The Next Bishop of Knoxville – Fr. James Mark Beckman

Deacon Scott MaentzHome page 1, Parish News

May 7, 2024
Pope Francis has appointed Father James Mark Beckman, 61, a priest of the Diocese of Nashville for more than three decades, as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville. The appointment was announced in Washington, D.C., on May 7, 2024, by Cardinal Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

“I am blessed and honored to accept this appointment from the Holy Father,” Bishop-elect Beckman said. “I am a native Tennessean, and I am grateful that I can continue serving the Church and now the faithful of the Diocese of Knoxville in this region that I know well and love tremendously.”

Press Conference

Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre will continue to lead the Diocese of Knoxville as apostolic administrator until Bishop-elect Beckman’s episcopal ordination in late July.

“I have known Bishop-elect Beckman for a long time,” Archbishop Fabre said. “We were seminarians together at the Catholic University in Louvain, Belgium many years ago. I believe in my heart that he will be a good shepherd for the faithful of the Diocese of Knoxville.”

Bishop-elect Beckman was born on October 19, 1962, in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., which is located within the Diocese of Nashville. He attended Sacred Heart School and Lawrenceburg County High School and received a bachelor’s degree in history from St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa in 1984. He also earned a master’s degree in religious studies from the Catholic University in Louvain, Belgium in 1988.

He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Nashville by Bishop James D. Niedergeses on July 13, 1990. He served as associate pastor of Holy Rosary Parish, Nashville (1990-91); teacher and associate principal of Father Ryan High School, Nashville (1990-96); pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Springfield, Tenn. and St. Michael Mission, Cedar Hill, Tenn. (1996-2002); pastor of St. Matthew Parish, Frankin, Tenn. (2002-15); and pastor of St. Henry Parish, Nashville (2015-present).

Bishop-elect Beckman has also served as director of priest personnel for the Diocese of Nashville since 2018.

“While our own hearts are saddened by the departure of such a dear friend and collaborator in ministry, we are joyful for our brothers and sisters in our neighboring diocese who are receiving such a kind, faithful, and capable new shepherd,” said Bishop J. Mark Spalding of the Diocese of Nashville.

Bishop-elect Beckman is an avid hiker and said he plans to continue his passion for the outdoors while serving in the Diocese of Knoxville.

“Over the years I have made many friends in the Diocese of Nashville, and I have much gratitude for the support they’ve given me. I look forward to nurturing the same meaningful relationships with the Catholic community in East Tennessee,” Bishop-elect Beckman said. “This is a wonderful diocese, and I am thrilled to be part of its future.”

On the Diocese of Knoxville website