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Team Aleteia



From Baptist to Bishop: Atlanta’s David Talley named coadjutor of Alexandria

Nearly 30 minutes after his two and half hour ordination, Bishop David Talley, right, shares a laugh with Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, his ordaining bishop.

(Page 27, April 11, 2013 issue)
Details from The Georgia Bulletin: 

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop David P. Talley, auxiliary bishop of the Atlanta Archdiocese, to serve the people of the Diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana, as coadjutor bishop to Bishop Ronald P. Herzog, the bishop of that diocese.

In a statement, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory said that the pope has given the people of the Diocese of Alexandria a “tremendous pastoral gift.”

Archbishop Gregory said, “Bishop Talley is a servant minister of our Church, who is graced with extraordinary wisdom, patience, kindness, and dedication. He developed those gifts as priest and bishop here in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, where he always cared for our people as a true minister of mercy and kindness.”

He added, “Thus he now begins this new appointment with exceptional credentials.”

The Mass of Welcome in Alexandria is planned for Monday, Nov. 7.

A native of Columbus, Georgia, Bishop Talley, 66, was ordained a priest on June 3, 1989, at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta, by Archbishop Eugene Marino, SSJ. He earned a licentiate and doctorate in canon law from the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome, Italy. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese, including as pastor of three metro Atlanta parishes, the archdiocesan vocations director, the chancellor of the archdiocese, and as judicial vicar of the Metropolitan Tribunal.

He was named a prelate of honor, with the title of monsignor, by Pope John Paul II in May 2001. On Dec. 17, 2012, he was named an auxiliary bishop of the Atlanta Archdiocese by Pope Benedict XVI.

He became the first native-born Georgian to serve as a bishop in the Atlanta Archdiocese when he was ordained on April 2, 2013. His episcopal motto is “He will give you a new heart.”

And there’s this:

Bishop Talley was raised as a Southern Baptist but has said he left the church as a teenager over the issue of racial segregation. At Auburn University he met Catholics and read the writings of Thomas Merton, which led him to become Catholic, he said. He was 24 when he joined the church at St. Mary Church in Opelika, Alabama.

Family members remain faithful Baptists, including a brother who is a deacon. That background gives him a broad view, he said. “I do know a faith across the spectrum,” he told The Georgia Bulletin.

Any friend of Merton’s is a friend of mine. Read on

Photo: Michael Alexander / Georgia Bulletin

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