Joseph J. Tyson

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Joseph Jude Tyson
Bishop of Yakima
Archdiocese Seattle
Diocese Yakima
Appointed April 12, 2011
Installed May 31, 2011
Predecessor Carlos Arthur Sevilla, S.J.
Ordination June 10, 1989
by Raymond Hunthausen
Consecration June 6, 2005
by Alexander Joseph Brunett, George Leo Thomas, and Gustavo García-Siller
Personal details
Born (1957-10-16) October 16, 1957 (age 59)
Moses Lake, Washington
Previous post Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle (2005–2011)
Styles of
Joseph Jude Tyson
Coat of arms of Joseph J. Tyson.svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

Joseph Jude Tyson (born October 16, 1957) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who is currently the Bishop (Catholic Church) of the Diocese of Yakima, Washington. He served as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle from 2005–2011.

Early life and priesthood[edit]

Joseph Tyson was born in Moses Lake, Washington, and attended Blessed Sacrament School.[1] He graduated from St. Alphonsus Elementary School in 1971 and from Bishop Blanchet High School in 1975.[2] He then studied at Shoreline Community College and the University of Washington, from where he obtained Bachelor's degrees in Russian and Eastern European Area Studies and editorial journalism in 1980.[3] He earned a Master's degree in international relations from the Jackson School of International Studies in 1984, and a Master of Divinity from the Theological College of the Catholic University of America in 1989.[3]

Tyson was ordained to the priesthood on June 10, 1989 by Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen.[4] He then served as parochial vicar at St. James Cathedral (1991–93), pastor of St. Mary of the Valley Parish in Monroe (1993–96), and pastor of St. Edward, St. George, and St. Paul Parishes in South Seattle (1996–2005).[2] In addition, he has assisted chancery offices in the area of permanent deacon formation, parish experiences for seminarians, vocations, and communications.[2]

Episcopal career[edit]

On May 12, 2005, Tyson was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle and Titular Bishop of Migirpa by Pope Benedict XVI.[4] He received his episcopal consecration on the following June 6 from Archbishop Alexander Brunett, with Bishops George Thomas and Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.S., serving as co-consecrators.[4] He selected as his episcopal motto: "Christo Lumen ad Gentes."

In 2007, Tyson testified at a state legislative hearing on a proposed Washington initiative to offer domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples; he promoted broadening its provisions, a controversial strategy used elsewhere by the Catholic Church, extending the definition of partnership to relationships beyond that of unmarried couples, to prevent discrimination against an elderly parent, a sibling, housemate or another in residence thus limiting its potential affirmative impact for gay rights, consistent with the Catholic Church's long-standing position.[5]

He became interim superintendent of Seattle Catholic schools on July 1, 2008.[1] He is a devoted cyclist, even receiving news of his episcopal appointment while riding his bike.[2] In addition to his native English, he speaks Spanish, German, Vietnamese, and Serbo-Croatian.[2]

On April 12, 2011, Tyson was appointed the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Yakima in Washington State, replacing Carlos Arthur Sevilla, S.J., who served as bishop from 1996 until his retirement in 2011. Tyson was installed as bishop of the Diocese of Yakima on May 31, 2011, at Holy Family Parish in Yakima.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Bishop Tyson appointed interim schools superintendent". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle. 2008-04-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Western Washington". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle. 2005-05-19. 
  3. ^ a b "Board of Directors". Pope John Paul II High School. 
  4. ^ a b c "Bishop Joseph Jude Tyson". 
  5. ^ Palmo, Rocco (2007-01-27). "In the Northwest, Echoes of Levada". Whispers in the Loggia. 
  6. ^ Dininny, Shannon. "Pope names new bishop for Yakima Diocese". Seattle: KOMO-TV. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Carlos Arthur Sevilla
Bishop of Yakima
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle
Succeeded by