A Vision for a Growing Church

This is an exciting time in the Diocese of Nashville. In recent years, we have witnessed the growth of our parishes, rising enrollment in our schools, flourishing priestly vocations and the expansion of outreach ministries across our region. God has blessed our local Church in so many ways!

As stewards of His abundant gifts, we have embarked on A Legacy of Faith, Hope and Love Campaign to provide for the needs of our growing Catholic community – now and for many years to come.

Your joyful and generous support of this campaign will impact every aspect of Catholic life in our diocese. With guidance from the Holy Spirit, I know that together we will successfully build up the Church in Middle Tennessee.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support! Know of my prayers for you.

Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding
Bishop of Nashville

A Legacy of Faith, Hope, and Love

For more than 180 years, the Diocese of Nashville has served the spiritual needs of Catholics in Middle Tennessee. We have been truly blessed with dedicated priests, deacons, school administrators and parishioners who exhibit the character and heart of Christ and work to build His Kingdom. 

Our Catholic population is continually growing and becoming more diverse, fueled by the Nashville area’s flourishing economy and expansion. Our diocese is at a pivotal time in its long history, and the extraordinary growth in Middle Tennessee presents many new opportunities. 

Through careful study and strategic planning, the diocese has identified priorities that will strengthen our parishes and vocations, and increase accessibility to our churches, schools and social services. The theme that emerged from this thorough planning will now stand as our campaign theme as we look to impact our faith community for generations to come: A Legacy of Faith, Hope and Love. 

Campaign Priorities

The diocesan vision to empower A Legacy of Faith, Hope and Love combines bolstering current endowments and providing immediate funding for urgent projects at our parishes. Resources gathered through this campaign will provide long-term, sustainable funding to five key areas:

  • Catholic Education
  • Parish Share Priorities
  • Priestly Vocations
  • Parish Growth and Expansion
  • Helping Our Neighbors in Need


Our parishes and schools are the cornerstone of our Catholic lives and are the places where we encounter Christ most profoundly. The Legacy Campaign will support the continued growth and expansion of parishes, enabling us to serve even more Catholic families across Middle Tennessee. In addition, campaign funds will help to cover the cost of education and formation for five additional seminarians each year. 


Securing $7.5 million for vocations will generate an additional $375,000 each year. With an average yearly cost of $75,000 per seminarian, this will allow us to educate at least five more seminarians per year. By increasing the current endowment, the diocese will gain a permanent and sustainable source of income, allowing us to educate more seminarians, increase vocations and support priests into ministry. 


    • Impact the 20 seminarians currently in formation 
    • Cover costs for five additional seminarians each year 
    • Support priests serving our growing Catholic community 

Parish Growth and Expansion

As residential expansion continues throughout Middle Tennessee, a growing number of the faithful live in areas without a Catholic church or school nearby. In fact, nine of our 38 counties do not have a Catholic church. This funding will help acquire land and buildings for additional churches and schools and will assist in expanding existing facilities that have become too small for growing communities. 


    • Help meet the needs of the nearly 90,000 Catholics in our diocese 
    • Enable parishes and schools to expand as the population grows 
    • Help establish new parishes and schools in underserved counties 


Hope is central to our lives as disciples of Jesus. Together, we are building up a spirit of hope by securing a strong future for our local Catholic schools and parishes. Through this campaign, we will build up the Advancement of Catholic Education (ACE) endowment and raise funds to help parishes across the diocese meet the immediate needs of their faith families. 

Catholic Education

A more robust endowment for Catholic education will enable the diocese to provide an exceptional educational experience for more children, strengthen academic programs, and help students and families alike grow on their journey of life. Adding $20 million to the existing $6 million endowment will create approximately 500 additional scholarships per year based on the average award amount. 


    • Provide additional scholarship opportunities for Catholic families 
    • Help make Catholic education more affordable and accessible 
    • Strengthen our Catholic school system – now and for the future 

Parish Needs

Each parish in the diocese has specific needs to address in order to grow and prosper. Therefore, the campaign will return 25 percent of donations identified with individual parishes back to them for the unique needs and projects of their community. The overarching hope is to increase vitality in each parish, promote participation in parish life, and evangelize and serve the faithful and the community. 


