Conversation with the Cardinals to feature Dolan, Rigali, Levada

Tickets now on sale for once-in-a-lifetime evening with world-renowned Church leaders

LEADING THE DISCUSSION Bishop Richard F. Stika, left, Cardinal Justin Rigali, center, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan promise a captivating evening on April 17.

LEADING THE DISCUSSION Bishop Richard F. Stika, left, Cardinal Justin Rigali, center, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan promise a captivating evening on April 17.

Nearly 200 years of Catholic leadership will be on stage when the Diocese of Knoxville presents A Conversation with the Cardinals on April 18 from 7-9 p.m. at the Tennessee Theatre.

New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Cardinal Justin Rigali and Cardinal William Levada will be featured speakers in an entertaining and informative discussion about the Catholic Church.

Bishop Richard F. Stika will moderate the show.

Tickets for this once-in-a-lifetime event went on sale Jan. 23 and are available through the Tennessee Theatre box office, the Tennessee Theatre website or through Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.

“It was quite good on the part of Bishop Stika to think this thing up. We hope the audience finds it interesting and enticing to know something about the workings of the Church with which they’re not familiar,” Cardinal Rigali said.

The event is part of a planned historic weekend as the Diocese of Knoxville breaks ground the next day for a new cathedral at the site of the current Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at 711 S. Northshore Drive in Knoxville.

An Evening with the Cardinals will bring one of the Catholic Church’s highest profile and most outspoken personalities in Cardinal Dolan together with two of the Church’s most experienced and revered leaders in Cardinal Rigali and Cardinal Levada.

All three men share connections that go back decades.

More than 50 years ago, Cardinal Rigali and Cardinal Levada studied together at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif. Cardinal Rigali was a year ahead in formation and assisted when Cardinal Levada was ordained a priest at St. Peter’s Basilica in 1953.

Cardinal William Levada

Cardinal William Levada

Both men served the Church in Rome.

Cardinal Rigali worked under Pope John XXIII and worked for Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II. He was later appointed archbishop of St. Louis and then archbishop of Philadelphia, but he remained connected to the Vatican. He now resides in Knoxville.

Cardinal Levada worked for Pope Benedict XVI.

“His experience is especially unique. He has experience I don’t have, working under Pope Benedict XVI,” Cardinal Rigali said of Cardinal Levada. “Cardinal Levada was Pope Benedict’s successor, serving as Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, which was the position Pope Benedict held before he became pope.”

Cardinal Levada also served as archbishop of Portland, Ore., and San Francisco. He was elevated to cardinal by Pope Benedict in 2006.

As for Cardinal Dolan—his track record speaks for itself.

The New York archbishop first served as a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Louis when Cardinal Rigali was archbishop there. He also served as an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and as archbishop of Milwaukee. He was appointed archbishop of New York in 2009 and elevated to cardinal in 2012.


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