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St. Andrew Catholic Church

Sparta, Tennessee
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Our Bishop

 

 

New Administrator

(June 6, 2017)




Father Michael O. Johnston has been elected administrator of the Diocese of Nashville in a meeting of the College of Consultors held in Chattanooga this afternoon. He will assume the duties for the administration of the diocese immediately and will serve until and new bishop is named by Pope Francis and takes possession of the Diocese of Nashville.

The election was held, as required by canon law, when a diocese becomes vacant as it did when Bishop David Choby died Saturday night. The College of Consultors is made up of 12 priests serving the diocese. The meeting took place during the annual priest convocation held each June in conjunction with the priests of the Diocese of Knoxville.

A diocesan administrator is tasked with maintaining the operation of a vacant diocese. He can fulfill most of the duties of a bishop, but is not to undertake new initiatives that would prejudice the next bishop. He cannot ordain clergy, and, for the first year that he serves as diocesan administrator, he can only appoint priests as parish administrators. If the diocesan administrator remains in office after a year, he may then appoint pastors.

Father Johnston said that he is humbled to be elected. He intends to see to the immediate needs of the diocese and work collaboratively to prepare for the arrival of the new bishop.

Father Johnston, 71, is a native of Nashville and a graduate of Christ the King School and Father Ryan High School. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 18, 1970 at Basilica of St. Peter in Rome. He served in a number of assignments in parishes and high schools in Chattanooga and Knoxville before returning to St. Stephen Parish in Old Hickory in 1982. He served as the pastor of St. Henry Parish from 1991 until his retirement in 2015. Throughout his priesthood he served in a number of diocesan assignments in addition to his duties in parishes and schools. Since his retirement he has continued to serve as a member of the Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors as well as the Diocesan Review Board.





April 20, 2015 Letter from the Bishop 

 

 


(January 17, 1947 - June 3, 2017)

 

Most Reverend David R. Choby is the Bishop of Nashville.

 

Bishop Choby was born in Nashville and baptized in the Cathedral of Incarnation where he was ordained a bishop.  He is the son of Raymond and Rita Choby, both deceased.  He has one sister, Diane C. Dyche of Fort Worth, Texas. He attended Catholic schools growing up, graduating from Father Ryan High School in 1965.

 

After spending one year at Aquinas College in Nashville, he entered the seminary at St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa.  He also studied at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., before being ordained as a priest on September 6, 1974 by Bishop Joseph A. Durick at St. Henry Church in Nashville.

 

He has served a number of assignments in the Diocese of Nashville.  He was associate pastor at St. Joseph Parish, Madison, administrator of St. Ann Parish, and spent three years in residence at Christ the King Parish while working at the diocesan tribunal.  From 1989 until his ordination as bishop, he served as pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Gallatin, where he has been active in the community and in the local ministerial association.

 

Bishop Choby holds a Canon Law degree from the Angelicum Church in Rome and has worked at the diocesan tribunal throughout most of his priesthood.  He was on the faculty of The Pontifical College Josephinum, a seminary in Columbus, Ohio between 1984 and 1989.  He currently serves on the seminary’s board.  He has served two five-year terms on the diocese’s Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors.

 

Bishop Choby was elected as diocesan administrator for the Diocese of Nashville by the diocesan College of Consultors in 2004 after Bishop Kmiec, was installed as the Bishop of Buffalo.  Bishop Choby was installed fourteen months later as the 11th bishop of Nashville on February 27, 2006.  He is only the second priest of the diocese’s 169-year history to be tapped as its bishop; the others have all come from outside the diocese.


June 3, 2017


The Most Reverend David R. Choby, the Bishop of Nashville, died Saturday night, June 3rd, at Saint Thomas West Hospital where he was undergoing treatment for injuries that he sustained in a fall at his home on February 7th.


In the fall, he suffered a cut on the back of his head and damage to his vertebrae. He was taken by ambulance to Skyline Medical Center for initial treatment and later transferred to Saint Thomas West Hospital, where his regular doctors practice.

The bishop underwent a series of tests to determine the extent of the injury to his back when a serious infection developed. He was successfully treated for that infection, and had a surgical procedure in preparation for an operation to repair the broken vertebrae which took place on May 12th.

Following his spinal operation to repair the vertebrae, Bishop Choby made steady neurologic progress, but the blood infections persisted. Soon after the surgery, he was able to climb out of his bed for the first time since the fall, and was eventually able to sit in a chair for long periods of time.

On June 1st, Bishop Choby’s doctors performed a procedure to remove his pacemaker and internal defibrillator along with their leads because of recurring blood infections. His physician team expected the procedure to be beneficial in both the short and long term, and continued to treat the infection.

Complications of the infection resulted in his death at about 10 p.m. on June 3rd.

Bishop Choby was born in Nashville and baptized in the Cathedral of Incarnation where he was ordained a bishop. He was the son of Raymond and Rita Choby, both deceased. He is survived by his only sibling, Diane C. Dyche of Fort Worth, Texas. He attended Catholic schools growing up, graduating from Father Ryan High School in 1965.

After spending one year at Aquinas College in Nashville, he entered the seminary at St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa. He also studied at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., before being ordained as a priest on September 6, 1974 by Bishop Joseph A. Durick at St. Henry Church in Nashville.

He served a number of assignments in the Diocese of Nashville. He was associate pastor at St. Joseph Parish, Madison, administrator of St. Ann Parish, and spent three years in residence at Christ the King Parish while working at the diocesan tribunal. From 1989 until his ordination as bishop, he served as pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Gallatin, where was active in the community and in the local ministerial association.

Bishop Choby held a Canon Law degree from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and worked at the diocesan tribunal throughout most of his priesthood. He was on the faculty of The Pontifical College Josephinum, a seminary in Columbus, Ohio between 1984 and 1989. He served on the seminary’s board. He served two five-year terms on the diocese’s Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors.

Bishop Choby was elected as diocesan administrator for the Diocese of Nashville by the diocesan College of Consultors in 2004 after Bishop Kmiec was installed as the Bishop of Buffalo. Bishop Choby was installed fourteen months later as the 11th bishop of Nashville on February 27, 2006. He was only the second priest of the diocese’s 169-year history to become its bishop; the others have all come from outside the diocese.

He is the first bishop of Nashville to die while in office since Bishop Alphonse J. Smith in 1935.

Details of funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Bishop Choby, for his family and friends, and for the people of the Diocese of Nashville.

 

Bishop's Page from the Diocese of Nashville's website.




How to address a letter to the Bishop:

Most Reverent Bishop __________
2800 McGavock Pike
Nashville, TN  37214-1402

Salutation: Your Excellency Bishop ____________,
or Bishop ____________,

Body of your letter...

End with: Respectfully Yours in Christ,