    • Help meet unique, immediate needs of your parish 
    • Renew and enliven your parish’s mission and ministries 
    • Promote a culture of stewardship and generosity


Helping Neighbors in Need

As the social service arm of the diocese, Catholic Charities is one of the most respected faith-based nonprofits in Middle Tennessee. But the organization’s current funding model – primarily local, state and federal contracts and grants, along with diocesan and community support – cannot keep pace with the increasing demand for services.  

By creating a substantial endowment for those in need through Catholic Charities, the diocese will equip it to serve our neighbors in need even more fully. Reaching the overall goal of $5 million will provide an additional $250,000 annually to support this important work. 


    • Impact the lives of nearly 20,000 people served per year 
    • Extend outreach services to all 38 counties of our diocese 
    • Provide sustainable funding for the work of Catholic Charities 

Frequently Asked Questions

A Legacy of Faith, Hope and Love is an opportunity for Catholics across Middle Tennessee to come together to build up God’s Church across our region, now and for many years to come. Funds raised through this one-time campaign will provide sustainable, long-term endowment funding for the priorities outlined in the case for support. Additionally, this campaign will strengthen parishes across the diocese by returning 25 percent of all funds raised at a particular parish back to that parish to address the needs and projects of their choosing.

Bishop’s Annual Appeal for Ministries is a yearly appeal that covers the ongoing operating expenses associated with the ministries and services of the Diocese of Nashville. As our local Catholic community continues to grow, so will the cost of providing these ministries and services. Bishop’s Annual Appeal for Ministries is about addressing today’s needs, while the Legacy Campaign is about building up the Church for future generations. Together, the appeal and the campaign will provide critical funding to ensure that the diocese can adequately address the needs of those served – not just for one year or three years, but for many years to come.

On a diocesan level, the entire campaign will run through October 2022. On a parish level, there are three campaign waves. A parish’s particular wave will run for six to seven months. That includes preparation, appeals and follow-up phases. The active appeals period will last two to three months. Pledges can be fulfilled over a three-year period, or over any period a donor wishes.

Ask amounts are based on several factors: planning study results, families’ history of parish support, input from church leadership, and the understanding that for this to be successful it will require sacrificial gifts. In other words, if the amount you are asked for is more than you anticipated, it generally means that you have been a generous supporter of your parish and/or the diocese and is an indication of the challenge we face in reaching our goal. Through this campaign, we are asking everyone to consider supporting their parish and the diocese in a meaningful and sacrificial way and in a manner that works well for each family. It is not our intention to offend or embarrass anyone. The amount requested is NOT an expectation. It is an invitation to participate at a level that is sacrificial and meaningful to you and your family. We will be grateful for any support you offer.

Pledges allow donors to consider giving more than is possible through one-time gifts. Parishioners can be more generous to their parishes’ campaign and the diocese through incremental giving over time. Additionally, pledging is not as big a strain on household budgets. This is important in a campaign of this magnitude.

There will be several ways to make a gift or make payments on your pledge to the campaign, including:

  • Setting up a pre-authorized gift (automatic withdrawal) from a checking account
  • Setting up an automatic credit card payment
  • Paying by cash or check through the mail
  • Making a stock or securities transfer

Gifts of cash and appreciated securities are the most common. But trust and estate gifts are welcomed. Donors considering a planned gift should contact the diocese’s Director of Stewardship and Development, Ashley Linville, at 615-645-9768 to discuss available options.

Gifts to the campaign are eligible for charitable tax credits that can significantly reduce the amount of tax you pay. The specific tax credit received is based on the amount of your gift and your taxable income. Donors with specific questions regarding tax benefits should contact their attorney or financial adviser.

There is no penalty for not achieving goal, as long as the parish puts forth a “good faith effort.”

Each parish in the diocese has specific needs to address in order to grow and prosper. Therefore, the campaign will return 25 percent of all donations identified with an individual parish back to that parish for their unique needs and projects. In addition, once a parish exceeds its campaign goal, that parish will receive 75 percent of funds raised over goal for their parish share projects. Strengthening local parishes is an essential part of this historic campaign, and the parish share component will help parishes expand ministries, improve facilities and better meet the needs of those they serve.

Transparency is a top priority for the diocese. The diocese publishes its audited financial reports and distributes an annual report to households. The complete audit report is on the diocesan website. The status of A Legacy of Faith, Hope and Love Campaign will be published. Regular fundraising updates are communicated through several avenues – the website, emails, social media, to name a few.

