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Parishioners from across the Diocese of Knoxville gather together July 25 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church to fill food bags that will go to feed people in the African country Burkina Faso. The mission program was led by Catholic Relief Services and Helping Hands. Photo by Bill Brewer

Parishioners from across the Diocese of Knoxville gather together July 25 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church to fill food bags that will go to feed people in the African country Burkina Faso. The mission program was led by Catholic Relief Services and Helping Hands.
Photo by Bill Brewer

A highly organized assembly line of parishioners from across the Diocese of Knoxville gathered at St. Thomas the Apostle in Lenoir City on July 25 in an effort to help end hunger in Africa.

Those who took part in the Helping Hands project, sponsored by Catholic Relief Services, helped churn out 10,000 meal packages which will be shipped to people in Burkina Faso, a landlocked nation once known as Upper Volta, located in West Africa.

An estimated 50 volunteers, including members of the Knoxville Diocesan Council of Catholic Women and the St. Thomas Youth Group, wore hair nets and plastic gloves, and used plastic spoons, cups, and funnels to pour fortified rice and soy in to small plastic pouches.

The pouches were sealed and then placed in cardboard boxes for shipment.

Sally Jackson, a KDCCW coordinator, said it’s believed this was the first Helping Hands event held in the Diocese of Knoxville. It was also the last service project for the KDCCW 2015 Convention, which started in April.

Helping Hands, a program developed by Catholic Relief Services and Stop Hunger Now, is a high-energy, hands-on way for Catholics in the U.S to tackle hunger around the world. Michael Trujillo, a relationship manager for CRS said the organization educates volunteers about the people and country they are helping, ships the meals and provides skills training and other long-term programs that help break the cycle of hunger.

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Of prophets and kings

by Bill Brewer on July 10, 2015

By Father Joseph Brando

In modern times, the relationship between church and state is complex and difficult. The complication is due to multiple factors, including the migration of peoples, race, military power, the attitude of the people, and the power of one or more ethnic groups in the nation, among many other factors.

Father Joseph Brando

Father Joseph Brando

Things were much less complicated in the ancient world. When states were starting up there was a simple organization that solved the problem successfully. There were two individuals who held power, one in the post of chief of secular affairs and the other as the prophet or priest who was the chief religious figure.
The king was, by himself, the leader of the executive, judicial and executive department of government. He (and it was a post mostly filled by a male, with few exceptions) was in charge of everything with two exceptions. He would generally not intrude with religious affairs. Besides that, the ‘high priest’ would name the king’s successor and could depose the king if he proved incompetent. One great example would be Samuel in the Old Testament. With God guiding him, Samuel named and anointed Saul as the first King of Israel and replaced him with David after Saul proved unable to fulfill his duties.

We can learn a lot by looking at these two positions as choices that Jesus could make as he became a human being to be God’s living word to us. In a sense he had only one choice. Being born as a son of Judah, Jesus was in the class of kings. Joseph, his step-father, bent over backwards to get Mary to Bethlehem before she gave birth to Jesus so that he could rightfully take on the name of the son of David. That put the Lord high in the line of succession as king of Judah and of Israel should the high priest see him as a viable candidate. Maybe that was the thought of the 12-year-old Jesus, who opted to dialogue with the priests in the Jerusalem temple rather than go home to the small northern town of Nazareth. Also, Jesus seemed to prefer the title of son of David even to the end. That also can help explain why Pontius Pilate posted (perhaps, aware of his birthright) as the reason for Jesus’ crucifixion that He was the King of the Jews. Yet, Jesus was called a prophet by many of his followers and he seemed to enjoy that role more than king.

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Diocesan News

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