by Stephanie Sanchez

Most Rev. Joseph J. Tyson, D.D.

Bishop of Yakima/Obispo de Yakima

Most Rev. Joseph Jude Tyson was born on October 16 in Moses Lake, Washington and at an early age moved to Seattle with his family.  He was ordained to the priesthood in 1989.  His degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in Russian and Eastern European Studies as well as Editorial Journalism from the University of Washington, a Masters in International Relations from the University of Washington, a Masters of Divinity from the Catholic University of America, and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from St. Martin’s University in Lacy.

In 2005, he was consecrated Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle and named Vicar General. From 2008-2011, he served as Superintendent of Catholic Schools. He was installed as Bishop of Yakima in 2011 and currently serves as the Episcopal Liaison for the Catholic Climate Covenant and Episcopal Moderator for the Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network. He is also a member of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on Pastoral Care for Migrants, Refugees, and Travelers, the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs, and the Migration and Refugee Services Committee.


1980 B.A. Russian and East European Area Studies, University of Washington

1980 B.A. Communications – Editorial Journalism, UW

1984 M.A. International Relations, UW

1989 M.Div., Theological College, Catholic University of America

2011 Honorary Doctorate of Letters, St. Martin’s University, Lacey, Washington


1980-84 Campus Minister, Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Washington

1984-85 St. Vincent de Paul Society — Refugee Services

1989 Ordained to priesthood for Archdiocese of Seattle

1991–93 Parochial Vicar, St. James Cathedral, Seattle

1993-96 Pastor, St. Mary of the Valley Parish, Monroe

1996 – 2005 Pastor, St. Edward St. Paul, and St George Parish & Schools

Ministry – Continued

2005-11 Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General, Archdiocese of Seattle

2008-11 Superintendent, Archdiocesan Catholic Schools

2011 Installed as Seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Yakima

Active Member in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

2016-22 – Member of USCCB Committee for Cultural Diversity

Present – Member of USCCB Subcommittee on Pastoral Care for Migrants, Refugees, and Travelers

Present – Episcopal Liaison for Catholic Climate Covenant

Present – Episcopal Moderator for Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network

Present – Member of USCCB Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs

Present – Member of USCCB Migration and Refugee Services Committee

Present – Catholic Relief Service Board of Directors

Present (June 2023)–  Member of the Committee for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development