Bishop J. Mark Spalding’s vision for the Diocese of Nashville is to bring more people to Christ, filling all the churches to overflowing, just as the Sagrado Corazon Church was for his episcopal ordination and installation as the Bishop of Nashville in 2018.
“That day three years ago you couldn’t squeeze any more people in here,” Bishop Spalding said during a Mass on Tuesday, Feb. 2, to mark the third anniversary of his installation. “It was inspirational. All of our churches should look like that … Let’s work together to accomplish that.”
“My vision is to fill all the spaces in all the places,” he added. “It’s going to look diverse and beautiful.” Bishop Spalding was a pastor in the Archdiocese of Louisville when Pope Francis appointed him as the 12th Bishop of Nashville.
When he received the call in November 2017 asking if he would accept the Nashville appointment, he answered, “I will serve with all the gifts God has given me.” “My life has changed in three years,” Bishop Spalding said.
“God is inspiring me and changing me and yes challenging me and pushing me,” he said. “That is how He works with us all – to make us better.”
When people accept God’s plan for their life, their life gains meaning, Bishop Spalding said. “If I truly accept him, I will change. I will be changed by Jesus.”
“We ask God to keep coming into our lives,” he said. “We won’t be the same when that prayer is answered.”
When we accept Christ in our life, we take on the mission of bringing others to Christ, Bishop Spalding said. The goal is “to move from here to heaven and bring others along.”