Our Feature Articles:
With a Doctorate in Sacred Theology earned in 2011 from Accademia Alfonsiana in Rome, Italy, then-Monsignor Olson’s quest for greater knowledge and spiritual guidance in the field of bioethics followed a parallel path with practical experience in the field. His doctoral dissertation dealt with end-of-life issues, and his real-life experiences in the field have included administering the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick to those who were dying and gravely ill. He has also served on the University of Texas Medical Center Ethics Committee for Research Involving Human Subjects, worked as a hospital ethicist, and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in bioethics around the nation.
Finding Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving used to be a chore. But now thanks to a new sign on Vince Hagan Drive visible from the feeder road for Highway 114, visitors no longer get lost. That sign built in October 2013 is an example not only of the physical changes, but of the welcoming nature of the seminary that are part of the legacy being left by Bishop Michael Olson. Olson served as rector at Holy Trinity from 2008 until his recent appointment as the fourth bishop of Fort Worth.
Thanksgiving 2013 was a little more special for Ronald and Janice Olson. A week before friends and family gathered to celebrate the holiday, their son, Michael, was chosen by Pope Francis to become the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth. “Relatives came from Chicago and Santa Fe, and we had a big family Thanksgiving,” recalls Mitzi Rogers, one of the Olsons’ four children. “We celebrated this opportunity for Michael. Everyone is on cloud nine for him.”
It was a clever idea that transformed a group of teens preparing for Confirmation. And it wouldn’t have happened without help from an understanding parish priest. Rosary Guidry, a religious education teacher at St. Michael Church in Bedford, wanted someone to celebrate the Mass “step-by- step” for her teenage students.
In 1890 the Catholic population of the area of the Brazos and Trinity rivers had grown large enough that Pope Leo XIII established the Diocese of Dallas. As early as 1870 Claude Marie Dubuis, the second bishop of Galveston (the diocese that encompassed all of Texas at the time), had begun sending Father Vincent Perrier twice a year to visit Fort Worth. At that time several Catholic families were meeting in the Carrico home. Fort Worth’s first parish church was a frame structure built at 1212 Throckmorton Street and called St. Stanislaus Church. It stood until 1907. The cornerstone of St. Patrick Church, which eventually became St. Patrick Cathedral, was laid in 1888; the church was built just north of St. Stanislaus and dedicated in 1892. When Dallas was made a diocese the region that eventually became the Diocese of Fort Worth had seven parishes: in Fort Worth, Cleburne, Gainesville, Henrietta, Hillsboro, Muenster, and Weatherford.