Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Pope names Bishop David P. Talley to lead Memphis diocese

By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE | Published March 6, 2019  | En Español

WASHINGTON (CNS)—Just over four months after Pope Francis forced Bishop Martin D. Holley to step down as bishop of Memphis, Tennessee, he named Bishop David P. Talley of Alexandria, Louisiana, to lead the diocese.

Bishop Talley’s appointment was announced March 5 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Talley, 68, a former auxiliary bishop of Atlanta, was named coadjutor of the Diocese of Alexandria in 2016 and succeeded Bishop Ronald P. Herzog when he retired in 2017. Bishop Talley will be installed as the sixth bishop of Memphis April 2. Details of the ceremony are to be announced later.

Bishop David P. Talley of Alexandria, Louisiana, and the former Archdiocese of Atlanta auxiliary bishop, was selected on March 5 by Pope Francis to serve as the bishop for the Diocese of Memphis, Tennessee. Photo By Michael Alexander

“It is with deep joy that I join the faithful of the Diocese of Memphis” in welcoming Bishop Talley, said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, who is apostolic administrator of the diocese. He brings “a wealth of experience” as pastor and bishop, and “most importantly, he brings the heart of a pastor and a sterling reputation as a good shepherd, the archbishop said in a statement.

He is “devoted to Jesus Christ and his church, deeply concerned for those he serves, humble and wise,” Archbishop Kurtz added.

The Diocese of Memphis comprises 10,682 square miles. Out of a total population of over 1.5 million, about 60,320, or 4 percent, are Catholic.

Born Sept. 11, 1950, in Columbus, David Prescott Talley was raised a Southern Baptist but became a Catholic while a student at Auburn University. He was received into the church when he was 24. He was ordained a priest of the Atlanta Archdiocese in 1989.

His first assignment after ordination was as parochial vicar of St. Jude Church in Sandy Springs. He was there until 1993, when he began post-graduate studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned a doctorate in canon law in 1998. He served other parishes as administrator, pastor and parochial vicar. He last assignment before being named an auxiliary bishop in Atlanta was as pastor of St. Brigid Church, Johns Creek, from 2011 to 2013.

He served the archdiocese in several capacities, including as director of vocations, tribunal judge, judicial vicar and chancellor. He also served on the archdiocese’s Hispanic ministry board. One of his roles in the Atlanta Archdiocese was as chaplain to the disabilities ministry. He has said that his experience ministering to people with disabilities, which began at his first parish, is key to his spiritual life.

Archbishop Pierre also announced Pope Francis’ decisions to accept the resignation of 75-year-old Bishop Armando X. Ochoa of Fresno, California, and name Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Joseph V. Brennan to succeed him. In addition, Pope Francis named Philippines-born Msgr. Alejandro D. Aclan to be an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The Georgia Bulletin news staff contributed to the story.