About 100 parishioners at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Knoxville gathered Dec. 5 on the cathedral’s front lawn for a program featuring Christmas carols, prayers and readings. And Christmas plays and music programs are being held among the diocesan schools as penance services are scheduled and priests are preparing for Christmas masses.
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated on Saturday, Dec. 8, is a holy day of precept.
Knoxville Catholic High School began the season with its Fine Arts Celebration Dec. 6, at the school. The celebration included performances by KCHS’s band, choral and theater groups. KCHS students also will perform the second annual Lessons and Carols at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, at All Saints Church next door to the school’s campus.
Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga is bringing in the Christmas season with its Christmas Band Concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the school. Notre Dame High School students also will be collecting canned goods for the Chattanooga Food Bank and monetary donations for the Ladies of Charity. They will also have an Angel Tree with names from the Clifton Hills Head Start program.
Sacred Heart Cathedral School will present its Christmas Concert on Thursday, Dec. 13. Kindergarten, first and second grades will present “Angels, Lambs, Ladybugs and Fireflies” beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the gym at Sacred Heart. That program will be followed by “On Our Way to Bethlehem,” presented by the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders. They will be joined by the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade Praise Band Jams and the seventh- and eighth-grade Liturgical Choir Rocks.
St. Joseph School will present The Little Drummer Boy at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at the school. Students have been working on this program, directed by music teacher William Lovelace, for several weeks in their music classes. St. Joseph also will host Family Faith Night for its school families Wednesday, Dec. 19. Advent activities, hot chocolate and goodies will be followed by Christmas caroling, said Principal Sister Mary Elizabeth Ann McCullough, RSM.
St. John Neumann School in Farragut will present The Christmas Shoe Tree at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, at the school. The musical was created by Jeff Slaughter. The St. John Neumann children also will sponsor a Christmas Stocking Collection and collect gently used and new shoes to be donated to Soles4Souls.
St. Mary School in Oak Ridge will host an annual Family Advent Mass on Thursday, Dec. 20, celebrated by Bishop Richard F. Stika. The Mass will feature a prelude of Advent choral music performed by the students and directed by St. Mary music teacher Carol Villaverde. Students at the school will be hard at work this season participating in one of three service projects: the Giving Tree/Crazy Quilt Friendship Center, Family Adoption, or the orchestra and ensemble performance at Briarcliff Health Care Center.
St. Jude School’s annual Christmas Pageant will be presented at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12. Students from the first and second grades at the Chattanooga school will perform.
Also in Chattanooga, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School will perform its Christmas program, Peace on Earth, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, at the school. According to OLPH music teacher Angie Carson, the program is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in song.
In Kingsport, St. Dominic School will present its annual Christmas program at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, in the school gym.
And remaining Advent penance services around the Diocese of Knoxville are as follows:
7 p.m. EST, except as noted. Dec. 10—St. Jude, Chattanooga; Dec. 11—Our Lady of Lourdes, South Pittsburg, 6:30 p.m. CST; St. Augustine, Signal Mountain; Dec. 13—Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Chattanooga; Dec. 14—St. Mary, Athens; Dec. 18—Shepherd of the Valley, Dunlap, 6:30 p.m. CST; St. Stephen, Chattanooga; Dec. 20—Sts. Peter and Paul, Chattanooga, 5:30 p.m.
Cumberland Mountain Deanery
7 p.m. EST, except as noted. Dec. 10—All Saints, Knoxville; Dec. 11—St. John Neumann, Farragut; Dec. 12—Blessed Sacrament, Harriman; Christ the King, Tazewell; Dec. 14—St. Mary, Oak Ridge; Dec. 17—St. Alphonsus, Crossville, 6 p.m. CST; St. Ann, Lancing; Dec. 18—St. Thomas the Apostle, Lenoir City; Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Maynardville
Five Rivers Deanery
7 p.m., except as noted. Dec. 10—Good Shepherd, Newport; Dec. 11—Notre Dame, Greeneville; Dec. 13—St. Patrick, Morristown; Dec. 16—Blessed John Paul II, Rutledge (Spanish), 6 p.m.; Dec. 17—Blessed John Paul II, Rutledge (English), 6:30 p.m.; St. Dominic, Kingsport; Dec. 18—St. Michael the Archangel, Erwin; Dec. 19—Holy Trinity, Jefferson City; Dec. 20—St. Henry, Rogersville
Smoky Mountain Deanery
7 p.m. Dec. 10—Holy Ghost, Knoxville, and Immaculate Conception, Knoxville, at Holy Ghost; Dec. 11—Sacred Heart Cathedral; Dec. 13—Holy Family, Seymour; Dec. 17—St. Mary, Gatlinburg; Dec. 19—St. Joseph the Worker, Madisonville