A Temple of Your Glory

Dedication of the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is historic day in the life of the Church in East Tennessee

By Dan McWilliams
Photos by Stephanie Richer Photography, Deacon Patrick Murphy-Racey, and Stephen Golder

What a day for the Diocese of Knoxville.

In a ceremony 30 years in the making, Bishop Richard F. Stika dedicated and consecrated the sparkling new Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on March 3. A gathering of more than 1,000 witnessed the historic Mass that capped a three-year construction project and a three-decade- long dream.

“Sisters and brothers, we’ve done it,” Bishop Stika said in his greeting. “Something that has been in the thoughts and prayers of so many for these 30 years, beginning with the ordination of Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell and continuing with Archbishop Joseph Kurtz. Read more…

  • Conversation with the Cardinals

    A new cathedral dedicated to Christ, and the role of Pope St. John Paul II

    By Bill Brewer and Angel Brewer

    Opening weekend for the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus was all about Christ.

    Pope St. John Paul II had a role, too.

    And once the new cathedral had been dedicated March 3 and the first Masses celebrated, attention turned to the 263rd successor to the seat of St. Peter, who was the topic of discussion for the second Conversation with the Cardinals on March 4. Read more…

    Celebrating Jesus in Polish, Spanish

    Masses led by cardinal, apostolic nuncio give international flavor to dedication weekend

    By Bill Brewer

    The dedication of the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus was a sacred moment in history for the Diocese of Knoxville in more ways than one.

    Not only did Bishop Richard F. Stika breathe life March 3 into the diocese’s new mother church, where the Holy Spirit now resides, history was made again on March 4 when Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz and Archbishop Christophe Pierre celebrated Masses in Polish and Spanish. Read more…

    ‘It’s all about Jesus’

    We are building the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus for the glory of God -Bishop Stika

    By Bill Brewer

    Bishop Richard F. Stika is finding it hard to curb his excitement with less than 30 days before the eagerly awaited dedication of the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on March 3. Read more…

    Cathedral 101: Domus Dei is a study in Church history

    What you should know about the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

    By Emily Booker

    A cathedral is more than a massive building, although it is that. It is more than a gathering spot, although it is that as well. A cathedral is the heart of a religious community. It is the seat of the bishop, an heir to the Apostles. It is a spiritual home where families celebrate baptisms, first communions, confirmations, quinceañeras, marriages, and funerals.

    It is a sacred space, where we gather with one another and with the communion of saints to give glory to God. Read more…

  • Sacred Heart Parish ‘encounters’ new cathedral

    Father David Boettner invites faithful to seek Jesus when they worship in parish’s new church

    By Bill Brewer

    Incense from the three-hour rite of dedication for the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus had barely dissipated when Father David Boettner celebrated Sacred Heart Parish’s first Mass in the new building, the beginning of the next chapter in the history of the Diocese of Knoxville’s mother church.. Read more…

    Final diocesan service held in original Sacred Heart Cathedral

    Bishop Stika presides at vespers with Cardinal Rigali as building’s 61-year service as a church comes to an end

    By Dan McWilliams

    Celebrations at the original Sacred Heart Cathedral occurred on more than 3,200 Sundays in its 61-year history.

    The final Sunday celebration happened Feb. 25 as Bishop Richard F. Stika led a vespers service featuring the relics from the old cathedral’s altar and the relics for the new Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, dedicated March 3. The only remaining celebrations at the old cathedral, which will be converted to a parish hall, were daily Masses from Feb. 26 to March 1. Read more…

    Built for the Ages

    Merit Construction has all the tools to make cathedral project a success

    By Jim Wogan

    It would be nice to believe that construction of the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus followed every passage in sacred Scripture about building the Church, but, in fact, it didn’t.

    The house that King Solomon built for the Lord may have risen quietly, but any person who ventured into the work zone for the new mother church of the Diocese of Knoxville during the past three years was required to wear a hardhat. At certain times, protective ear muffs and safety glasses also would have been recommended. Read more…

    St. Michael Mission celebrates groundbreaking

    The six-year-old growing community in Erwin hopes to be in its new multipurpose building by Easter Sunday

    By Emily Booker

    The newest building project in the Diocese of Knoxville demonstrates the joy and growth of the Catholic Church in East Tennessee, even in rural, mountainous parts of the region. Read more…


He dwells among us: Beautiful cathedral, holy priesthood

The work of beautifying our soul must be a holy endeavor that continues throughout our mortal life

By Bishop Richard F. Stika

Since the dedication of the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on March 3, so many have commented to me how beautiful our new cathedral is. But as impressive as it is, St. Peter reminds us of another cathedral that is even more important to be built up and made more and more beautiful each day as a holy place of communion with God: our very heart and soul, where Christ’s Sacred Heart should reign supreme.

Pope St. John Paul II, from the beginning of his long pontificate, emphasized the importance of understanding and living out our baptismal share in the threefold office and mission of Christ: priest, prophet, and king. In exercising this divine office and mission of Christ, we grow more and more into His likeness and beauty as a dwelling pleasing to God as we help others to be built up by our example and works of mercy. Read more…

Living the readings: Our cathedral: the mission begins

The new Sacred Heart Cathedral joins all that came before it

By Father Joseph Brando

What is the function of the Church? One answer may be that the Church exists to make our Risen Lord present in every corner of the world and in every human soul. That job is daunting, if not impossible. Like any great challenge, that job description needs to be broken down into “doable” pieces. As the Church has come to know our Lord better throughout the ages, we can look at our risen Savior as priest, prophet, and king. Read more…

Praying for perspective: Building the kingdom of God is a test of faith

By George Valadie

It was 15 years ago in another city and diocese, but I remember as if it were yesterday.

The building had some shape and a whole lot of walls, but not much else really. Some sections didn’t even have a roof yet.

Dumb as it sounds, and bare as it was, we hoped to generate donor enthusiasm by offering after-hours guided tours of this new, though not ready, high school using little more than flashlights … in the dead of winter.

And remarkably, the people came. So many that we organized another tour, and then another.

I don’t know what we were thinking. Read more…

Marriage Enrichment: A month dedicated to love and romance

February is a time to focus on marital relationships and a time to celebrate long marriages

By Marian Christiana

February is nationally recognized as the month dedicated to love and romance. Feb. 14 is Valentine’s Day, a day when people celebrate the established loving relationships in their lives or the loving relationships they are hoping to add to their lives in the New Year.

In the beginning, Valentine’s Day was associated with romantic couples but now is seen in a much larger context. Today people take the opportunity to wish “Happy Valentine’s Day” to anyone they love—be it father, mother, teachers, siblings, friends, co-workers, or anyone special to them. The idea behind this tradition is to celebrate love, be loved, and give love to all those around us. Read more…