Colin Blatchford, Tony Budnick, Julian Cardona, and Adam Kane all received holy orders in the Mass.
It was the diocese’s second four-person ordination and first in nearly 20 years. On Nov. 27, 1993, future priests David Boettner, Patrick Brownell, Tom Moser, and Sean Poland were ordained to the diaconate at St. Thérèse of Lisieux Church in Cleveland. Twice the diocese has ordained three priests on one day.
Father Boettner, now the cathedral rector and a vicar general, concelebrated the ordination Mass along with Monsignor Bob Hofstetter, dean of the Five Rivers Deanery, and Father Ron Franco, CSP, dean of the Smoky Mountain Deanery. Assisting were Deacons Sean Smith and Arthur Torres Barona, with diocesan seminarians serving at the altar. More than 30 additional priests and 21 deacons attended.
Among the priests were seminary representatives Father Kristian Teater, dean of men at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, where Deacons Blatchford and Kane attend; Father Byron Haaland, SCJ, of Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis., where Deacon Budnick is enrolled; and Father Ron Knott of St. Meinrad School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Ind., where Deacon Cardona is a student.
On the morning of the ordination, Bishop Stika began his day with a walk in his neighborhood, during which he ran into a woman who knew him.
“She recognized me and she said, ‘What a beautiful day it is today, Bishop.’ And I wanted to say, ‘You don’t know the half of it,’” he said. “I didn’t say that, but as I said earlier, this is a special moment in the life of the Church in Knoxville. We have 19 men studying for the priesthood and six entering next year, and over the next year or so we’ll have six priests [ordained], which is a true celebration of the faith of the community of the Catholic Church in East Tennessee.”