutenant Huey Ward, AZ State Prisons (Florence)
Correctional Officer II Abraham Rodriguez, AZ State Prisons (Lewis)
Correctional Officer II Aaron Kacer, AZ State Prisons (Perryville)
Correctional Officer II Rochelle Hornelez, AZ State Prisons (Safford)
Retired Correctional Officer II Edward Solomon, AZ State Prisons (Tucson)
Retired Correctional Officer II Rudy Bell, AZ State Prisons (Tucson)
Retired Correctional Officer II Robert Penn, AZ State Prisons (Tucson)
Correctional Officer II Jennifer Lin, AZ State Prisons (Tucson)
Retired Correctional Officer II Charles Atkins, AZ State Prisons (Winslow)
Correctional Officer II Sara Nugent, AZ State Prisons (Winslow)
Retired Correctional Officer II Dennis Laplander, AZ State Prisons (Winslow)
Correctional Officer II Juan Gomez, Jr., AZ State Prisons (Yuma)
Retired Fire Marshall Philip J. Van Dyke, Tempe Fire
Retired Firefighter/Mechanic Russell W. Rusk, Tempe Fire
Lieutenant Wayne Loughridge, Yavapai Co. Sheriffs
Retired Chaplain Rev. Dr. Irvin S. Mitchell, Sun City Fire
Division Chief Stephen Penney, Sun City West Fire
Battalion Chief Bruce VanScyoc, Surprise Fire
St. Michael, patron of police officers and other protectors, pray for us.
St. Florian, patron of fire fighters, pray for us.
St. Albert the Great, patron of medical technicians, pray for us.
All you holy men and women, pray for us.

2013 Mass of Thanksgiving for Emergency Personnel (Blue Mass) 

SS. SIMON AND JUDE CATHEDRAL (NOV 7) - The annual “Blue” Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and concelebrated by Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares to give thanks for Arizona Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters, and Emergency Medical Crews - all those who lay their lives on the line to protect our communities daily.

Candles were lit as the names of each emergency responder who died this year were read. Please keep these men and women and their families in your prayers:

Deceased In the Line of Duty

  • Officer Timothy A. Huffman, AZ Dept. of Public Safety
  • Detention Officer Jorge Amiun Vargas, Maricopa Co. Sheriffs
  • Firefighter Bradley S. Harper, Phoenix Fire
  • Office Daryl Raetz, Phoenix Police
  • Firefighter Andrew Ashcraft, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Anthony Rose, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Christopher MacKenzie, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Clayton Whitted, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Dustin Deford, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Eric Marsh, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Garret Zuppiger, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Grant McKee, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Jesse Steed, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Joe Thurston, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter John Percin, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Kevin Woyjeck, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Robert Caldwell, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Scott Norris, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Sean Misner, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Travis Carter, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Travis Turbyfill, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter Wade Parker, Prescott Fire 
  • Firefighter William Warneke, Prescott Fire 

