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: 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 …

Once upon a time: Giving is so much a part of Church teaching

Stewardship of financial resources and support of Bishop’s Appeal critical to a healthy diocese As I look back on nearly 75 years of formal education in the Catholic faith, I have many things for which to be grateful. My parents taught me the basic prayers, how to pray the rosary, …

Once upon a time: Jubilee celebration has enriched our lives

A new Church year brings with it opportunities to continue growing in faith and service to our Lord I often come away from a wake service for one of our beloved dead with the question popping in my head, “what’s next?” For many folks it involves several months of settling …

Once upon a time: Events have ‘wonderful effect on our lives’

A 1913 expo and the Eucharistic Congress both celebrated the past while looking ahead to the future A once-in-a-lifetime experience is usually good for us. Our recent Eucharistic Congress is an example of a quite rare event that can have a wonderful effect on our lives. Such exhibitions help us …

Once upon a time: Following the Catholic Church in real time

Faithful now have almost instant access to developments as information dirt trail turns into a superhighway My, how times have changed!” Grandmothers say this to granddaughters as a preface to negative remarks about ladies’ fashion that follow. Fathers may preface some remarks about wonderful improvements in the whole arena of …