As the Smoky Mountain Deanery continues to mark the 25th anniversary of the Diocese of Knoxville, a year-long pilgrimage combining historical, devotional, and charitable components will still be under way this year.
Parishioners throughout the deanery have been invited to go on pilgrimage on the first Sunday of each month, visiting each of the deanery’s 11 parish churches in the order of their founding.
By a decree issued June 6, 2013, Bishop Richard F. Stika has designated each of the churches as a “Station Church,” entitling those who visit the church on its assigned day to receive an indulgence under the usual conditions.
The pilgrimages began Oct. 6 at Immaculate Conception Church, followed by Holy Ghost Church on Nov. 3 and St. Mary Church in Gatlinburg on Dec. 1.
The new year began with a pilgrimage Jan. 5 at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Alcoa.
Then on Feb. 2, the pilgrimage will make its way to the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
They will continue through August as the diocese’s 25th year concludes in September.
The pilgrimage stops will be at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Townsend on March 2, Blessed John XXIII University Parish on the University of Tennessee campus on April 6, Holy Family Church in Seymour on May 4, St. Joseph the Worker Church in Madisonville on June 1, Holy Cross Church in Pigeon Forge on July 6, and St. Albert the Great Church in Knoxville on Aug. 3.
To conclude the diocese’s Silver Jubilee Year, a diocesan-wide outdoor Mass is planned at Smokies Stadium in Sevier County in September.