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Bishop Stika announces priest assignments

Changes in ministry will impact seven parishes across East Tennessee

By Bill Brewer

Father Patrick Resen

Father Patrick Resen, a former lawyer and judge who has served as a priest of the Diocese of Knoxville since 2007, has announced his retirement from the active priesthood.

Father Resen’s retirement was among several moves announced by Bishop Richard F. Stika in June that take effect this summer and will impact seven diocesan parishes.

Father Resen, 75, serves at Holy Trinity Parish in Jefferson City and has been active in the pro-life ministry in East Tennessee. He was born in Walla Walla, Wash., in 1946, and has lived in more than a dozen states and overseas.

When ordained to the diaconate in 2006, his ordination took place at St. Patrick Church in Morristown, where his aunt and uncle were members. Father Resen has relocated to El Paso, Texas, where his mother lived.

Father Resen came to holy orders after a long career in the legal profession. He first studied for the priesthood with the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles and decided to become a diocesan priest in East Tennessee before his ordination. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Joseph E. Kurtz.

Father Resen has served as pastor at Holy Trinity Parish in Jefferson City since 2014. Prior to that he served as pastor of St. Catherine Labouré in Copperhill, associate pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Madisonville, associate pastor of Holy Ghost Parish in Knoxville, and associate pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Alcoa.

Father Jim Harvey

Succeeding Father Resen at Holy Trinity will be Father Jim Harvey, who has been pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in Crossville since 2014. Father Harvey also served as pastor of St. Alphonsus from December 2006 to 2011.

Father Harvey was ordained to the priesthood in 1996 by Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell from his home parish, St. Dominic in Kingsport. At St. Alphonsus, Father Harvey has begun with the Crossville parishioners a project to build a new church building.

Prior to St. Alphonsus, among Father Harvey’s assignments were as pastor of Notre Dame Parish in Greeneville and as associate pastor of St. John Neumann in Farragut, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Chattanooga, Notre Dame, Good Shepherd in Newport, and St. Henry in Rogersville.

Father Mark Schuster

Father Mark Schuster, who was the first priest ordained in the new Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in June 2019, will be the parochial administrator of St. Alphonsus.

Father Schuster was ordained by Bishop Stika and has served as an associate pastor of St. John Neumann Parish in Farragut since his ordination.

Father Moisés Moreno, parochial vicar and chaplain of the Hispanic community at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Chattanooga, will become associate pastor at St. Mary Parish in Gatlinburg and Holy Cross Parish in Pigeon Forge. He also will lead the Hispanic communities in those parishes.

His new assignment is effective Aug. 1.

Father Moisés Moreno

Father Moreno, who is originally from the state of Aguascalientes, Mexico, and attended seminary at Leon Guanajuato, accepted an invitation from then-Bishop Kurtz to join the Diocese of Knoxville. He continued studies at Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, Texas, and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga to prepare for ordination in East Tennessee.

He was ordained a deacon in 2007 by Bishop Kurtz and then had to wait for nearly three years until Bishop Stika was installed as the new shepherd of the Diocese of Knoxville before he was ordained a priest in November 2010. His first assignment was as an associate priest at St. Jude Parish in Chattanooga in 2011 until he was assigned to the basilica in September 2020.

Father Bob O’Donnell, a Paulist priest who has been serving as associate director of St. John XXIII University Parish on the University of Tennessee-Knoxville campus, will be transitioning into senior ministry status on July 1, according to the Paulist Fathers.

Father Bob O’Donnell

Father O’Donnell will continue to have an office at St. John XXIII and live in Knoxville near the Paulist residence. He will fill in when needed to celebrate Mass and assist in other priest duties.

Father Richard Whitney

Succeeding Father O’Donnell at St. John XXIII is Father Richard Whitney, CSP. Father Whitney was ordained a priest on May 22 at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City, where the Paulist Fathers are based.

Sister Peter Miriam Dolan, a Religious Sister of Mercy of Alma, Mich., is the new diocesan director of Christian Formation. Sister Peter Miriam is originally from northern Illinois.

Sister Peter Miriam’s love for Christ and His Church inspired her to serve a year with NET Ministries, where she traveled around the country facilitating retreats for Catholic youth, challenging them to love Christ and embrace the life of the Church. Following her time with NET Ministries, she attended the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and graduated with a degree in theology and philosophy.

Sister Peter Miriam

Sister Peter Miriam entered the Religious Sisters of Mercy in 2016. Her most recent service was in the Archdiocese of Seattle, where she served as the pastoral assistant for Faith Formation and Youth and as Young Adult minister for St. Mary Church in Anacortes, Wash., and St. Paul Church. Sister Peter Miriam also is a certified EMT.

Sister Maria Juan

Sister Maria Juan Anderson, RSM, has transitioned from serving as director of Christian Formation for the diocese to executive secretary for Bishop Stika. She succeeds Peggy Humphreys, longtime executive secretary for Bishop Stika who retired in January. Sister Maria Juan, a native of Idaho, has been a member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma since 2012. She is scheduled to make her final vows in August.

Paola Wolaver

The diocesan Office of Youth, Young Adult, and Pastoral Juvenil Ministry has announced that Paola Bustos Wolaver has been named a full-time Young Adult Ministry coordinator.

Mrs. Wolaver was born in Venezuela, raised in Miami, and moved to Knoxville in 2018 to attend graduate school. She started as the full-time diocesan Young Adult Ministry coordinator on May 1. Bilingual in English and Spanish, Mrs. Wolaver said she is eager to serve the diverse Diocese of Knoxville community and accompany young adults on their journey of faith.

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