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The Most Reverend Thomas E Abel, BA, STL
Presiding Bishop
Catholic Church of America


His Excellency, Thomas E. Abel, is the third child of William and Violet Abel, both deceased, of Fort Madison, Iowa. Bishop Abel is married to Florentino Factor. Bishop Abel has three brothers; William Jr., Robert, and Michael, all of whom are married.

Bishop Abel began his priestly training while attending the Seminary for the  Diocese of Davenport, Iowa of the  Roman Catholic Church at Saint Ambrose University where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History in May of 1975. Bishop Abel left the Diocese of Davenport Seminary and began his career in the secular world in the field of Human Resources. Please reference here Bishop Abel's Apostolic Succession.

Bishop Abel re-entered the Seminary of Saint Francis of Assisi, of the Old Roman Catholic Church, English Rite, which has the distinction of having been founded by Archbishop Henry Carmel Carfora, receiving the degree of Letters in Sacred Theology Degree (STL) in January of 1995. He was Ordained to the Priesthood by his Excellency, Archbishop Floyd A. Kortenhof, Primate, Metropolitan, of the Old Roman Catholic Church, English Rite at Saint Peter's Episcopal Church, Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday, January 25, 1995 and celebrated his First Mass the following day, Sunday January 26, 1995 at Saint Mary Magdalene Parish  at their host parish of Calvary Episcopal Church, Lombard, Illinois. Bishop Abel is the founding Pastor of Saint Mary Magdalene Parish and served as its Pastor for five years, a post he held until he relocated to San Diego in 2000.

Upon his arrival to San Diego in June of 2000, Bishop Abel became the founding Pastor of All Saints Parish. All Saints Parish originally was located at Saint Michaelís By-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Carlsbad, California, in the original building (the Chapel) of Saint Michael's, a structure dating from the 1800's. In 2003, Bishop Abel received a Mandate from Archbishop Kortenhof to the episcopacy for the benefit of the church. Bishop Abel was consecrated (press here for pictures of the Consecration) on May 24th of 2003 by Archbishop Kortenhof assisted by Archbishop Karl Barwin of the Evangelical Catholic Church and Bishop Robert Collier of the Catholic Church of America - Reformed and Missionary Chaplains, at Saint Michael's By-the-Sea. Bishop Abel continued to serve as Pastor of All Saints Parish, Vicar General of the Church, and Auxiliary Bishop of the Vicariate of Saint Mary Magdalene of the Old Roman Catholic Church, English Rite.

In July of 2004, All Saints Parish came under the jurisdiction of the Old Roman Catholic Church Diocese of San Diego with Bishop Abel as the Bishop of the Diocese. The name of the Church was changed in May of 2006 to the Catholic Church of America to reflect a broader view of the church in line with its mission in the world. Bishop serves and the Presiding Bishop of the Church..

Bishop Abelís Coat of Arms, represents in the upper right quarter of the shield, Saint Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa, where Bishop Abel received his preliminary training in the Seminary and undergraduate degree. The bottom right quarter of the Shield represents the Dutch heritage of the Old Catholic Church from the Archdiocese of Utrecht in The Netherlands. The upper left quarter of the shield represents Bishop Abelís German ancestry. The bottom left quarter of the shield represents the Church in San Diego and the Catholic Church of America by the waves of the Ocean under the Paschal Lamb, our Lord Jesus Christ.

The motto chosen by Bishop Abel in Latin, "Adoramus Te Christe", is translated into English as "We Adore Thee, Oh Christ" .


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