The endowment funds are invested in equity and fixed funds, which are selected based on recommendations of our volunteer Investment Committee with input from a variety of investment managers (for example Regions, CBIS, American Funds, Baird). The committee is composed of investment advisory professionals. We benchmark the S&P 500 and other indexes (international, small, medium, large cap: growth or value, fixed or varying duration). We earn near the benchmark. For the last fiscal year, returns ranged from 22 percent to 31 percent.

Funds raised during the campaign will be held in a segregated account, in trust for the parishes and ministries for which they were raised. Both civil and canon law require the diocese to use the gifts we receive for the stated purposes for which they were given – an obligation to which we are fully committed.

Frankly, we hope you continue to support your parish directly through your regular Sunday giving. This campaign is not intended to divert funds that go toward normal operating needs. The campaign is a special effort to meet needs that go beyond the routine and that can help to set up parishes (and the diocese) to thrive for years to come. In short, supporting this campaign is supporting your parish directly – as well as other parishes in need and various diocesan ministries.

Ways to give

There are many ways to give that both meet your needs and support the Diocese of Nashville. The most common way to support the campaign is through a three-year pledge. Pledges are commitments made in good faith but are not legally binding. Pledge commitments can be fulfilled through monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual installments over the three-year pledge period.  

We encourage all donors to consider a 10-20 percent initial payment. More detailed information will be published in parishes, as the campaign progresses over the coming months. If you have questions about gifts of stocks, bonds or mutual funds, or if you would like to discuss planned giving options, contact Ashley Linville, Director of Development, at ashley.linville@dioceseofnashville.com

If you have not already been asked for a gift or a pledge, you will be when the campaign launches at your parish. You may receive a call from a volunteer requesting a visit or call with you, or you may receive a pledge card and return envelope.

Campaign Leadership

Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding, J.C.L.
Bishop of Nashville


Chancellor Brian Cooper, Chair

Rev. Austin Gilstrap

Mrs. Rebecca Hammel

Very Rev. John Hammond

Mr. Ashley Linville

Mrs. Judy Orr

Mr. William Whalen, Sr.



Mrs. Elizabeth & Mr. Lloyd Crockett

Mrs. Anne Cunningham &

Mr. Joseph Orville Maddux

Mrs. Margaret & Mr. Richard Manning

Mrs. Teresa & Mr. Michael Nacarato, Jr.

Mrs. Anita & Mr. Michael Shea


Mrs. Lucy & Mr. Marty Blair

Mrs. Christine & Mr. John Donnelly



Dr. Carolyn & Mr. Clark Baker

Mrs. Sandy & Mr. Francis Bedard

Mrs. Linda & Mr. David Bohan

Mrs. Betty Lou & Mr. James Burnett

Mrs. Valerie & Mr. Brian Cooper

Mrs. Lynda Evjen

Mrs. Elizabeth & Mr. John Gromos

Mrs. Cathy & Mr. Mike Kelly

Mrs. Lynn & Mr. William Krueger

Mr. Gino Marchetti

Mrs. Rebekah & Mr. Greg Pope

Mrs. Anita &  Mr. Gregory Sandfort

Mrs. Sally &  Mr. Edward Stack

Mrs. Jeanne & Mr. William Stejskal, III

Mrs. Valarie & Mr. John Stockdale

Mrs. Carol & Mr. William Whalen, Sr.


Very Rev. John Hammond, Chair

Very Rev. Eric Fowlkes

Rev. Austin Gilstrap

Very Rev. Joseph McMahon

Very Rev. Christiano Nunes

Very Rev. Justin Raines

Very Rev. Daniel Reehil

Deacon Hans Toecker




Mr. Ashley Linville



Steier Group

Contact Us

If you have questions or would like more information about the Legacy Campaign, contact:

Ashley Linville
Director of Stewardship and Development


Let us respond to the challenges of our time by working together as laborers in the vineyard to build a Catholic community where our children are safe, educated and loved, our parishes are vibrant, and Jesus’ model of servant leadership is lived."
J. Mark Spalding


  • St. Anthony Church
  • St. Martha Church
  • St. Henry Church
  • St. Lawrence Church
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
  • Our Lady of the Lake Church
  • St. Pius X Church
  • St. John the Evangelist Church
  • Immaculate Conception Church
  • St. Catherine Church
  • St. Vincent DePaul Church
  • St. Francis of Assisi Church
  • Sacred Heart Church (Lawrenceburg)
  • Sacred Heart Church (Loretto)
  • St. Joseph Church (St. Joseph)
  • St. Philip the Apostle