Bishop-elect J. Mark Spalding named 12th Bishop of Nashville

November 21, 2017

by Rick Musacchio, Director of Communications, Diocese of Nashville

Pope Francis has named Father J. Mark Spalding, a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville, to be the 12th Bishop of Nashville. The appointment was publicized at noon in Rome, 5 a.m. central time, on Tuesday November 21, 2017.

Bishop-elect Spalding will be ordained a bishop and installed as the Bishop of Nashville on February 2, 2018 at Sagrado Corazon at the Catholic Pastoral Center on McGavock Pike.

Bishop-elect Spalding, 52, a native of Fredericktown, KY and a member of a large extended family with roots dating to the earliest days of Catholic life west of the Appalachian Mountains, was ordained to the priesthood on August 3, 1991 at the St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral in Bardstown, KY.  He is a graduate of Bethlehem High School in Bardstown, KY, and St. Meinrad Seminary in St. Meinrad, Indiana. He received a master of religious studies and a licentiate in canon law from American University in Louvain, Belgium.

He is currently pastor of Holy Trinity Parish and Holy Name Parish in Louisville. He has also served as a vicar general for the archdiocese since 2011. He has served a number of other assignments including associate pastor at St. Joseph and chaplain at Bethlehem High School in Bardstown, associate pastor at St. Augustine in Lebanon, KY, associate pastor at St. Margaret Mary in Louisville, pastor of Immaculate Conception in LaGrange, KY. He has served as a judge, judicial vicar, and director of the tribunal for the archdiocese.

The entire state of Tennessee was established as the Diocese of Nashville on July 28, 1837 from the territory of the Diocese of Bardstown, KY by Pope Gregory XVI. In 1971 the western third of the state was established as the Diocese of Memphis. In 1988 the eastern third of the state was established as the Diocese of Knoxville. The Diocese of Nashville now covers 38 counties of Middle Tennessee and includes about 76,000 registered Catholics in 53 parishes and three missions. Masses are offered in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Latin, and Korean.

The See of Nashville has been vacant since Bishop David Choby died on June 3, 2017. Father Michael Johnston was elected administrator by the priests of the diocese’s College of Consultors. Father Johnston will continue as administrator until Bishop-elect Spalding is ordained bishop and takes possession of the diocese.

The ordination date will be February 2, 2018.

Link to press release on the Diocese of Nashville website.