New book on Diocese of Knoxville history now available

A book chronicling the history of the Diocese of Knoxville, published on the occasion of the diocese’s 25th anniversary, is now available to East Tennessee Catholics.

The illustrated History of the Diocese of Knoxville, a 160-page hardcover, tabletop book, was published by Éditions du Signe of Strasbourg, France.

The book contains a history of each parish, chapters on the history of the diocese, biographies of all three Diocese of Knoxville bishops, chapters on Catholic Charities of East Tennessee and on the diocese’s 25th-anniversary Eucharistic Congress, and a history of both diocesan high schools. Vintage photos and/or modern-day images appear on virtually every page.

Copies of the book are available from most parishes. For more information, contact your parish office.

The text in the book was principally written by Dan McWilliams, assistant editor of The East Tennessee Catholic, with assistance from W. Pat Gang and Mary C. Weaver.

The book opens with an introduction from Bishop Richard F. Stika and a photo of Pope Francis.

Then Chapter 1, “From de Soto to Bishop Byrne (1540-1890s),” opens the history of the Church in East Tennessee.

The early history concludes in Chapter 2, “From Father Callahan to the Dawn of the Diocese (1899-1988).” Included in both chapters are a number of more than 100-year-old photos.

Chapter 3, “From Baltimore to Knoxville,” traces the parent dioceses of Knoxville dating back to the original Diocese of Baltimore. Chapter 4, “Papal Decree Establishing the Diocese of Knoxville in Tennessee (1988),” quotes and contains an image of the document from Pope John Paul II. Photos of all three Diocese of Knoxville bishops follow Chapter 4.

Chapter 5 explains the diocesan coat of arms.

Chapters 6 through 8 focus on each bishop, with photos from their ordinations and other historical images. Chapter 9 contains a history of the Chancery office in Knoxville.

Chapter 10, “Founding Fathers and Other Notable Priests,” covers the efforts of Monsignor Xavier Mankel and other priests in the founding of the diocese and highlights the other priests elevated to monsignor as well as Bishop James Vann Johnston of Springfield–Cape Girardeau, Mo., a native of the Diocese of Knoxville who served as a priest and chancellor in the diocese.

Chapter 11 recounts the history of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee. Chapter 12, “Eucharistic Congress Kicks Off Diocese’s 25th Anniversary,” describes the event that began the diocese’s silver-jubilee celebration.

Then more than 100 pages focus on the history of each diocesan parish and mission, with one or more photos on nearly every page. The last section of the book contains a history of each diocesan high school.

The book publisher, Éditions du Signe, is a publishing house founded in Strasbourg in 1987 by Christian Riehl.

The publishing house specializes in religious and history books as well as printed material for children.