Caring for Caregivers

St. John Neumann physician turns devastating diagnosis into a lay ministry

By Bill Brewer
Photography by Stephanie Richer

St. John Neumann Parish is embracing a unique ministry that its members hope will grow to other parishes in the Diocese of Knoxville. Given the rising need, the chance of that happening appears good.

The St. Joseph’s Caregiver Ministry is only a year old but already is having an impact in assisting those on the front line of caring for seriously ill or aging loved ones. Read more…

  • First deacon ordained in new cathedral

    Deacon Mark Schuster made diocesan history June 2 as the seminarian became the first man to be ordained in the new Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus 

    By Dan McWilliams

    “What a great joy it is for us all to gather together with Mark and with his mom and dad and with his family as we celebrate again as the family of the Diocese of Knoxville another ordination, this day to the transitional diaconate,” Bishop Richard F. Stika said in his welcoming remarks. “Mark marks history today because he’s the first person to be ordained in this new cathedral — the first, we pray, of hundreds. Read more…

    Sacred Heart Apostolate relocates to Diocese of Knoxville

    Cathedral parishioner Lisa Morris to lead international enthronement organization 

    By Bill Brewer

    The  Diocese of Knoxville is now home to the Sacred Heart Apostolate, a global movement for promoting the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus as a way to renew communities by centering families on the love of God incarnated in the sacred heart of Christ. Read more…

    Bishop Stika leads confirmation Masses for DOK youth, adults

    Cathedral services host nearly 2,000 confirmands, 20,000 people

    From staff reports

    Bishop Richard F. Stika began a month-long series of Mass celebrations on April 6 to offer the sacrament of confirmation to nearly 2,000 youth throughout the Diocese of Knoxville. Read more…

    Diocese of Knoxville Missionaries of Mercy meet with Holy Father in Rome

    Their mission is prolonged indefinitely

    By Bill Brewer

    When Pope Francis reconvened the Missionaries of Mercy in April, Monsignor Al Humbrecht, pastor of Holy Spirit Church in Soddy-Daisy, and Father Joe Reed, associate pastor of the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, were among the hundreds of clergy from around the world answering the Holy Father’s call.  Read more…

  • Cathedral hosts first performance in Concert Series

    Knoxville Handel Society joins Sacred Heart to stage ‘The Creation’ with full choir, orchestra

    By Bill Brewer

    In what probably is a first for the Diocese of Knoxville, the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus served as center stage for a live secular choir and orchestra performance as part of a new diocesan arts initiative called the Cathedral Concert Series Read more…

    Ladies of Charity hold 2nd annual RAM clinic

    Thrift store, warehouse transformed into a mobile medical center as inner-city clients receive free health care

    By Bill Brewer

    The Ladies of Charity headquarters in Knoxville was transformed for a second consecutive year into a temporary medical center to serve the uninsured and underinsured.

    And based on responses from patients and health-care providers, the Remote Area Medical clinic hosted by the Ladies of Charity on April 7 continues to be a success. Read more…

    Father Jim Haley celebrates golden jubilee

    The Paulist priest returns to Immaculate Conception Church for an anniversary Mass ‘with a deep sense of gratitude’  

    By Dan McWilliams

    The Immaculate Conception community and parishioners from around the United States and Canada all came together May 3 to wish Father Jim Haley, CSP, a happy 50th anniversary in the priesthood.

    Knoxville’s downtown parish hosted a Mass for Father Haley’s golden jubilee on the feast day of St. James the Apostle, and a dinner attended by nearly 300 followed at The Foundry.  Read more…

    Opening the Doors of Mercy

    ‘Priests, parishioners respond to immigrants in need after raid separates families

    Story and photography by Jim Wogan

    The ongoing and complicated issue of Latin American immigration in the United States hit the Diocese of Knoxville on April 5 when federal agents raided a slaughterhouse in Grainger County and arrested nearly 100 undocumented workers there, many of them parishioners at four Catholic churches in the diocese.

    Agents from U.S. Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol worked in a coordinated effort to target Southeastern Provision, a meat-processing company located in Bean Station. Read more…


He dwells among us: The struggle for purity

The memory of God’s love and mercy always triumphs over sin and its memory

By Bishop Richard F. Stika

One hundred years ago, as the horrors of the First World War were in their final weeks, an even more terrible scourge than modern warfare was beginning to ravage the globe — the influenza pandemic. From the fall of 1918 until its ending in 1920, the deadliest plague ever in history claimed, by some estimates, as many as 100 million people around the world. As terrible as this pandemic was, another plague, far greater in scale, is presently ravaging the world unchecked, leaving in its wake destroyed lives, marriages, and families — the plague of pornography. But for those struggling with this terrible addiction, there’s a path for freedom and healing.

While there is much to discuss regarding pornography and the addiction it can create from even just an initial exposure to it, my intention here is to offer support and some practical counsel for those who daily struggle for a life of purity. 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: Have Ya Heard?

Today’s education system would do well to learn from the greatest Teacher

By George Valadie

You can imagine the scene. You may have seen it or possibly experienced it for yourself. It’s an annual event, coming around with the same regularity as Christmas or Easter or Groundhog Day.

I was standing in the grocery store line behind a lady who was checking out. Being that she had bought a good bit of the store, I had a good bit of a wait. So I was thumbing through the magazines, reading up on all that stuff inquiring minds want to know.

A second lady joined the line behind us and hollered ahead to the shopper in front of me.

“Hey, how ya doing?”
“Great, when do you start?”
“Won’t be long.”
“Are you ready?”
“I’ll never be ready.”
“Good luck!”
“Thanks, I’ll need it.”

I felt as if I had walked up in the middle of a conversation, yet I knew I had been there first. The context wasn’t earth-shattering, but I was curious. What exactly was getting ready to begin in this lady’s life? What was it that needed luck? Read more…

Marriage Enrichment: A few tips for reducing conflict on family vacations

Meeting together before the trip and going over expectations can help ‘avoid ruffled feathers’ on the journey

By Marian Christiana

Summer is upon us, and many of us will be using our vacation time to visit family.

My husband, Ralph, and I just returned from such a vacation. I say “vacation” but I am using that term very loosely. “Traveling” would be much more like it. We spent a week in Los Angeles visiting our extended families and old friends. Ralph’s brother, Phil, and his wife, Gayle, flew down from Oregon, and the four of us rented a place at the beach together.

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Read more…