Board of Episcopal Advisors

The Spitzer Center Board of Episcopal Advisors is made up of diocesan Bishops whose patronage and counsel are instrumental in advancing the faith-based mission of the Center.


The Most Reverend Thomas Olmsted, Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix

Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., July 2, 1973. He was installed as the Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix December 20, 2003. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix he served as Bishop of Wichita, Kansas, after being ordained Coadjutor Bishop on April 20, 1999. Before serving in Wichita, he served as the Rector / President of the Pontifical College Josephinum, a Catholic Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.

Since 1974, Bishop Olmsted has been a member of the Jesus Caritas fraternity of priests, and thus has been deeply influenced by the witness and wisdom of Charles de Foucauld and by the prayers and encouragement of many brother priests.

For 16 years, Bishop Olmsted lived in Rome, Italy, where he obtained a master’s degree in theology, a doctorate in Canon Law, and worked more than nine years in the Secretariat of State of the Holy See. During the nine years of serving in the Holy See, he resided at the Pontifical North American College and assisted seminarians with spiritual direction.

Having been reared on a family farm on the Kansas-Nebraska border, he attended a single-room grade school near Oketo, Kansas, and a small rural high school in Summerfield, Kansas. His first contact with Catholic schools came when he entered St. Thomas Seminary College in Denver, Colo., from which he graduated in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.


Most Reverend Michael J. Byrnes, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit

On May 5, 2011, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron ordained the Most Rev. Michael J. Byrnes auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit. Since 2004, Bishop Byrnes had served as vice rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, where he earned his Master of Divinity.

Bishop Byrnes was ordained a priest by Cardinal Adam Maida in 1996. He later studied in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University where he earned a doctorate of sacred theology in 2003. Bishop Byrnes, a native of Detroit, also served as pastor of Presentation/ Our Lady of Victory Parish from 2004 until his ordination as bishop in 2011.

Bishop Byrnes serves as episcopal vicar and regional moderator for the Northeast Region of the archdiocese.

  • Born: Aug. 23, 1958 (Detroit, Michigan)
  • Ordained Priest: May 25, 1996
  • Appointed Aux. Bishop of Detroit and Titular Bishop of Eguga: March 22, 2011
  • Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit: May 5, 2011


The Most Reverend Shelton J. Fabre, Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre was born October 25, 1963 in New Roads, Louisiana and is the fifth of six children. He was ordained a Deacon on December 10, 1988 by Archbishop Peter L. Gerety at St. Jan-de-Doperkerk in Leuven, Belgium and then ordained a Priest on August 5, 1989 by Bishop Stanley J. Ott at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge, LA. In December of 2006 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans by Pope Benedict XVI; later ordained an Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans by Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, in New Orleans on February 28, 2007. In September 2013 he was appointed Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux and installed as Bishop in October.

Bishop Fabre holds an MA and BA in Religious Studies from the Katholiek Universiteit te Leuven in Louvain, Belgium and a BA in History from St. Joseph Seminary-College in St. Benedict, LA. He graduated from Catholic High School of Pointe Coupee in New Roads, LA.

Since September 2013 he has served as Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Prior to that, he was Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia. He also served as Pastor and/or Associate Pastor of churches within Louisiana between 1989 and 2007. He is a Member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and serves as Chair on the subcommittee for African-American Catholics. In 2005 he was inducted as a Member of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, is a 4th Degree Knight of St. Peter Claver and 4th Degree Knight of Columbus.


The Most Reverend Ronald W. Gainer, Bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg

Bishop Gainer was appointed the eleventh Bishop of Harrisburg by his Holiness Pope Francis on January 24, 2014 and was installed as Bishop of Harrisburg on March 19, 2014.

Bishop Gainer was born August 24, 1947, in Pottsville, PA. After studies for the priesthood he was ordained a Priest for the diocese of Allentown on May 19, 1973. He was consecrated and installed as Bishop of Lexington, KY on February 22, 2003. He completed studies at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, earning a Master of Divinity degree, summa cum laude and has earned a licentiate degree in Canon Law and a diploma in Latin Letter from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1986.For much of his Priesthood Bishop Gainer served in parish, campus ministry, marriages and family, and tribunal positions. As Secretary of Catholic Life and Evangelization for the Diocese of Allentown he supervised 14 diocesan offices and the promotion of the works of spiritual renewal and evangelization. He currently serves as President of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference. On the national level, he is a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). He has served as Chair of the Region III and V of the USCCB as well as having served on the Administrative Committee, the Committee on Priorities and Planning, the Committee on Catholic Education, the Committee for Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, as well as a regional representative to the USCCB Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, and liaison with the North American Forum on the Catechumenate. He is also on the Board of Directors of: Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Cross Catholic Outreach and Holy Family Radio.

The Most Reverend George J. Lucas, Bishop of the Archdiocese of Omaha

The Most Reverend George J. Lucas is the fifth archbishop and tenth to lead the Archdiocese of Omaha. He comes to Omaha after serving nearly 10 years in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, where he was ordained a bishop on December 14, 1999. He was named Archbishop of Omaha on June 3, 2009, and was installed on July 22, 2009.

Archbishop Lucas, born June 12, 1949 in Saint Louis, Missouri, is the eldest son of George J. Lucas and Mary Catherine Kelly, now deceased. He has one sister and two brothers. He completed studies at Cardinal Glennon College and Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Saint Louis. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis on May 24, 1975, by Cardinal John Joseph Carberry. As a priest, he served as associate pastor in parishes in Sunset Hills, Florissant, St. Louis, Normandy and Kirkwood, Missouri.

Archbishop Lucas took advanced studies at Saint Louis University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and Master of Arts degree in history. In the years leading to his ordination as a bishop in Springfield, he served on the faculty of St. Louis Preparatory Seminary-North and St. Louis Preparatory Seminary, the chancellor and vicar general of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. He was named Honorary Prelate of His Holiness in 1994.

Archbishop Lucas is a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee on the Catechism.


The Most Reverend James S. Wall, Bishop of the Diocese of Gallup

Bishop James S. Wall was born in Ganado, Arizona in 1964 to parents James A. Wall and Joan Wall. Along with his parents and five siblings, he continued to live in Arizona for his young adult life, attending public school in Chandler, AZ, and continuing to college at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, where he studied history.

Throughout college, he felt the call from God to become a priest, and after college entered St. John Seminary in Camarillo, California, and was ordained a priest on June 6, 1998 for service in the Diocese of Phoenix. He served as Parochial Vicar at Saint Theresa Parish from 1998-2001 and Saint Timothy Parish from 2001-2002. Bishop Wall served as Pastor of Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish from 2002-2007. From 2006 until his episcopal consecration he served as Vicar for Priests for The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix.

During his time in Phoenix, Bishop Wall was a member of the Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors. He served on the Natural Family Planning Board; as the Chaplain for the Phoenix Legatus Chapter; and as a spiritual adviser for Rachel's Vineyard Retreats. He was a member of the National Advisory Council of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and an advisory Board member of the Institute for Priests and Presbyterate in St. Meinrad, Indiana.

He is a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the Equestrian Order of the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulcher.

On February 5, 2009, Bishop Wall was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Gallup, and was consecrated and installed officially on April 23, 2009.

Bishop Wall's episcopal motto is "Be Doers of the Word", from the Epistle of St. James: "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves (James 1:22)." This passage is to remind us that we must not only listen to the words of Christ, but put them into daily action, following the teachings of Our Lord.