Discover the Diocese of Phoenix

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix (LatinDioecesis Phoenicensis) inArizona is a particular church of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. It was established on December 2, 1969 when it was split off from the Diocese of Tucson. Its ecclesiastic territory includes MaricopaMohaveYavapai, and Coconinocounties (excluding the territorial boundaries of the Navajo Indian Reservation), and also includes the Gila River Indian Reservation in Pinal County. The bishop isThomas J. Olmsted.

Coat of Arms

The official description found in an earlier version of the website of the diocese read as follows: "These arms are composed of a blue field on which is placed a silver (white) mountain to represent Camelback Mountain, a significant aspect of the backdrop of the See City. Arising from the mountain as a gold (yellow) bird that is coming forth from red flames to represent the mythological phoenix, that arose from the ashes, and for which the See City of Phoenix is named. Above the phoenix is a gold “cross formy fitchée (three arms of a cross and one resembling a spike), which is taken from the arms of the Diocese of Tucson to signify that it was from the territory of Tucson that the Diocese of Phoenix was carved in 1969." 

Historically Important Churches


According to the Diocese 2012 Directory published October 2011


Below is a list of individuals who have led the Diocese of Phoenix since its creation


Auxiliary Bishop

Bishop Emeritus

Apostolic Administrator

Metropolitan Archdiocese

Bishops who once were priests of the Diocese of Phoenix

Arizona Catholic Conference

ACC website 



The diocese uses several types of media to fulfill its evangelization efforts:

Radio ministry

Radio Family Rosary is a radio ministry of the Diocese of Phoenix founded in 1983. The station begins with a recitation of the rosary every day. After the rosary the station focus on a particular saint, or a point of catechism is held. The station was founded by Dorothy Westfall, after a suggestion from a Phoenix parishioner suffering from arthritis.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted often uses radio communication and has a website with information about his "bishop's hour." 

 onImmaculate Heart Radio.

The diocese began financially supporting En Familia radio KIDR in 2012 to reach out to those who speak Spanish.


The Catholic Sun is the official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. The paper is delivered to more than 115,000 homes in the counties of CoconinoMaricopaMohave, and Yavapai.


Mass is broadcast live from Cathedral of Saints Simon and Jude each Sunday morning by KAZT, along with a show immediately following entitled "Catholics Matter". The Mass was once on KUTP.

Social media

The diocese has an active presence on YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and others and continues to expand its presence online.

Female Altar Servers

In August 2011 it was announced, "Girls no longer will be allowed as altar servers during Mass at the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, SS. Simon and Jude. The Rev. John Lankeit, rector of the cathedral, said he made the decision in hopes of promoting the priesthood for males and other religious vocations, such as becoming a nun, for females." 

Religious orders active in the Diocese

Women Religious

Byzantine Rite

Chaldean Rite

Private Association of the Faithful

Secular Institutes

Men Religious

Religious Brothers

Private Association of the Faithful


In July 2009 the Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Phoenix contributed $50,000 of its money to overturn a law in the state of Maine allowing same-sex civil marriage. In early 2009, Maine, through its legislature and with the approval of its Catholic governor extended the civil rights of same sex couples to marry in Maine. According to Maine's "Commission on Governmental Ethics & Election Practices", the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland Maine spent over $553,000 to rescind those rights. The Diocese of Phoenix's $50,000 was part of that $553,000.

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