The Bishop of Nashville, David R. Choby, has passed away at age 70.
Reports stated Bishop Choby died around 10 p.m. Saturday at Saint Thomas West Hospital. Bishop Choby had been undergoing treatment for injuries he sustained during a fall on February 7.
Those close to him said he suffered from a cut on the back of his head and damaged vertebrae in that fall at his home. A serious infection developed from the injuries. The infection was successfully treated and he underwent surgery.
Doctors said Bishop Choby made steady progress, but blood infections persisted. After multiple procedures, complications from the infection led to his death.
According to reports, Bishop Choby was born in Nashville. He was baptized in the Cathedral of Incarnation where he was ordained a bishop.
Bishop Choby was the son of Raymond and Rita Choby. He’s survived by his only sibling, Diane C. Dyche of Fort Worth, Texas.
He graduated from Father Ryan High School in 1965, spent a year at Aquinas College, entered the seminary at St. Ambrose College in Iowa, studied at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and was ordained as a priest on September 6, 1974.
In the Diocese of Nashville, Bishop Choby served as associate pastor at St. Joseph Parish in Madison and administrator of St. Ann Parish. He also spent three years in residence at Christ the King Parish while working at the diocesan tribunal.
Bishop Choby served as pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Gallatin from 1989 until his ordination as bishop.
The bishop held a Canon Law degree from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He was also on the faculty of The Pontifical College Josephinum, a seminary in Ohio, between 1984 and 1989.
In 2004, Bishop Choby was elected as diocesan administrator for the Diocese of Nashville by the diocesan College of Consultors and was installed fourteen months later as the 11th bishop of Nashville on February 27, 2006.
According to reports, Bishop Choby was only the second priest of the diocese’s 169 year history to become its bishop.
The director of communications for the Diocese of Nashville said Bishop Choby was the first bishop of Nashville to die while in office since Bishop Alphonse J. Smith in 1935.
Bishop Richard F. Stika with the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville released the following statement after hearing of Bishop Choby’s death:
”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.
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.”
Visitation for Bishop Choby has been set for 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 8 at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in the 2000 block of West End Avenue.
Visitation will also be held at St. John Vianney in the 400 block of North Water Avenue in Gallatin from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, June 9.
Bishop Choby’s funeral mass will be celebrated at Sagrado Corazon at the Catholic Pastoral Center in the 2800 block of McGavock Pike at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 10 followed by his burial at Calvary Cemetery at 3 p.m.
The family of Bishop Choby as requested that donations be made to the Diocese of Nashville’s Seminarian Education Fund in lieu of lowers.