James S. Wall

His Excellency, The Most Reverend
James Sean Wall
Bishop of Gallup
Church Roman Catholic
Archdiocese Sante Fe
Diocese Gallup
Appointed February 5, 2009
Installed April 23, 2009
Predecessor Donald Edmond Pelotte
Ordination June 6, 1998
by Thomas J. O'Brien
Consecration April 23, 2009
by Michael Sheehan, Thomas Olmsted, and Edward William Clark
Personal details
Born (1964-10-11) October 11, 1964
Ganado, Arizona
Styles of
James Sean Wall
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

James Sean Wall (born October 11, 1964) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as Bishop of Gallup, New Mexico.


Early life and education

James Wall was born on the Navajo Nation in Ganado, Arizona, to James and Joan (née Hamilton) Wall. His parents converted to Catholicism after coming into contact with two Franciscan friars. One of six children, he has three sisters, Toni, Shani, and Kelly, and two brothers, Scott and Craig. He graduated from Chandler High School in 1983 and attended Arizona State University, from where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1993.

Wall then studied at St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, California, earning a Master's in Divinity in 1998. He also studied at the Liturgical Institute of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois.

Ordination and ministry

Wall was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Thomas O'Brien on June 6, 1998. He then served as parochial vicar at St. Theresa Parish in Phoenix until 2001, and at St. Timothy Parish in Mesa from 2001 to 2002.

In 2002, Wall became pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Phoenix. He remained at St. Thomas until his appointment to the diocesan chancery as Vicar for Priests in 2007. In addition to his pastoral duties, he also served as Administrator pro tempore of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish (2007) and Director of the Mount Claret Retreat Center (2008-2009).

From 2003 to 2007, he was a member of the National Advisory Council for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Bishop of Gallup, New Mexico

On February 5, 2009, Wall was appointed the fourth Bishop of Gallup, New Mexico, by Pope Benedict XVI.[1]

Bishop Wall took over the diocese after its former bishop, Donald Edmond Pelotte, resigned having previously been granted a one-year leave of absence beginning in January 2008, to recover from a fall he suffered on July 23, 2007. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, was appointed apostolic administrator sede plena by Pope Benedict for the duration of Bishop Pelotte's absence. On 30 April 2008 the Pope Benedict accepted the resignation from the pastoral government of the Diocese of Gallup, presented by Bishop Pelotte, in accordance with canon 401 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

Bishop Wall took canonical possession of the Diocese at his consecration and installation on 23 April 2009.

Supporter of the Arts

Bishop Wall, with the understanding that the Church should be patron of the arts, has renovated a chapel which serves as part of the spiritual formation of local seminarians as they prepare to pastor churches in the future. The chapel has been renovated with sacred art from local artisans who work in styles native to New Mexico. The style of art in the chapel, called “santero,” is a folk art based on Spanish colonial art. Artists in the style make their own pigments, and pray while they are creating their work. Arlene Sena, who produced the paintings found in the sanctuary, explains that prayer is “the key to this tradition.”[2] Sena produced images of the Holy Family, Saint James, Saint Francis de Sales, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, two angels, and the Sacred Heart. Each was chosen for a particular reason, out of importance to the Gallup diocese and to Bishop Wall.

See also


  1. "Bishop James Sean Wall". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  2. The Catholic News Agency, Renovated New Mexico chapel to help form priests, April 10, 2013
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Episcopal succession

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Donald Edmond Pelotte
Bishop of Gallup
23 April 2009Incumbent
Succeeded by
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