New Paulist priest finds hidden joys in ministry

Fr. Richard Whitney ‘juggling’ first year of priesthood, service on UT campus    By Gabrielle Nolan Paulist Father Richard Whitney describes his first year of priesthood as a “whirlwind.” “I don’t know that I’ve ever known time to fly by so happily before or in my life,” the 53-year-old priest said. …

 St. John XXIII Parish (finally) marks 50th anniversary

By Jim Wogan It took longer than expected, but parishioners of St. John XXIII last month finally marked the 50th anniversary of their parish’s dedication—52 years after it happened. The COVID pandemic stalled the original plans for the Catholic community’s jubilee by two years, but the delay didn’t mask the …

SEEK22 regional event brings youth to diocese

Nearly 1,000 FOCUS students attend conference in downtown Knoxville          By Gabrielle Nolan “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” College students traveled to Knoxville to do just that for SEEK22, the annual winter conference hosted Feb. 4-6 by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). FOCUS …

‘What are you waiting for?’

FOCUS missionaries are changing lives by bringing the Catholic faith to university students By Claire Collins My sophomore year of college at the University of Tennessee, I was getting closer and closer to leaving the Catholic Church. While my Dominican Catholic education had convinced me of Jesus’ presence in the …

‘At home and secure’

St. John XXIII Parish volunteers assist refugees, including Afghans, relocating to East Tennessee By Gabrielle Nolan Imagine you must flee your home country. All you can take with you is what you are able to carry on your back and in your hands, if it doesn’t get lost or stolen, …

Funeral Mass held for Dr. Patricia Droppleman

Dr. Patricia Ann Gentry Droppleman, 85, passed away on Dec. 24 in Tampa, Fla., with her family at her side. A funeral Mass for Dr. Droppleman was celebrated on July 17 at St. John XXIII University Parish on the University of Tennessee-Knoxville campus, with Father Michael Kallock, CSP, serving as …

Distressed kayaker rescued by Paulists during lake outing

Seminarians, priests at retreat aboard floating Tiki bar are lifesavers on New York’s Lake George Catholic News Service/Catholic News Agency This is a typical story about Paulist Fathers, a floating Tiki bar, and a kayaker. It all started when Greg Barrett, a captain for Tiki Tours, offered the Paulist Fathers—two …

Paulist Fathers mark bicentennial of founder Fr. Isaac Hecker

Immaculate Conception, St. John XXIII schedule events to celebrate as cause for sainthood moves forward                  By Bill Brewer The Paulist Fathers at Immaculate Conception and St. John XXIII parishes are marking the bicentennial of founder Father Isaac Hecker’s birth with a number of events as the Paulist priest’s cause …

Funeral Mass held in Nashville for Dr. Ruth Queen Smith

Dr. Ruth Queen Smith, longtime pastoral associate at St. John XXIII University Parish and Catholic Center on the University of Tennessee-Knoxville campus, passed away May 18 after an extended illness. A funeral Mass was celebrated for Dr. Smith on May 24 at St. Henry Church in Nashville, where she retired …

Renowned Bible-study leader Dr. Ruth Queen Smith retires

Pastoral associate at St. John XXIII University Parish served Diocese of Knoxville for 25 years By Bill Brewer Dr. Ruth Queen Smith, who has ministered to the faith community at St. John XXIII University Parish and Catholic Center as a pastoral associate and Bible study leader, retired on Pentecost Sunday after …

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Paulist associates begin new assignments

The Paulist Fathers, who minister at Immaculate Conception Church and St. John XXIII University  Parish and Catholic Center in Knoxville, have assigned two new associate pastors to those parishes. Father Robert J. O’Donnell, CSP, 67, will succeed Father Rich Andre, CSP, as associate pastor at St. John XXIII. The Paulist Fathers …

St. John XXIII Parish ranked among top U.S. Newman centers by Pew

Best College Reviews, an independent college review journal that provides information on schools, ranks the Diocese of Knoxville’s St. John XXIII University Parish and Catholic Center as the 14th best Newman Center in the United States. A Pew Research study found that Christianity makes up 70 percent of the total …