Msgr. George Schmidt named basilica pastor emeritus

Fathers Schriver, Manning, Cano, Torres Barona, Sister Mary Christine Cremin take on new diocesan roles

Bishop Richard F. Stika has announced several assignment changes for the Diocese of Knoxville.

Due to health concerns with Monsignor George Schmidt, pastor of the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Chattanooga since 1986, Bishop Stika has appointed Father David Carter parochial administrator of the basilica effective Nov. 26.

Monsignor Schmidt—who had been the longest-serving pastor at the same assignment in the diocese—is now the pastor emeritus of the basilica.

“I am grateful for all the many years of service Monsignor George has shared with the faithful of the basilica and the Chattanooga community as a whole,” Bishop Stika wrote. “I am also grateful for Monsignor George’s great dedication and fidelity to the priesthood.”

Father Carter completed his service as chaplain of Knoxville Catholic High School effective Dec. 20.

Father Ragan Schriver, “after prayerful discernment and reflection,” the bishop said, “has requested to officially complete his service as the executive director of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, effective Nov. 30.”

Father Schriver will serve on an ongoing basis as an assistant professor in the College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee and as director, Programs and Services, at Catholic Charities USA. He also will continue to serve on the Tennessee Catholic Public Policy Commission.

Effective July 1, 2014, Father Schriver will be assigned to be in residence and assist as needed at St. Albert the Great Parish in Knoxville.

“I want say a special thanks to Father Ragan for 15 years of service as executive director of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee,” Bishop Stika said. “I also appreciate his love, compassion, and energetic dedication to the poor and underprivileged of East Tennessee.”

Sister Mary Christine Cremin, RSM, who has been serving as acting executive director of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee since July 1, was appointed as the executive director of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, effective Nov. 30.

Father Christopher Manning has been appointed chaplain of KCHS effective Jan. 1 and will continue as part-time associate pastor at St. John Neumann Parish. He will remain in residence at the St. John Neumann rectory in Farragut.

Father Andres Cano has been appointed associate pastor of St. Mary in Gatlinburg and Holy Cross in Pigeon Forge, effective Dec. 2. Father Joe Brando remains as pastor of St. Mary and parochial administrator of Holy Cross.

Father Cano’s assignment as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Cathedral ended Dec. 1.

And the diocese’s newest priest, Father Arthur Torres Barona, has been named an associate pastor at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Knoxville.

Bishop Stika ordained Father Torres Barona on Dec. 14 at St. Anne Church in the ordinand’s native Cali, Colombia.

Father Torres Barona becomes the 42nd priest ordained for the Diocese of Knoxville and the seventh ordained by Bishop Stika. He is also the second priest ordained by Bishop Stika in Colombia, following Father Cano’s ordination in 2009 in the city of Pereira.

“Please join me in praying for all the priests mentioned above and for Sister Mary Christine as well,” the bishop stated. “May God bless all of them as they begin their new ministries.”