Page 1

This issue

He dwells among us ................ 2 Penance services......................9 Diocesan calendar ................. 15 Deanery news ........................ 16

The East Tennessee

La pullout Catholic schools.......................21 Columns...................................37 Virtus training...........................43

December 4, 2016 Volume 26 Number 2 Bishop Richard F. Stika

News from The Diocese of Knoxville • Visit us at or


Farewell to a gentle giant Fr. Joe Campbell remembered


Dear young adults The Church needs you, Fr. Cummins writes


New competition Notre Dame, KCHS choose TSSAA divisions

Parishes preparing to launch V Encuentro National program’s focus is to strengthen cultural communities, identify and develop more lay leaders

By Bill Brewer

V Encuentro continued on page 35



t Pope Francis’ urging, the Catholic Church is embarking on a four-year program to create a culture of encounter that calls on all Catholics to share their heritage with each other, remove barriers to growing closer as brothers and sisters, and build bridges to achieve togetherness. The program, called V Encuentro, or the Fifth Encounter, is underway in the Diocese of Knoxville, where the Hispanic Ministry is taking the lead in bringing Encuentro to every parish, mission, and school. According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs and the national V Encuentro leadership team, Encuentro is “a process of ecclesial reflection and action that invites all Catholics in the United States to intense missionary activity, consultation, leadership development, and identification of best ministerial practices in the spirit of the New Evangelization. The process has been proposed as a priority activity of the USCCB’s Strategic Plan for 2017-20. The V Encuentro starts at the grassroots level and calls for the development of resources and initiatives to better serve the fast-growing Hispanic population in dioceses, parishes, ecclesial movements, and other Catholic organizations and institutions in light of its theme: “Missionary Disciples: Witnesses of God’s Love.” “Our great challenge is to create a culture of encounter, which encourages individuals and groups to share the richness of their traditions and experiences, to break

Leaders in training Father Rafael Capó, executive director of the Southeast Pastoral Institute in Miami, leads a two-day workshop on the V Encuentro for representatives of dioceses in the Louisville Province at the Diocese of Knoxville Chancery. The regional training session equipped the diocesan leaders, which included priests, women religious, and laypeople, to return to their dioceses to begin preparations for the V Encuentro in each parish.

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

He dwells among us

by Bishop Richard F. Stika

Bishop’s schedule

The mercy of God invites us! Christ wants us to open the door to the ‘inn’ of our hearts to God’s mercy that we might sow peace


he dust has far from settled from a political election that reveals how truly divided we have become as a nation. While we all pray for peace and unity, the spiritual distress that our country is undergoing requires far more than political solutions. For as St. Paul reminds us, our struggle is not against human forces, but with the rulers of darkness and evil (Ephesians 6:12). This is why I urge everyone to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet every day, a most powerful prayer that takes only minutes to pray. For it is an illusion as old as Babel to think we can be builders of a just society according to earthly blueprints and action alone. Instead, we must be the bearers and sowers of what is of heaven. As the great Pope of Divine Mercy, St. John Paul II, reminds us, “The world does not need more social reformers. It needs saints!” Lest we think there is no way we can become one, remember that saints are simply sinners who have embraced God’s mercy. And the one who has been forgiven much, loves much (cf. Luke 7:47). To the degree we accept

Diocesan policy for reporting sexual abuse

Follow Bishop Richard Stika on Twitter @bishopstika and on Facebook for news and events from around the Diocese of Knoxville. God’s mercy is the degree to which we can love. God’s mercy is the key to what ails our country! As such, I wish to offer for your Advent reflection and your Christmas joy a reflection I gave in St. Louis on Oct. 22 at a symposium on the Divine Mercy. In this Advent season may the expectation and hope of our hearts be fixed on what is from above, and may you be richly blessed this Christmas!

Sense of entitlement

When I think of Divine Mercy, I think of entitlement. I know how strange, and maybe even wrong, that sounds, for we live in a time where many have an over-inflated sense of entitlement. And the complaint made of those with such unrealistic expectations goes something like this—“They want everything but they don’t want to work for it!”

Spiritually speaking, though, having a strong sense of entitlement is healthy, and is in fact essential to both our personal salvation and our evangelization efforts. But don’t take my word for it, for Jesus stresses this very point in speaking to St. Faustina, his apostle of mercy, telling her that: “The greater the sinner, the greater the right He has to My mercy” (n. 723). We should want and expect God’s mercy. We should expect everything from God though we did not work for it, for it is Christ’s work of salvation. He is the one who suffered His Passion and Cross for us—not just for some, but for the love of all of us. And as love is never satisfied until it rests in the bosom of the one that is loved, so Christ is not satisfied until He rests in our hearts. Love is never about minimum limits, but always asks, “What more can I do?” Here I recall the words that Jesus spoke to Sister Josefa Menendez, a mystic of the Church who died in 1923, who authored the popular book, “The Way of Divine Love.”

The East Tennessee

These are some of Bishop Stika’s public appointments: ■ Dec.

5: 10 a.m., blessing of new Catholic Charities building in Chattanooga

■ Dec.

5: noon, Mass and luncheon for Chattanooga Serra Club at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Chattanooga

■ Dec.

7: 10 a.m., visit to St. Dominic School in Kingsport and enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

■ Dec.

9: 11:30 a.m., 360 Degrees of Hope luncheon for Catholic Charities of East Tennessee at the Knoxville Marriott

■ Dec.

10: 4 p.m. Snack ’n’ Chat with DYMAC at the bishop’s residence in Knoxville

■ Dec.

12-14: meeting of The Papal Foundation in Washington, D.C.

■ Dec.

17: 9 a.m. Mass with the Evangelizing Sisters of Mary

■ Dec.

20: 5:30 p.m., family advent Mass at St. Mary Church in Oak Ridge ■ Dec. 24: Midnight Mass at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus ■

Bishop continued on page 33

Bishop Richard F. Stika Publisher

Bill Brewer Editor

Dan McWilliams

Emily Booker

Anyone who has actual knowlAssistant editor Communications edge of or who has reasonable specialist 805 S. Northshore Drive • Knoxville, TN 37919 cause to suspect an incident of The Diocese of Knoxville sexual abuse should report such The East Tennessee Catholic (USPS 007211) is published bi-monthly by The Diocese of Knoxville, 805 S. Northshore Drive, information to the appropriate Knoxville, TN 37919-7551. Periodicals-class postage paid at Knoxville, Tenn. Printed on recycled paper by the Knoxville News Sentinel. civil authorities first, then to the The East Tennessee Catholic is mailed to all registered Catholic families in East Tennessee. Subscription rate for others is $15 a year bishop’s office, 865-584-3307, or in the United States. Make checks payable to The Diocese of Knoxville. the diocesan victims’ assistance coordinator, Marla Lenihan, 865Postmaster: Send address changes to The East Tennessee Catholic, 805 S. Northshore Drive, Knoxville, TN 37919-7551 Reach us by phone: 865-584-3307 • fax: 865-584-8124 • e-mail: • web: 482-1388. ■

2 December 4, 2016

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

Father Joe Campbell remembered as diocese’s ‘gentle giant’ Bishop Stika, Father Harvey lead funeral Mass for pastor of St. Henry, St. James the Apostle parishes


The East Tennessee Catholic

Well done, good and faithful servant Bishop

Stika speaks about Father Joe Campbell’s life and ministry during a funeral Mass for Father Campbell on Oct. 29 at St. John Neumann Church in Farragut. The Mass was attended by Father Campbell’s brother priests as well as deacons, women religious, and members of parishes where he served.


wrestler, football player, retail manager, woodworker, and boater who was a bit of an intimidating rebel, Father Joe Campbell also was a gentle giant of a teacher and pastor. Father Campbell was many things to many people during his lifetime, but he was remembered primarily as a humble servant of God who faithfully served the Diocese of Knoxville and his parishioners. The 67-year-old priest died Oct. 20 after a lengthy illness. Bishop Richard F. Stika was the principal celebrant at a funeral Mass for Father Campbell on Oct. 29 at St. John Neumann Church in Farragut, and more than 30 diocesan priests concelebrated the Mass. Father Jim Harvey, pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in Crossville, gave the homily. More than a dozen diocesan deacons were in attendance, led by Sean Smith, who served as deacon of the Word, and Patrick Murphy-Racey, who served as deacon of the Eucharist. Father David Carter, Father Christopher Floersh, and Deacon Gary Brinkworth served as masters of ceremony. To illustrate the mountain of a man that Father Campbell was, Bishop Stika held a custom-carved walking stick the pastor of St. Henry and St. James the Apostle parishes had used. The stick, which rose above Bishop Stika’s nearly 6-foot frame and was as big around as a small tree, offered a unique hint at the stature of the 6-foot-8-inch priest who was born in Chelyan, W.Va., and was raised in Clearwater, Fla., along the Gulf Coast, where his family operated a fishing business. During his priesthood, Father Campbell never ventured far from the water and a love of boating that he developed as a boy. He incorporated that maritime passion into his ministry by holding Masses for boaters on Tellico and Norris lakes during his 17-year priesthood. Those marine Masses presented Father Campbell an entirely different congregation of out-of-state Catholics who vacationed on Norris Lake. “Father Joe had a flavorful life, from West Virginia to Florida to California to Tennessee and Indiana. It was a long life in many ways, but also a very short life, just 67 years,” Bishop Stika said in remarks he made during the funeral Mass. “You know, we all wish to die a holy death. Joe had a very holy death. He was at the end; his body worn out from all the surgeries.” Father Campbell was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Knoxville at St. Mary Church in Johnson

By Bill Brewer

City on June 5, 1999. His first assignment was as associate pastor at St. John Neumann Parish in Farragut in 1999. While at St. John Neumann, women’s guild members asked him to hold a boat Mass on Tellico Lake, which was the first of many he celebrated twice a year, first on Tellico and then on Norris Lake. Father Campbell was appointed pastor of Christ the King Parish in Tazewell and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in LaFollette in 2002. He served as pastor of both parishes until 2015, when he was appointed pastor of St. Henry Parish in Rogersville ‘A flavorful life’ Father Campbell, seen here celebrating Mass, and St. James the Apostle Parish in served several East Tennessee parishes during his priesthood. Sneedville. While serving at Our Lady of Perveloped their friendship. petual Help and Christ the King, Father Campbell Father Harvey highlighted the Gospel reading, liked to visit Norris Lake, where he would travel Luke 23:44-49, in his homily, singling out the cenby boat to celebrate Masses on the water twice a turion who dared declare when Jesus died on the year. He said the boat Masses each spring and fall cross that Jesus was an innocent man, contrary to helped keep him connected to the water. He was the Roman government’s sentence. set to retire and live in residence at St. Francis of “I found this Scripture a very appropriate tribAssisi in Fairfield Glade before his health began to ute to my friend, Father Joe Campbell, for several significantly decline. reasons. He would, I think, appreciate a Bible Father Campbell attended seminary at St. Meinstory that highlights a little rebelliousness toward rad School of Theology in Indiana with Father authority,” Father Harvey said. “If you know Joe, Harvey, and it was at St. Meinrad where they deFather Campbell continued on page 13

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

December 4, 2016 3

Bishop Stika issues pastoral letter to address concerns of election results


ishop Richard F. Stika has issued a pastoral letter to parishioners in the Diocese of Knoxville to address concerns following the 2016 presidential campaign and the Nov. 8 election. The letter was delivered at all 51 diocesan churches and missions during Masses on the second weekend of Advent. The presidential campaign and election prompted concerns about topics debated such as immigration, health care, and social justice issues, fears that appear to still be resonating with the public. Titled “We Are One Body,” Bishop Stika’s letter reassures Church members that he is one with them

as they move forward, with the Church and the Holy Spirit accompanying them. The bishop reminds them that the Catholic Church is not a national church but is universal and united by faith and the language of Christ’s love. The Church’s identity reflects the people who share in the faith that Christ’s peace and love conquer all. Bishop Stika addresses the uncertainty that can lead to confusion and fear but assures East Tennessee Catholics that nothing can separate them from the love of Christ. His letter states: Letter continued on page 9

December Prayer Intentions

4 December 4, 2016

Merry Christmas and a H a p p y N e w Ye a r

“That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over. That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel, which gives joy and hope to life. –– Pope Francis ”As we celebrate the season of Advent in preparation for the beautiful celebration of Christmas, let us pray for all of our sisters and brothers who, for whatever reason, do not regularly join us in the Sunday celebration of the Holy Mass, that they will feel welcome at Christmas and throughout the year! –– Bishop Stika

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy 2017 Your Knights of Columbus Agent

Contact an agent today to learn more: (855) 4TN-KOFC

Don Brown - ext. 711 Tri Cities


Ron Henry - ext. 710 Knoxville East

Paul Huinker - ext. 708 Henry McCormick - ext. 709 David Schachle - ext. 701 Knoxville West Chattanooga West TN General Agent


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New Sacred Heart Cathedral receives a generous golden gift New York artisan ascends 14 stories to cover metal cross in gold leaf as part of special gilding process

By Jim Wogan

The East Tennessee Catholic



High-level artistry Anne Domenech, of EverGreene Architectural Arts in New York, prepares the cross atop the dome of the new cathedral for gilding. She is being assisted by Scott Carey of cathedral contractor Merit Construction.


nne Domenech is an artist with absolutely no fear of altitude. For four days in October, Ms. Domenech found herself suspended in a crane basket nearly 14 stories above the floor of the new Sacred Heart Cathedral as she plied her trade—gilding a cross that sits atop the cathedral with a thin coat of gold. “You have to watch everything to be safe ... at the same time you are gilding and you are holding these (gold) leaves and you have to make sure that they are going where they are supposed to and I am staying where I am supposed to stay,” said Ms. Domenech. “I am not scared of heights. I could go higher. I am a little bit of a scare devil, as you say.” With an accent that reveals her French ancestry, Ms. Domenech (pronounced Doe-mah-nek) possesses a calm and friendly demeanor that belies her sometimes intense surroundings. She works as an artist and gilder for EverGreene Architectural Arts, a firm based in New York City. She arrived in Knoxville on Oct. 24 to begin her work. “I have to do this job, so I do it, but at the same time it’s a work that is very meditative, to do gilding. You don’t just apply leaves, you really have to think,” she said. Gilding is the process of decorating an object or a surface with a thin layer of precious metal—gold, silver, or sometimes even palladium. Ms. Domenech said the sheets, called leaves, are usually as “thin as a page in the bible” and are meticulously laid onto a surface prepared with an adhesive. Her work was completed in four days. In comparison to her other projects, it was a short stay. For Sacred Heart Cathedral, the gold was a gift that was completely unexpected. The cathedral paid nothing for it. “Through the very generous gift

A gold-leaf finish Ms. Domenech and Mr. Carey, working from a crane-hoisted basket 14 stories above ground, apply the gold leaf that was donated by EverGreene Architectural Arts to the cross.

from EverGreene Architectural Arts, the cross on top of the dome of the new Sacred Heart Cathedral will

be gilded in gold,” Father David Boettner, a vicar general for the Diocese of Knoxville and rector of

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

Sacred Heart Cathedral, announced shortly before Ms. Domenech’s arrival. “Originally, we had not planned to gild the cross because we did not think we could afford it. We are very grateful for the gift from EverGreene, which made this possible,” Father Boettner added. Ms. Domenech has extensive experience as an architectural artist. Her resume includes gilding the dome at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and gilding the lobby and corridors of New York City’s Empire State Building during its recent restoration. “What is unique for me with this job is that (it is) at the start of construction of the cathedral. That’s like, unbelievable for me to put the cross, that special element, that holy element, on the cathedral. For me, it’s very special. I am very proud to be here,” she said. “I know when I was up there (it seemed like) I could see the whole Gilded continued on page 31 December 4, 2016 5

Church working to keep youth, young adults engaged in faith New approaches used to keep young people involved in Mass, parish activities