Other Deceased

  • Engineer Joseph T. Frost, Phoenix Fire
  • Engineer Jack V. O’Brien, Phoenix Fire
  • Captain Edward Morrell, Phoenix Fire
  • Engineer Delbert L. Prange, Phoenix Fire
  • Retired Firefighter Brandi Schamadan, Phoenix Fire
  • Firefighter George L. Lawson, Phoenix Fire
  • Engineer Harry A. Kinnery, Phoenix Fire
  • Retired Captain William M. Lietz, Phoenix Fire
  • Retired Firefighter Jesus Razzo, Phoenix Fire
  • Retired Firefighter J.W. DeBusk, Phoenix Fire
  • Captain James L. Hopper, Phoenix Fire
  • Captain Clarence W. Auckly, Phoenix Fire
  • Captain Dwight S. McGee, Phoenix Fire
  • Engineer Donald E. Reid, Phoenix Fire
  • Captain Timothy London, Phoenix Fire
  • Retired Captain Sal Garcia, Phoenix Fire
  • Engineer Donald F. Mills, Phoenix Fire
  • Engineer Peter S. Hawking, Phoenix Fire
  • Captain Robert S. McIndoo, Phoenix Fire
  • Officer Steven Davis, AZ Dept. of Public Safety
  • Retired Fire Marshall Elmer “Mac” McCarty, Prescott Fire 
  • Retired Engineer Medic Jeffery Lee Moore, Prescott Fire 
  • Retired Civilian Thelma “Fran” Hanna, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Lieutenant Larry Beimers, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Sgt. Marvin Jewell, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Civilian Josie Rocha, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Sgt. Donald Casey, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Sgt. Philip Potter, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Officer Willie Brice, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Officer Sterling Smith, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Officer Allistair MacLeod, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Sgt. Dennis Keith, Phoenix Police
  • PACE Secretary Susan Hendrickson, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Officer John Dee, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Officer Melvin Leavell, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Officer Andrew “AJ” Miller Jr., Phoenix Police
  • Officer Brian Micensky , Phoenix Police
  • Retired Civilian Robert Park, Phoenix Police
  • Analyst/Programmer II Brandt Nitzsche, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Sgt. James Yahner, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Officer Richard “Pat” Flinn, Phoenix Police
  • Municipal Security Guard Gary Fitch, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Officer Joseph “Pepe” Valenzuela, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Sgt. Paul Morton, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Civilian Margaret “Fina” Williamson, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Officer Glenn Martin, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Officer William Sanders, Phoenix Police
  • Senior IT Systems Specialist Robert Holtz, Phoenix Police
  • Sgt. Paul Ackzen, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Sgt. Andrew Ohms, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Sgt. Fred Stuart Sr., Phoenix Police
  • Sgt. Earl “Doug” Kingdon, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Officer Mitchell Rea, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Officer George Frederick, Phoenix Police
  • Retired Officer Billy “BJ” Starr, Phoenix Police
  • Border Patrol Agent Gregory Stateman, US Border Patrol
  • Retired Lieutenant Jose “Joe” Garcia, Mesa Police
  • Retired Officer Jay Winfrey, Mesa Police
  • Retired Assistant Chief Ken Stone, Mesa Police
  • Retired Deputy Warden David Christenson, AZ State Prisons (COTA)
  • Warden Antonio Baca, AZ State Prisons (Douglas)
  • Retired Correctional Captain Juan Villarreal, AZ State Prisons (Douglas)
  • Retired Correctional Officer II Ronald Gay, AZ State Prisons (Eyman)
  • Correctional Sergeant Pattie Manriquez, AZ State Prisons (Eyman)
  • Correctional Officer II Charles Morehead, AZ State Prisons (Eyman)
  • Retired Correctional Lieutenant Huey Ward, AZ State Prisons (Florence)
  • Correctional Officer II Abraham Rodriguez, AZ State Prisons (Lewis)
  • Correctional Officer II Aaron Kacer, AZ State Prisons (Perryville)
  • Correctional Officer II Rochelle Hornelez, AZ State Prisons (Safford)
  • Retired Correctional Officer II Edward Solomon, AZ State Prisons (Tucson)
  • Retired Correctional Officer II Rudy Bell, AZ State Prisons (Tucson)
  • Retired Correctional Officer II Robert Penn, AZ State Prisons (Tucson)
  • Correctional Officer II Jennifer Lin, AZ State Prisons (Tucson)
  • Retired Correctional Officer II Charles Atkins, AZ State Prisons (Winslow)
  • Correctional Officer II Sara Nugent, AZ State Prisons (Winslow)
  • Retired Correctional Officer II Dennis Laplander, AZ State Prisons (Winslow)
  • Correctional Officer II Juan Gomez, Jr., AZ State Prisons (Yuma)
  • Retired Fire Marshall Philip J. Van Dyke, Tempe Fire
  • Retired Firefighter/Mechanic Russell W. Rusk, Tempe Fire
  • Lieutenant Wayne Loughridge, Yavapai Co. Sheriffs
  • Retired Chaplain Rev. Dr. Irvin S. Mitchell, Sun City Fire
  • Division Chief Stephen Penney, Sun City West Fire
  • Battalion Chief Bruce VanScyoc, Surprise Fire

St. Michael, patron of police officers and other protectors, pray for us.

