All Saints health and wellness expo set for Aug. 19-20

All Saints health and wellness expo set for Aug. 19-20

By Jim Wogan

In 10 years as a Catholic priest, Father Doug Owens has become proficient at ministering to those in need.

The pastor of All Saints Parish in Knoxville has anointed the sick, comforted those in distress, and, of course, nourished the faithful through the sacraments. But Father Owens knows that a healthy Catholic—in all aspects of what healthy means—is also a happy Catholic.

“Being a good Catholic and Christian begins with abiding by the tenets of our faith. We know that’s necessary for us spiritually and eventually for our salvation,” Father Owens said. “But life, especially these days, can be extremely complicated and demanding, and there are resources out there that can assist people when it comes to questions about their physical and mental well-being.”

For that reason, when it was presented to him, Father Owens gave his blessing to the idea of a Health and Mental Wellness Expo to be held at his parish Aug. 19-20.

All Saints parishioner Christine Lucheon said the idea for the expo evolved out of discussions in the parish community.

“We wanted to be equipped as a parish to deal with people who might approach our priests and deacons, or even a lay leader, and who might say ‘I am really struggling with an issue, and I need to talk to somebody. I need help,” Mrs. Lucheon said.

“The light went off, and I thought, why can’t we expand this for people outside our parish and have it encompass a broad approach to health—physical, mental, and spiritual? The idea just jumped out to me, and I really credit the Holy Spirit with leading me in that direction,” she added.

The sessions cover a broad range of topics including stretching and breathing techniques, marriage connection, sports nutrition, intuitive eating, coping with anxiety, trauma healing, assisting friends in need, and children and mental-health issues.

Father Owens will lead a discussion on mental health and the spiritual life. Other session leaders include All Saints parishioner Zach Kramer, owner of Trinity Strength; Deacon Robert Rust; sports dietician Allison Maurer; marriage counselor Joey Wenning; eating specialist Allison Lowe; Father Michael Maples; Dr. Lisa Padgett, MD; and the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee.

The expo will include several informational booths and the St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic, which will be onsite Saturday, Aug. 20.

“We’re going to provide some health screenings for glucose and blood pressure, and we will also be available to offer mental health screening,” said clinic executive director Martin Vargas.

“Mental health is a part of overall health. We provide primary health care and that includes seeing people and referring them out for mental health care. We partner with several different mental health agencies throughout the state,” he said.

The expo begins on Friday, Aug. 19, with a Mass celebrated by Father Owens. For more information, contact Mrs. Lucheon at or call the All Saints Parish office at 865-531-0770.

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