Bishop Spalding announces new priest assignments

New assignments for priests have been announced by Bishop J. Mark Spalding. 

Nine parishes will have new pastors, and eight priests have received new assignments as associate pastors.

Also, three of the diocese’s deaneries will have new deans, two announced now and the third to be announced later.

All the assignments will take effect on July 27, unless otherwise noted. 

The list of new assignments includes:

Father Noble Dominic Ambalathurthel, MSFS, is being recalled by his religious community, and is thus released from the office of Pastor of St. Catherine Church in McMinnville.

Father Dominic is a member of the Missionaries of St. Francis De Sales religious order and was ordained on May 14, 2014.

He has served as Pastor of St. Catherine in McMinnville since 2019.

Father Stephen Gideon is retiring from the office of Pastor of St. John Vianney Church in Gallatin and has been released for service at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Father Gideon, who is a former Episcopal priest, was ordained as a Catholic priest on May 30, 1997, at the Cathedral. 

Previously, he served as Associate Pastor at St. Henry Church for a year and as Pastor of St. Christopher Church in Dickson from 1998 to 2008. He has served as Pastor of St. John Vianney since 2008.

Father Patrick Kibby, VE, has been released from the office of Pastor of St. Stephen Church in Old Hickory and is appointed as Senior Priest at St. Henry Church in Nashville. He will remain Vicar for Priests for the Diocese of Nashville.

Father Mark Beckman will remain Pastor of St. Henry Church.

Father Kibby, a Nashville native, was ordained on July 1, 1984, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation. 

He served twice as Pastor of St. Stephen, from 1997 to 1999, and again since 2009. In between, he served as Rector/Pastor of the Cathedral. 

He also has served as Associate Pastor at St. Edward Church, Holy Rosary Church, St. Joseph Church in Madison, and the Cathedral.

Father Titus Augustine, CMI is reappointed to a further 6-year term as Pastor of St. Ignatius Church in Antioch.

Father Augustine was ordained as a priest for the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate religious order on Dec. 29, 1999, at Vazakulam, India.

Before coming to the Diocese of Nashville in 2010, he served as an Associate Pastor of a parish, in several administrative roles for the Diocese of Rajkot, a social worker and school principal in India and as an Associate Pastor and Pastor in New Mexico.

Father Augustine served as a chaplain at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville for five months before being assigned as Associate Pastor of Holy Family Church in Brentwood in 2010.

He has served as Pastor of St. Ignatius since 2014.

Father Andrew Bulso, STL, is released from the office of Associate Pastor of St. Henry Church in Nashville and is appointed Pastor of St. Edward Church in Nashville for a term of 6 years. He remains chaplain to the diocesan Catholic Youth Office.

Father Bulso, a Nashville native, was ordained on June 12, 2015, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation. After completing his studies in Rome, he returned to the diocese and served as a teacher at Father Ryan High School before being assigned to St. Henry Church as Associate Pastor.

Father Benjamin Butler is released from the office of Administrator of the Churches of St. Pius X in Nashville and St. Martha in Ashland City, and is appointed Pastor of St. Martha in Ashland City for a term of 6 years.

Father Butler was ordained on June 12, 2015, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation. 

Previously, he has served as Associate Pastor at St. Joseph Church in Madison. He was named administrator of St. Martha and St. Pius X churches in 2019.

Father Davis Chackaleckel, M.S.F.S., VF, is released from the office of Pastor of St. Catherine Church in Columbia and is appointed Pastor of St. Stephen Church in Old Hickory for a term of six years.

Father Chackaleckel, a member of the Missionaries of St. Francis De Sales order, was ordained on Nov. 9, 1980, at St. Raphael Cathedral in Palakkad, India.

He served in India as a pastor, principal and seminary rector before coming to the Diocese of Nashville.

Previously, he served as Administrator of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Dover from 2001 until his appointment as pastor of St. Catherine in 2006.

Father Richard Childress is released from the office of Associate Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Clarksville and is appointed Pastor of St. John Vianney Church in Gallatin for a term of 6 years.

He was ordained on July 30, 2018 at the Cathedral of the Incarnation and has served as Associate Pastor of Immaculate Conception since his ordination.

Father Eric Fowlkes, VF, STL, is released from the office of Pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Church in Hendersonville and is appointed Pastor of the Cathedral of the Incarnation for a term of 6 years.

Father Fowlkes, who grew up in Waverly, Tennessee, was ordained on July 14, 1989, at the Cathedral. 

Previously, he served as pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Clarksville from 1992 to 2003, and as pastor of St. Patrick Church in Nashville from 2004 until his appointment as pastor of Our Lady of the Lake in 2008. 

He also has served as Associate Pastor at Holy Rosary Church and provided sacramental service to the Catholic Community at Fort Campbell.

Father Austin Gilstrap is appointed Pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Church in Hendersonville for a term of 6 years.  He remains Director of Vocations and Director of Deacon Formation.

Father Gilstrap was ordained on June 12, 2015, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation.

Before being named Director of Vocations in 2018, Father Gilstrap served as a chaplain and theology teacher at Pope John Paul II High School and as Assistant to the Bishop for Vocations.

He also has served as Chaplain to Fraternus and the Catholic Committee on Scouting.