St. Florian, patron of fire fighters, pray for us.

St. Albert the Great, patron of medical technicians, pray for us.

All you holy men and women, pray for us.

Making a Wish® at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral

On Sunday, Sept. 29th, Make-A-Wish® Arizona attended the Holy Mass at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral with eighteen year old Emmanuel Tusinge, who lives with progressive muscular dystrophy. Emmanuel’s wish® for transportation to and from Mass for himself and his family has been granted: for the next year, beginning this past Sunday, AAA Transportation will provide the Tusinges a ride to the Cathedral. 

The family generously brought forward the offertory gifts during the Mass celebrated by Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, who spent a special moment with Emmanuel. The Ss. Simon and Jude Youth Group celebrated with the Tusinge family after Mass.

Parish employees were touched by Emmanuel’s faith: “At a time when we hear that religion is irrelevant and most teens only go to church because they have to — and given that he could have gone to Disneyland or had lunch with his favorite celebrity — this is an extraordinary story that reminds us who take our ability to freely worship God for granted to be grateful for our daily opportunity to attend Mass.  It is inspiring that this young man passed up other wishes and chose the greatest desire of all… to spend time with God and join the faithful in full participation in Holy Mass.”

Please keep Emmanuel and his family in your prayers!

Bishop Olmsted on Catholic Answers Live: The Importance of Holy Marriages

Hear the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, taking calls and answering questions on the Catholic Answers Live radio program. Host Patrick Coffin and callers spoke with Bishop Olmsted about the importance of holy marriages on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.

Bishop Olmsted on Catholic Answers Live: The Importance of Holy Marriages
This Friday, Sept. 13, the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, will be taking your calls on the Catholic Answers Live radio program heard locally on Immaculate Heart Radio 1310AM. Host Patrick Coffin will be speaking with Bishop Olmsted about the importance of holy marriages.
Tune in during the second hour of Catholic Answers Live on Immaculate Heart Radio 1310AM (beginning at 5 p.m.) or live-stream via catholic.com (at 4 p.m.).

Bishop Olmsted on Catholic Answers Live: The Importance of Holy Marriages

This Friday, Sept. 13, the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, will be taking your calls on the Catholic Answers Live radio program heard locally on Immaculate Heart Radio 1310AM. Host Patrick Coffin will be speaking with Bishop Olmsted about the importance of holy marriages.

Tune in during the second hour of Catholic Answers Live on Immaculate Heart Radio 1310AM (beginning at 5 p.m.) or live-stream via catholic.com (at 4 p.m.).

Arizona’s Catholic Bishops Urge Congress to Seek Non-Violent Solutions in Syria
The Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference have written to Arizona’s congressional delegation expressing their concern over potential military actions in Syria. The Arizona bishops urged Congress not to resort to military intervention, but instead work to end the violence in Syria through a negotiated political settlement.
The full text of the letter, signed by Most Rev. Gerald Dino, Bishop of Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix, Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas, Bishop of Tucson, Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, Most Rev. Eduardo A. Nevares, Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix, and Most Rev. James S. Wall, Bishop of Gallup, can be found here.
The Arizona Catholic Conference is the public policy agency for the Diocese of Gallup, the Diocese of Phoenix, the Diocese of Tucson and the Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix.
Read more: http://www.diocesephoenix.org/news.php?newsmonth=201309&story=1220147549

Arizona’s Catholic Bishops Urge Congress to Seek Non-Violent Solutions in Syria

The Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference have written to Arizona’s congressional delegation expressing their concern over potential military actions in Syria. The Arizona bishops urged Congress not to resort to military intervention, but instead work to end the violence in Syria through a negotiated political settlement.

