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The ordination and installation of the fourth bishop in the 45–year history of the Diocese of Fort Worth, celebrated Jan. 29 at the Fort Worth Convention Center, showed Bishop Michael F. Olson at his finest. It was not his new bishop’s ring, miter, or staff — outward, visible symbols of the shepherd of the Church — but his humility and respect for the miracle of life that distinguished him this day. That’s the way his former professor, Dr. John McCarthy of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., saw it. What stood out most to McCarthy during the splendorous 3-hour ordination event was a specific moment when Bishop Olson brought about a standing ovation, not for himself, but for his parents.
The second bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Bishop Joseph Patrick Delaney, was born in Fall River, Massachusetts on Aug. 29, 1934. The eldest of five children born to Joseph and Jane Delaney, he was part of a devout, close-knit, and loving Irish family.
The episcopal heraldic achievement, or bishop’s coat of arms, is composed of a shield, the central and most important part of the design, a scroll with a motto, and the external ornamentation. By heraldic tradition, the arms of the bishop of a diocese are joined with the arms of his jurisdiction, seen in the left side of the design. These arms are composed of a blue field, to honor the most Blessed Virgin Mary, on which is displayed a castellated fort in silver (white). Above the fort is a green trefoil (also known as a shamrock), to honor Saint Patrick, the titular of the Cathedral-Church.
In preparing for his ordination and installation as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth at 2 p.m. Jan. 29 in the Fort Worth Convention Center, Bishop Michael F. Olson wanted the people of the local Church to understand this simple fact about his life: He loves being a priest. “I love the Lord very much and I’m grateful for my vocation,” the 47-year-old Bishop said during an interview with the North Texas Catholic. “I pray for the people in the diocese, and I need their prayers for me. I have a great desire to serve and help them know the Lord more.”
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.”