Father Abraham Panthalanickal is released from the office of Associate Pastor of St. Henry Church in Nashville and is appointed Pastor of St. Pius X Church in Nashville for a term of six years.

Father Panthalanickal was ordained on Dec. 29, 1988, at St. Joseph Church in Panathady, India.

He served as vicar at several parishes in India before coming to the Diocese of Nashville in 2004, when he was appointed as associate pastor at St. Pius X Church and Assumption Church.

He has served at St. Henry since 2018.

Father Daniel Reehil, VF, is released from the office of Pastor of St. Edward Church in Nashville and is appointed Pastor of St. Catherine Church in Columbia for a term of 6 years.

Father Reehil, a native of Mineola, New York, was ordained on June 24, 2014, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation.

He served as Associate Pastor at St. Edward until being appointed as Pastor in August, 2014, and has been in that position since.

Father Bala Showraiah, OFM, is released from the office of Pastor of St. Philip Church in Franklin and is appointed Administratorof St. Catherine Church in McMinnville.

Father Showraiah was ordained as a Franciscan priest in his hometown of Dharmaram in India on May 29, 1999. He served in missions work in India until 2008, when he came to the Diocese of Nashville.

He was first assigned as Associate Pastor of St. Philip in October 2008 before being appointed Pastor in December 2009.

Father Edward Steiner is released from the office of Pastor/Rector of the Cathedral of the Incarnation and is appointed Pastor of St. Philip Church in Franklin for a term of six years. He will continue to serve as Director of Ongoing Clergy Formation.

Father Steiner, a native of Chattanooga, was ordained at St. Jude Church in Chattanooga, on May 28, 1982.

Previously, he served as Pastor of St. Joseph Church in Madison from 1991 to 2003, when he was appointed Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Clarksville. He served there until 2009 when he was appointed Pastor of the Cathedral.

He also has served as Associate Pastor at Holy Rosary Church and as a teacher, interim principal and Associate Principal at Father Ryan High School.

Father Nicholas Allen is released from the office of Associate Pastor of St. Philip Church in Franklin and is appointed Associate Pastor of the Cathedral of the Incarnation.

Father Allen, a Nashville native, was ordained on May 30, 2008, at the Cathedral.

He previously served as Associate Pastor of St. Matthew Church in Franklin, part-time Chaplain at Father Ryan High School, and Administrator and later Pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in Murfreesboro.

Father Michael Baltrus is released from the office of Associate Pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in Murfreesboro.  He will be providing sacramental assistance in the diocese and be in residence at St. Joseph Church in Madison.  

Father Baltrus, a native of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was ordained on June 15, 2007, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation.

Previously he has served as Associate Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Clarksville and Pastor of St. Patrick Church in McEwen. He also has served as a Spiritual Director at the Pontifical College Josephinum seminary in Columbus, Ohio.

Father Rhodes Bolster is appointed Associate Pastor of St. Philip Church in Franklin. 

Father Bolster, a Nashville native, was ordained on May 25, 2019, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation.

He spent the last year completing his studies in Rome.

Transitional Deacon Juan Carlos Garcia is appointed Associate Pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in Murfreesboro, effective August 15, 2020, the date of his ordination to the priesthood.

Father Gervan Menezes is released from the office of Associate Pastor of the Cathedral of the Incarnation.  He remains chaplain to University Catholic and Episcopal Master of Ceremonies. 

Father Menezes, a native of Brazil, was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Nashville on July 26, 2014. 

He previously has served as the Chaplain at Father Ryan High School and as Chaplain for the diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adults.

Father Shinto Padinjaredathu, CMI, is appointed Associate Pastor of St. Henry Church in Nashville.

Father Padinjaredathu is new to the Diocese of Nashville.

He was ordained as a priest for the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate religious order in his native India on Dec. 30, 2015. Since his ordination, he has had several assignments as a parish priest, teacher and school administrator in India.

Father Rodolfo Rivera is released from the office of Associate Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Clarksville and is appointed Associate Pastor of Sagrado Corazon Ministry in Nashville.

Father Rivera was ordained on June 30, 2016, at the Cathedral. Since his ordination, he has served as Associate Pastor at Immaculate Conception.

Father Mark Simpson is released from the Office of Associate Director of Vocations. He remains Chaplain to Father Ryan High School and Camp Marymount.

Father Simpson, a Nashville native, was ordained on May 25, 2019, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation.

Transitional Deacon Javier Suarez is appointed Associate Pastor of Immaculate Conception in Clarksville, effective August 15, 2020, the date of his ordination to the priesthood.

Father Luke Wilgenbusch is appointed Associate Pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Church in Hendersonville, and Associate Director of Vocations.

Father Wilgenbusch was ordained on May 25, 2019, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation. He has spent the last year, completing his studies in Rome.

The new pastor assignments also will lead to the naming of new deans for three of the diocese’s deaneries.

Father Chackaleckel is released from the Office of Dean of the South Deanery because of his appointment to a parish outside the Deanery.

Father Reehil is released from the Office of Dean of the City Deanery and is appointed as Dean of the South Deanery for a term ending June 30, 2024.

Father Fowlkes is released from the Office of Dean of the Northeast Deanery and is appointed Dean of the City Deanery for a term ending June 30, 2024.

The appointment of a new Dean for the Northeast Deanery will be announced in the near future.