6 December 4, 2016



oung Catholics leaving the faith at early ages are giving reasons deeper than being “bored at Mass,” the author of a new report claims. “Those that are leaving for no religion – and a pretty big component of them saying they are atheist or agnostic – it turns out that when you probe a bit more deeply and you allow them to talk in their own words, that they are bringing up things that are related to science and a need for evidence and a need for proof,” said Dr. Mark Gray, a senior research associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. “It’s almost a crisis in faith,” Dr. Gray said. “In the whole concept of faith, this is a generation that is struggling with faith in ways that we haven’t seen in previous generations.” Dr. Gray recently published the results of two national studies by CARA — which conducts social science research about the Church — in the publication Our Sunday Visitor. One of the surveys was of those who were raised Catholic but no longer identified as Catholic, ages 15 to 25. The second survey was of self-identified Catholics ages 18 and over. In exploring why young Catholics were choosing to leave the faith, he noted “an emerging profile” of youth who say they find the faith “incompatible with what they are learning in high school or at the university level.” In a perceived battle between the Catholic Church and science, the Church is losing. And it is losing Catholics at a young age. “The interviews with youth and young adults who had left the Catholic faith revealed that the typical age for this decision to leave was made at 13,” Dr. Gray wrote. “Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed, 63 percent, said they

By Catholic News Service/Catholic News Agency

Staying engaged Catholic youth and young adults, like these pictured at World Youth Day in Poland, are being asked by the Church to remain committed to their faith and to also take more active roles in their parishes.

stopped being Catholic between the ages of 10 and 17. Another 23 percent say they left the faith before the age of 10.” Of those who had left the faith, “only 13 percent said they were ever likely to return to the Catholic Church,” Gray wrote. And “absent any big changes in their life,” he said to CNA, they “are probably not coming back.” The most common reason given for leaving the Catholic faith, by one in five respondents, was they stopped believing in God or religion. This was evidence of a “desire among some of them for proof, for evidence of what they’re learning about their religion and about God,” Dr. Gray said. It’s a trend in the popular culture

to see atheism as “smart” and the faith as “a fairy tale,” he said. “And I think the Church needs to come to terms with this as an issue of popular culture,” he continued. “I think the Church perhaps needs to better address its history and its relationship to science.” One reason for this might be the compartmentalization of faith and education, where youth may go to Mass once a week but spend the rest of their week learning how the faith is “dumb,” he noted. In contrast, if students are taught evolution and the Big Bang theory at the same school where they learn religion, and they are taught by people with religious convictions, then “you’re kind of shown that there’s not conflicts between those, and you

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

understand the Church and Church history and its relationship to science,” he said. With previous generations who learned about both faith and science as part of a curriculum, that education “helped them a lot in dealing with these bigger questions,” he explained, “and not seeing conflict between religion and science.” Father Matthew Schneider, LC, who worked in youth ministry for four years, emphasized that faith and science must be presented to young people in harmony with each other. A challenge, he explained, is teaching how “faith and science relate” through philosophy and theology. While science deals only

Youth continued on page 30

A priest’s open letter to young adults: Why you need the Church

In a world where Catholicism increasingly is pushed to the periphery, the 18-and-over group is vital

By Father Michael Cummins

The East Tennessee Catholic



hy do some young adults wander away from the Church? There are no easy answers to this. At least I have not found one in my own experience of ministry. I have seen some young people fully immersed in the Church in high school and college who then just stop coming one day. I have seen other young people who had wandered off come back with Fr. Cummins a great fervor almost bordering on zealotry. A good number of young people I have known wander in and out with some choosing to stay loosely connected on the periphery of the Church. Certainly each person’s journey of faith is unique. There are movements in the heart that only God can see, and everything occurs in God’s time. We all know that there are scandals within the Church that wound hearts and discredit the Gospel and the community. There are voices against the Church and Christianity in our world and caricatures of religion too easily tossed about in society. There is a diffused mistrust of all institutions. There also are people not willing to change their view of the Church just as they, themselves, insist the Church must change (usually to their liking). Finally, there are some people who are just lazy spiritually. With all this in mind, I am firmly convinced that young adults need the Church. No one may be able to adequately answer the big concerns noted above. Still, I want to offer a few thoughts about why young adults need the Church. Here are the thoughts in the form of a letter:

Keeping the faith Bishop Richard F. Stika meets in October with young adults at St. John XXIII University Parish on the University of

Tennessee campus. Building relationships with youth and young adults is of primary importance to the bishop and the diocese.

Dear young adults, Do you know that you need more than just your peers? I never really became a fan of the TV show Friends. I do remember watching it and being entertained although I didn’t always agree with the moral choices portrayed in the show. I remember the whole universe portrayed in the show was that of a group of peers. Every now and then a person from another generation (younger or older) would pop in and out of the show, but they seemed to be just a distraction. Everything centered on that particular group of peers and their enclosed world. I have seen this same theme continue in newer generations of shows. I am sorry, but that is not life. Sadly, though, I think society and, surprisingly, the Church have followed suit. There are retreat programs and

youth ministry initiatives intentionally and exclusively structured around peer-given talks and peer-led discussions. There are youth-only liturgies. I would wager that the same trend can be seen in education, athletics and all forms of engagement with our youth. Is there a certain value and place for this? Yes, but there are unintended consequences. Dear young adults, I apologize. You have been done a disservice. Although no one intended it, you have been taught to only value peer input and peer relationship. The voices of other generations – the insight, knowledge and wisdom of older generations that can help guide in life and help navigate its struggles as well as the hopes and dreams of younger generations – have been blocked from your awareness. With this block there can also

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

be a forgetfulness of how God has been faithful and active in all generations and how God continues to be faithful and active. In my ministry with young adults I often felt frustrated. Over time, I learned to not get upset or frustrated by this. They were just doing what they had been taught. I was not a peer and therefore my voice and consideration would sometimes just bounce off their perspective somewhere into the ether. But as I shared above, a world composed only of peers with a particular generational perspective is not real life. One of the things truly wonderful about Sunday worship is seeing generations coming together in Church – young and old and even in-between. Young adults, I have to say that you are noticeably absent from these gather-

Faith continued on page 30 December 4, 2016 7

Cathedral dedication stone begins yearlong tour of diocese


s the new Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus reaches the final phases of construction, Bishop Richard F. Stika has announced the cathedral dedication stone Pope Francis blessed, which will be displayed inside Sacred Heart, will make a pilgrimage to each parish and mission. The Dedication Stone Pilgrimage allows parishioners across the diocese to view the marble stone Bishop Stika presented to Pope Francis at the Vatican on Oct. 14, 2015. The stone, quarried from property in East Tennessee, is roughly the size of a ceiling tile and weighs 19.5 pounds. It will be placed in the narthex of the cathedral at the conclusion of construction in early 2018. Members of the diocese’s Knights of Columbus will escort the dedication stone to stops at each parish, mission

church, and Catholic school. The Dedication Stone Pilgrimage began following a Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Nov. 22. Bishop Stika celebrated the Mass. Father David Boettner, rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral and a vicar general for the diocese, and Father Arthur Torres, Sacred Heart associate pastor, concelebrated. Following Mass, the dedication stone was transferred by the Knights of Columbus from the cathedral to its first visit at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Mission in Erwin. After visiting all 51 parishes and missions and the 10 schools, the dedication stone will make its way back to Sacred Heart Cathedral in preparation for its permanent installation in the new cathedral, which will be officially consecrated in 2018 when construction is complete.

By Jim Wogan


Marble piece blessed by Pope Francis will visit all 51 parishes and missions in lead-up to cathedral opening

On display Bishop Stika and Father Boettner prepare the cathedral dedication stone for its pilgrimage around the diocese. The Knights of Columbus will escort the stone.

In addition, plans are underway to officially place the much larger cornerstone for the cathedral. The cornerstone serves as a foundation stone on which the cathedral

rests. The cornerstone will be placed during a special ceremony led by Bishop Stika and Father Boettner on Saturday, March 25, at 11 a.m. ■

2017 March for Life Sunday, January 22 2:00 PM

World’s Fair Amphitheater Take a stand for LIFE!

8 December 4, 2016

954 World’s Fair Park Drive

Gather to pray for an end to abortion and call our city back to life. Contact Tennessee Right to Life, Knox County 689-1339 or “Never tire of firmly speaking out in defense of life from its conception and do not be deterred from the commitment to defend the dignity of every human person with courageous determination.” Pope St. John Paul II

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

Letter continued from page 4

We Are One Body

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, This weekend, as the Church universal celebrates the Second Sunday of Advent, I want to address some of the concerns and fears that may have arisen during the 2016 presidential campaign and since the election on Nov. 8. First, as your Bishop, I want to remind you that we are all a pilgrim people, and we share a common life together as brothers and sisters in Christ. Even though we are citizens of the United States of America, our true citizenship is in Heaven. Indeed we are members of the same body. As St. Paul says, “Now you are Christ’s body and individually parts of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27). The Scriptures tell one long story of migration: Abraham migrating from Chaldea to Canaan, Jacob and his family migrating from Canaan to Egypt in a time of famine, Moses leading the people out of this land of slavery, and Joshua leading them into the Promised Land. Israel was exiled in Babylon and returned from exile. Because of the chosen people’s experiences of being a stranger in a strange land, the Scriptures constantly command them and us to not mistreat the immigrant in our midst, “for you were once strangers in the land of Egypt.” The Catholic Church is not a national church. We are catholic, international, and universal. Every nation and race is a brother and sister in Christ. While we have a right and a responsibility to have an orderly immigration process, that can never excuse treating anyone as a lesser person. Our human dignity comes from God, not from a law or nation. The Catholic Church is our home, and we all have our citizenship in Heaven. And the one language we must all strive to be fluent in is the language of faith, spoken in love.

As a nation, the United States of America has been the beneficiary of so many immigrant groups that had the courage and fortitude to come to America. They came fleeing horrific conditions and harboring a dream of a better life for their children. They were some of the most industrious, ambitious, and enterprising citizens of their own countries and brought enormous energy and goodwill to their new homeland. Their hard work and sacrifices have made this country great. Each person’s presence and contributions are needed today as well. From the beginning of our country, the Catholic Church has been here to welcome new people who come with the dream of freedom and progress. It is part of our identity as the Church to be a place of hospitality and welcome. While uncertainty can lead to confusion and fear, we know that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. I want to assure you that our Church family is here to walk with you in these times of uncertainty and fear. Through our parishes and Catholic Charities, we will continue to serve you and all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We know that whenever we serve the most vulnerable among us, we are in fact serving Christ himself. When Pope St. John Paul II visited Mexico in 1999, he declared Our Lady of Guadalupe to be the Patroness of all of the Americas. Our Lady’s words to Juan Diego are also for us today. “… Let your face and your heart not be troubled, don’t be afraid… Am I not here, I who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and my bosom…?” As we hear in our second reading today, “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another.” May God bless you and your families, and may He grant you peace. ■

Advent penance services scheduled for churches around the diocese Here is a list of remaining Advent penance services around the diocese: Chattanooga Deanery 7 p.m. EST, unless noted. Dec. 5: St. Bridget, Dayton, 6:30 p.m.; Dec. 6: St. Mary, Athens; Dec. 7: Holy Spirit, Soddy Daisy; Dec. 13: Our Lady of Lourdes, South Pittsburg, 6:30 p.m. CST; Shepherd of the Valley, Dunlap, 6:30 p.m. CST; St. Stephen, Chattanooga; Dec. 15: St. Augustine, Signal Mountain; St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Cleveland; Dec. 19: Sts. Peter and Paul, Chattanooga, 5:30 p.m.; Dec. 20: St. Jude, Chattanooga Cumberland Mountain Deanery 7 p.m. EST, unless noted. Dec. 5: St. The East Tennessee Catholic

Teresa of Kolkata, Maynardville; Dec. 6: St. John Neumann, Farragut; Dec. 7: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, LaFollette; Dec. 8: Christ the King, Tazewell; Dec. 9: St. Alphonsus, Crossville, 7 p.m. CST; Dec. 12: St. Joseph, Norris, and St. Therese, Clinton, at St. Therese; Dec. 13: All Saints, Knoxville; Dec. 16: St. Francis of Assisi, Fairfield Glade, 6 p.m. CST

Smoky Mountain Deanery 7 p.m. Dec. 7: St. Joseph the Worker,

Madisonville; Dec. 15: St. Mary, Gatlinburg ■

Five Rivers Deanery 7 p.m. Dec. 5: St. Michael the Archangel, Erwin; Dec. 6: St. Mary, Johnson City; Dec. 14: Notre Dame, Greeneville; Holy Trinity, Jefferson City; Dec. 15: St. John Paul II, Rutledge; Dec. 20: St. Dominic, Kingsport; Dec. 22: St. Henry, Rogersville The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

December 4, 2016 9

Bill Waskelis’ will to win

St. Thomas the Apostle parishioner and lifetime Cubs fan almost gets to witness his lifelong dream

10 December 4, 2016



Two thumbs up! Bill and MaryAnn Waskelis, with young son Kevin, give their opinion of the Cubs during a game years ago at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

“We watched WGN and Harry Caray and Steve Stone on TV. Dad was a longtime Cubs fan and passed that on. And then when they were going to the World Series, that’s something we never thought we would see. — Kevin Waskelis , shown recently with his father, Bill


ill Waskelis’ lifelong dream came true on Nov. 2. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series after a 108-year drought. His son, Kevin, wishes his dad had been here to see it. They were oh-soclose to witnessing baseball history together. After cheering on the Cubs in bad years and good for most of his 79 years, Mr. Waskelis died on Oct. 31, as the Cubs were two games shy of winning their first world championship since 1908. A funeral Mass for Mr. Waskelis was celebrated on Nov. 4 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Lenoir City. He and his wife, MaryAnn, have been members of St. Thomas the Apostle since they retired to Tellico Village in 2001. Mr. Waskelis also was active in the Knights of Columbus, which he belonged to longer than he and his wife’s 52 years of marriage, and he had been honored as Knight of the Year. Mr. Waskelis had always talked of watching the Cubs return to the pinnacle of Major League Baseball. Finally, this was to be the year. And he fought to hold on until the Series was decided in Game 7 on Nov. 2. MaryAnn and Kevin Waskelis were by his side encouraging him until the end. The family was featured in a Nov. 1 column by Detroit Free Press sports columnist Jeff Seidel, whose story detailed Mr. Waskelis’ efforts to see the Cubs win the World Series that fell short by two games. The story was circulated around the country. After battling kidney cancer for two years, doctors told Mr. Waskelis Oct. 6 that he had 30 days to live. A bone scan revealed the cancer had spread. As the family dealt with the devastating news, Kevin realized the Cubs offered a measure of hope and incentive during his dad’s final days. Bill Waskelis grew up in Detroit, where he attended school and played sports. He even attended Detroit Tigers games as a kid, but he would develop a devotion to the Cubs, a connection he

handed down to his son. Mr. Waskelis was a sales executive in the chemical industry, and the family lived in Dallas and St. Louis in addition to Detroit. Despite residing where the major league Tigers, Rangers, and Cardinals call home, they remained diehard Cubs fans. Now 36, Kevin remembers being introduced to the Cubs as a 7-year-old baseball upstart who would play catch with his dad. Bill Waskelis would go on to teach Kevin the finer points of the game, including pitching. Kevin played baseball through his freshman year in high school before setting his

sights on basketball. But his love for the Cubs never waned and rivaled his father’s. Kevin, who rushed to be by his father’s side from out of state, recalls that while attending middle school in St. Louis the school held a Cardinals Day and brought in a Cardinals player to meet the students. Kevin was wearing a Cubs shirt that day, and after the Cardinals player threw him a complimentary baseball he asked for the ball back after seeing Kevin’s shirt. That just fueled his interest in the Cubs and strengthened his bond with his father. There were family trips to

