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On the evening before he was ordained as the fourth bishop of Fort Worth, Bishop-elect Michael Fors Olson received some sage advice from a friend and former classmate. “Get to know your flock — their difficulties, trials, tribulations, joys, and triumphs,” counseled Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico during a Solemn Vespers service celebrated Jan. 28 in St. Patrick Cathedral. “And allow them to get to know you so they encounter the Good Shepherd through your love.”
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.”
Enthusiastic priestly brothers have handed in a ringing, energized endorsement of their colleague, Bishop Michael Olson, appointed by the Holy See to be the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth.
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.