Pope John Paul II High School has had a close connection with the previous two bishops of our diocese. The 10th Bishop of Nashville broke ground on our school. The 11th Bishop of Nashville lived right around the corner. And on Thursday, April 12, we began creating memories with Bishop Mark Spalding, the 12th Bishop of Nashville, as he took his first steps onto campus for his inaugural Mass and visit to our campus.
Born in Washington County, Kentucky, Bishop Spalding was ordained a priest in 1991 and served in different communities around Kentucky, most recently in Louisville. During his priesthood, he served in many different roles, including as priest-chaplain at Bethlehem High School, his alma mater, from 1992 to 1996 and at Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville from 2011 to 2017. His appointment as the 12th Bishop of Nashville by Pope Francis was announced on November 21, 2017, and his episcopal ordination and installation as the Bishop of Nashville was on February 2, 2018.
In the first few months of his episcopacy, Bishop Spalding has been busy. He has spent a good portion of his time visiting the many diocesan and Catholic schools in the Middle Tennessee area and getting to know the young people of the diocese. In his inaugural trip to JPII, Bishop Spalding met with students in our Hand-In-Hand program, toured our campus, celebrated his first Mass at JPII, and even administered the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation to three of our students. At the beginning of Mass, Bishop Spalding was complimentary of our school and community, saying, “Nashville is truly blessed by this institution of learning and of faith formation.”
JPII would like to thank Bishop Spalding for visiting our school and celebrating the sacraments with us. Our whole community is excited to follow under his leadership and guidance for years to come.