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

By Bill Brewer

Wrigley Field to see the team play in person as well as visits to Cubs conventions in Chicago. “We watched WGN and Harry Caray and Steve Stone on TV. Dad was a longtime Cubs fan and passed that on,” Kevin Waskelis said. “And then when they were going to the World Series, that’s something we never thought we would see.” It has been a season of hope for the Waskelis family, with Mr. Waskelis certain that the Cubs’ time had finally arrived. “He really believed they were going to win it. I was sure hoping that, but he said ‘yes, they’re going to do it,’” Kevin said. “I even got him the MLB (broadcast) package so he could watch every game on the computer. And he watched every game.” Shortly after his final diagnosis, Mr. Waskelis followed the Cubs’ pennant race with San Francisco and Los Angeles. He watched with great interest as his beloved team finished the regular season with the best record in Major League Baseball, winning its division by 17 ½ games. The team also reached the 100-win mark for the first time since 1935 and won 103 total games, the most victories for the Chicago franchise since 1910. All that led to their first appearance in a World Series since 1945 and first win since 1908, capped by an 8-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians in extra innings in Game 7. Kevin has said that when the Cubs won the National League pennant on Oct. 22, his father was celebrating with tears in his eyes. Mr. Waskelis was still well enough to root for his team. But as the Cubs played their way into the World Series, his health began to fade. Kevin and his mother talked about how unfortunate it was that as the Cubs advanced, Mr. Waskelis’ health declined. “He was in so much pain. But when they were going to the World Series,

World Series continued on page 14

Cubs win! A steadfast faith always sees us through in the end

A fan’s message on being ‘assured of things hoped for and convinced of things unseen’


s a kid growing up in Chicago in the late 1960s, I had two big problems. I knew nothing about sports and I had no brothers. My folks were highly educated, my mom a lawyer and my dad a Navy veteran with a master’s degree in speech. Both graduated from Marquette University, where the Jesuits had done their due diligence. My dad grew up on the shores of Lake Superior in Ashland, Wis., where anyone not from there was from “down below.” My mom hailed from Colorado Springs, but found the three Bs of beer, Braves, and boys in the dairyland state. My mom and dad watched about an hour of television a year and saw a movie maybe every three years or so. I watched Neil Armstrong step onto the moon’s surface on a 13-inch black and white TV in 1969. It wasn’t until I was in the fifth grade when dad bought a 15-inch color set because the other one quit working. But it was never tuned to sports. My sister and I watched only cartoons, The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, and as we got a little older we watched Creature Features, which was a show that came on after the news at 10:30 p.m. with B-grade monster movies. Sleepovers always were more interesting when you had the living daylights scared out of you watching Vincent Price, Bela Lugosi, and other talented actors who had my number. At some point, you have to make a decision as a kid in Chicago. You had no choice in football, but in baseball you had two options. In most instances, the South-Siders went with the Sox and the North-Siders always found their team in the Cubs. I grew up on the poor side of the street of Longwood Drive at the extreme end of Chicago’s South Side. And yes, we capitalize South Side; it’s a real place, although you can’t mail a letter there. At the tender age of 7 I was asked who I was pulling for in the cross-town The East Tennessee Catholic

Deacon Patrick Murphy-Racey

rivalry. I had always liked the red and blue colors of the Cubs logo, and who didn’t like a cute bear? I said the Cubs and within seconds I was on the ground with three kids on top of me explaining with their fists how strongly they felt about the White Sox. Even after that experience, saying I liked the Cubs got such a rise out of people that I always preferred the Cubs. Besides, I had already suffered for my team so I wasn’t going to change anything after that. I would visit friends’ houses on weekends and find everyone mesmerized by the boys of summer playing on WGN-TV, Channel 9. I had no opinion to offer, no strong feelings about the manager, or thoughts to offer about who the closer should be that day. I just always liked the Cubs – maybe for all the wrong reasons. As I grew older I began to understand more about baseball but never watched or attended games with my dad. My mom often would sneak a few friends and me out of school on opening day to see the White Sox, but other than that I was a fan alone. Later in life I became a sports photographer and began shooting on a regular basis for newspapers and eventually for Sports Illustrated. As a sophomore in college, I got to shoot just about every home game of the Milwaukee Brewers for the Associated Press, but after leav-

ing Milwaukee I never again lived in a town that had Major League Baseball. The fact the Cubs would never win it all never bothered me. I had been a fan for so long that I didn’t care, and I always found a sort of sweet comfort in rooting for the losing team, or at least the one that didn’t always win. Scanning the sports pages others left behind in airports, I always checked on the Cubs to see how they were doing. Bishop Richard Stika is a big fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. He asked me right after he was installed as bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville who I liked for the World Series that year. I responded then in 2009 as I always did, “I like the Cubs and hope they win it all this season.” After that, every time he saw me he would dig on me about being a Cubs fan. He even suggested that his team might be a better choice to root for. And then a couple years ago when the Cards began to slip and the Cubs improved, the blindfolded Lady Justice must have peeked out the side of her eye cover to see the great injustice done to the Cubs. We have been the butt of jokes for more than a century, considered hopeless. People even felt sorry for us. Imagine! That brings me to the 2016 World Series, or to be more specific, Game 7, which has to have been one of the greatest games in the history of baseball. All of our collective tension, lack of satisfaction, the hopes and dreams of fans long dead — it all came to a boil that night and then exploded in Cleveland. The Cubbies’ joy spread everywhere, washing over everything and everyone. To say the game was exciting is to reduce it to nothing. So much was riding on that one home run. I had the distinct pleasure of typing these words in the city of my birth, “Chi-Town,” and on the South Side, no less. But I was born on the North Side

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

By Deacon Patrick Murphy-Racey

of Chicago from a lakefront address, compliments of the U.S. Navy. I was not only born to be a Cubs fan but born in the Cubs’ den. Catholicism in the city of Chicago is like wallpaper. It’s all over your house and impossible to get away from. Even for those who are not Catholic, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day together with gusto. The city and the Church are in many ways synonymous and impossible to separate. It would be like trying to take pizza and red-hots out of the town: impossible. Here in Chicago, as in the Church, we love our dead. There have been thousands of Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail messages from sons and daughters writing to deceased moms, dads, and grandparents. The messages are poignant, beautiful, and very touching to read. The Cubs’ win proves that victory is always sweeter to those who find the patience to wait, and wait, and wait, but never lose hope. There is a greater message afoot in the joyful blue streets of Chicago. It’s a message about being “assured of things hoped for and convinced of things unseen” (Hebrews 11:1). It’s a message to all of us about faith and how it needs to be the bedrock on which we build our lives. That small voice is in each of us. May we garner the strength to lift that whisper and amplify it throughout our lives so it can become like the anthem being sung here in the Windy City. And so heaven leaned down and kissed the boys in blue and their legion of fans, and awakened the dead to rejoice once more. Hooray! The goat is dead! Mixing Christian faith with silly wives’ tales you say? This is baseball we are talking about, where a healthy faith is always checked by the careful observance of sensible superstition. I believe! ■ Deacon Patrick Murphy-Racey serves St. Albert the Great Parish in Knoxville. December 4, 2016 11

A deacon at last

Larry Rossini’s path to ordination was briefly sidetracked, but now he serves Union County’s parish

12 December 4, 2016



hen the other 23 members of his deacon class were being ordained June 11, deacon candidate Larry Rossini was lying in a hospital bed, only three days removed from heart bypass surgery. His special day had to be postponed, but it finally came Oct. 1 as Bishop Richard F. Stika ordained Mr. Rossini to the permanent diaconate at St. Albert the Great Church in Knoxville. Bishop Stika presided at the ordination Mass. Concelebrants were host pastor Father Chris Michelson, Father Steve Pawelk, GHM, Father Tony Budnick, and Father Bill Gahagan. Deacon Jim Lawson was deacon of the Word, and Deacon Joe Stackhouse was deacon of the Eucharist. Father Pawelk is pastor of St. Teresa of Kolkata in Maynardville, where Deacon Rossini is assigned. Deacon Rossini talked about what the ordination day meant after all he had been through health-wise. “Wow. It was a special emotional rollercoaster during the service,” he said. “I went from feeling not worthy to a high of just being blessed that I was called, and the Holy Spirit just filled my heart.” He had to watch via live streaming as his brother deacons were ordained in June. A phone call from Bishop Stika during that ceremony lifted his spirits, however. “Until the bishop called, I was feeling pretty low, but while they were being processed up the aisle at Sacred Heart [Cathedral], I get a phone call, and it’s the bishop, and he’s just assuring me that I will be ordained and not question why but just pray that God will answer my call, and he did, and today I got ordained!” Deacon Rossini said. More than two dozen deacons, including many from the class of 2016, joined Deacon Rossini at his ordination.

By Dan McWilliams

‘You wish to be a deacon of the Church’ Bishop Stika says the prayer of ordination for Deacon Larry Rossini during a

Mass on Oct. 1 at St. Albert the Great Church in Knoxville. Deacon Rossini is serving at St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish in Maynardville.

“Larry, as you make this public pronouncement, this public proclamation that you wish to be a deacon of the Church, allow people to see Jesus in you ... in your hands as you reach out to another, to maybe help them along with their life, to give them spiritual guidance.” — Bishop Stika “That made it complete, because I felt I was a link that was missing during that whole process, and now today it’s complete,” he said. His wife of 42 years, Karen, all five of their sons, and seven of the couple’s nine grandchildren attended the ordination, along with a brother and sister-in-law from Arkansas. In his opening remarks, Bishop Stika told of one thing he has in common with Deacon Rossini: they’ve both had bypass surgery. “He and I both share that. I had one

13 years ago,” the bishop said. Before the homily, diocesan chancellor Deacon Sean Smith called Mr. Rossini forward, the candidate answering “present.” Deacon Tim Elliott, diocesan director of the diaconate, then asked the bishop to ordain Mr. Rossini. “I testify that Larry has been found worthy,” Deacon Elliott said. “We choose this man, Lawrence, our brother, for the order of the diaconate,” the bishop said, leading to a round of applause for the ordinand.

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The bishop told Deacon Rossini to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus. “Larry, as you make this public pronouncement, this public proclamation that you wish to be a deacon of the Church, allow people to see Jesus in you . . . in your hands as you reach out to another, to maybe help them along with their life, to give them spiritual guidance. “By your feet, never to walk away . . . but especially to be the heart of Jesus, to know that your primary vocation is to your wife and your family, but also a part of your vocation now is to be a deacon, to be a person of charity and kindness and love and understanding, to be a person who knows that even though he might be retired from one place in life, you’re Deacon continued on page 29

you know that he was never shy about declaring his disapproval of anyone or anything he didn’t like. At seminary, especially that first year, he loved to argue. You could often hear Joe’s voice booming through the sixinch concrete walls, usually directed at one of his classmates, sometimes at a teacher. That’s just one of the many personality traits that initially endeared me to Joseph. “Back at St. Meinrad, we would sometimes just marvel at the fact that what he lacked in diplomatic nuance he certainly made up for in volume. And when shouting didn’t work, he would also intimate that he could resort quite easily to physical violence. Mind you, Joe never carried out any acts of physical violence. But just the thought of it would give a would-be critic pause.” But that tough exterior, honed over years through activities like football and wrestling, belied Father Campbell’s pastoral side, according to Father Harvey. “Actually, his reputation, which had preceded him because he had been a football player and a wrestler, was a great deterrent, unless, of course, you took the time to know Joe. He was the proverbial gentle giant. He was a very gentle man. He was sensitive, but he didn’t like you to know that. One of the ironic things to me was Joseph didn’t like school, he didn’t like classes. … Ironically, Joseph became a great teacher,” Father Harvey said. “Some of the most incredibly wise things would come out of Joe at the most unexpected moments. We would just marvel. It doesn’t surprise me that he became such a good teacher and a good pastor, because he himself was influenced and encouraged and supported and nurtured by so many good people, especially when I think of his clergy friends. There was Bishop (Anthony J.) O’Connell, Bishop (Joseph E.) Kurtz, and Bishop Stika. There were many priests, startThe East Tennessee Catholic


Father Campbell continued from page 3

Marine ministry Father Joe Campbell gives (from left) Sister Mary Sarah Macht, RSM, Mother Timothea Elliott, RSM, and Sister Mary Christine Cremin, RSM, a ride on the boat he used to navigate Norris Lake, where he celebrated boat Masses in this photo from October 2012.

ing with Father Tom Field, and Father (Bill) Gahagan, Father (Michael) Sweeney, Father (David) Boettner, Father (John) Dowling, Monsignor (Patrick) Garrity, Monsignor (Al) Humbrecht, Father John Orr, Father Michael Woods, Father (Mike) Creson. And there were deacons, especially Deacon Sean Fr. Jim Harvey (Smith), who was a dear friend of Joe’s. The list just goes on and on and on and on,” he added. One of Father Campbell’s closest friends, Father Bill Ehalt, who was a classmate at St. Meinrad, described the well-traveled pastor as “a giant soul with a giant heart,” according to Father Harvey. “That was true, and I share that sentiment. But I also want to say that I’m just amazed by his pastoral de-

velopment in the last 18 years. Joe really was a good priest. I was ordained before him, but Joe quickly surpassed me in pastoral skills,” Father Harvey said. As he delivered his homily, Father Harvey looked out over Father Campbell’s casket, which was of hand-crafted natural wood from St. Meinrad Archabbey, a fitting tribute to the towering priest who loved to work with his stout hands. “You know that casket contains a huge lifetime, because it touched lives, and it saved souls, and made claims on us. Father Joe loved being a priest. He was a faithful friend. He was a talented woodworker. But in addition to that, he was a great builder of community, often in building projects and improving his church and his community, whatever he could do. Joe loved to build things. He blessed our diocesan faith family greatly. His interests were many. Besides, of course, his parishioners, he loved old cars, cats, waterfalls, cook-

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ing, redheads, and Jesus; not particularly in that order. “He was a strong man. And I found it very poignant that in these last few years Joe had to be humble and ask for help. There were so many of you that came to his aid and did help him, and I want to thank you for that. That says volumes about your own goodness,” Father Harvey said. Bishop Stika and Father Harvey were among a small group of family and friends that held vigil at Parkwest Hospital as Father Campbell died. “I’m so appreciative of that. It was a great honor to do that,” Father Harvey noted. “We sang prayers. We sang songs. Father David (Boettner) played ‘Big Bad John,’ which was Joe’s favorite song. Later that night when I got home, and I was just sitting there thinking about all that had taken place, I thought of that centurion and I wanted to say of Joe, ‘this was a good, innocent man.’” Father Harvey explained that this

Father Campbell continued on page 14 December 4, 2016 13

World Series continued from page 10

funeral. “His faith was very important to him, and he always tried to be the best person he could be,” MaryAnn Waskelis said. Kevin and his mother praised St. Thomas and its parishioners, and the Knights of Columbus for their support during Mr. Waskelis’ illness and death. “They have been so wonderful. They’ve made everything so much easier for us. They just have given us so much support, and the Knights of

that is something we thought we would never see. That helped ease the pain,” Kevin said. In addition to Kevin and MaryAnn, Father Doug Owens, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle, spent time with Mr. Waskelis in preparation for his death. Father Owens was the celebrant at Mr. Waskelis’ funeral, and Kevin noted that one of his father’s best friends from Michigan drove to Lenoir City to serve as a deacon for the

Columbus have done so much for us,” said MaryAnn Waskelis, who noted that those memories of the family going to Cubs games and conventions are so much more precious now. At the funeral, Kevin and his mother displayed a picture of the family at Wrigley Field in Chicago and Mr. Waskelis’ hat from the 1991 Cubs convention. Also, a Knoxville man who had read Mr. Seidel’s column sent the Waskelises a program and towel from Game 4 of the World Series.

goodness came directly from Jesus Christ, who was the good and innocent man who died on the cross for our sins. He said the priesthood is a great legacy of service to leave to the world. “Joe never took that lightly.” “Father Joe did his darndest to serve God and the Church and the holy people of God well. He was not perfect; none of us are. But he was faithful, and because of his faithfulness, so many people now know a little bit about the greatness of God. Joe now needs God, desires God, and so is with God. So until we get to be together again, I’m sure he would say something cute, funny, and outdoorsy. But I have nothing. I’ll just say Godspeed, my brother,” Father Harvey concluded, his voice breaking with emotion. Bishop Stika said Father Campbell had rods placed in his back to help him stand tall again and was proud of that. He said the big and tall priest maintained his sense of humor during his health ordeals, noting that recently he remarked to Father Campbell about orthopedic screws placed in Father Campbell’s neck. “And he told me, ‘Yes, now I really do have a screw loose.’” Bishop Stika also recalled a recent conversation he had with Father Campbell as the priest convalesced in which the bishop asked Father Campbell to retire due to health

