The planning committee for the Mass of dedication for the new Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus has been formed and will be led by Bishop Richard F. Stika. Bishop Stika has set the dedication Mass for March 3, 2018.
The committee, which met for the first time on Feb. 10, is made up of 19 members, including Cardinal Justin Rigali, Father David Boettner, Father Joe Reed, Father Arthur Torres, Father David Carter, and Deacon Sean Smith. Discussion focused on liturgy, logistics, events, and communications.
Planning will continue as the dedication Mass date approaches.
As construction on the new cathedral continues, Bishop Stika has announced that the cathedral cornerstone will be placed March 25 at 11 a.m.
Bishop Stika said the Mass and rite of dedication of a church and its altar is one of the most solemn liturgical celebrations in the Catholic Church. The rite is sacred and dates back to the early years of the Church. He noted that the Mass and the rite will elevate “this beautiful structure into holiness.”
“This is exciting. This is something that began 28 years ago with the founding of our diocese,” Bishop Stika told the planning committee. “I remember talking about this with Monsignor (Xavier) Mankel, who remembers discussing building a cathedral with Bishop O’Connell, who said that we first must build a diocese. That was on the forefront of the history of the Church here in the Diocese of Knoxville. Finally, we are at that moment of dedicating a cathedral.
This will be an intrinsic part of our history.”