The Face and Hands of Jesus

Bridge Ministry connects homeless community and Diocese of Knoxville volunteers

By Bill Brewer
Photography by Deacon Scott Maentz and Bill Brewer

Ministries serve God in a variety of ways. Some are formed with great resources and goals in mind. Many are merely seeds planted that take time to grow. And still others arise almost accidentally.

Knoxville’s Bridge Ministry, which is preparing to enter its third year serving the homeless community in Knoxville, can be counted under the third category. Read more…

  • Diocese of Knoxville parishes raise more than $400,000 for disaster relief

    Bishop Richard F. Stika has announced distributions for recent collections to assist hurricane and earthquake victims in the United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

    By Jim Wogan

    Through the generosity of its 51 parishes and mission churches, the Diocese of Knoxville raised more than $400,000 through a series of special collections that were initiated in late August and continued through late September. Read more…

    Good Shepherd marks 50th anniversary

    Bishop Stika joins Msgr. Hofstetter, Fr. Waraksa, parishioners in celebrating milestone

    By Dan McWilliams

    The first Mass at the Church of the Good Shepherd took place Sept. 24, 1967, and the Newport parish celebrated the 50th anniversary of that liturgy on the exact date this fall. Read more…

    New Music Commission formed to unify diocesan talents, resources

    Group will promote ways for parish music ministers to collaborate

    By Emily Booker

    The Diocese of Knoxville Music Commission held its inaugural meeting on Sept. 16 at the Chancery. Music directors representing parishes and schools across the diocese gathered to discuss how they can share their resources and talents with one another. The Music Commission was established by Bishop Richard F. Stika to “act as a liaison between the diocese, the cathedral, and parish musicians.” Read more…

    In a texting world, youth urged to have ‘subtext of love’

    Nearly 200 high school students and adults attend the annual Youth Mass, where many receive honors for their service

    By Bill Brewer

    Diocese of Knoxville youth are getting schooled on how to get engaged. OK, not that kind of engaged. We’re talking about more one-on-one engagement with others and less reliance on cell phones and social media to interact with people. Read more…

  • Farm-to-church-to-table

    Area produce featured as St. Mary Oak Ridge again hosts Winter Farmers Market

    By Dan McWilliams
    Photography by Bill Brewer

    St. Mary Parish and School in Oak Ridge are providing both a valuable opportunity for farmers and good food for the community by hosting the second annual Winter Farmers Market.. Read more…

    St. Teresa breaks ground on new church

    Parish lays foundation for growth with permanent worship site in Maynardville

    By Bill Brewer

    God is many things. The Creator, Father Almighty, Most High, and Maker of Heaven and Earth, among other apt descriptions.

    Father Steve Pawelk, GHM, and members of St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish in Maynardville and St. John Paul II Catholic Mission in Rutledge have lovingly bestowed another, albeitearthly, title on the Holy Spirit: General Contractor. Read more…

    2018 diocesan confirmations to be held in new cathedral

    To mark the dedication of the new Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on March 3 and the 30th anniversary of the Diocese of Knoxville’s founding, Bishop Richard F. Stika will celebrate the sacrament of confirmation for all diocesan parishes in the cathedral next spring.

    Bishop Stika is adjusting the confirmation Mass schedules only for 2018, after which all confirmations will return to the parishes. Read more…

    St. Mary-Johnson City has triple celebration

    The parish burns its church mortgage, honors Monsignor Bill Gahagan, and receives a Leadership Roundtable award

    By Dan McWilliams

    St. Mary Parish in Johnson City held a triple celebration Aug. 22.

    The parish burned the mortgage on its church building, honored former pastor and now-Monsignor Bill Gahagan, and announced that it had received a Leadership Roundtable award.

    And all of that took place on the memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the parish’s patron. Read more…


He dwells among us: Eternal friends
By Bishop Richard F. Stika

As a people of God, we need the help of our friends on earth and in heaven, and to be friends to those in need

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing forever and ever.” (Rev 5:12)

Words of heavenly worship that adorn the base of the dome of our new cathedral are those of the “new hymn” (Rev 5:9) that we join the saints of heaven in singing in every Mass. For the liturgy is not just an earthly celebration, but a participation in the heavenly liturgy with all the angels and saints. Read more…

Living the readings: Beginning at the end of the story
By Father Joseph Brando

An approach from the rear can prepare us for Advent

What we have here before you is an analysis of the next two months’ Sunday Mass readings. It starts at the 26th Sunday of the Church’s Ordinary Time (Oct. 1) and continues until the last Sunday of the ecclesial year at the feast of Christ the King on Nov. 26. This approach from the rear can help us to prepare our way to Advent, which will commence Dec. 3. We all know well that Advent prepares us for Christmas. Read more…

Understanding the sacraments: The ‘peculiar graces’ of the Mass
Fr. Randy Stice

The saints, including St. John of the Cross and St. Faustina, experienced this liturgical presence in profound ways

The meaning and power of the liturgical year was elegantly summarized by Vatican Council II: “Within the cycle of a year, moreover, she [the Church] unfolds the whole mystery of Christ, from the incarnation and birth until the ascension, the day of Pentecost, and the expectation of blessed hope and of the coming of the Lord” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 102). Read more…

Praying for perspective:We are all God’s creatures
By George Valadie

Whether well-heeled with the right papers or the more common variety, everyone should strive to be a best friend.

For some reason, I feel compelled to tell you about our dogs, the ones still with us and those of the past. Most all of us have had a pet at one time or another, haven’t we?

Our family’s choice has always been dogs, though some prefer cats, gerbils, birds; one time, my nephew got a really long, slimy-looking lizard thing. We didn’t visit much after that. Read more…

Marriage Enrichment: Can you be a marital ‘first responder’?
Marian Christiana

A new program in the diocese will help sustain marriages by tapping into the power of support networks

The Office of Marriage Preparation and Enrichment is introducing what we think is an exciting new training program called “Marital First Responders.” This program is developed by The Doherty Relationship Institute in Minnesota, and we hope that you will consider getting involved.

Marital First Responders training is a breakthrough way to help sustain marriages by tapping into the power of their support networks already in place. Read more…