14 December 4, 2016


Father Campbell continued from page 13

Celebrating the boat Mass In this photo from July 2013, Father Campbell cel-

ebrates Mass on Norris Lake for boaters who vacation at the lake.

concerns. “If I didn’t do that, he would push himself to try to come back because he always wanted to come back sooner. In fact, he would check himself out of hospitals and rehab centers and push himself to return to his pastoral responsibilities, and when he gave me advice on how I should have handled the situation, he told me, ‘Bishop, I’m not a very patient man.’ I said, ‘No kidding, Joe!’” “When I first met him seven years ago, he said, ‘You know, I love LaFollette and Tazewell; I love the people there.’ He loved that assignment. So all of you from Tazewell and LaFollette, he loved you all. He was beginning to enjoy his relationship with the people from St. Henry in

Rogersville. And he loved the people from St. John Neumann,” Bishop Stika said. “In all those assignments, he may have not been a great theologian by academic standards, but he was a true man of God because he incorporated the Scriptures and the teachings of the Church as a true priest. I understand he was a great confessor and a very spiritual pastor. He loved the beauty of nature, and he made things with his hands like St. Joseph did. He would tell stories, like Jesus did.” Bishop Stika said that while Father Campbell’s immediate family was small in number, his extended family was the Church, reflective of true celibacy in giving himself totally to the Church. He was a man who gave

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“It was such a kind gesture. We have never met him,” Kevin said. As he reflected on all that has taken place since Oct. 6, Kevin was asked what his father’s reaction would have been to the Cubs winning Game 7 of the 2016 World Series in such a dramatic way. “He would have been like me, breaking down and crying; tears of joy, not knowing exactly what to do because we’ve never been in this position before.” ■

his life to the Church and formed a special bond with fellow priests and deacons. “It’s a special fraternity and a special bond,” the bishop noted as he pointed out all the priests and deacons in attendance at the funeral Mass. Bishop Stika described Father Campbell as “a man of magnificence” whose heart was big. Bishop Stika said that as Father Campbell neared death at Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville, those keeping vigil during his final moments knew Father Campbell could feel their presence. “It was time. … And Joe passed from this life to the next. Hopefully he heard the words, ‘Hey Big Guy, I have waited for you and now you have come’ just as Pope John Paul II said in his last moments, ‘I have waited for you and you have come.’ To my brother Joseph, I say to you thank you for your life, an interesting life that allowed you to be a good priest of Jesus Christ. We pray that you may now be free of pain, free from illness, with the humility that God taught you in these last years through illness, which is a humility that all of us should believe in and allow ourselves to be cared for by God and our sisters and brothers. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.” ■

Diocesan calendar By Dan McWilliams Bishop Richard F. Stika will celebrate one more bilingual Mass in the diocese in honor of the sacrament of matrimony. Couples will have the opportunity to reaffirm their vows during Mass and continue to celebrate with family and friends at a luncheon following Mass. The Mass is at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 (register by Jan. 19), at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Alcoa. Register by the due date and receive free gifts from the diocesan Office of Marriage Preparation and Enrichment, a commemorative certificate, and one professional photo with Bishop Stika. To register, contact Marian Christiana at or 423-8922310, or Karen Byrne at kbyrne@dioknox. org or 865-584-3307. In light of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the diocesan Office of Marriage Preparation and Enrichment will be hosting one more Morning of Reflection for couples presented by Monsignor Al Humbrecht, Missionary Priest of Mercy. The remaining reflection will be held at St. Stephen Church in Chattanooga from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14 (RSVP by Jan. 6). Lunch will be provided. Cost is $20 per couple. For more information on babysitting or other details, contact Marian Christiana at 423-892-2310 or The next Picture of Love engaged couples retreat is scheduled for 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, in the parish life center at St. Stephen Church in Chattanooga. The retreat is to supplement couples’ marriage formation process with their parish priest or deacon. The cost is $135 per couple, which includes a certificate good for $60 off a marriage license. Couples must attend the entire program to receive the certificate. Mass will be celebrated during the event. Additional retreats are set for June 2-3 and Oct. 20-21, 2017, at St. Stephen. For more information, contact Marian Christiana of the diocesan Office of Marriage Preparation and Enrichment at 423892-2310 or The East Tennessee Catholic

An online course offered by Family Honor Inc., “The Truth and Meaning of Sexuality, Love, and Family,” will begin in January. Visit and click on the Training tab or contact Marian Christiana at or 423892-2310 for more information.

card). The land-only package is $2,949 (check) or $3,148 (credit card). For more information, contact group coordinator Sister Albertine Paulus, RSM, at 865-2074742, 865-545-8270, or Download a brochure at www.

A Natural Family Planning course will begin at All Saints Church in Knoxville at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23. Course fee is $130 for three classes over three months. Register online at For more information, contact Jared and Monica Kimutis at 970-9805009 or

Father Bill and Sherri McNeeley of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Alcoa are leading a centennial pilgrimage, “Fatima 100th Anniversary: The Day the Sun Danced,” to Fatima and Italy from May 22-June 1. For more information, contact the OLOF parish office at 865-982-3672.

A pilgrimage to EWTN and the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Alabama is set for Feb. 22-24. Pilgrims will depart by bus Wednesday morning, Feb. 22, and travel to EWTN studios, where they will attend Mass with the friars, have lunch on site, and be given a one-hour guided tour of EWTN studios. Following dinner the group will be part of the live audience for the taping of “EWTN Live” with Father Mitch Pacwa before it boards a bus to St. Bernard Abbey Retreat Center for an overnight stay. On Thursday, Feb. 23, the group will visit the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Ala., which will include a guided tour of the shrine and the new St. John Paul II Center, Mass, and the praying of the rosary with the nuns of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration. There will be plenty of time for adoration and quiet reflection before the return home Friday, Feb. 24, following a tour of the Ave Maria Grotto. The price is $285 per person (based on double occupancy; a single supplement is available for $315) and includes two nights at St. Bernard Abbey Retreat Center, all bus-related costs, two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, and the Ave Maria Grotto tour. To learn more or to register, contact Lisa Morris at or 865-567-1245. A Lenten pilgrimage to the Holy Land under the spiritual direction of Monsignor Al Humbrecht is planned for March 6-19. The full package (air and land) is $3,499 (payment by check) or $3,698 (credit

A family-life pilgrimage with Father Michael Cummins to St. Augustine and Orlando, Fla., is scheduled for June 7-11. The pilgrimage is sponsored by the diocesan Office of Marriage Preparation and Enrichment. Pilgrims will attend Mass and pray at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche, see the Greek Orthodox Shrine of St. Photios and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, and attend Mass at the Mary Queen of the Universe Shrine in Orlando. For more information, contact Marian Christiana at or 423-892-2310. A diocesan pilgrimage to Spain, Lourdes, and Fatima, with spiritual leader Father Randy Stice, will take place Aug. 21-Sept. 2. The first stop is Barcelona, where pilgrims will visit the Sagrada Familia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, as well as the Monastery of Monserrat and the Royal Basilica. The group will then travel north through the Pyrenees on its way to Lourdes for two nights, where pilgrims will visit the site of the apparition of Our Lady to St. Bernadette and join in the candlelight procession at the basilica. Other stops on the pilgrimage include Madrid, Avila, Santiago, Compostela, the Shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar, the convent of St. Teresa of Avila, O Cebreiro, the Cathedral of St. James, Pontevedra, Porto, and Fatima, where the group will join in the celebration of the jubilee of the apparition of Our Lady to the children. The all-inclusive pilgrimage package is $3,995 per person (land and air). For more

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information, contact Lisa Morris at 865567-1245 or A diocesan pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Father Arthur Torres and Father Miguel Vélez, “Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus!,” is planned for Sept. 12-22. Pilgrims will celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross in Jerusalem as they walk the way of the cross and attend Mass at the Holy Sepulcher. The group will spend time in Bethlehem and visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field, and in Bethany to visit the tomb of Lazarus. Pilgrims will also take a cable car to Masada, visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, and spend time in Nazareth. They will stay for two nights at the Sea of Galilee, spending time at the Mount of Beatitudes, ascend to Mount Tabor for the view from the Church of the Transfiguration, and visit the baptism site on the River Jordan, the Mount of Temptation, the Dead Sea, Magdala, and Jericho. The all-inclusive package, air and land, is $3,895. For more information, contact Lisa Morris at 865-567-1245 or A Low Mass in the ancient form of the Roman Rite is normally offered every Monday at 7 a.m. at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Chattanooga. A Missa Cantata (sung Mass) in the ancient form of the Roman Rite is normally celebrated at 5 p.m. on fourth Sundays at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Chattanooga. On Christmas Day at 5 p.m., a Missa Cantata will be celebrated. On Jan. 22 at 5 p.m., a Missa Cantata will be celebrated for the third Sunday after Epiphany, and all are invited to a basilica potluck after this Mass. The basilica’s Gloria Dei Schola and Jubilate Deo Youth Schola will sing for both Masses. Mass in the extraordinary form (“traditional Latin”) is celebrated at noon each Sunday at Holy Ghost Church in Knoxville; at 3 p.m. on first and third Sundays at St. Thérèse of Lisieux Church in Cleveland; at 3 p.m. on second and fourth Sundays at St. Joseph the Worker Church in MadiCalendar continued on page 22 December 4, 2016 15


Holy Spirit hosts interfaith speaker On Sept. 26 Holy Spirit Parish in Soddy-Daisy hosted Dr. Safi Kaskas, who spoke on interfaith relations and reconciliation between Christians and Muslims in America. He recently published a translation of the Quran with 3,000 references to both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. The evening was arranged by the local Focolare community.

Parish notes: Chattanooga Deanery Our Lady of Lourdes, South Pittsburg The parish took part in a Christmas bazaar Nov. 5 at Ewtonville Baptist Church in Dunlap, with proceeds going to the Sequatchie County Fellowship of Churches to help the needy.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Chattanooga OLPH School has been awarded an opportunity to expand its one-to-one technology program. Through a grant from the Osborne Foundation, donations up to $11,000 will be matched for the purchase of a second iPad lab and for professional development. Donate online by visiting support/annualfund.cfm. The Knights of Columbus collected “coats for Christmas” through Nov. 6 to help the homeless and less fortunate in the area. Last year parishioners donated more than 300 coats.


The parish congratulated all 11 kids who participated in Knights Council 6099’s Soccer Challenge on Oct. 22. Winners were Carlo Salenda (10-year-old boys), Edy Xiloj Hernandez (11-year-old boys), Nicolas Ron (12-year-old boys), Annie Harrison (12-year-old girls), Matias Ron (13-year-old boys), Alexander Mentado (14-year-old boys), and Naida Xiloj Hernandez (14-year-old girls). The winners move on to the east regional challenge. Also participating were Jack Christensen, Aiden Corbitt, Braulio Resendiz, and Roberto Carlos Reyes.

Eventful year St. Thomas Women’s Guild board members include (from left, front row) Virginia Zorovich, Judi Hebenstreit, and Allis Hanley and (back row) Donna Curry, Faye Polhamus, Sherrill Vasicek, Maureen Corry, Jan Joyce, and Mary Beth Bruss.

St. Thomas Women’s Guild has busy year in 2016


he Women’s Guild at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Lenoir City is winding up an eventful and busy 2016. Program director Maureen Corry keeps the guild’s focus on the “Million Works of Mercy” as its theme. In April, youth director Kevin Cooney guided the guild along a newly created Saint’s Walk on the church campus. During the year members visited the Child Advocacy Center in Lenoir City and went on a tour of St. John Neumann Church in Farragut led by Father John Dowling.

16 December 4, 2016

On Dec. 4 the guild will again have its “Advent by Candlelight Service.” The guild’s successful fundraising events this year began with a joint effort with the Knights of Columbus – fish-fry dinners every Friday in Lent – and continued in May with its 12th annual Luncheon & Card Party. The guild held a craft sale in October and a bake sale in November. These events will help the guild support its designated local charities and Catholic Charities programs. Refer to for more information on the guild. ■

OLPH thanked sponsors, donors, and players who made the first OLPH Ram Challenge Golf Tournament a huge success. The event raised more than $12,000 for the school’s annual fund. Anniversary: Bill and Cissy West (30)

St. Catherine Labouré, Copperhill The Ecumenical Outreach Committee held its annual Cookie Walk on Nov. 12 in the parish hall.

St. Jude, Chattanooga The Knights of Columbus and the Council of Catholic Women held a postThanksgiving event Nov. 28 featuring a potato bar and offering mac-andcheese for kids. The Knights will hold a Breakfast With Santa after the 8 and 10:30 a.m. Masses on Dec. 4.

St. Mary, Athens The parish will be offering Christmas bags to the shut-ins of the Meals on Wheels program at the Senior Center of Athens. All St. Mary seniors were invited to the annual Thanksgiving luncheon Nov. 17. Anniversary: Joe and Boni Kross (40) Confirmandi: Carlos Orozco, Alexis Orozco, Katherine Bayne, Pedro Jaimes, Laura Campos, Maria Suarez, Gavrik Paul, Stacey Mora, Katie Garcia, Wes Skolits ■

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

Parish notes: Cumberland Mountain Deanery Blessed Sacrament, Harriman Susan and Jim Conover have earned the title of Certified Catechist by completing 60 hours of training in the Diocese of Knoxville’s three-year Catechetical Formation Program in collaboration with Aquinas College in Nashville. Bridget Thew and Mary Thew are the parish’s new directors of youth ministry.

St. Francis of Assisi, Fairfield Glade Anniversaries: Steve and MaryLou Knowles (69), Edwin and Grace Johnson (63), Jack and Marilyn Alderton (62), Ron and Terry Gleusner (60), Eugene and Marilyn Schmitt (60), Ron and Mary White (58), Vincent and Phyllis Fodera (57), Fred and Sharon Henkel (55), Robert and Janice Cahill (55), Mike and Susan Spitler (54), Ken and Helene Roy (54), Michael and Sharon Curtis (54), Tom and Mary Dega (53), John and Elizabeth Mosior (53), Frank and Nancy Drabek (52), Eugene and Janet Standaert (52), Philip and Rosalie Poynter (52)


An Advent Evening of Reflection will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14.

St. Alphonsus women make 700 hats and scarves for children The women of St. Alphonsus Church in Crossville and the Council of Catholic Women met Oct. 19 to sort and distribute about 700 hats and scarves to children at various schools and other organizations throughout Cumberland County. All of the items were made by parish women over the past year. Pictured are Helen Davis and Pat Heveroh.

St. John Neumann, Farragut The parish is celebrating its patron saint’s feast day Jan. 5 with 40 hours of Eucharistic devotion and adoration Jan. 3-5 and a potluck social Jan. 7.

Sister Patricia Soete, RSM, of St. Jude Parish in Helenwood again asked St. John Neumann parishioners for their help in providing Christmas gifts for children in Appalachia. Clothing items such as underwear, socks, jeans, and shoes for ages 1-17 are needed, but the greatest need is toys for children 1-14 as well as age-appropriate toys or games for children 15-17. Unwrapped gifts may be left in the narthex or dropped off at the parish office until Sunday, Dec. 11. St. John Neumann hosted “Advent by Candlelight,” a closing celebration for the Jubilee of Mercy, on Nov. 20 in the school gym. The parish hosted “A Service of Nine Lessons and Carols” on Dec. 1, featuring the Knoxville Catholic High School choral and chamber ensembles and the SJN adult choir.

