Introducing the New Bishop of Nashville

Katy Beth Boyers, Editor

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Last week on November 21, the Diocese of Nashville held a press conference to introduce the new bishop for the Diocese of Nashville.

On Nov. 21, Fr. J. Mark Spalding was appointed by Pope Francis as the 12th bishop for the Diocese of Nashville. During the press conference he spoke to an audience of catholics, priests, employees, catholic school representatives, and one Pope John Paul II High School student. The press conference was broadcasted and students at JPII were able to watch it in the auditorium.

For me however, I had the opportunity to attend the conference and get to know the bishop-elect a little more. Spalding talked about how much he loved the youth and how he tries to take time off during the week to visit catholic schools and classrooms.

I like people so I’m going to get out among the people of the diocese. I’m a country boy. They’re my people,” Fr. Spalding said during the press conference.

Spalding also mentioned what he hopes to do as Bishop of Nashville.

“I pledge to demand much from myself as I work with the priests, deacons, consecrated religious, seminarians, and lay faithful of the Diocese of Nashville to inspire a zeal for the Gospel, serve those in need, promote vocations, provide lifelong formation through strong Catholic schools and parish formation programs, call forth the gifts of our youth and young adults, provide a place of welcome for persons of every race, culture and language, and support families in their vocation as schools of love,” proclaimed Spalding.

Fr. J. Mark Spalding, 52, is from Fredericktown, KY and is currently a pastor of Holy Trinity Church and Holy Name Church in Louisville, KY. In his speech he mentioned how he will miss Kentucky, but is excited to be in Nashville as the new bishop.

“I will miss my home in Kentucky but I truly look forward to my new home in Nashville.”

Throughout his speech, the bishop-elect gave a message to many different people including his family, hispanics, and the youth. In this message to the youth, he talked about the importance of the youth in the Church today.

“As a pastor, one of the greatest joys was the visit the children in the classrooms and schools and to serve as a chaplain of local high schools. Dear youth and young people, the Church needs you. I look forward to meeting you and to working with you to share the good news of our Catholic faith.”

When I met the bishop-elect after the press conference, he was so kind and asked about schools and colleges. We spoke about school and the college search, and he advised me about the importance of studying, and gave me a special blessing. To me, that was a special moment I will never forget. He is very personable and kind, and I am very excited for what he has in store for the Diocese of Nashville.

Bishop-elect Spalding will be ordained bishop on Feb. 2, 2018 at the Sagrado Corazon Church in the Catholic Pastoral Center in Nashville.

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