Monsignor Mankel, Father Brando retiring as churches in all four deaneries to receive new pastoral leadership
New assignments for priests will have an impact on 17 Diocese of Knoxville parishes beginning July 1.
Monsignor Xavier Mankel, pastor of Holy Ghost Church and a vicar general for the diocese, will retire July 1 after 53 years of service.
Monsignor Mankel, 78, was ordained a priest in 1961, and has led churches in Lawrenceburg, Farragut and Knoxville. He also has served as a teacher and principal of Knoxville Catholic High School and as superintendent of Catholic schools in Knoxville.
Monsignor Mankel will continue serving as a vicar general and will be the diocese’s historical archivist.
Succeeding Monsignor Mankel as Holy Ghost pastor will be Father John Dowling, who has been serving as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Fairfield Glade. Father Dowling previously has been an associate pastor and parochial administrator of Holy Ghost.
Bishop Stika also announced that Father Joseph Brando, pastor of St. Mary Church in Gatlinburg, who has been serving the Church in East Tennessee for 42 years, is retiring July 1. Father Brando has served at churches in Nashville, Chattanooga, Madison, McEwen, and Knoxville, and also served as a U.S. Army chaplain.
Father Brando, 70, will be succeeded in Gatlinburg by Father Antony Punnackal, CMI, who has been serving as pastor of St. Alphonsus Church in Crossville.
Father David Carter has been named rector of the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Chattanooga, succeeding Monsignor George Schmidt, who retired in November and is pastor emeritus of the basilica. Father Carter has been serving as parochial administrator of the basilica since November.
Father Alberto Sescon has been appointed pastor of St. Francis of Assisi in Fairfield Glade. Father Sescon has been the pastor of St. Thérèse of Lisieux Church in Cleveland.
Father Joseph Thomas, CMI, has been named parochial vicar of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Father Thomas has been serving as parochial administrator of Holy Family Church in Seymour.
Father Gilbert Diaz, currently pastor of St. Stephen Church in Chattanooga, has been named pastor of Holy Family.
Father Manuel Pérez will become pastor of St. Stephen Church and will provide Hispanic ministry support to St. Thérèse of Lisieux Church. Father Pérez has been serving as associate pastor at St. Mary Church in Johnson City.
Father Jim Harvey, currently pastor of Notre Dame Church in Greeneville, will be pastor at St. Alphonsus Church in Crossville.
Father Dan Whitman has been named pastor of Notre Dame. He has been serving as pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Jefferson City.
Succeeding Father Whitman as pastor of Holy Trinity will be Father Patrick Resen, who now is pastor of St. Catherine Labouré Church in Copperhill.
Father Tom Moser, currently the associate pastor of St. Thérèse of Lisieux Church, will become pastor of St. Catherine Labouré on July 1.
Father Andres Cano-Ramirez, who has served as an associate pastor at St. Mary Church in Gatlinburg and Holy Cross Church in Pigeon Forge, has been named pastor of Holy Cross.
Father Mike Nolan, who serves as pastor of St. Dominic Church in Kingsport, has been named pastor of St. Thérèse of Lisieux Church.
Father Michael Cummins, who currently serves as chaplain at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, will become pastor of St. Dominic.
Father Cummins will continue to serve as diocesan director of the Office of Vocations.
And Father Charlie Donahue, CSP, pastor of St. John XXIII University Parish and Catholic Center on the University of Tennessee campus, has accepted a new assignment from the Paulist Fathers and will leave the diocese in July.
Father Donahue will become Director of Formation for the Paulist Fathers and will be based in Washington, D.C. The Paulists have not yet named a replacement to succeed Father Donahue.
Four men ordained into the priesthood on May 31 at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus have been assigned by Bishop Stika to diocesan pastoral positions.
Father Colin Blatchford will serve as an associate pastor at All Saints Church in Knoxville.
Father Tony Budnick will continue to offer sacramental ministry at St. Albert the Great Church until joining Notre Dame High School as chaplain and on the faculty in August. He also will be part-time associate pastor at Sts. Peter and Paul Basilica in Chattanooga.
Father Julian Cardona will serve as associate pastor at St. Mary Church in Johnson City.
And Father Adam Kane will be an associate pastor at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Bishop Stika thanked each of the priests for their service to the Church and the parishes in which they serve and for their willingness to share their gifts with new parishes.