St. Therese, Clinton The social-action committee through February is collecting gently used coats for Knox Area Rescue Ministries to distribute in the local area. The Knights of Columbus held a parish spaghetti dinner Nov. 12 in recognition of all veterans. Father John Dowling of Holy Ghost Parish in Knoxville spoke on the subject of capital punishment Nov. 17 at St. Therese. The Council of Catholic Women thanked Patricia Boswell, Lori Puryear, Kathryn Lore, Sue Haese, and Pat Nageotte for their cake-decorating skills and thanked everyone who donated treats for the recent bake sale, which netted $306.26. ■

The East Tennessee Catholic


St. John Neumann School’s annual dinner and silent auction, The Mane Event, will take place Saturday, Feb. 11, at The Standard, 416, W. Jackson Ave., Knoxville. Entertainment includes comedienne Leanne Morgan. Tickets are $50 and may be purchased at

St. Thomas ‘XLT-East Tennessee’ event draws more than 350 St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Lenoir City hosted a spiritually powerful night Oct. 26 with an “XLT-East Tennessee” event that drew more than 350 teens and adults. The event included music by Sarah Kroger and her band and a message from Dom Quaglia, and concluded with adoration of the Holy Eucharist presided over by Deacon Al Forsythe. The St. Thomas the Apostle Sports and Family Ministry office, under the direction of Kevin Cooney, organized and hosted the event.

Madons celebrate 50th wedding anniversary


ob and Jane Madon of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Fairfield Glade recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They were married on Oct. 1 at St. Ann Church in Lansing, Ill., with Father Richard Bell officiating. Mr.

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

Madon retired from the Ford Motor Co. Assembly Plant in Chicago, and Mrs. Madon retired from St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights, Ill. They will celebrate their anniversary with a trip to Rome and the Amalfi Coast. ■ December 4, 2016 17

Parish notes: Five Rivers Deanery Holy Trinity, Jefferson City The parish hosted an 85-plus birthday party Oct. 16.


Holy Trinity took part in Appalachian Outreach’s 15th annual Coats for the Cold project in November.

St. Mary-Johnson City hosts composer Dan Schutte St. Mary Parish in Johnson City hosted singer/composer Dan Schutte in a concert and workshop for musicians of the diocese Nov. 11-12. During the Friday concert, “Becoming the Church of Mercy,” Mr. Schutte offered music, stories, and prayerful reflection. The Saturday workshop, “Here I Am, Lord: Liturgical Ministry at the Service of the Community,” reminded those attending that all ministers are to perform their various roles as servants. Mr. Schutte has been composing music for worship for almost 40 years. Some of his more popular compositions include “City of God”, “Here I Am, Lord,” “Sing a New Song,” and “Though the Mountains May Fall.” Many of his pieces come from his years of collaboration with the St. Louis Jesuits. Currently he is composer-inresidence at the University of San Francisco. Pictured are Dolores Fredericks, St. Mary director of music and liturgy; Mr. Schutte; and Father Peter Iorio, pastor of St. Mary.

Anniversaries: Ron and Linda Henry (56), Dick and Linda Larson (55), John and Winifred Sabo (45), Bert and Elaine Morris (40), Frank and Tracie Patroni (35), Arthur and Donna King (30), James and Brenda Wentling (25), William and Sharon Jurkonie (15), Steven and Kathleen Watts (15), Andy and Cheryl Ladner (10), Terry and Debbie Watterson (10) Newcomers: Alison Jones, Robert and Kim Ann Steiner, Frances Ramirez, Greg and Brenda Foreman

Notre Dame, Greeneville Notre Dame’s sister parish, Immaculate Conception de Roseaux in Haiti, was crushed by Hurricane Matthew. Notre Dame held a Haitian lunch Nov. 6 to raise funds for its sister parish. Madrigal Dinner tickets are on sale in the parish office for $30. The annual dinner will be held for the last time Dec. 9 and 10. Anniversaries: Doug and Mary McConnell (57), Clayton and Missy Myer (45)

St. Dominic, Kingsport St. Dominic School thanked Phillip McManus of Mac’s Medicine Mart and parishioner Mary Cowden for the beautification project along the front of the school. The Bethlehem Christian Families mission thanked parishioners for their purchases of olive wood carvings totaling $6,018 after mission representatives visited St. Dominic on Oct. 8-9.

St. Mary, Johnson City


Parishioner Carl Bailey recently received an appreciation from Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., of Lexington, Ky. Mr. Bailey has been assisting the Missionaries of Charity in Jenkins, Ky., for more than 30 years. A diocesan celebration for the canonization of St. Teresa of Kolkata was held Oct. 1 (the feast day of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus ) at the parish of St. George in Jenkins.

Holy Trinity parishioners take part in Prayer Chain for Life Members of Holy Trinity Parish in Jefferson City, led by pastor Father Patrick Resen, participate in a Prayer Chain for Life recently in front of the church. The event was held in conjunction with the 40 Days for Life international campaign to end abortion through prayer, fasting, peaceful vigil, and community outreach.

18 December 4, 2016

St. Patrick, Morristown The parish recently welcomed Veronica Galvan as its new bilingual director of religious education and adult formation. The Knights of Columbus sponsored a veterans’ winter coat and toiletries drive in October and November. The Knights recently presented 350 copies of “Prayer Time,” a collection of Catholic prayers, to Father Patrick Brownell and the leaders of the parish religious-education program. The 15th annual CCW Holiday Bazaar fundraiser, featuring more than 40 vendors, was held Nov. 12 in the parish center. ■

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

Parish notes: Smoky Mountain Deanery Holy Ghost, Knoxville The Knights of Columbus held a recent sale of Fraser fir Christmas wreaths. October’s “soup and share” event for the Council of Catholic Women was held Oct. 17 in the parish life center. Speaker Brenda Nicholson talked about “Our Christian Vocation.”

Immaculate Conception, Knoxville The parish’s annual rosary procession at Calvary Cemetery took place Nov. 6. The parish thanked those who contributed to the All Souls Day collection for Calvary Cemetery, which brought in $1,387 in donations. IC also thanked the women’s group for its gift of $500 to the parish. The 10 a.m. Mass on Oct. 23, the 167th anniversary of Servant of God Isaac Hecker’s priestly ordination, was offered for the intention of his canonization cause.


An annual Mass for all deceased Paulists was celebrated Nov. 12 at IC.

Holy door closes at Sacred Heart Cathedral On Dec. 8, 2015, Pope Francis at the Basilica of St. Peter held the ritual opening of the Holy Door of Mercy, inaugurating the Jubilee of Mercy. On Nov. 20, that door closed to end the holy year. On the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, when the doors closed in local churches around the diocese and around the world, there was a celebration of the Eucharist at Sacred Heart Cathedral for the closing of the Jubilee Year at the 11 a.m. Mass on Nov. 13. With cathedral rector Father David Boettner above at the holy door are (from left) parishioners Jorge Vasquez, Ereni Ponce, Erendira Palacios, and Yuliana Vargas.

IC hosted “An Introduction to Centering Prayer” on Oct. 29. Marriage: Kaitrin Capelle and Benjamin Raymond

Our Lady of Fatima, Alcoa Father Richard Armstrong, assistant director of the diocesan Office of Christian Formation, presented “Through Sacred Icons: Learning to See as God Sees,” on Nov. 14 at the church. The Council of Catholic Women and the Respect Life Committee sponsored the presentation. Father Armstrong also presented a session on ancient Christian prayer Nov. 21 at the church. Good Neighbors of Blount County recently presented parishioners Joan Speck and Pete O’Neill with the Spirit of Good Neighbors Award. A Sing of Mercy concert, celebrating the Year of Mercy, took place Oct. 2 at the church. The parish family picnic was held Oct. 16.

St. John XXIII, Knoxville The parish Thanksgiving dinner, featuring the annual bingo game, took place Nov. 18.

St. Joseph the Worker, Madisonville Parishioners may take a name from the Giving Tree in the narthex and return their unwrapped gift through Monday, Dec. 12, to benefit children in Monroe County. The dedication and blessing of the parish’s new veterans memorial was held Nov. 11. The guest speaker was Col. Joseph Sutter, U.S. Air Force retired, who was instrumental in starting the Honor Air Flight-Knoxville program. ■

The East Tennessee Catholic


Catholic War Veterans Post 1973 hosted a flag-retirement ceremony Nov. 13 and held an Oktoberfest Party on Oct. 21.

IC’s Haiti Fest raises about $6,000 for sister parish Haiti native Viviane Manigat-Jackson and former Immaculate Conception pastor Father Jim Haley, CSP, talk with Father Belizaire of St. Francis in Fond des Blancs, Haiti, at the third annual Haiti Fest on Oct. 21 at IC. The IC Haiti Committee thanked everyone who helped with, donated for, or participated in this year’s fest, which drew about 200 people and raised about $6,000, the parish’s highest total to date for the event. The funds will be used to support teachers and students at St. Francis Xavier School in Fond des Blancs.

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

December 4, 2016 19


Parish news

Saints at Holy Trinity Holy Trinity Parish in Jefferson City held its Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat on Oct. 30. Parishioners portrayed the saints and related their stories at the festival.

CCW collects items for Avalon Center of Crossville At its Nov. 8 meeting, the Council of Catholic Women of St Alphonsus Parish in Crossville collected donations of laundry supplies and paper goods for the Avalon Center of Crossville, which serves five counties in East Tennessee. Avalon provides multiple services and shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.



Luminary Walk at St. Alphonsus The youth of St. Alphonsus Parish in Crossville sponsored an All Souls Remembrance Luminary Walk on Nov. 2. Father Jim Harvey, St. Alphonsus pastor, led the walk. The event was such a success, organizers hope it becomes an annual parish event.

20 December 4, 2016


Morning of Reflection at Holy Trinity The diocesan Office of Marriage Preparation and Enrichment is hosting Mornings of Reflection for couples presented by Monsignor Al Humbrecht, Missionary Priest of Mercy. Above is the group that met at Holy Trinity Church in Jefferson City on Nov. 12. Since Monsignor Humbrecht was presented a purple stole in Rome when he became a Missionary Priest of Mercy, Sister Albertine Paulus, RSM, presented him with the white stole of mercy to carry the message of mercy forward even after the closing of the Jubilee of Mercy. Pictured above are (from left, front) Heather and John Kiernan, Mary and Dan Legge, Hellen and Ray LaShier, Monsignor Humbrecht, Sister Albertine, Tracy and Tim Doyle, Joyce and Jeff Hollet, and Marian Christiana and (back) John Wharton, Irma and Juan Morales, Carole and Joe Amador, Daniel and Darlene Cruz, and Pam and Terry Ball.

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

Catholic schools

KCHS sports staying in Division I; NDHS opts for Division II By Dan McWilliams he diocese’s two high schools reached an athletics crossroads this fall when they had to decide whether to remain in Division I, the non-financial-aid division, or move to Division II. Each high school made a different choice. Knoxville Catholic High School opted to stay in Division I, while Notre Dame High School moved to the financial-aid Division II. KCHS made its decision mainly for travel reasons, as moving to D-II could have resulted in costly regular-season trips to Nashville and Memphis in all sports. The school learned that fact after a July meeting of the TSSAA Board of Control determined enrollment classifications for D-I and D-II. “It became apparent to us that we wouldn’t have a regular-season opponent in any sport that was closer than 100 miles away,” KCHS president Dickie Sompayrac said. “When you start factoring in going to Nashville on a Tuesday night for a basketball game—typically basketball games don’t start until 8 or 8:30. Well, if we’re on Central Time, now that’s 9 or 9:30 for our kids. Let’s say we went to Father Ryan [in Nashville]. We could play a 2-hour, 2-hour-and-15-minute basketball game, shower, get a bite to eat— you’re not on the road and coming home until 11:30 at night. Kids have got homework. “I think from just the health of our students and academically and financially for our school, going Division II would be a terrible decision. Ultimately that’s what led to us making the decision to stay in Division I.” The decision was a hard one because KCHS does provide financial aid to some students. But those students, by the rules of D-I, cannot play varsity sports, only junior The East Tennessee Catholic



Fighting for yardage A Knoxville Catholic High School running back is tackled by a Notre Dame player during this year’s Irish Bowl on Sept. 9 at Notre Dame High School.

varsity. If KCHS was D-II, those students could play varsity sports. “Honestly [the decision] was tough just because from a standpoint of mission—I don’t like playing in a division where we have to tell families that hey, your son or daughter won’t be able to play if you don’t make enough money to pay full tuition,” Mr. Sompayrac said. “I think that’s a tough thing. We have kids walking our halls right now that are not playing varsity sports because their parents have no other option but to accept financial aid, which makes them ineligible to play varsity athletics. I don’t like that that happens, but right now, given the alternative, staying in Division I is the best move for our school.” The head coach of Knoxville Catholic’s football team, Steve Matthews, agreed that travel was the biggest reason for staying in Division I. “That’s right, especially when you consider all of the other sports involved. I sat in on a few of the discussions, but for the most part, I don’t think football was a huge

factor in the decision. I don’t think football was a big deal when it came to the decision—it had more to do with baseball, basketball, lacrosse, and soccer. Traveling would have definitely been an issue.” As it turns out, Knoxville Catholic still will have to travel a good bit in football as it was placed in Region 4-5A with Lenoir City, Walker Valley [Cleveland], Soddy-Daisy, and Rhea County. A drawback of KCHS’s placement in a small region is that it has only four region games, meaning the Irish will have to find six non-region opponents to fill out a 10-game schedule. “I think the biggest disappointment for us, from a football perspective, is we weren’t surprised that we got sent to Chattanooga,” Mr. Sompayrac said. “We just were hoping that the TSSAA would put more teams in our region, because it’s going to be very hard for us—because being in a five-team district in football means we have six non-district games. That’s going to be very tough for Coach Matthews to sched-

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

ule six non-district games. That was disappointing.” The head coach agreed. “We were a little disappointed with having to go to Chattanooga for the bulk of our games, but no doubt it’s not even close to what would have happened [in D-II],” Mr. Matthews said. “The difficult part now is finding non-region games. With the success we’ve had in football the last few years, it’s typical for teams like us and other teams with big-time winning records—sometimes it’s difficult to find games.” As he works on his 2017-18 football schedule over the next few weeks, Mr. Matthews may consider playing only nine games instead of the usual 10. “You never know. I’ll see what happens,” he said. “This day and age you hope to go deep in the playoffs, and there’s a part of me that thinks there’s maybe too many games already, when you’re talking 10 regular-season and then five playoff games. These are young men, and that’s a lot of football to be played. To me that’s not the end of the world if that [nine games] ends up happening.” KCHS has none of its region rivals from the last two years, including Fulton and Knoxville Central, in its new region, meaning it would have to pick them up as non-region opponents or go farther afield for non-region foes. KCHS and Rhea County, led by former Irish head coach Mark Pemberton, have already had to schedule out-of-state opponents the last two years just to fill a 10-game slate without the tougher restrictions of a smaller region they now face. In basketball, baseball, and softball, KCHS will have more local competition in District 4-AAA in Bearden, Farragut, Hardin Valley,

Realignment continued on page 22 December 4, 2016 21

Catholic schools

Heritage, Lenoir City, Maryville, Knoxville West, and William Blount. The Irish also will have mostly local opponents in the smaller sports. “It’s really the other sports [besides football] where [going to D-II] would be detrimental,” Mr. Sompayrac said. “In the other sports, the only two teams east of Nashville that we could play would be [Chattanooga’s] Baylor and McCallie and then GPS [Chattanooga’s Girls Preparatory School] for the girls sports, and the rest of our regular-season competition would be in Nashville. When you look at sports like softball, baseball—we’re in a division, albeit it’s a tough one, with Farragut, Bearden, Maryville, Hardin Valley, which is local. We would rather play a local schedule any day of the week.” Notre Dame president George Valadie said his school has been in Division II before, but the “practical side” of the argument—more travel in D-II—led to a return to D-I in recent years. “[NDHS] found itself in a position in Chattanooga where there were, after a couple of years, no other Division II schools in the city in our enrollment level,” Mr. Valadie said of the school’s earlier time in D-II. “We do have three other Division II schools, Baylor, McCallie, and GPS, but they are not in our enrollment level. So Notre Dame found itself in a position where there was nobody else in Chattanooga in their enrollment classification of Division II, which meant that Notre Dame would be traveling a lot for its competition. “We made the [original] decision to be in Division II because it’s always been part of what we wanted to do: to help people financially. However, as much as that is what we’ve always wanted to do, we had to look at the practical side of where we would be. The practical side said we would find ourselves going to Nashville on a Tuesday night to play basketball. The practical


