February 2, 2018
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Together, we are about to embark on a new journey, for me personally and for the people of the Diocese of Nashville. I come to you humbled by the many blessings I have received in my life and by the faith shown in me by our Holy Father, Pope Francis. And I also come to you excited about the opportunity to link arms in our common mission of sharing the joy and hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of Middle Tennessee.
I am a proud son of the “Kentucky Holy Land” where the Catholic faith was planted in the soil of the frontier more than 200 years ago and which has produced many laborers who have brought in a bountiful harvest for the Church. It was there that I was nurtured in the faith, first and foremost by my parents and my extended family, and also by the many faithful
Catholics in my life who taught me and modeled for me the love of Jesus Christ.
I am also deeply aware of, and greatly appreciative of, the Diocese of Nashville’s own wonderful history, filled with the many faithful souls who have helped build the Body of
Christ in Tennessee. Even more exciting are the many opportunities I see among you to
build upon the successes of Bishop David Choby and my other predecessors here.
I am eager to begin working 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
youth adults, provide a place of welcome for persons of every race, culture, and
language, and support families in their vocation as schools of love. I look forward to
visiting every corner of the diocese, getting to know you, and working with you to
ensure that each one of us, our ministries, and our parishes prosper in the work of the Lord. Our work begins with prayer. I pledge that all of you will be in my prayers constantly,
and I beg that you pray for me so that I will always walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ,
the Good Shepherd.
Sincerely in Christ,
The Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding
Bishop of the Diocese of Nashville