Deacon Bob Smearing, who serves at St. Albert the Great Parish in Knoxville, and Deacon Don Amelse, who serves at St. John Neumann Parish in Farragut, are retiring from the permanent diaconate.
The deacons submitted letters requesting retirement in January, and Bishop Richard F. Stika granted their requests in February.
The retirements for both deacons will be effective April 26.
In granting them permission to retire from active diaconal ministry, Bishop Stika informed the deacons that their obligation to pray the Liturgy of the Hours remains and the bishop hopes they continue to attend the annual retreats and continuing deacon formation programs as they are able. The bishop also granted them the ability to exercise their diaconal faculties as they are able.
Deacon Amelse has served in the Diocese of Knoxville’s permanent diaconate for 34 years, and Deacon Smearing has served for 12 years.