Realignment continued from page 21

Back to pass Knoxville Catholic High School quarterback Chase Cunningham looks to throw the ball before Notre Dame defensive end James Williams arrives in this fall’s Irish Bowl.

side says, if there’s nobody to play in your city, then you must travel to Nashville, thus we would find ourselves traveling to Nashville on a Tuesday night to play basketball, and getting home late, and our kids having two or three tests the next day. The practical side was not acceptable. So there came a point in time when Notre Dame left Division II and went back to Division I, and that’s where we have been.” In the latest realignment, Notre Dame football has been placed in the East Region of Class AA with local teams Boyd Buchanan, Chattanooga

Christian, and Silverdale Baptist Academy plus Christian Academy of Knoxville, Grace Christian Academy of Knoxville, and Webb School of Knoxville. That makes for a few Knoxville trips for the Fighting Irish gridiron team. “We may have to do a little traveling; we knew that,” Mr. Valadie said. “The reason we’re going back to Division II was, it’s what we’ve always wanted to do, but the practical side was improved. If you look at the schools in our area, there are now Chattanooga schools involved in our enrollment classification, and we may still have to travel some, but it’s not nearly what it would have been.” There’s a “second side” to NDHS’s decision, Mr. Valadie said, involving a type of financial aid the school provides. “The TSSAA has allowed private schools to work with parents, and they can do work for the school and earn some tuition dollars,” he said. “Now that has been acceptable. It wasn’t classified as financial aid, but now it is. It is going to be classified as financial aid, and we do have a number of families who have been working to gain tuition dollars. So moving to Division II helps them out, and it allows us to also give aid where we can, and the practical side is greatly improved.” Notre Dame will largely have more local competition in basketball, baseball, softball, and the other sports. Knoxville Catholic’s enrollment is 619, which would normally place it in a lower classification, but because it is a D-I independent school its enrollment is multiplied by 1.8 for the purposes of classification. That results in a total of 1,114, which barely puts KCHS into Class 5A (1,103 to 1,508 students) in football. Notre Dame’s enrollment is 420 and is not multiplied because it is in Division II. ■

Calendar continued from page 15 sonville; and at 3 p.m. on the first and third Sundays at St. Mary Church in Johnson City. For more information, visit The traditional Latin Mass of Christmas will be offered again this year at Holy Ghost Church in Knoxville at noon on Christmas Day. At 11:30 a.m. preceding the Mass, the Knoxville Latin Mass Schola will present

22 December 4, 2016

a program of traditional Christmas music. The Mass itself will be accompanied by the variable proper parts sung in Gregorian chant and the fixed ordinary parts (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, etc.) in the polyphonic setting of Victoria’s Missa O Magnum Mysterium, plus motets in sacred polyphony by Renaissance composers such as Palestrina and Victoria. All area Catholics and their friends are invited to share this celebration

of the Nativity of Our Lord. Further details about the Mass and musical program will be posted at The St. Thomas the Apostle Eastern (Byzantine) Catholic Mission located at 2304 Ault Road, Knoxville, TN 37914 meets for Divine Liturgy each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. All services are in English. Call Father Richard Armstrong at 865-584-3307 or visit

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee for details.

Holy Resurrection Byzantine Catholic Church (Ruthenian), located at 6515 Millertown Pike, Knoxville, TN 37924, celebrates Divine Liturgy at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday and at 7 p.m. on holy days. For more information, contact Father Thomas O’Connell at 865-256-4880 or check the website www. ■

Catholic schools

KCHS boys cross country team captures state championship




Top two Knoxville Catholic’s Georde Goodwyn (left) and Jake Renfree finished 1-2 in the Class A-AA boys state cross country meet. Title trophies The KCHS cross country teams pose with their state meet hardware. From left are (front row) Eleni Christopoulos, Callie Tucker, Lindsay Bruce, Sophie Wilson, Shila Kapaya, Emily Pichiarella, and Zack Hugg and (back row) Coach Sean O’Neil, Jake Renfree, Jacob Pettinger, James Daffron, Georde Goodwyn, Ethan Tornstrom, Alex Iman, Devin Sullivan, and Coach Erin Chady.

The Knoxville Catholic boys scored 80 points to edge out Page (81) for the title by one point. Shila placed fourth in the state for

the KCHS girls team with a time of 19:21.10 against a field of 181 runners. Callie came in ninth with a clocking of 19:59.50. Also placing for the Lady


he Knoxville Catholic High School boys cross country team won the Class A-AA state championship for the second year in a row Nov. 5 at the Percy Warner Park Steeplechase Course in Nashville. Georde Goodwyn and Jake Renfree finished 1-2 in the state for the Irish against a field of 190 runners. Georde posted a time of 16 minutes, 12.94 seconds, to barely edge out his teammate’s 16:13.02 to win the individual title. Georde’s championship was the first in school history for a KCHS boys cross country runner. The KCHS girls cross country team captured second place in the state Nov. 5. Georde, Jake, and Devin Sullivan made the all-state team for the Irish boys team. Shila Kapaya and Callie Tucker made all-state for the Lady Irish. Devin placed ninth with a time of 16:46.53 for the Irish. Also finishing for KCHS were Ethan Tornstrom in 42nd place, James Daffron in 47th, Jacob Pettinger in 51st and Zack Hugg in 134th.

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Irish were Lindsay Bruce in 27th, Sophie Wilson in 43rd, Eleni Christopoulos in 48th, and Emily Pichiarella in 90th. Murfreesboro Central Magnet won the state girls team championship with 61 points. KCHS edged out Christian Academy of Knoxville 97-98 for second place. ■

KCHS wins first volleyball state crown Knoxville Catholic High School won its first-ever volleyball state championship Oct. 21 with a three-game sweep of Signal Mountain in the Class AA finals at the Murphy Center at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. KCHS (33-11) blanked all four of its state tournament opponents, defeating Page 25-17, 25-20, 25-16 in the winners’ bracket first round, sweeping Dyersburg 25-17, 25-6, 25-20 in the semifinals, and blitzing Sullivan South 25-6, 25-22, 25-17 in the winners’ bracket finals. The Lady Irish beat Signal Mountain 25-18, 25-13, 25-19 in the championship match. Kamila Cieslik was named state-tourney MVP for the Lady Irish. She also won MVP honors in the region and district tournaments. Dana Gardner and Meredith Bonee made all-region tourney for KCHS, and Dana and Gracie Whitt earned a spot on the all-district tourney team. Kamila was MVP of District 4-A-AA for the regular season. Co-setters of the year in the district were Meredith Bonee and Olivia Kozemko. Gracie was defensive player of the year, and KCHS’s Brent Carter was district coach of the year. Making all-district were Dana, Meredith, Olivia, Margaret McCarty, Gracie, and Kamila.

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

December 4, 2016 23

Catholic youth

Runner Keegan Smith wins elementary state, national crowns By Dan McWilliams ourth-grade cross country runner Keegan Smith of Sacred Heart Cathedral School repeated as state champion Oct. 22 and captured his second national championship Nov. 19. Keegan, who also won this year’s AAU indoor track-and-field national title in March, placed first in the nation among 10-year-olds with a 3K time of 10 minutes, 36.27 seconds, in the 2016 Cross Country Coaches National Youth Championships at Angel Mounds State Park in Evansville, Ind. Keegan won by a margin of 16.28 seconds over the second-place finisher in a field of 154 runners. Keegan completed the 1-mile course at Knoxville’s Victor Ashe Park in 5:22.33 to win the Tennessee state elementary championship by a margin of 8.60 seconds over runner-up Eli Vickers of Sequoyah Elementary. Joshua Palacios of St. Mary in Oak Ridge placed 73rd. Ben Hebert of St. John Neumann recorded the 117th best time. There were 299 runners in the field. Keegan and the top runners from Knoxville Catholic High School competed in the Foot Locker Cross Country South Regional Championships on Nov. 26 in Charlotte, N.C. Fifth-grader MaeMae Powe of St. Jude School in Chattanooga placed second in the girls elementary state championships with a time of 5:51.54 at Victor Ashe Park, missing out on the title by less than 3 seconds. MaeMae competed against a

Brother runners Riley Smith (left) sports his all-state plaque and state-meet trophy as younger brother Keegan shows his state championship trophy.

24 December 4, 2016



National medalist Keegan Smith wears his national championship medal after winning the youth cross county national championship in Evansville, Ind.

field of 284 runners that also included Elizabeth Wolski of Sacred Heart in 34th place and Lauren Prince of Sacred Heart in 110th. Eighth-grader Riley Smith, Keegan’s older brother, finished 14th in the middle school state championships at Victor Ashe with a 2-mile time of 11 minutes, 50.35 seconds. Riley, who also made the all-state team, competed in a field of 325 runners. Andy Nored of Sacred Heart was 127th and teammate Connor Brunson 243rd. In other action, Knoxville Catholic High School runners placed well in the Hoka One One Postal Nationals Super Local meet at Hardin Valley Academy on Nov. 19. Georde Goodwyn of KCHS finished second in a time of 9:19.62 in a 3,200-meter run. Teammate Devin Sullivan placed 13th in a time of 9:57.11 in a field of 86 runners. Callie Tucker of Knoxville Catholic scored a sixth-place finish in the Hoka One One event with a time of 11:14.36 in the 3,200. Lady Irish teammate Shila Kapaya was not far behind in eighth place with a time of 11:32.83 in a field of 43 runners. ■

Top-two finish MaeMae Powe of St. Jude School in Chattanooga placed second in the state meet.

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Catholic schools


Knoxville Catholic golf finishes second in state, has individual state champion The Knoxville Catholic High School golf team finished runner-up in the Class A-AA state tournament on Oct. 4-5 at WillowBrook Golf Club in Manchester, and senior Kyle Cottam (left) won the individual state championship. Kyle shot 69 on both days to win the title by five strokes at 6-under-par. From left in the team photo are Coach Adam Walker, Andy Mountain, Bennett Noe, Kyle Cottam, Tyler Parker, Michael Ray, and Dakota Dickinson.

Creative KCHS yearbook staff paints art wall in Market Square

The East Tennessee Catholic



everal Knoxville Catholic High School yearbook students painted a “Before I Die” wall on the alley side of the Oliver Hotel building in downtown Knoxville on Nov. 6. This wall creates an interactive space for Market Square visitors to write and share things they want to accomplish before they die. “I thought it was going to be a really long process, and I wasn’t sure if we would finish in the time we had, but we ended up working well together and finishing before dark,” senior yearbook section editor Sarah Holt said. “It was nerve-racking when Sarah was painting the ‘Before I Die’ because she was freehanding it, but it turned out awesome. I think it looks great,” senior editor-in-chief Tori Tipton said. At the beginning of the 2016-17 yearbook planning session, Sarah mentioned seeing a similar wall in Nashville. Initially she thought it would be cool to do a yearbook spread with this content. After discussion among the editorial staff and adviser, the group decided to consider installing an actual wall in the Market Square area. Yearbook adviser Liberty Phillips called the Chamber of Commerce, who put her in touch with Rick Emmett, downtown coordinator with the city of Knoxville. Mr. Emmett explained that she needed to attend and present at the Public

‘Before I die’ Visitors to Market Square write their intentions of what they want to do before they die, on the Knoxville Catholic High School yearbook students’ art wall.

Art Committee meeting at the Knoxville Museum of Art on Aug. 4.

“The students were so excited about the idea that I had to take the time to do whatever I could to make it happen, so we put together a presentation and carpooled to the meeting,” Ms. Phillips said. The committee was in favor of the idea but brought to light the fact that the building in question was not a city-owned building. “I thought we should get in touch with whoever did own the building, because I think it is something lots of people would take interest in,” Sarah said. The building was owned by Philip Welker. Mark Heins of Dewhirst properties attended the meeting and graciously agreed to help Ms. Phillips contact Mr. Welker and negotiate the project. “I was unsure about whether the wall would be a reality because the approval process took longer than I thought it would,” Tori said. In late October the details for the project were finalized, and the Catholic students put together a plan. “After cutting through the red tape to get it authorized, painting the wall was really fun. People were very intrigued by what we were doing,” junior assistant editor Gracie BakerHogan said. ■

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December 4, 2016 25


Catholic schools

Eight commit to colleges at KCHS’s early signing day Knoxville Catholic High School hosted a “2016 early signing day” event Nov. 9 in the school gym. Athletics director Jason Surlas (above) introduces the signees. KCHS honored eight student-athletes who have recently committed to their university or college. The signees were Kamila Cieslik, Rutgers University, volleyball; Kyle Cottam, Clemson University, golf; Bennett Noe, Tusculum College, golf; Sean Kearney, East Tennessee State University, baseball; Taylor Griffey, King University, baseball; Tori Tipton, Milligan College, softball; Trace Molzon, Belmont Abbey College, lacrosse; and Kyle Minor, University of Montevallo, lacrosse.


Plaques for the winners The St. Mary-Oak Ridge volleyball team won the KISL regularseason and tournament titles for the fourth straight year this fall.

St. Mary-Oak Ridge repeats as volleyball champs



Knights make donation to St. Joseph School for new security system Grand Knight Phil Flanagan of Council 645 Knights of Columbus, along with trustee Bert Benedict and financial secretary Ron Cross, present principal Andy Zengel of St. Joseph School in Knoxville a check for $5,000 to pay for a new camera security system for the school campus. Council 645 also has renovated the old McCauley House on campus that had fallen into disrepair. The home can now be used for small meetings and has a restroom that can be used for home soccer games. The old kitchen and barbecue pit are also available for picnics and now serve food at home soccer matches.

26 December 4, 2016

he girls varsity volleyball team at St. Mary School in Oak Ridge recently competed in the Knoxville Independent School League small-school tournament and beat Apostolic Christian Academy to win the championship at the Knoxville Christian School gym in a winner-take-all match. This year’s Lady Crusader squad won the KISL regular-season and tournament titles for the fourth straight year. St. Mary won the regular season with a 9-1 record under the leadership of all new coaches: head coach Angie Goodwyn and assistant coaches Kendall Doogan and Dennis Urban. The two top-seeded teams in the tournament advanced to the finals. To get there, St. Mary defeated Webb School in the quarterfinals and Knoxville Christian School in the semifinals. Apostolic raced out to a one-set lead in the finals, winning that first set by a wide margin, 25-15. St. Mary’s girls squeaked out a 25-23 second-set win. Apostolic looked like it had the second set in hand,

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but St. Mary upped its intensity level and reeled off the last four points to win the set. The third set would prove to be the difference, as St. Mary outlasted Apostolic to win 15-10. “The girls worked very hard this season. My number one goal was to make sure they could all consistently serve and pass well, knowing that if the game was close our girls would pull out a win. I couldn’t be happier winning my first season and tournament as head coach,” Ms. Goodwyn said. Assistant coach Mr. Doogan commented, “During the championship game all of their hard work and determination came together for a heart-stopping match against ACA. I am so proud of the girls. They stayed positive and focused on their goals. They were gracious winners. I am wholeheartedly looking forward to next season!” St. Mary’s Paige Halcrow won MVP and all-season honors. Kelli Ann Corbett was named all-season and all-tournament, and Caroline Elliott won all-tournament recognition. ■


Catholic youth

KCHS art club wins awards in street-painting event On Oct. 1 the Knoxville Catholic High School art club competed in the 16th annual Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival, where members won first place in the high school category and first place in the people’s choice category. From left are Natalie Nasser, Kalani Carter, Darian Blair, Kimberly White, Morgan White, Charlotte Rogers, and Noelani Fishman.