The full text of the letter, signed by Most Rev. Gerald Dino, Bishop of Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix, Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas, Bishop of Tucson, Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, Most Rev. Eduardo A. Nevares, Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix, and Most Rev. James S. Wall, Bishop of Gallup, can be found here.

The Arizona Catholic Conference is the public policy agency for the Diocese of Gallup, the Diocese of Phoenix, the Diocese of Tucson and the Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix.

Read more: http://www.diocesephoenix.org/news.php?newsmonth=201309&story=1220147549

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted at Ben U Mesa

The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, spoke during the ribbon cutting of the Benedictine University at Mesa campus, emphasizing the importance of Catholic higher education, the need for both faith and reason, and the true freedom found in the Lord.

Read more via the Cardinal Newman Society:

Bishop Olmsted: Jesus ‘Not an Elective’ for Catholic Universities

Announcement of the position of Chancellor of the Diocese of Phoenix

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted is pleased to announce that he has appointed Dr. Maria Romo Chavira to the position of Chancellor of the Diocese of Phoenix. 
Dr. Chavira is a native of Arizona and a lifelong Catholic. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology, and a Doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Arizona. Her experience includes a professorship at Mesa Community College where she taught research methods, statistics, culture, and psychology, adolescent development, and developmental psychology. She has experience in administration, organization, planning, and research. She is fluent in Spanish and has a significant background in promoting higher education for Latinos and other underrepresented populations in Arizona.
Dr. Chavira is a Dame in The Sovereign Military Order of Malta and a member of Legatus. She has served as the chairman of the board for the Catholic Community Foundation. She and her family are members of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish.
See more at DiocesePhoenix.org.

Announcement of the position of Chancellor of the Diocese of Phoenix

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted is pleased to announce that he has appointed Dr. Maria Romo Chavira to the position of Chancellor of the Diocese of Phoenix

Dr. Chavira is a native of Arizona and a lifelong Catholic. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology, and a Doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Arizona. Her experience includes a professorship at Mesa Community College where she taught research methods, statistics, culture, and psychology, adolescent development, and developmental psychology. She has experience in administration, organization, planning, and research. She is fluent in Spanish and has a significant background in promoting higher education for Latinos and other underrepresented populations in Arizona.

Dr. Chavira is a Dame in The Sovereign Military Order of Malta and a member of Legatus. She has served as the chairman of the board for the Catholic Community Foundation. She and her family are members of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish.

See more at DiocesePhoenix.org.

Statement of Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted reflecting on Pope Francis’ message of love and truth
The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, today issued the following statement reflecting on Pope Francis’ pilgrimage to Brazil:
Pope Francis just concluded his first apostolic pilgrimage abroad to celebrate World Youth Day in Brazil. Millions of people crowded together to welcome and pray with the Holy Father, including many from the Diocese of Phoenix. Thanks to Catholic news outlets and social media, many millions more tuned in from afar to witness this tremendous celebration of faith.
During the July 22-28 visit, Pope Francis was out and among the people, visiting not only with the youth and Church leaders gathered there, but also with prisoners, the poor, the sick and drug addicts. His message was clear: We are all to follow in Christ’s footsteps, to do so with missionary zeal, and to be messengers of the Lord Jesus in the public square.
Catholics of the world enthusiastically shared the Holy Father’s emphases on fidelity, love and inclusion, but it was comments made by Pope Francis on his return trip to the Vatican that have gained a great deal of traction today in the media. In response to a question about homosexual priests, Pope Francis replied:
"A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will — well, who am I to judge him?" the pope said, according to Catholic News Service. "The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says one must not marginalize these persons, they must be integrated into society. The problem isn’t this (homosexual) orientation — we must be like brothers and sisters.”
Pope Francis’ remarks reiterate Catholic teaching that the Church is open to all people, including those with same-sex attractions, but homosexual activity is contrary to the Gospel of Christ — just as all sexual activity outside of marriage would be. A priest must be able to live a healthy, celibate lifestyle, whether or not he has ever experienced same-sex attractions.
I also take this opportunity to emphasize that people with same-sex attractions deserve compassion, respect and sensitivity, and that every sign of unjust discrimination must be avoided.
I am delighted that the Holy Father continues to lead us in Christ’s footsteps and that his message of love and truth has reached so many people. I pray that our clergy, religious, laity and especially our youth will take up his call and bring the light of faith to the world.
[CNS photo/Stefano Rellandini, Reuters]

