Faith on the Border

East Tennessee is home to parishes that serve both sides of the state line

By Dan McWilliams
Photography by Stephanie Richer

The universal Church always has transcended geographical borders. Nowhere is that more evident than in East Tennessee.

Yes, East Tennessee is blessed with several Catholic churches located in border towns that straddle, or nearly straddle, the state line. Some are in the Diocese of Knoxville, and some are across the lines in neighboring dioceses. Read more…

  • Shelter from a Sevier firestorm

    Diocese of Knoxville distributes nearly $369,000 to assist victims of the Gatlinburg fires

    By Bill Brewer

    Karla Amador now can breathe a deep sigh of relief, something she struggled to do on Nov. 28, 2016, and in the days and weeks following the now-historic date.

    Nearly nine months after the Gatlinburg wildfires reduced everything her family owned to ashes, Mrs. Amador and her husband, José Roberto Figueroa, and their son, Brayan, are piecing together their lives with the aid of the generous assistance they have received from their Sevier County neighbors, including St. Mary Parish in Gatlinburg and the Diocese of Knoxville. Read more…

    Calendar fundraiser to aid tuition assistance

    Participating schools, parishes to benefit when sales begin in September; cash prizes included

    By Bill Brewer

    Would you support Catholic education for 10 cents a day?

    The answer to that question is key to the success of a new fundraising program Diocese of Knoxville schools are launching in September to increase tuition-assistance funding for students in need.

    If the answer is yes, then does the diocese have an offer for you. Read more…

    Cardinal Dziwisz to attend Cathedral dedication

    Longtime Vatican official and secretary to St. John Paul II to be among dignitaries at special Mass

    By Jim Wogan

    A participant and witness to some of the most dramatic moments in the history of the Catholic Church in the 20th century is coming to the Diocese of Knoxville, both as a celebrant and a speaker. Read more…

  • Eclipse illustrates God’s creation to astronomers of all ages

    The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. – Psalm 19:1

    When darkness descended on East Tennessee in the early afternoon of Aug. 21, astronomers of all ages looked to the sky to see the alignment of the moon between the sun and earth. And for those who ventured into the path of totality, that alignment was perfect, creating a sunburst of light around the moon called a corona.
    Read more…

    Funeral Mass celebrated for Deacon Norman George Amero

    A funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 8 at St. Mary Church in Oak Ridge for Deacon Norman George Amero, who died Aug. 1 at his home after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 77.

    Bishop Richard F. Stika was the principal celebrant of the Mass. Concelebrating were priests of the Diocese of Knoxville, with deacons from the diocese also taking part. Father Michael Sweeney, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Harriman, St. Ann Parish in Lancing, and St. Christopher Parish in Jamestown, gave the homily. Read more…

    Rep. Fleischmann: ‘Don’t let the bad guys win’

    Congressman who was in the crosshairs of ballpark shooter vows to protect sanctity of life, upend culture of death

    By Bill Brewer

    Congressmen Chuck Fleischmann and Steve Scalise thought there was no safer place in the country than a neighborhood ballfield where friends, colleagues, and even political foes could get together in fellowship for a fun game of baseball.

    Sadly, a gunman’s anger with the federal government and bullets from his high-powered rifle shattered that ideal. Read more…


He dwells among us: Teachable moments
By Bishop Richard F. Stika

The Holy Spirit educates us on all things, and the Church is His schoolhouse, where we must always be open to learning or risk becoming spiritual dropouts

Another school year has begun, and we pray for the safety and success of our teachers, school administrators, and students. Here, I particularly think of the blessing of our Catholic schools and the great education they provide. I am always awed by the dedication of our teachers and school administrators, who work so hard to provide their students with the very best learning experience possible. Read more…

Living the readings: Things are not what they seem
By Father Joseph Brando

What did Jesus want to accomplish during his public ministry?

You may have noticed that this column has been adjusting to the publishing schedule of The East Tennessee Catholic.

Over the long haul this column has developed from a bi-weekly format to a monthly, and now we come to you every other month. In the process I’ve learned that the interval between columns changes the very nature of the article. 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: A view from on high
By George Valadie

We may not see each other as God sees us, which can be very humbling

Our youngest daughter recently moved back to Chattanooga and found an apartment downtown. We love to visit her and pretend we are cool. We take her to all the trendy places for dinner.

She lives on the top floor of a renovated building and has a beautiful view of the skyline. It’s breathtaking. She loves it, and we love it for her. But sometimes we still worry about her safety. Read more…

Marriage Enrichment: Is your marriage an evangelization tool?
Marian Christiana

Couples can model the qualities of positive marriages to the outside world by serving as mentors to others

Have you ever considered your marriage to be an evangelization tool? I have to admit that until I started working for the Office of Marriage Preparation and Enrichment the thought never really crossed my mind. My husband, Ralph, and I would discuss what effect our marriage would have or was having on our children over the years. Read more…