Bishop Elect Jim Wall of Gallup, N.M.

Good day, Fr. Bud Pelletier here.

As I sit here and type this post, I still can’t believe it, and I’m still shaking a bit. One of my brother priests, one of the finest priests I know, has been named Bishop of Gallup, N.M. this morning. I want to shout it from the rooftops, yet I feel a little sadness too. One of the best priests in our Diocese is leaving, and a personal friend is leaving as well.

Let me give you just a little of the background that I know about Bishop Elect Wall (still can’t get used to typing those words!)

Bishop Elect Wall was born on a Native American Reservation in Northern Arizona that is, surprisingly enough, part of the Diocese of Gallup. His parents were school teachers and raised him and his brothers and sister to know, love, and serve God. His father passed away some years ago, but I bet his mother is rejoicing at the family home right now.

Most of his years growing up were in Chandler, Arizona, near Phoenix, and he attended Arizona State University. During his college years, he worked in a retail clothing store.

He attended St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California, where I met him.

He has served as Parochial Vicar (Associate Pastor) of St. Theresa Parish in Phoenix, Parochial Vicar of St. Timothy Parish in Mesa, Vocation Director for the Diocese of Phoenix, Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Phoenix, Vicar of Clergy for the Diocese of Phoenix, and Director of the Mt. Claret Retreat Center in Phoenix.

Bishop Elect Wall is warm, funny, outgoing, athletic, and one of the best ‘listeners’ I know. He is truly a man of the Church, faithful to the Magisterium, dedicated to the reverent celebration of Mass, and truly a priest for the People of God. I cannot say enough positive things about him, and I know the Diocese of Gallup will be lead by one of the best Bishops in the world.

Congratulations Bishop Elect Wall.

Update – I guess I should refer to him now as Bishop-Elect James S. Wall, it seems more proper and right. My apologies to anyone offended by my calling him “Jim.”

Statement of the Diocese of Phoenix

Re: the appointment of Reverend James S. Wall as Bishop of the Diocese of Gallup
February 5, 2009

The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Reverend James S. Wall, 44, Vicar for Priests for the Diocese of Phoenix, as Bishop of the Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico.

The appointment was announced in Washington, February 5, 2009, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop-elect Wall succeeds Bishop Donald E. Pelotte, the third Bishop of Gallup, who retired in April of 2008. Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, has been Apostolic Administrator of Gallup since January 2008 and will remain so until Bishop-elect Wall is consecrated and installed.

James S. Wall, son of James A. and Joan L.Wall, was born October 11, 1964, in Ganado, Arizona on the Navajo reservation. He graduated from Chandler High School, Chandler, Arizona and the Arizona State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. He then earned a Master of Divinity degree from St. John Seminary, Camarillo, California.

He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Phoenix on June 6, 1998.

Bishop-elect Wall served in several parish assignments in the Diocese of Phoenix including St. Theresa Parish, Phoenix and St. Timothy Parish, Mesa as Parochial Vicar, and St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Phoenix, as Pastor. He also served as Administrator Pro Tem at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Glendale. He currently is Vicar of Priests and Director of Mount Claret Retreat Center, Phoenix.

The Diocese of Gallup is comprised of the Apache, Navajo and those parts of the Navajo and Hopi Reservations in Coconino Counties in the State of Arizona; San Juan, McKinley, Catron, Cibola and parts of Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Bernalillo and Valencia Counties in the State of Mexico for a total of 55,468 square miles. The total population of the Diocese is 491,400 people, with 58,292 of them Catholic.

Bishop-elect Wall will continue to serve in the Diocese of Phoenix until his Episcopal consecration at a date yet to be determined.


  1. Patrick Madrid

    Right on! Congratulations to him and to the diocese he’ll be serving. When will he be consecrated? Perhaps you will be selected as his first auxiliary bishop, Father Bud.

  2. Leo

    This is exciting news. Fr. Wall is an exceptional man and a wonderful Priest.

  3. Fr. Bud Pelletier

    I just updated the post with the press statement from Phoenix. The last line says that they haven’t determined the consecration date yet. I might have more info after Saturday, he’s coming to the parish to help with an event. And yes, I confirmed with him this morning that he’s still coming.

  4. Adoro

    Very exciting news! He looks exactly like a priest I know in Ohio…

  5. Emmett.Clark

    awesome news indeed! I knew Bishop-Elect in the seminary!

  6. Diane

    I can relate to Father Pelletier wanting to shout it from the rooftops! The thought of doing cartwheels also comes to mind (-:Bishop-elect Wall was an awesome pastor at St. Thomas the Apostle, and I am sure God will do great things with him in Gallup. Go God!

  7. Rev. Paul L. Weinberger

    Dear Patrick, Several years ago you came and spoke at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Dallas, Texas through Catholics United for the Faith. Five years ago I was moved 50 miles from my beloved parish in the poor area of Dallas to a parish in the country. Oh well! God has His reasons even if we don’t agree or understand. I just read your blog entry about the new Bishop of Gallup. I must say that too was shocking. I had just listened to a talk given by a man (in 1977) who worked on an Indian Reservation. He is now deceased. His name was Noland Bordelon (as you can read below). Earlier this week I came across your blog and bookmarked it. I returned to the blog just after having listened to the talk by Noland Bordelon on the Sacred Heart. Mr. Bordelon’s daughter Denise sent me the talk about a month ago. I thought that today being a First Friday was a most fitting opportunity to hear about the Sacred Heart. What a pleasant surprise. God’s Providence is amazing! Keep up your good work! Rev. Paul L. Weinberger, PastorSt. William Church, Greenville, TX.1977 Talk, Men of the Sacred Heart of Jesus 21 minutes This talk was given by Noland Bordelon at the 1977 Midwest Conference of the Men if the Sacred Heart. Mr. Bordelon and his wife, Margaret, were Catholic Missionaries on several American Indian Reservations and he made it his mission to Enthrone the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in homes for many years. Mr. Bordelon passed away September 7, 1989. Mr. Bordelon was this webmaster’s father. May he rest in eternal peace in the very Heart of the Ones he loved so dearly, Our Lord and Our Lady.

  8. The Young Catholic

    I got to meet him at church.

  9. Long-time CB traveler

    As a Catholic in the Diocese of Gallup, I can not tell you how thrilled I am that we are going to be led by this holy man. I had the pleasure of attending a celebration dinner in his honor last night, and his comments were incredible. He spoke extensively about the Church’s obligation to be pro-life, not pro-death. He hammered home this theme over and over. Each table got to ask questions of him, and when one table asked him about the best way to keep marriages together, he immediately said that the best way was to use NFP instead of contraception (which, he pointed out, means “against life”). He added that one of the first things he’s going to do as bishop (he was just ordained Thursday, April 23) is to write a letter to the president of Notre Dame expressing his disappointment that not only are they letting a pro-death president give the commencement address, but they are also giving him an honorary degree.Bishop Wall is young, enthusiastic, has good social skills, cares about the people, and is ORTHODOX!!!! He is true to the faith, and I am thrilled to get him as our new bishop. God has been very good to the Diocese of Gallup.

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