Bishop Stika reacts to death of Nashville Bishop David Choby

Jim Wogan News

The Most Reverend David R. Choby, Bishop of the Diocese of Nashville since 2006, has died after battling recent health issues. He was 70. 

The Diocese of Nashville announced that Bishop Choby passed away at St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville late Saturday night. He was undergoing treatment for injuries that he suffered in a fall at his home on Feb. 7.

Bishop David Choby

Bishop Richard F. Stika of the Diocese of Knoxville was notified of Bishop Choby’s passing almost immediately, just before midnight.

”Bishop Choby has carried a heavy cross these last years with his health in decline, but he did so with a sense of hope and trust in Jesus. His death last night on the eve of Pentecost is sad for us, but life for Bishop Choby hasn’t ended, it has only changed. I believe now that he will be at peace in the presence of Jesus,” Bishop Stika said.

“I have lost a friend and a brother bishop. Just a few days ago, I spoke with Bishop Choby for a half hour and found it to be an enjoyable conversation about his hopes for the future. I finished our conversation telling him that I consider him a dear friend and that I love him very much. He expressed the same love for me and said he was grateful for our friendship and our many visits.

“To all my friends in the Diocese of Nashville, please know that I, along with all your sisters and brothers in East Tennessee, are praying for you.”

The Diocese of Nashville has announced the following funeral arrangements:

Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 8 at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, 2015 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m. Visitation will conclude with Office of the Dead at 7:30 p.m.

Visitation will be held on Friday, June 9 at St. John Vianney, 449 N Water Ave, Gallatin, TN 37066, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Visitation will conclude with recitation of the Rosary, to be followed by a covered dish dinner.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, June 9 at Sagrado Corazon at the Catholic Pastoral Center, 2800 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN 37214, at 10:30 a.m. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery at 3:00 p.m.

(Please note: All times are Central)

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Diocese of Nashville’s Seminarian Education Fund.

Bishop Choby was born in Nashville on Jan. 14, 1947 and baptized in the Cathedral of Incarnation where he was ordained a bishop. He is the son of Raymond and Rita Choby, both deceased. He has one sister, Diane C. Dyche of Fort Worth, Texas. He attended Catholic schools growing up, graduating from Father Ryan High School in 1965.

After spending one year at Aquinas College in Nashville, he entered the seminary at St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa. He also studied at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., before being ordained as a priest on Sept. 6, 1974 by Bishop Joseph A. Durick at St. Henry Church in Nashville.

He has served a number of assignments in the Diocese of Nashville. He was associate pastor at St. Joseph Parish, Madison, administrator of St. Ann Parish, and spent three years in residence at Christ the King Parish while working at the diocesan tribunal. From 1989 until his ordination as bishop, he served as pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Gallatin, where he has been active in the community and in the local ministerial association.

Bishop Choby holds a Canon Law degree from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and has worked at the diocesan tribunal throughout most of his priesthood. He was on the faculty of The Pontifical College Josephinum, a seminary in Columbus, Ohio between 1984 and 1989. He currently serves on the seminary’s board. He has served two five-year terms on the diocese’s Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors.

Bishop Choby was elected as diocesan administrator for the Diocese of Nashville by the diocesan College of Consultors in 2004 after Bishop Kmiec, was installed as the Bishop of Buffalo. Bishop Choby was installed fourteen months later as the 11th bishop of Nashville on Feb. 27, 2006. He is only the second priest of the diocese’s 169-year history to be tapped as its bishop; the others have all come from outside the diocese.

(Biographical information on Bishop Choby was provided by the Diocese of Nashville website)