Youths recognized for collecting gift cards for CCET


abriella and Gabriel Parrilla are learning the lesson of giving at a young age. This year, for Gabriella’s sixth birthday and Gabriel’s third, they decided to ask for donations of gift cards from their friends to help the children at the Catholic Charities Columbus Home Children’s Emergency Shelter and the Columbus Home Boys Group Home. “Gabby learned that children could be just as blessed as she is, and lose it all during an emergency. She felt compelled to help children in need,” said Meghann Parrilla, mother of Gabriella and Gabriel. “Our family spoils them with toys throughout the year, so we wanted them to think about the duty we have as Christians to give.” The East Tennessee Catholic

Sister Marie Blanchette, OP, principal at St. Mary School in Oak Ridge, wanted to do something to honor Gabby and Gabe for their giving spirit. “The selflessness and thoughtfulness of these children to help those who have less than they do, is truly edifying. This is a beautiful example how kids we know are living out Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy,” she said. To recognize Gabby, a first-grader at St. Mary, Sister Marie Blanchette put together an assembly Sept. 29 for all St. Mary students. There, Gabby and Gabe presented their gift cards to Sister Mary Christine Cremin, RSM, executive director of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, and Brenda Beverly, program leader for the Columbus Home Programs. ■


Eagle Scout and Bronze Palm awards for James James Herbert West was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor on Oct. 23. He also earned an Eagle Scout Bronze Palm for completing additional merit badges above those required for the Eagle rank. He is a member of Troop 115, which is sponsored by Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Chattanooga. James, the son of Bill and Cissy West, is a senior at Notre Dame High School, and he and his parents are members of OLPH Parish. James joined the Cub Scouts as a Tiger Cub in first grade and has remained in Scouting ever since. As a Boy Scout, he earned 26 merit badges and both attended and taught at summer camp at Skymont Scout Reservation. For his Eagle Scout service project, James repaired and/or replaced 300 feet of chain-link fence at Audubon Acres Wildlife Sanctuary. Pictured with James are Father Mike Creson, part-time chaplain at NDHS, and his parents, Bill and Cissy West.

KCHS student is National Merit semifinalist


n October 2015 approximately 1.6 million high school juniors took the PSAT test. Of all these students, only 16,000 qualified to become semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Competition. Knoxville Catholic High School recently announced that Lucky DePersio has been named as a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Competition. Lucky’s score ranks him among the top 1 percent of all students in the state of Tennessee. Lucky is the son of Dr. Richard and Melissa DePersio. ■

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Lucky DePersio December 4, 2016 27

Catholic schools

St. Mary-Oak Ridge hosts NFL Punt, Pass & Kick sectional

28 December 4, 2016



Best in football skills competition Top finishers in the St. Mary sectional of the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition hailed from Oak Ridge, Knoxville, Jamestown, Greeneville, and Loudon. They competed in age groups ranging from 6-7 to 14-15.

two years. This is the last year that Anne Marie can participate in the competition. St. Mary students taking part in the PPK sectional, listed by age group, included: ■ 8-9 boys: third place: Joshua Palacios, fourth grade ■ 8-9 girls: first place: Lauren Sorah, fourth grade ■10-11 boys: participant, Parker Sorah, sixth grade ■ 10-11 girls: second place, Maggie Trent, sixth grade ■ 12-13 boys: second place, Jacob Dalton, sixth grade ■ 12-13 girls: first place, Joyce Ann Urban, seventh grade ■ 14-15 boys: first place, Elijah Dempsey, eighth grade ■ 14-15 girls: first place, Anne Marie

Carter. Additional participants were: ■ 6-7 boys: first place, Jayden Hargis, Jamestown; second place, Brody Sparks, Knoxville; third place, Brayden Shelton, Greeneville ■ 8-9 boys: first place, Carson Asbaty, Knoxville; second place, Gavin Crum, Greeneville ■ 10-11 boys: first place, Connor Farris, Fairview; second place, Caleb Asbaty, Knoxville; third place, Drew Shelton, Greeneville ■ 10-11 girls: first place, Kaylee Jump, Loudon; second place, Maggie Trent, Knoxville ■ 12-13 boys: first place, Zachery Gibson, Jamestown; second place, Jacob Dalton, Knoxville ■ 14-15 boys: second place, Jacob Jump, Loudon. ■

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t. Mary School in Oak Ridge hosted the East Tennessee Sectional Championship for the NFL’s Punt, Pass & Kick (PPK) competition Oct. 16. Boys and girls ages 6-15 from East Tennessee competed in the free contest sponsored by the NFL and USA Football. PPK began in 1961, and continues today with more than 200,000 youngsters nationwide participating. PPK allows youngsters to showcase their talents in punting, passing, and kicking a football, with scores based on distance and accuracy. Age classification is based on the participant’s age as of Dec. 31 of the current year. The competition began with a local event, winners from each local competition advancing to a sectional competition. The next level of competition is the team championship. Each NFL team hosts a team championship. The top four first-place winners in the boys’ and girls’ age groups among all sectional winners advance to the team championship. Winners from the Oct. 16 competition have the opportunity to advance to a team championship to be held before a Tennessee Titans game this fall if they have one of the top four scores from all sectional contests in Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Alabama. The top four scores among first-place finishers at all team championships advance to the national finals held during an NFL playoff game in January. This is the third year that St. Mary School has participated in the PPK competition. During the 2014-15 school year, Anne Marie Carter was an eighth-grader at St. Mary. She is now a sophomore at Knoxville Catholic High School and has continued to compete in the St. Mary PPK event. She has advanced to the team championships held at a Titans game in Nashville for the last

St. Mary finishers The host school had its share of participants in the Punt, Pass & Kick sectional.

USCCB vote moves Father Ryan a step toward sainthood Bishop Stika initiated the Cause for Sainthood for Father Ryan on June 14 after Father David Carter, rector at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Chattanooga, and Deacon Gaspar DeGaetano met with Vatican officials in March. The Vatican has encouraged the effort, although any official pronouncement on sainthood could be years away. “Presenting Father Ryan’s cause to the full assembly of bishops is part of the formal process in moving someone toward sainthood. I am looking forward to making my brother

By Jim Wogan .S. bishops gathering at their annual fall General Assembly in Baltimore in November approved the canonical consultation of four causes for beatification and canonization, including the cause for Servant of God Father Patrick Ryan, a diocesan priest who served in Chattanooga in the late 1800s. Bishop Richard F. Stika made his case for Father Ryan’s cause at the meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Nov. 15. By voice vote, the bishops supported moving the case for Father Ryan’s canonization forward. Episcopal consultation is a step in the Catholic Church’s process toward declaring a person a saint.


bishops aware of Father Ryan’s act of martyrdom. Even though it happened many years ago, Father Ryan’s work administering to the sick exemplifies charity and selflessness and reminds us of how we should serve others,” Bishop Stika said. The Diocese of Knoxville considers Father Ryan a martyr of charity for his work serving victims of the yellow fever epidemic in Chattanooga in the late 19th century. Father Ryan eventually contracted the illness and died on Sept. 28, 1878. In addition to Father Ryan, the candidates for sainthood are Julia Greeley, a former slave who lived in Colorado; Sister Blandina Segale, a Sister of Charity who served on the frontier; and Monsignor Bernard Quinn, who fought bigotry and es-

never retired from life or retired from faith. That after these five years and some time [of study for the diaconate], now you’ll stand before the Church, make pronouncements of prayer, the Liturgy of the Hours, service, and one I’m particularly fond of: obedience and respect to the bishop.” The bishop told the ordinand that “when you proclaim the Word of God, do so meaningfully . . . allow them to be words that you speak from the heart. When you preach, preach what the Church teaches, as the instruction reminds us.” Bishop Stika added that “Lawrence is a good name for a deacon. He himself was a deacon, St. Lawrence.” Deacon Rossini’s ordination fell on the feast day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. The bishop quoted the Little Flower: “every day appreciate that day as a gift from God, and every day give that gift to another as a gift from God.” He also quoted St. Teresa of Kolkata: “every day do something beautiful for God.” The bishop offered a closing thought for the new deacon. The East Tennessee Catholic


Deacon continued from page 12

Round of applause Deacon Larry Rossini receives an ovation from the faithful at St. Albert the Great Church during his ordination Mass on Oct. 1.

“Larry, and my brother deacons and priests, but especially Larry, this day I pray you might always be that face of Jesus, that when another person approaches you because they wish to see Jesus, they see a kind, well-educated, well-formed individual who is willing to be Christ-like to that person.” Bishop Stika told Deacon Rossini that “your surgery went well, and

your recovery has been remarkable. You, like myself—now everyone knows that we both have hearts, and may those hearts be the hearts of Jesus in so many different ways.” After the homily, Deacon Rossini made promises to the bishop, resolving “to be consecrated for the Church’s ministry by the laying on of my hands and the gift of the Holy

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

tablished a black church and orphanage in Brooklyn. Five years must pass from the time of a candidate’s death before a sainthood cause may begin. The bishop of the diocese or eparchy in which the person died is responsible for beginning the examination into the candidate’s life. The local bishop consults bishops in his region on the advisability of pursuing the cause. A canonical consultation with the body of bishops is part of the process. Materials and documentation supporting the cause must be gathered. Once completed, the documentation is sent to the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Three major steps come next: being deemed “Venerable,” then “Blessed,” and finally canonization. ■ Spirit,” “to discharge the office of deacon with humble charity,” and “to maintain and deepen the spirit of prayer that is proper to your way of life.” The deacon-elect promised respect and obedience to Bishop Stika and his successors, then prostrated himself during the Litany of the Saints. Afterward, the ordinand knelt before the bishop as the latter prayed the prayer of ordination. Father Michelson then vested the newly ordained deacon with his stole and dalmatic. Deacon Rossini received the Book of the Gospels from Bishop Stika and a greeting of peace from him. All the deacons present then greeted Deacon Rossini. In closing remarks Deacon Rossini thanked the bishop for his phone call during his brother deacons’ ordination Mass. The ordination was the second for the still-young St. Albert the Great Parish. Deacon Dan Alexander from the class of 2007, like Deacon Rossini, also was sick and had to be ordained later, the ceremony taking place at St. Albert the Great. ■ December 4, 2016 29

Youth continued from page 6

with “what is observable and measurable,” he said, “the world needs something non-physical as its origin, and that’s how to understand God along with science.” “It was the Christian faith that was the birthplace of science,” he continued. “There’s not a contradiction” between faith and science, “but it’s understanding each one in their own realms.” How can parents raise their children to stay in the faith? Father Schneider cited research by Christian Smith, a professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, who concluded that a combination of three factors produces an 80 percent retention rate among young Catholics. If they have a “weekly activity” like catechesis, Bible study or youth group; if they have adults at the parish who are not their parents and who they can talk to about the faith; and if they have “deep spiritual experiences,” they have a much higher likelihood of remaining Catholic, Father Schneider said. More parents need to be aware of their children’s’ beliefs, Dr. Gray noted, as many parents don’t even know Faith continued from page 7

ings. You are missing out. You need more than your peers, and the Christian community needs you. Another thought for you. You need a deeper narrative than just the secular one. There are narratives that people set their lives by, but not all narratives are equal nor are all equally true. I learned an important lesson in my seminary training. The Gospel narrative is the rule by which all other narratives should be measured and judged. Some might see this as Christian condescension, but I am not convinced that is true. Think about it. Catholicism has a proven track record. Empires, movements, theories of thought have come and gone. Christianity has remained and has

30 December 4, 2016

that their children may not profess to be Catholic. The Church is “very open” to science, he emphasized, noting the affiliation of non-Catholic scientists with the Pontifical Academy of Science, including physicist Stephen Hawking. There is “no real conflict” between faith and science, Dr. Gray said. “The Church has been steadily balancing matters of faith and reason since St. Augustine’s work in the fifth century,” he wrote. “Yet the Church has a chance to keep more of the young Catholics being baptized now if it can do more to correct the historical myths about the Church in regards to science,” he added, “and continue to highlight its support for the sciences, which were, for the most part, an initial product of the work done in Catholic universities hundreds of years ago.” Millennials are the smartphoneloving group of 18-to-34-year-olds who belong to the selfie generation, known for their pronounced diversity, connectivity, and ability to self-express. According to Pew Research, they are also a generation whose major-

ity - about 80 percent - will abandon their Catholic faith by age 23, which is why Catholics Come Home has singled out the nation’s largest living generation in their newest ad campaigns, or what they call “evangomercials.” “We took to heart numerous studies showing that American millennials are struggling with addictions, suicide, out-of-wedlock births, joblessness, and other significant life challenges at catastrophic rates,” stated Tom Peterson, the Catholics Come Home founder and president, in a press release. Catholics Come Home is an online evangelization resource aimed at reaching out to those who have lost their faith or who have no religious beliefs. They offer numerous tools on their website and have helped more than 500,000 people return to the Catholic faith since 1998. Catering to what they call “a young and diverse generation,” Catholics Come Home recently collaborated with other Catholic organizations to create a series of ads and a new website that will encourage millennials to ask “is there something more?” “I’m in a good place in my life.

And I’m energized by new adventures,” young people say in one of the ads. “I’ve got friends to laugh with, and a good relationship. But even though I’m kind of comfortable, I sometimes wonder, ‘Is there something more?’” “We are a young and diverse generation, helping those in need and promoting human rights,” another ad says. “We care for the environment, we embrace authentic witnesses and dream of a better world. Our passion comes from God, who loves us even when we fall, and cheers on our victories.” The ads then invite those watching to see if God and the Church are what they are seeking, by visiting the Catholics Come Home website. The commercials, including “Something More” and “Epic 2.0,” will air on television, radio, and other media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, with the goal of encouraging millennials to return to the faith. “Our hope is to reduce these disheartening statistics,” Mr. Peterson said, “and guide young adults towards healthier, joy-filled lifestyles by introducing them to – or reminding them of – the importance of faith.” ■

grown consistently and organically even through persecution and even despite the sinful actions of some of its adherents. Secularization, at its best, has real value. It has fostered religious freedom, protection from oppression, and respect due the dignity of people. But the secular world has its own narrative with a down side. A closedin secularity pushes the sacred to the periphery. And that truly diminishes life. Here, I would caution that certain forms of “generic Christianity” will not suffice because they are neither able to see beyond nor challenge the limits of the secular narrative. Certain popular forms of contemporary Christian expression often found in non-denominational,

evangelical, and mega-church communities are, in fact, closely linked to the secular narrative and a step away from the Christian sense of the sacred. For example, I would point to the emphasis by some on material concern and comfort as found canonized by the Gospel of prosperity preached in many places. There is a deeper and fuller reality to life, existence and creation itself than just the measure of the secular. There is a transcendent, spiritual and sacramental dimension to life. We can embrace the benefits of secularity, while not letting ourselves be bound by the limits of its narrative. The Catholic Church, with its tradition, theology, and worship, provides for this broader perspective on reality.