Statement of Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted reflecting on Pope Francis’ message of love and truth

The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, today issued the following statement reflecting on Pope Francis’ pilgrimage to Brazil:

Pope Francis just concluded his first apostolic pilgrimage abroad to celebrate World Youth Day in Brazil. Millions of people crowded together to welcome and pray with the Holy Father, including many from the Diocese of Phoenix. Thanks to Catholic news outlets and social media, many millions more tuned in from afar to witness this tremendous celebration of faith.

During the July 22-28 visit, Pope Francis was out and among the people, visiting not only with the youth and Church leaders gathered there, but also with prisoners, the poor, the sick and drug addicts. His message was clear: We are all to follow in Christ’s footsteps, to do so with missionary zeal, and to be messengers of the Lord Jesus in the public square.

Catholics of the world enthusiastically shared the Holy Father’s emphases on fidelity, love and inclusion, but it was comments made by Pope Francis on his return trip to the Vatican that have gained a great deal of traction today in the media. In response to a question about homosexual priests, Pope Francis replied:

"A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will — well, who am I to judge him?" the pope said, according to Catholic News Service. "The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says one must not marginalize these persons, they must be integrated into society. The problem isn’t this (homosexual) orientation — we must be like brothers and sisters.”

Pope Francis’ remarks reiterate Catholic teaching that the Church is open to all people, including those with same-sex attractions, but homosexual activity is contrary to the Gospel of Christ — just as all sexual activity outside of marriage would be. A priest must be able to live a healthy, celibate lifestyle, whether or not he has ever experienced same-sex attractions.

I also take this opportunity to emphasize that people with same-sex attractions deserve compassion, respect and sensitivity, and that every sign of unjust discrimination must be avoided.

I am delighted that the Holy Father continues to lead us in Christ’s footsteps and that his message of love and truth has reached so many people. I pray that our clergy, religious, laity and especially our youth will take up his call and bring the light of faith to the world.

[CNS photo/Stefano Rellandini, Reuters]

Diocese of Phoenix Celebrates Seminarians
Earlier today, Bishop Olmsted and the Diocesan Pastoral Center staff celebrated Mass and enjoyed lunch in honor of the seminarians for the Diocese of Phoenix, most of whom were present. Fr. Paul Sullivan, Director of Vocations, reflected on God’s unique and specific call to each of us by exploring Caravaggio’s painting “The Call of Matthew”. As we remember from the Gospels, Jesus encounters Matthew (Levi), the tax collector, sitting at the customs post and says to him, “Follow me.” Pictured, we see Matthew in the center, seated at his post at the moment that Jesus calls him. Here are four of Fr. Sullivan’s points that we would like to share with you!
1. Christ is the Light
You can see that light in the picture comes from the Lord. Christ, as spoken of by Pope Francis in his new encyclical, Lumen Fidei, always brings light into our lives. We can see that the light that fills Matthew’s face represents that he is enlightened by the presence of the Lord, and it is towards that light that he would go. 
2. The Call Comes through Peter
St. Paul speaks of the union of the Head and the Body as a sign of the way Christ and His Church are always in union. Here in this painting we see Jesus calling Matthew along with St. Peter who He has called to tend His sheep. Peter’s hand seems to follow the pointed hand of Christ. Any young man discerning a call to the priesthood must have that calling confirmed by the Church with the help of the bishop and those charged with the work of seminary formation. 
3. Matthew’s Moment of Decision
With one hand lingering on the pile of money in front of him (his was a very lucrative career, don’t forget), Matthew points to himself, questioningly. One difficulty many people have in discerning vocation, like Matthew who even had Jesus face to face with him as He gives the call, is that of unworthiness. If the disciples struggled with feelings of unworthiness upon encountering the Lord’s will, isn’t it understandable that we too, in light of our particular calling to holiness within our vocations, might have doubts about our worthiness? The truth is, when seen in light of God’s will for our perfect will for us, none of us have a vocation that we are worthy of. Matthew’s “yes” that follows is a good cause for hope too: when we trust in the Lord’s will for our lives, we are much more able to do things we might have thought impossible.
4. His Friends Respond
On the near side of the table, two of Matthew’s acquaintances witness his call. Much like many seminarians experience, telling friends and family about your call can be daunting. These two men react in ways that many do. The one on the left is ashamed; he hides his face from the light, and clings to the money on the table. The one on the right is captivated! He leans into the light, his face enlightened, wanting to know more about this Jesus and His Church that Matthew would give his life to.
Pray for our seminarians as they continue to hear and follow Jesus’ call; pray for our priests as they live out their calling in the Lord’s service; and pray for our families, so they will be open to life, vocations, and God’s will.

