New US Bishop: Fort Worth, Texas

This morning the Holy See announced the decision of Pope Francis to name Bishop-elect Michael F. Olson as Bishop of Fort Worth, Texas, USA.

The diocese had been vacant since Bishop Kevin William Vann was named Bishop of Orange in California in Septmeber 2012.

My prayers are with the new bishop. Hopefully we will see more of these vacant seats being filled. My home diocese has also been without a bishop since Bishop Sample was moved to Portland. Maybe it will be filled soon! :slight_smile: :gopray2:

Congrats, Fort Worth! :thumbsup:

We have a bishop!

Habemus Episcopum! :slight_smile:

I happen to know Bishop-elect Olsen, since he did my “first” confession (I say “first” because it had been at least 13 years) during Advent in 1995 when he was the associate pastor at St. Michael’s in Bedford. I have occasionally talked to him, and I can say that from visiting Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving a few times when school was in session, that Bishop-elect Olsen is thriving.

While I do miss Bishop Vann (and I’ve said on other posts how Vann was a welcoming sight during his tenure to the Fort Worth Diocese - vocations boomed and pro-life activities skyrocketed), I figured the next bishop would have big shoes to fill. In January 2013, I mentioned to a fellow Catholic Knight that I hoped and prayed that Msgr. Olsen was on the “short list”. I also prayed that two priests I knew from the Austin Diocese were on the “short list”, and one of the priests from Austin also had seminary formation experience.

I’m glad my prayers were answered, since the appointment from Pope Francis I confirms that Msgr. Olsen was definitely on the “short list”.

Congratulations to Bishop-Elect Olsen! Bishop-Elect Olsen is very big on the Sanctity of Human Life, and I find him to be a reverent, solid priest.

I am surprised that there are vacant seats and for so long. The Pueblo, CO diocese is also vacant. I wonder how many more there are?


To answer your question, there are currently nine dioceses in the United States that are without a bishop. I know some have been vacant longer than others. My opinion on this is that the Papal Nuncio for the United States and Pope Francis I are striving to find the “right bishop” for the job.

Some dioceses have become vacant because the previous bishop was elevated to Archbishop (this is the case of three current vacancies, four if you include that another bishop became a coadjutor), and some bishops have gone from smaller sees to larger ones. One diocese is vacant due to a resignation for health reasons, and another is vacant (sadly) because the bishop died suddenly.

I also think some dioceses are more urgent for replacements. For example, I am glad Rochester (NY) was filled before Portland (Maine) and Fort Worth. Currently, Portland (Maine) has the longest vacancy.

I’ve heard a one year wait for a bishop is common, but I sure would like to see Albany (NY) get a good, new bishop soon. The current bishop (Hubbard) submitted his papers to Rome days after his 75th birthday, and I hope and pray that Hubbard’s retirement will be accepted quickly (Bishop Clark’s from Rochester were approved two weeks after his 75th birthday).

I will make a short post on which dioceses are currently vacant as of November 23, 2013. I got this list from Ed Peter’s website, which is

I hope that helps a little.


Here are the nine dioceses in the United States that are vacant sees as of November 24, 2013:

  1. Portland, Maine - vacant due to Bishop Malone being selected to Buffalo, New York

  2. Marquette, Michigan - vacant due to the elevation of Bishop Sample to Archbishop of Portland, Oregon

  3. Wichita, Kansas - vacant due to the elevation of Bishop Jackals to Archbishop of Dubuque, Iowa

  4. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - vacant due to the untimely death of a good bishop - Bishop Joseph McFadden. (I hope and pray that Fr. John Trigilio will become the next bishop there, since Harrisburg is Trigilio’s home diocese)

  5. Pueblo, Colorado - vacant due to the resignation of the previous bishop due to health reasons.

  6. Fairbanks, Alaska - vacant due to the previous bishop being selected to lead the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota.

  7. Gaylord, Michigan - vacant due to Bishop Hebda being selected as co-adjutor for the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. In my book, this is an elevation.

  8. Toledo, Ohio - vacant due to the elevation of Bishop Blair to Archbishop of Hartford, Connecticut.

  9. Burlington, Vermont - vacant due to Bishop Matano being selected to lead the Diocese of Rochester, New York. (I hope and pray that the housecleaning in Rochester begins soon, and Matano sounds like he is willing to take on this huge task).

Within the next few weeks, number ten might be added to the list:

  1. Albany, New York - Hopefully it will be vacant soon. Like Rochester, Albany needs a bishop willing to do some housecleaning.

That’s awesome!
I’m looking forward to going to his consecration in January!

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