The Legacy of St. Mary’s

Mobile clinic has ‘arrived’ as it marks fifth anniversary delivering free medical care in East Tennessee

Story by Bill Brewer
Photography by Stephanie Richer

The Diocese of Knoxville ended 2018 mourning the loss of East Tennessee’s first Catholic hospital, the former St. Mary’s, that closed Dec. 28. But the healing hands of Jesus are still at work through the Sisters of Mercy and the St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic, which begins 2019 by marking its fifth anniversary.

Bishop Richard F. Stika, who conceived the idea for the legacy clinic after St. Mary’s Hospital was acquired by a for-profit company in 2011, is celebrating the mobile clinic’s anniversary as a testament to the Catholic Church’s mission of being the face, hands, feet, and heart of Jesus, as well as the healing legacy of the Sisters of Mercy. Read more…

  • Diocese of Knoxville seeks state permission to exhume Father Ryan remains

    Lawsuit would clarify state law on disinterment for the cause of sainthood

    By Daniel Jackson / Courthouse News Service

    Faced with no clear statutory procedure in Tennessee to exhume the body of a priest it hopes to canonize, the Catholic Church has asked a court in Chattanooga to cut through ambiguous law.

    The Diocese of Knoxville filed a petition in Hamilton County Chancery Court against the Hamilton County Department of Health, asking the court to order the county to issue a permit so it can exhume and move the remains of Father Patrick Ryan, who died during a yellow fever epidemic 140 years ago. Read more…

    Tennova closing former St. Mary’s Hospital

    East Tennessee’s first Catholic medical center to be shuttered Dec. 28, longtime Sisters of Mercy to relocate

    By Dan McWilliams

    An 88-year-old tradition will end Dec. 28 when Physicians Regional Medical Center in North Knoxville, formerly long known as St. Mary’s Medical Center, will close its doors.Read more…

    Witness to Sainthood

    Pope Paul VI is the second papal saint Cardinal Justin Rigali has served

    By Bill Brewer

    Cardinal Justin Rigali had yet another front seat to history on Oct. 14 when Pope Francis canonized St. Paul VI and five others who led exemplary lives in serving the Catholic Church. For Cardinal Rigali, the historic moment was especially poignant since he worked closely with Pope St. Paul VI for the last eight and a half years of the Holy Father’s life beginning in 1970. Read more…

  • A Chaplain’s Last Wish

    Father Frank Brett, whose bequest will help Diocese of Knoxville students, will be buried with fallen chaplain brother

    By Dan McWilliams

    The legacy of Father Frank Brett lives on in East Tennessee after two of his nephews presented a check for $265,000 from the late priest’s estate to go toward tuition support in the Diocese of Knoxville. Read more…

    St. Bridget Church celebrates 50th anniversary

    The parish’s church building turns a half-century old as nearly 400 join Bishop Stika at Mass

    By Dan McWilliams

    St. Bridget Parish in Dayton on Oct. 14 celebrated the 50th anniversary of its church building, a structure close to the heart of late Nashville Bishop and Dayton native Joseph A. Durick. Read more…

    Youth Mass participants bring ‘vibrancy and energy’

    Awards are presented, and the new Diocesan Youth Ministry Advisory Council members are commissioned

    Story by Bill Brewer

    “Do not be afraid” is the message Diocese of Knoxville teen leaders received Oct. 28 when they gathered at St. Albert the Great Church for the annual diocesan Youth Mass. Read more…

    St. Mary’s Legacy Foundation grants total $7.5 million since 2011

    By Jim Wogan

    It’s a striking coincidence that in the same month the former St Mary’s Hospital will close its doors after providing medical services in East Tennessee for nearly 90 years, the foundation created in the wake of its sale in 2011 has announced grants that now total $7.5 million for charity, education, and health-care missions in the Diocese of Knoxville. Read more…


He dwells among us: Four Herods

The culture of death assaults life, the conscience, the Church, and common good

By Bishop Richard F. Stika

Within the seasons the Church celebrates in its calendar that mark the mystery of our redemption—from the birth of Christ to His Passion and resurrection, to the beginnings of the infant Church — four tragic figures stand out.

Each of them bears the name of Herod of the Herodian family dynasty. And each represents in a particular way the culture of death and its assault upon the most vulnerable, upon traditional marriage, conscience rights, and the Church. Read more…

Praying for perspective: Hoping to remain resolute in 2019

Will convenience help or hurt the wallet, waistline, and way of life?

By George Valadie

Happy New Year! How’s the new you coming? On my end, I’ve never been much for making a bunch of resolutions. In fairness, I should restate that; I’ve never been good at keeping a bunch of resolutions.

It’s not that I don’t have plenty of issues that need tackling in my life. It’s that I’ve made them before. Good ones, reachable ones, goals that would make me a better human being. God wants that I think. But as we all know so well, that requires us to be different, to do different, and most importantly, to stay different — for a year. Hopefully longer. Read more…

Marriage Enrichment: Find your own George Bailey in your life

The lives of the writer’s family would be been much different if not for the faith of an older sister

By Marian Christiana

Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the coming of Jesus. It is one thing to be prepared to welcome Jesus but quite another to allow Him to transform our lives once He arrives.

This Advent I am contemplating how the birth of Jesus has affected my life and how I can allow Him to continue to guide my life. To do this I am looking at role models in my life who imitate the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ in the way they live their lives. Read more…

For our salvation: We are here to fulfill our human nature

Christ restores human nature to the dignity it held before the Fall

By Bob Hunt

“He who is the “image of the invisible God” is himself the perfect man who has restored in the children of Adam that likeness to God which had been disfigured ever since the first sin. Human nature, by the very fact that it was assumed, not absorbed, in him, has been raised in us also to a dignity beyond compare. For, by his incarnation, he, the Son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each individual. He worked with human hands, he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin.”

The above is from Gaudium et Spes, the Constitution on the Church in the Modern World… Read more…