‘For your faithful, Lord, life is changed, not ended’

Cathechizing through Catholic cemeteries in the Diocese of Knoxville

By Bill Brewer

As the Diocese of Knoxville plans for the future and identifies areas of growth and need, Bishop Richard F. Stika and diocesan leaders are looking at Catholic population trends, parishes, schools… and cemeteries.

Two Catholic cemeteries now serve the diocese and its 65,000-plus members, but Bishop Stika hopes to change that.

Calvary Cemetery, the only Catholic burial site serving the greater Knoxville area, is nearing capacity, prompting the bishop to begin a process of identifying the location of a new Catholic cemetery for the part of the diocese represented by the Smoky Mountain and Cumberland Mountain deaneries.
Read more…

  • Diocesan marriage tribunal to be established by July 2020

    In a decree dated April 10, Bishop Richard F. Stika announced his intent to establish a marriage tribunal for the Diocese of Knoxville by July 2020.

    Bishop Stika has said the diocese is now large enough to handle its own marriage cases and should form its own tribunal to review them. Since its founding in 1988, the diocese has been considered too small to form and maintain its own tribunal and has taken its marriage cases to the Diocese of Nashville Marriage Tribunal for review and adjudication. Read more…

    Cornerstone of faith

    Bishop Stika marks key step in construction of the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

    By Bill Brewer

    The Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus reached an important — and symbolic — milestone March 25 when Bishop Richard F. Stika unveiled the cathedral cornerstone during a liturgical service at the diocese’s new mother church.

    It was, in effect, the first service inside the church, as some 400 people were on hand to witness the moment and see up close how the building project is progressing. Read more…

    Diocesan school system achieves accreditation

    AdvancED team evaluates all 10 schools, says they meet or exceed high standards

    By Bill Brewer

    The Diocese of Knoxville’s school system has been given two thumbs up for its accreditation efforts following a two-year evaluation process involving all 10 diocesan schools. Read more…

    ‘Historic’ KCHS boys basketball team reaches state finals

    Knoxville Catholic finishes 31-2 after posting a 28-game winning streak and going wire to wire ranked No. 1

    By Dan McWilliams

    The Knoxville Catholic High School boys basketball team’s dream of its first-ever state championship ended in the title game, but the Fighting Irish finished as one of the greatest teams in school history and earned a milestone victory for their head coach along the way. Read more…

  • Cathedral is making room for Holy Family Memorial Garden

    By Bill Brewer

    When the new Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus opens next year, among its many features will be a memorial garden with burial spaces for bishops who have served the Diocese of Knoxville and a columbarium where Catholic faithful in the diocese can be laid to rest.

    Father David Boettner, rector of the cathedral parish, said the Holy Family Memorial Garden is set for completion by the end of this year and will be located toward the rear south side of the cathedral in an area between the new church building, Sacred Heart Cathedral School, and the Chancery. Read more…

    A faith reboot

    As Easter nears, more than 200 believers prepare to enter the Church in East Tennessee.

    By Dan McWilliams

    Candy Chandler, looking to join a new faith community, visited the Our Lady of Fatima Church parking lot in Alcoa numerous times in 2015 without ever going in to Mass. Then she met parishioner Mary Ann Edmundson.

    “I had been in that parking lot 10 times, but I just didn’t have the courage to get out and approach anybody because I didn’t really know, I had never been to a Catholic service, but the Lord was leading me that way,” Mrs. Chandler said. Read more…

    St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic to start serving Sevier County residents

    By Jim Wogan

    The St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic, a 10-wheeled mobile medical ministry operated by the Diocese of Knoxville, will begin serving residents living in fire-ravaged areas near Gatlinburg starting in late April.

    “We are trying to meet the needs of the population that’s been there all along, but invisible. Now (because of the fires) they are sort of more exposed,” said the clinic’s medical director, Sister Mariana Koonce, RSM, MD. Read more…

    Fairfield Glade Knights give help to fire victims

    Knights of Columbus Council 16088 of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Fairfield Glade recently provided assistance to victims of the fire disasters in the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge area.

    The help came about when the council asked Father Antony Punnackal, CMI, pastor of St. Mary in Gatlinburg, what they could do to assist his parish. Read more…


He Dwells Among Us
By Bishop Richard F. Stika

Do not neglect the beauty and comfort of a Catholic funeral Mass

“Go to Joseph!” (Gn 41:55) These words of urgent counsel were spoken by Pharaoh to those seeking relief in ancient Egypt from the great drought and famine that afflicted the land. In this Joseph of the Old Testament (Gn 37-50), we have a beautiful foreshadowing of St. Joseph in the New Testament. As the Old Testament patriarch was entrusted by Pharaoh with feeding the people with the bread of their survival, so God entrusted to St. Joseph the “Bread of Life” for our eternal salvation. Because tradition holds that St. Joseph died in the arms of Jesus and Mary, the Church encourages us to “Go to Joseph” and entrust ourselves to him as the “patron of a happy death.” Read more…

Living the readings
By Father Joseph Brando

The Lord is with us—in the Kingdom all is light

Spring brings the earth to life. The air is warmer; the grass is greener; the sunsets are later; and our lives become more enjoyable. However, it isn’t merely the movement of stars and planets that makes this season so delightful.

Consider the role of the divine responding to our prayers that makes relationships among people bearable and even downright exquisite. Without our Creator’s intervention into human affairs our lives would not be worth living. Read more…

Understanding the sacraments
Fr. Randy Stice

The performance character of and the sacramentality of the Word are two aspects not fully appreciated today

In a previous column, I introduced the new Lectionary Supplement and briefly discussed aspects of the Word of God in the liturgy. In this column, I would like to look more closely at the Word of God in the Church’s liturgy. Read more…

Praying for Perspective
By George Valadie

Do we share our personal stories or hide them away?

It’s got to be about a month now at least, and it probably felt really good to get back to work.

The holiday weekend seemed so long ago now; you know how it is. There’s all that lead-up, the preparation, the anxiety. Boom, it’s here, then barely over and our lives resume.

Not to mention the trip just to get there. Nine hundred miles is a jaunt even today. Admit it; most of us have no desire to drive that far, no matter who or what waits at the other end. Add a little danger to the journey, and home probably never looked so good. Read more…

Marriage enrichment corner
Marian Christiana

The Holy Father’s annual Lenten messages from 2013 onward keep one’s focus where it should be

Lent is a very bad time to take a vacation. I have trouble with self-denial as it is, but take me out of my routine and I am lost. Add a little disappointment to the mix and it is all but over. I started out strong, messed up in the middle, and now I’m working toward a strong finish. It is how we finish that counts. Right? As it turns out, Pope Francis helped me figure out how to get back on track. Read more…