June 12, 2016
It is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank you for your warm welcome and support of me as pastor of St. Mary’s. It has been a privilege to serve in this role for the past four years and to witness the growth – both spiritually and physically – of our parish.
I am happy to inform you that Fr. Jayd Neely has been named the new pastor of St. Mary’s Church. Many of you will recognize Fr. Neely as he has celebrated Masses at St. Mary’s from time to time over the last few years. I literally could not have balanced the parish and University Catholic without his help before Fr. Fye came as associate. He already knows and loves the parish. He is a good friend of mine, and he respects the liturgy, tradition, and history of St. Mary’s so I am confident that you are in very good hands. Currently, Fr. Neely is Associate Pastor at the Cathedral of Incarnation. He has been in that position since his ordination four years ago.
Bishop David Choby has given me a new assignment that will begin August 1. I will be moving to Columbus, Ohio to join the staff at Pontifical College Josephinum, where many of our Diocese’s seminarians are preparing for the priesthood. I will serve as a spiritual director for the seminarians, among other duties. I am honored by this assignment and look forward to returning to the Josephinum, where I went to seminary.
Of course, I will miss St. Mary's as well as University Catholic, and indeed Nashville itself. It has been exciting and challenging to serve these two assignments, but I am happy that the parish will have a full-time pastor as it continues to grow and develop. Fr. Neely will be able to give his full attention to the parish. Fr. Fye will be full-time chaplain for University Catholic. The transition will take place later in the summer.
Please pray for me in this new assignment and be assured of my prayers for you.
Fr. John Sims Baker, Pastor
PO BOX 190606 330 5th Avenue N Nashville, TN 37219 stmarysdowntown.org