By The East Tennessee Catholic
Father Michael Cummins, pastor at St. Dominic Parish in Kingsport, and Father Doug Owens, pastor at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Lenoir City, have been appointed by Bishop Richard F. Stika to serve as deans in the Diocese of Knoxville.
Father Cummins will lead the Five Rivers Deanery, and Father Owens will lead the Cumberland Mountain Deanery.
Bishop Stika thanked Monsignor Patrick Garrity, pastor of St. John Neumann Parish in Farragut, and Father Peter Iorio, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Johnson City, for the years of service and effort they put in as deans for the diocese.
“I am so appreciative of the leadership of Monsignor Garrity and Father Peter,” Bishop Stika said. “Monsignor Garrity and Father Peter have devoted a great amount of time and energy as deans while at the same time leading two of our larger parishes.”
The Diocese of Knoxville is composed of four deaneries, or regional units of the diocese. The other two deaneries are Chattanooga and Smoky Mountain.
“In a diocese as vast as ours, our deans assist me in many ways. Their counsel and advice help me make decisions that benefit the entire diocese,” Bishop Stika said. “I have much gratitude for Monsignor Garrity and Father Peter and for what they did, and I welcome Father Michael and Father Doug into their new roles.”
Father Ron Franco, CSP, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Knoxville, has accepted Bishop Stika’s invitation to continue as dean of the Smoky Mountain Deanery for another term.
Father Charlie Burton, pastor of St. Jude Parish in Chattanooga, is continuing as dean of the Chattanooga deanery. ■