Once upon a time: ‘Tis the season for the Prince of Peace

Christmas evokes memories of people who decorated our lives during the sacred holiday By Monsignor Xavier Mankel Christmas time again. While it’s one thing to wish peace on earth o people of good will, those sentiments won’t fit in all cases (as much as you and I wish such sentiments …

Once upon a time: Re-examining the ‘lost’ sacrament

With all the discussion going on these days about the sacrament of confirmation, remarks are in order about the “lost” sacrament of initiation. By Monsignor Xavier Mankel Our bishop will soon promulgate the time for the sacrament, with instructions for its celebration. The pastor historically has been the key person …

Once upon a time: Pray that God will grant the increase

Taking a look at the bishops among us provides hope in the future of the Church By Monsignor Xavier Mankel Sometimes comparisons can be helpful. Take dioceses as an example. The Diocese of Memphis has 10,682 square miles and 64,064 Catholics. The Diocese of Nashville has 16,302 square miles and …

Once upon a time: Beginning steps on the journey to heaven

By Monsignor Xavier Mankel Newspapers are filled these days with “back to school” news about youngsters’ beginning steps as they begin pre-K, or kindergarten, or any of the other early steps we all take, which, in retrospect, were tiny steps indeed. But at that moment, “the first time through” involved …

Once upon a time: Out of step with the normal

Praying for five servicemen, their families, and the Chattanooga community By Monsignor Xavier Mankel The Chattanooga area, tucked in the southeast corner of Tennessee, is no stranger to bloodshed – dating all the way to Indian days. Granted, most of the time since the Spanish landed in Florida near the …

Once upon a time: Keep cool and remain faithful

By Monsignor Xavier Mankel Although there are some vestiges of the summers of yesteryear still around, the pace that you and I face June, July and August differs measurably from yesteryear. Refrigerated air-conditioning is partially responsible for this. No matter how hot the temperature, we work, worship and relax at …

Once upon a time: Catholicism’s westward journey

Christ is as present today in Diocese of Knoxville as he was in early days of the Church It was the mid ‘60s of the first century of the Christian era. Our first Holy Father was well into his fourth decade as Christ’s vicar on earth. The Church was well-established …

Once upon a time: Sharing stories of Christmases past

There was a time when midnight Mass was a 5 a.m. liturgical celebration Midnight Mass hasn’t always been held at midnight. One of Pope Pius XII’s last great gifts to the Church was the beginning of the restoration of Easter Vigil (time of day and language). By the time the …

Once upon a time: The warm, friendly confines of home

Campaign to build up Church in East Tennessee promises to be a blessing to all of us As a child I suffered from asthma — so much so that I sometimes had to sleep in a chair in an upright position for days, weeks, or months at a time. If …

Once upon a time: Road to heaven should be traveled with love

Incorporating Scripture into a trip, regardless of the distance, will deepen your spiritual journey About two millennia ago, a teenaged Jewish girl (shall we name her Miriam?) who lived in the northern third of the Holy Land (Galilee) got wind that her older cousin, Elizabeth, who lived in the hill …

Once upon a time: Sacrifice is at the heart of Catholic education

Diocesan schools and their faculty always strive for excellence – in good times and bad Public schools in the South had it very hard during the Depression years and still produced some of the intellectual lights of the 20th century. Underfunded, they made do with what they had, held more …

Once upon a time: We can value the past by investing in future

Schools, churches, cathedral point to growth of Catholicism in East Tennessee that has foundation in history If the history of our Diocese of Knoxville had ended with its first anniversary on Sept. 8, 1989, a much different story would have been told. So I look forward to the final diocesan …