Diocese of Phoenix Celebrates Seminarians

Earlier today, Bishop Olmsted and the Diocesan Pastoral Center staff celebrated Mass and enjoyed lunch in honor of the seminarians for the Diocese of Phoenix, most of whom were present. Fr. Paul Sullivan, Director of Vocations, reflected on God’s unique and specific call to each of us by exploring Caravaggio’s painting “The Call of Matthew”. As we remember from the Gospels, Jesus encounters Matthew (Levi), the tax collector, sitting at the customs post and says to him, “Follow me.” Pictured, we see Matthew in the center, seated at his post at the moment that Jesus calls him. Here are four of Fr. Sullivan’s points that we would like to share with you!

1. Christ is the Light

You can see that light in the picture comes from the Lord. Christ, as spoken of by Pope Francis in his new encyclical, Lumen Fidei, always brings light into our lives. We can see that the light that fills Matthew’s face represents that he is enlightened by the presence of the Lord, and it is towards that light that he would go. 

2. The Call Comes through Peter

St. Paul speaks of the union of the Head and the Body as a sign of the way Christ and His Church are always in union. Here in this painting we see Jesus calling Matthew along with St. Peter who He has called to tend His sheep. Peter’s hand seems to follow the pointed hand of Christ. Any young man discerning a call to the priesthood must have that calling confirmed by the Church with the help of the bishop and those charged with the work of seminary formation. 

3. Matthew’s Moment of Decision

With one hand lingering on the pile of money in front of him (his was a very lucrative career, don’t forget), Matthew points to himself, questioningly. One difficulty many people have in discerning vocation, like Matthew who even had Jesus face to face with him as He gives the call, is that of unworthiness. If the disciples struggled with feelings of unworthiness upon encountering the Lord’s will, isn’t it understandable that we too, in light of our particular calling to holiness within our vocations, might have doubts about our worthiness? The truth is, when seen in light of God’s will for our perfect will for us, none of us have a vocation that we are worthy of. Matthew’s “yes” that follows is a good cause for hope too: when we trust in the Lord’s will for our lives, we are much more able to do things we might have thought impossible.

4. His Friends Respond

On the near side of the table, two of Matthew’s acquaintances witness his call. Much like many seminarians experience, telling friends and family about your call can be daunting. These two men react in ways that many do. The one on the left is ashamed; he hides his face from the light, and clings to the money on the table. The one on the right is captivated! He leans into the light, his face enlightened, wanting to know more about this Jesus and His Church that Matthew would give his life to.

Pray for our seminarians as they continue to hear and follow Jesus’ call; pray for our priests as they live out their calling in the Lord’s service; and pray for our families, so they will be open to life, vocations, and God’s will.