New Memphis bishop an advocate of minority issues

New Memphis bishop an advocate of minority issues

New Memphis bishop an advocate of minority issues

Bishop Martin Holley, a former auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., was installed as the fifth Bishop of Memphis on Oct. 19. (Credit: Patrick McPartland/Western New York Catholic.)

The new Bishop of Memphis, Martin D. Holley, named to the job by Pope Francis on Tuesday, is a former auxiliary bishop in Washington, D.C., under Cardinal Donald Wuerl, with a track record of pastoral service and advocacy on behalf of minority communities.

ROME — On Tuesday the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has named Martin D. Holley, currently Auxiliary Bishop of Washington D.C. and an advocate of minority issues, as the new Bishop of Memphis, Tenn.

After serving 12 years as Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Washington, Holley has been appointed the fifth Bishop of Memphis, a city sometimes called “The Good Samaritan on the banks of the Mississippi.”

“Bishop Holley has demonstrated both pastoral sensitivity and administrative ability that should serve him well as he now undertakes his new ministry in western Tennessee,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington D.C., in an Aug. 23 press release announcing the bishop’s appointment.

“We rejoice that the Church of Memphis is receiving such a talented and caring pastor of souls.”

Holley, 61, was born Dec. 31, 1954, in Pensacola, Fl. and ordained a priest for the diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee in 1987. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Washington D.C. by Pope St. John Paul II May 18, 2004.

His appointment at Bishop of Memphis was announced in an Aug. 23 communique from the Vatican. He will be taking over for Bishop Terry Steib S.V.D., who has retired after reaching the age limit.

The bishop was a member of several diverse organizations over the years, such as the International Catholic Foundation for the Service of Deaf People, reflecting his concern for those on the outskirts of society.

Holley’s commitment to protecting the dignity of every human person, including those in minorities, is demonstrated by his service on a number of committees for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, including the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; Pro-Life Activities; and the Subcommittee for Hispanic Affairs.

While in Washington, he also served on multiple committees for Cultural Diversity, as well as subcommittees for Africa; African-American Catholics; Laity, Women, Children and Youth; and Migration.

As the former Moderator of the Ethnic Ministries, Holley was responsible for addressing the pastoral needs of the various ethnic and language communities within the Archdiocese of Washington.

Actively involved with youth in the Archdiocese of Washington, he joined pilgrims at World Youth Days in Cologne, Germany in 2005; in Madrid, Spain in 2011; and most recently in Krakow, Poland.

He also served on the boards for the D.C. and Maryland Catholic Conferences, and was a member of the archdiocesan College of Consultors, the Presbyteral Council, the Seminarian Review Board, the Administrative Board, and was Chairman for the College of Deans.

“While we will miss his presence here in Washington, we wish him every blessing,” Wuerl said.

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