'A Great Shepherd' Goes to Memphis

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By Melanie Williams (Aug 23, 2016)
The Most Reverend Martin David Holley, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and a vir aggregatus (associate member) of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, has been appointed by Pope Francis as the fifth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis in Tennessee.

"The Marians are very happy for Bishop Holley in his new assignment as Bishop of Memphis, Tennessee," said the Very Rev. Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, provincial superior for the Marian Fathers in the United States and Argentina. "We are happy because not only is he a beloved shepherd of the Catholic faithful, a man of deep faith, of great love and of tender heart, but also because he has been very close to our community and is spiritually associated with us as a vir aggregatus, a special Marian co-worker. For many years he has joined us for meals, participated in various celebrations (especially Divine Mercy Sundays), and has ordained several Marians to the diaconate and the priesthood. Young Marians know him well and deeply respect and love him. His spiritual association and friendship with us has been a true blessing for us."

The Very Rev. Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, vicar provincial of the Marian Fathers in the United States and Argentina, said, "I remember the first time I ever met Bishop Holley. It was at an ordination at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. I was so inspired by his homily because he spoke so lovingly and piously about the Blessed Virgin Mary; he even referred to Our Lady as the Mediatrix of All Grace. The Diocese of Memphis is gaining a great shepherd, a leader who is very much a son of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I have many friends in Memphis, and they are going to be overjoyed with their new bishop!"

Father Chris Alar, MIC, director of the Association of Marian Helpers, was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood by Bishop Holley. He commented on the breaking news of Bishop Holley's new appointment, saying, "In our age in the Church, we are blessed to have bishops like Bishop Holley. He is a great shepherd who provides his sheep clarity, love, and kindness, which is an example for many. I couldn't be happier to see him be made the bishop of Memphis. The diocese is receiving a great gift. It was the mercy of God which gave the Church the gift of Bishop Holley. We not only support and love him as an associate brother, but we are excited for the Church as a whole."

In addition to Fr. Chris Alar, Bishop Holley has also ordained the Marian priests Fr. Andy Davy, Fr. Angelo Casimiro, Fr. Ken Dos Santos, Fr. Ron McBride, Fr. John Larson, and Fr. Jim McCormack.

Bishop Holley was born on Dec. 31, 1954, in Pensacola, Florida. He is the eighth of 14 children and felt the call to the priesthood from a young age. He attended Theological College in Washington, D.C., and completed his seminary studies at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee on May 8, 1987.

He was named an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington by St. John Paul II. His episcopal ordination took place on July 2, 2004, at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C. Having developed a great devotion to St. Faustina and the message of Divine Mercy during his years as a priest, Bishop Holley chose "His Mercy Endures" as his episcopal motto.

Let us join in praying for Bishop Holley and the diocese of Memphis.

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Rebecca Commons - Nov 17, 2018

I am so sad that we only had him for a short while and feel whatever happened here in Memphis was unjustly. I’m still scratching my head about this decision made by Pope Francis.

Deacon Gabriel - Sep 12, 2016

Bishop Holley has been such a father to us and has been such a great example of encouragement and the love of God also to me through my years of formation with the Marians. It is painful to see him leave us, but God is in charge, and God wants to love Memphis through Bishop Holley. Our prayers are with you Bishop!

Brother Leonard Konopka MIC - Aug 24, 2016

Bishop Holley is a genuine Shepherd for the people he so admirably served here in Wash DC. He could never reply "No" to any requests we made of him during all these years. He also maintained that "Brotherly" spirit and cordial in every way.

I always admired his unique gift and ability to read a sermon but rendering it as if it was spontaneous. It always felt as if he spoke from his heart. He will be missed without question.
Our prayers and gratitude to God go with you BIshop Holley.

Eva - Aug 23, 2016

We are so happy to have Bishop Holley as our new Bishop in the Diocese of Memphis. We are already impressed with his love and his wit as well as his devotion to Our Lady. I know he will be a wonderful influence to us who need his encouragement. Blessings.

Fr. Angelo Casimiro, MIC - Aug 23, 2016

Bishop Holley ordained me to the priesthood on July 2, 2011, which also happened to be the anniversary of his episcopal ordination. I will always be thankful for his presence among our Marian community and for his great love for Divine Mercy, Our Lady, and the Little Flower. Congratulations Bishop Holly and God's blessings upon you as you shepherd the people of Memphis as their new bishop!

Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC - Aug 23, 2016

May God bless Bishop Martin in his new assignment! He is truly a Man of God!