Back to the Home Page

The Most Rev Thomas E Abel, BA, STL
Bishop of the Catholic Church of America


His Excellency, Bishop Abel’s Coat of arms shown below represents, in the upper right quarter of the shield, Saint Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa, where Bishop received his preliminary training in the Seminary and under graduate degree. The bottom right quarter of the Shield represents the Dutch heritage of the Old Roman Catholic Church from the Archdiocese of Utrecht in the Netherlands. The upper left quarter of the shield represents Bishop Abel’s German ancestry. The bottom left quarter of the shield represents the Church in San Diego by the waves of the Ocean caped by the Paschal Lamb; our Lord Jesus Christ. The motto in Latin is translated in English as; "We Adore Thee Oh Christ."

Bishop Abel is the third child of William and Violet Abel of Fort Madison, Iowa. He was raised and educated in the Roman Catholic Church.

Bishop Abel began his priestly training while attending the Seminary for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport, Iowa at Saint Ambrose University where he received his Bachelors of Arts Degree in History in 1975. Bishop Abel left the Seminary and began his career in the secular world in the field of Human Resources.

Bishop Abel re-entered the Seminary of Saint Francis of Assisi; the Seminary of the Old Roman Catholic Church, English Rite, receiving his (STL) Letters in Sacred Theology degree prior to his ordination as a Priest in January of 1995 from Archbishop Floyd A. Kortenhof, of the Old Roman Catholic Church, English Rite at Saint Peters Episcopal Church, Chicago, Illinois.

Upon ordination, as a newly ordained Priest, Bishop Abel served as Pastor of Saint Mary Magdalene Parish in Lombard, Illinois, at the facilities of Calvary Episcopal Church for five years, a post he led until he relocated to San Diego in 2000.

Upon his arrival to San Diego in June of 2000, Bishop Abel started a new Parish for the Church; All Saints Parish. At its founding, Parish began using the facilities of Saint Michael’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Carlsbad, California. All Saint's Parish used the original building (the Chapel) of Saint Michael's, a structure dating from the 1800's. After his consecration on May 24th of 2003, also held at Saint Michael's By-the-Sea, he continued to serve as Pastor of SAll Saints, Vicar General of the Church, and Auxiliary Bishop of the Vicariate of Saint Mary Magdalene of the Old Roman Catholic Church, English Rite, with offices located in Elmwood Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, under the leadership of Archbishop Floyd A. Kortenhof.

In May of 2004, the Catholic Church of America antd is sole parish, All Saints. In 2005 Bishop Abel turned the parish over the Reverend Janine Stock. She shaped the parish until 2018 at which time the parish closed.

In July of 2004 All Saints and the Catholic Church of America relocated to the facilities of Pilgrim United Church, Carlsbad, California. At the same time, Bishop Abel agreed to ordain the Sacred Priesthood, the first female Priest of the Church  At that time, All Saints and the Catholic Church of America came under the jurisdiction Bishop Abel as Presiding Bishop.

On November 6th of 2005 Bishop Abel founded Saint John the Beloved Cathedral. The Cathedral now uses the chapel facilities at University Christian Church, San Diego, CA. Mass is celebrated on Sunday at 11:30 in the morning. In 2006 the Catholic Church of America and the Diocese of California, American Catholic Church, to serve a wider area of the Country blended their two ministries. Saint John's came under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of California, American Catholic Church, and remains so today.

Also in November of 2005 Bishop Abel commissioned the opening of a seminary to educate men and women in the ordained clergy as Deacons, Priests, and Bishops for the Church.. The seminary is known as San Diego Theological Seminary, an Independent Catholic Institution.

Through the Seminary, the Church will provide instruction and training to the seminarians of this jurisdiction as well as any other Independent Catholic jurisdiction who chooses to enroll their seminarians. Instruction shall be provided on a distance program basis utilizing directed readings required by the Seminary, along with approved theology schools throughout the country. Further, the seminary will allow the transfer of credits from accredited schools and colleges and, the Seminary may accept credit for life experience and independent study.

Bishop Abel Consecrated Mark R. Earl as his successor in 2016 and shortly there after Bishop retired as Presiding Bishop and Ordinary. Currently Bishop Abel serves as Co-Pastor at Santo Niño Catholic Church with Bishop Earl who is also Co-Pastor. Santo Nino serves at the Church's Pro-cathedral, located in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Santo Nino serves the Church as its pro-cathedral.




Back to the Home Page   Back to Clergy Page

© ® 2000 - 2020 All intellectual property rights of this website are copyrighted and owned by Florentino C. Factor. Items provided on this website may be downloaded for personal use only. Catholic Church of America.  858-522-0072