Priests in diocese take on new assignments July 1

Chaplaincies at Notre Dame, Knoxville Catholic high schools and pastorates at several parishes see changes

New pastoral assignment changes announced by Bishop Richard F. Stika affect the chaplaincies at both diocesan high schools and the pastorates at several parishes.

All appointments are effective Monday, July 1, unless noted.

Father Patrick Brownell, chaplain at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, has been appointed pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Morristown. Father Brownell has served at Notre Dame High School  since February 2012.

Father Joseph Hammond, CHS, the pastor of St. Patrick, will be the new coordinator of pastoral outreach to the Hispanic communities of St. Joseph the Worker in Madisonville, Our Lady of Fatima in Alcoa, and St. Alphonsus in Crossville. He will be in residence at St. John Neumann Church in Farragut. Father Hammond has served in the Five Rivers Deanery since his arrival in the diocese in 1998 and as pastor at St. Patrick since February 2010.

Father Michael Cummins, chaplain for campus ministry at East Tennessee State University, will become the new chaplain at Notre Dame High School and also will become chaplain of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Catholic Student Center. He will remain director of the diocesan Office of Vocations.

Father Christian Mathis, who until recently had served as pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle in Lenoir City, has been appointed chaplain for campus ministry at ETSU.

Father Doug Owens became pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle effective June 1. He has been an associate pastor at St. John Neumann since 2011.

Father Christopher Riehl has been given permission by Bishop Stika to serve in the Diocese of Charlotte, N.C. Father Riehl has been serving as an associate pastor at St. John Neumann and as the diocesan minister responsible for celebrating the extraordinary-form Mass in the Five Rivers Deanery.

Father William Oruko, AJ, pastor of St. Mary in Athens, will become associate pastor at St. Dominic in Kingsport. He had served at St. Mary since August 2009.

He will be succeeded at St. Mary by Father Randy Stice. Father Stice, who will leave his post as associate pastor at Sacred Heart Cathedral, remains the diocesan director of Worship and Liturgy. He also has another new assignment: as a spiritual director to the Handmaids of the Precious Blood at Christ Prince of Peace Retreat Center in Benton.

Father P.J. McGinnity, pastor of St. Joseph the Worker in Madisonville, also will be a spiritual director to the Handmaids, a contemplative community of nuns new to the diocese.

Father David Carter has been appointed chaplain at Knoxville Catholic High School. He remains vice chancellor for Canonical Affairs and associate director for the Vocations Office but will no longer serve as an associate pastor for All Saints Parish in Knoxville.

Father John Appiah, the chaplain at Knoxville Catholic High School, has been released for active duty with the U.S. Air Force Chaplain Corps.

Apostles of Jesus priest Father Pontian Kiyimba will become a new associate pastor of All Saints. He has been serving the faithful of St. Mary in Athens, Holy Family in Seymour, and Sacred Heart Cathedral in recent months.

Father Christopher Manning was ordained a priest by Bishop Stika on June 1 at an ordination Mass at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. His first assignment will be as associate pastor at St. John Neumann Parish.

Father Bill Gahagan was granted retirement status after reaching the age of 75 and therefore will no longer serve in the capacity of pastor of St. Joseph in Norris and St. Jude in Helenwood. Father Gahagan has now been appointed parochial administrator of St. Jude-Helenwood.

Father Julius Abuh, currently parochial administrator of St. Therese in Clinton, also will become parochial administrator of St. Joseph in Norris. His appointment at St. Therese is unaffected by the change.