NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Kentucky priest has been named bishop of the Diocese of Nashville.

The Nashville Diocese said in a statement on Tuesday that Pope Francis named Father J. Mark Spalding to the role. Spalding currently serves as pastor of Holy Trinity Parish and Holy Name Parish in Louisville.

The 52-year-old Spalding is a native of Fredericktown, Kentucky. He was ordained in 1991 and has served in a number of roles in the Archdiocese of Louisville, including vicar general.

The statement says Bishop-elect Spalding will be ordained and installed as the bishop of Nashville on Feb. 2 at the Catholic Pastoral Center. The diocese covers 38 counties in Middle Tennessee and includes about 76,000 registered Catholics.

Former Bishop David Choby died on June 3.

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