Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz issued the following statement Nov. 21 on the appointment of the Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding as Bishop of Nashville.
It is with great joy that I receive the news of Pope Francis’ appointment of Father J. Mark Spalding as the 12th bishop of Nashville. Bishop-elect Spalding brings a wealth of pastoral and administrative experience, a keen intellect, wise judgment, leadership ability and pastoral zeal to the Diocese of Nashville — a diocese that has a venerable history and is growing and rich in diversity.
As both a friend and co-worker, Bishop-elect Spalding has worked closely with me over these past ten years. I have witnessed firsthand Bishop-elect Spalding’s gifts as a devoted pastor of the faithful, first at Immaculate Conception Parish in La Grange and most recently at Holy Trinity and Holy Name Parishes in Louisville. I also am deeply grateful for his sterling service to the Archdiocese of Louisville, first as Judicial Vicar and for the past six years as Vicar General.
One hundred and eighty years ago a Kentucky Dominican priest, Bishop Richard Pius Miles of Fairfield, Kentucky in Nelson County, was appointed the first bishop of Nashville. Now once again our “Catholic Holy Land of Kentucky,” this time in Washington County, shares a son to serve the faithful of the Diocese of Nashville.
It is with equal joy that I also welcome Bishop-elect Spalding as a bishop of the Province of Louisville, promising him my prayers and support in his years of episcopal service. I pray that he will serve Christ, our Good Shepherd, with the same zeal, humility and joy that characterized the service of his predecessor and my good friend, Bishop David Choby. Ad multos annos — may he serve for many fruitful years.
Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D.
November 21, 2017