How the New Bishop of Phoenix Spent His Christmas Eve - Praying Outside an Abortuary

PHOENIX, January 5, 2004 ( - Only days after taking on his new position as the Bishop of Phoenix, Thomas J. Olmsted, joined some 200 pro-lifers in praying outside a Planned Parenthood abortuary - on Christmas Eve.  The Arizona public reported it as the bishop’s first public non-liturgical act as the new bishop.  The bishop’s participation, although kept quiet, swelled the numbers at the prayer rally to the largest in several years. 

Commenting to the media on his presence at the prayer rally Bishop Olmsted said:  “Christmas is a celebration of God becoming one of us, entering fully into our human life, especially as an unborn child in his mother’s womb.  I am here to pray, not to protest.  I am here to pray for the mother and the unborn child, especially those in difficult situations, that they get the help they need.” 

In an especially powerful statement Bishop Olmsted said, “This is Calvary, an innocent victim is dying here.”  He explained his pro-life witness as his duty.  “I have a special obligation, especially to Catholics in whatever position they occupy in society, to explain the church teachings and to share the good news about life. That includes politicians,” he said. 

To pass on your congratulations to Bishop Olmsted email:  [email protected]  

With files from the Arizona Republic

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