In 1976 when I was 22 and David was 25 we were both accepted by Bishop Raymond Lessard as seminarians for the Diocese of Savannah. Both of us were to be classmates at St. Mary Seminary and University in Baltimore. David was a convert to the Catholic Faith from the Southern Baptist Church.
Then during the summer of 1976 while we were both preparing for seminary life at St. Mary's in the fall of that year, for some inexplicable reason it was decided either by Bishop Lessard or the vocation director that David would go to Sacred Heart Seminary on Lover's Lane in Hales Corner, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee.
David and I were stunned as we had bonded over the summer of 1976 meeting up at my future parish where I would be pastor from 2004 to 2016, St. Joseph Church in Macon.
It was inexplicable that David, 25 years old (I was 22) would be sent off to a seminary catering to much older men, many of whom were widowers and second career candidates, well into their 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's if not even older.
That seminary experience didn't work out for him and he left the seminary and diocese to pursue other endeavors. But God's calling led him back to the seminary being accepted by the Archdiocese of Atlanta where he was actually born.
That led to his ordination, a stellar ministry, being named auxiliary bishop of Atlanta, then Bishop of Alexandria, Louisiana and now Bishop-Elect of Memphis. He is following a bishop who was forced to submit his resignation by Pope Francis.
If not for that faithful decision to send him to Hales Corner, Wisconsin on Lover's Lane, I think Bishop Talley would have flourished at my seminary where I flourished as well. He would have become a Savannah priest and I think he would not have taken the journey he is now on, but who knows.
So that faithful decision by our diocese led him to Atlanta and Alexandria and now Memphis. God's calling acts in mysterious ways. Ad multus annos to Bishop Talley.