Dear young adults, here’s something that you won’t hear about very often, if ever. You need an awareness of redemptive suffering. The Catholic Church is at home with the crucifix not because we believe that the resurrection should be downplayed and that Christ still is on the cross. No, we are convinced that by his suffering on the cross our Lord has brought a redemptive dimension to all suffering. He has brought life out of death. On the cross and in the tomb, God entered into the furthest edges of human suffering and death. The crucifix reminds us of the cost of salvation that has been won through the love and obedience of Christ. This is a great mystery. There is suffering

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Faith continued on page 31

Gilded continued from page 5

state of Tennessee and that made it much more spiritual. I feel proud because I accomplished what I came here for, and I know that we are giving something to the community. That is very important.” Despite her experience, working in a crane basket that swayed in every breeze was unusual for her. Her safety harness provided obvious security. Scott Carey, an employee with cathedral contractor Merit Construction, accompanied Ms. Domenech to the top of the cathedral each day. He compared the journey to riding a Ferris wheel. Mr. Carey was there for safety and communication, but he even got to help the artist with her craft, handing Ms. Domenech sheets of the gold gilding material. His unexpected duties reinforced his impression of the Faith continued from page 30

in life, and, sooner or later, for all of us. We see suffering throughout our world. The crucifix and its bold display of redemptive suffering protects us against the temptations of choosing to ignore suffering in our world, getting lost ourselves in the darkness of suffering and giving in to victimhood in the face of suffering. Suffering, in Christ, can be redemptive. Let me say a word about something that many people are skittish about – commitment. You need commitment and not just new experiences. When I was in campus and vocation ministry my schedule and responsibilities allowed, and even required, of me quite a bit of travel. Now that I am in a parish, my travelling has been greatly reduced due to the commitment of being a pastor. This is not a bad thing. There are seasons to life and there are seasons to ministry. My faith life and my life in general are now being nourished more by the commitment of being a pastor than by a string of new experiences offered through travel and life situations. CommitThe East Tennessee Catholic

“You have to watch everything to be safe ... at the same time you are gilding and you are holding these (gold) leaves and you have to make sure that they are going where they are supposed to and I am staying where I am supposed to stay. I am not scared of heights. I could go higher. I am a little bit of a scare devil, as you say.” ­— Anne Domenech, artist with EverGreene Architectural Arts of New York City monumental cathedral construction project. “Gilding the cross is really an eyeopener on how big this project is, and how artistic and how particular each finish is going to be. This is one of the many amazing finishes that the cathedral is going to hold—one of the many crown jewels,” Mr. Carey said. As her work concluded, Ms. Domenech was asked about some very small gold flakes that sparkled on her face—minute pieces of 24 karat residue from her work gilding the cross. “Yes, I know, I am Goldilocks,” she

said laughing. “Sometimes I come from work and I take the subway in New York City, I go home and I have all these gold flakes everywhere, and people look at me, and, like, where on earth (did) she come from? Yeah, it’s strange.” Gold flakes aside, the eight-foot cross that tops the cathedral is a fitting focal point for the cathedral project. “The cross is transformational for Christians and Catholics. Jesus died on the cross and the power of Christ’s resurrection transformed this tool of

ments in life offer nourishment, too. Our world does not emphasize this but it is true. Young adults, do not get lost in the siren call of chasing new experience after new experience through life. Sooner or later you will wear yourself out, and, frankly, not have much depth. Commitments in life are what lead to the depth of personhood, awareness and insight. Do not be afraid to commit in faith and in love to Christ, his Church, and another person if you are so called. Be willing to go deep. You also need a real community that will not fit neatly into your box, one that is not perfect, that disagrees and that argues. I have known young people to leave the Church either because it is not “perfect” or because it does not fit into their own framework. Frankly, I think that this is not a sign of good, adult judgment. On college campuses, people are talking about “trigger notices” and “safe zones” around discussions that students might find threatening or challenging. Social media and our current structure of news outlets may allow us to exist and interact in a uni-

verse occupied solely by like-minded people (this is one of the dangers of our contemporary information age), but the real world does not. It is OK to argue and it is OK to debate and it is wonderful to be in a Church that has this and the Catholic Church has it in spades! Many social commentators have noted that argument and disagreement are turn-offs to young adults who like to avoid such things at all costs (again this is an unintended consequence of how the generation was raised), but life and insight is gained through respectful disagreement, discussion and debate. We believe the Holy Spirit leads the Church and this is testified especially through moments of disagreement, discussion, prayer and debate. You need holiness that sanctifies. One of my favorite professors in seminary likened the Catholic understanding of grace to a house that is being renovated from the inside out. Grace, in our Catholic understanding, does not just cover over our sinfulness but rather goes to the heart of who we are in order to heal the

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torture into a sacred symbol,” Father Boettner said. “The Catholic Church of East Tennessee and the parishioners at Sacred Heart Cathedral appreciate the work Ms. Domenech did, and we are especially grateful to Jeff Greene and EverGreene Architectural Arts for their generous gift.” EverGreene is a specialty contractor and design studio working with commercial, government, institutional, sacred, and theater clients in the areas of interior restoration, conservation, decoration, and new design. Established in 1978, it is a company of artists, conservators, craftsmen and designers who work throughout the United States and abroad. The company operates as both an art studio and a contractor combining art, science and technology as designers and craftsmen work side-by-side. ■ wound of sin from within or out. We are fully healed and fully restored through a lifetime of the working of grace and our cooperation with it. The ones who witness this most fully are the saints. Young adults, life can be different! We can know a holiness that heals, restores and is authentic. We are not meant to be defined by our sins, our stumblings and our weaknesses. We are all called to be saints. It is not just a nice thought but an eschatological truth. We are called to sanctification through and through, and we should not settle for anything less. Hopefully, these thoughts will prove to be helpful. Every generation has its blessings and every generation has its struggles. Dear young adults, you need the Church, and the Church needs you. From a priest who has truly been blessed by his interaction with so many young adults and who cares deeply about you, may God bless you and may God guide you. ■ Father Michael Cummins is pastor of St. Dominic Parish in Kingsport. December 4, 2016 31

St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic salutes volunteers at appreciation luncheon By Emily Booker t. Mary’s Legacy Clinic honored its many volunteers for their ministry of service on Nov. 7 with a volunteer appreciation Mass and luncheon at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Lenoir City. Father Bill Gahagan, pastor of St. Jude Parish in Helenwood, celebrated the Mass. “We come together to recognize the blessed gifts that God has given us to share with so many people who are longing to see the face of Jesus,” he said. Father Gahagan also commended the volunteers on reaching out to the needy and on recognizing the dignity and worth of each person. It is through the ministry of service that we can be the face of Jesus to others, he said. Sister Mariana Koonce, RSM, MD, director of the St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic, told the volunteers, “You really care for the patients, and that is so important—that they feel cared for…uplifting the dignity of our patients, making them feel like a person, a real human being and not



Volunteer spirit St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic volunteers gather at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Lenoir City.

Rutledge, and Washburn, and semimonthly visits to Crab Orchard. The clinic offers medical evaluations, laboratory work, point-ofcare testing, personalized patient education, referrals for specialty services, and orders for diagnostic imaging. St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic has hired Melissa Coldiron, RN, as its new nurse manager. Ms. Coldiron started in the position on Oct. 17.


a number—that is so important. It’s so critical to what we do.” Lynn Venafro was honored as the 2016 Volunteer of the Year. She volunteers at the Crab Orchard clinic and manages the mobile clinic’s supplies. St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic provides free health care to the uninsured and underinsured in East Tennessee, making monthly visits to mobile clinic sites in Athens, Decatur,

Saluting our faithful troops Bishop Stika is shown with (from left) Sgt. Chris Stinson, veteran Father Bill Gahagan, Lt. Col. Josefina Marcelo, Ensign Simon Finney, Capt. (Ret.) Tom Kollie, and Lt. Col. (Ret.) Paul Simoneau at the annual Green Mass.

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She is a graduate of Fulton High School in Knoxville and received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from East Tennessee State University. Ms. Coldiron Learn more about the mobile clinic at stmaryclinic. org. ■


New Catholic Charities location Catholic Charities of East Tennessee has relocated its Chattanooga offices to this office building at 5720 Uptain Road, Building 6100, Suite 4200. The agency completed its move in October.

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Bishop continued from page 2

Jesus said to her, “It gives me rest to forgive.” So if it gives Him rest to exercise His mercy, Jesus reminds St. Faustina what great sorrow it gives Him when we don’t accept the gift of His mercy: “The flames of mercy are burning me. I desire to pour them out upon human souls. Oh, what pain they cause Me when they do not want to accept them!” (n. 1074) For this reason, Jesus encourages her to promote the message of Divine Mercy: “Encourage souls to place great trust in My fathomless mercy. Let the weak, sinful soul have no fear to approach Me, for even if it had more sins than there are grains of sand in the world, all would be drowned in the immeasurable depths of My mercy” (n. 1059).

Jubilee of Mercy

Those of us familiar with St. Faustina and the message of Divine Mercy had particular reason to rejoice when Pope Francis announced an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy last year, which concludes with our celebration of Christ the King on Nov. 20. In the papal document titled, “The Face of Mercy,” in which the Jubilee was formally announced, Pope Francis describes mercy as “The bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to a hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness” (n. 2). He further emphasizes that “Mercy will always be greater than any sin, and no one can place limits on the love of God who is ever ready to forgive” (n. 3). This is the “Great Invitation” of Divine Mercy. Jesus asks only that we trust in His love and mercy for us, and in turn be merciful to others. He thirsts for us that we might receive the ocean of His mercy and in turn be its conduit, its channel, to others. That is why Pope Francis chalThe East Tennessee Catholic

lenges all of us to “constantly contemplate the mystery of mercy,” for “it is a wellspring of joy, serenity and peace. Our salvation,” he says, “depends on it” (n. 2).

Contemplating the mysteries with icons

When I contemplate the mysteries of our faith, I find icons particularly helpful. Icons are called “the Gospel in line and color,” and while they may appear somewhat amateurish by the standards of Western art, their two-dimensional and odd linear perspective actually serve to pull us into the mystery we contemplate. In speaking of icons, it is important to point out that the words “icon” and “image” mean the same thing. So when Scripture says that we are created in the image of God, it is also correct to say that each of us is an icon of God. We are all flesh and blood icons of God. This is why what we do to our neighbor we do to God. An icon is not just a picture that reminds people of holy things. It is more than art—it is an encounter with the reality that it depicts. Each encounter with our neighbor, then, is an encounter with God. This is the underlining theology of icons, which is why we also kiss and venerate them.

Icon of the resurrection

As I prepared for this presentation, and contemplated its title—”The Mercy of God Invites Us”—I came across an icon of the resurrected Christ with Mary Magdalene. While there are many such icons that depict the Resurrection, this one particularly struck me. Because there is no shortage of excellent commentaries on the beautiful image of the Divine Mercy that Jesus asked St. Faustina to have painted, I decided that I would instead speak to this icon in reflecting on how “The Mercy of God Invites Us.”

The Gospel of John, chapter 20

This icon gives beautiful image to what St. John records in the 20th chapter of his Gospel. As we contemplate this scene in the garden of the resurrection, the risen Lord has already asked Mary Magdalene, “Woman, why are you weeping?”(v. 13). And because in her grief she did not recognize Him, St. John explains that, “She thought it was the gardener” (v. 15), an important detail. But captured in this icon is the precise moment when the eyes of Jesus and Mary Magdalene find one another. On hearing her name pronounced by Jesus (v. 16), she turns and recognizes her risen Lord. And it is also at this very moment when Jesus beholds for the first time all the redeemed in His mercy, represented in the person of Mary Magdalene. What an absolutely incredible moment this is. To contemplate in this icon the merciful and loving gaze of Jesus beholding Mary Magdalene, is to contemplate His gaze upon each one of us.

The pierced side of Christ

Notice that while the wounds in Christ’s hands and feet are minimized, the exposed wound in his side is much more pronounced. This calls to mind another garden experi-

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ence—that in the Garden of Eden. In contemplating this icon we again hear the words of the first gardener, Adam, who, upon awakening from his deep sleep during which God had removed one of his ribs and created woman, exclaims: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken” (Genesis 2:23). Christ is the new Adam, the new gardener, and it is the first day of a new creation. On this Easter morning, Jesus beholds all of us, created anew by His passion and cross. And because of the wound that opened His side, He can now say of us, “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh!” The exposed wound seen in this icon also reminds me of Jesus’ words to St. Faustina: “On the cross, the fountain of My mercy was opened wide by the lance for all souls—no one have I excluded” (n. 1182). But when I might think of the ecstatic words of Adam upon beholding the one he would call Eve, they don’t seem to connect at all with the almost stern and harsh words of Jesus to Mary Magdalene—“Stop holding onto to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father” (v. 17). I believe that Jesus’ words, though, can be understood as meaning that He is ascending to where the heavenly wedding banquet has been prepared, to where the eternal embrace of the heavenly bridegroom awaits all of us.

Gold and red

The colors in this icon speak to this as well, I believe. Jesus is a beautiful translucent and radiant gold, symbolizing His divine nature, almost matching the golden sky in the background that announces the sunrise of a new creation. The use of this color gives vivid image to the words

Bishop continued on page 34 December 4, 2016 33

Bishop continued from page 33

of the Psalmist, who describes the sun “like a bridegroom coming from his tent” (19:5 Revised Grail Psalms). On my Chancery staff, I am blessed to have several Scripture scholars who have reminded me that in the Old Testament, one of the main expressions of mercy has a very covenant and nuptial meaning. Christ reveals himself as our Bridegroom, and mercy is His wedding invitation. Here we are speaking of the heavenly wedding banquet, and yet we find Mary Magdalene is cloaked, not in a white garment, but almost entirely in a bold red garment. But in icons, clothing is an expression of one’s identity. Kneeling before her redeemer, Mary Magdalene is clothed in what Adam and Eve lost – the robe of glory. Only God could clothe anew fallen man and woman, and it is by the shedding of blood. So her red garment is a sign of her redemption, a proclamation of the resurrection, and her wedding garment.

A garden transformed

By the first tree the robe of glory was lost. But by the cross, this tree that was once the source of death has now pushed through the rocky grave as the source of new life. Behind Mary we see the once barren earth beginning to show its green growth. Beneath the feet of Mary Magdalene and Christ, the ground is fully greened. Here again, my Scripture scholars in the Chancery remind me of the words in the Song of Songs: “All green is our bed…. My lover has come down to his garden, to the beds of spice, to browse in the garden…” (Songs 1:16, 6:2B). How transforming mercy is, as evidenced by an earlier event involving Mary Magdalene. In this icon we again hear the words that Christ spoke of her after she had entered the Pharisee’s house where Jesus was a guest. Kneeling at His feet, she broke

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an expensive alabaster jar of ointment and anointed Jesus’ feet, wiping them with her hair and kissing them. And what did Jesus say of her? He said of her actions, “I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little” (Luke 7:47). If we are to love as Jesus loves us, we must accept His mercy. And this is a most essential point to becoming the saints we are called to be. To the degree we embrace Divine Mercy, is the degree with which we are able to love.

The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea

It also is true that to receive God’s mercy we must be willing to give it as well. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The word “as” is key to living the gift of God’s mercy in its fullness. Think of the difference between two bodies of water in the Holy Land. The Sea of Galilee receives its waters from the north and gives outlet to it in the form of the Jordan River. The Jordan’s waters are considered life-giving—fruit trees line its banks and the nearby fields are irrigated by it. But though the Dead Sea receives these life-giving waters, it has no outlet, and thus its name describes its condition. So it is in receiving the gifts of God, and particularly that of His mercy. If we do not give as a gift what we receive from God, then our lives become sterile and even dead to God’s grace.

Witnesses to God’s mercy

We must be Mercy’s herald. Mary Magdalene is the first witness to the resurrection and is the apostle to the apostles. She is the first announcer of the resurrection, the first to proclaim, “I have seen the Lord” (v. 18). She is the first to have beheld the merciful eye of Jesus, and thus to announce His great love for us. And we, too, must be the heralds of the invitation of God as Jesus emphasizes to St.

Faustina: “Tell sinners that I am always waiting for them, that I listen intently to the beating of their heart…. When will it beat for me?” (n. 1728) So many today are in a desperate search for the peace that their hearts are without, for peace in their marriages, in their families, in their country and in the world. But Jesus reminds St. Faustina that, “Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy” (n. 699).

The gaze of mercy

Sometimes, we must be mercy’s herald from the cross of our sufferings. Speaking to St. Faustina about the Divine Mercy image He asked to have painted, Jesus says to her: “My gaze from this image is like my gaze from the cross” (n. 326). What does Jesus’ gaze from the cross say to us? Of course this is going to be very personal to each one of us individually. But we can also again hear His words, ever ancient and ever new, today, and every day, and we can ask ourselves, what does our gaze say to those we meet? Does our gaze say, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do?” Our Lord forgives us. He stands up for us before His Father. Do we do the same for others? Do we have a compassionate heart, ever ready to forgive? Do we have merciful eyes? Does our gaze say, “This day you will be with me in Paradise”? Do we look upon others as our brothers and sisters whom God has created to live with Him forever, together with us? Can we forgive the thieves in our lives even when they are not sorry for their actions? Can we desire that those who have robbed us of our peace, our hope, our children’s innocence be converted and be welcomed into heaven? Are we willing to die to ourselves that we might bring them home—to our heavenly home?

Mother of mercy

And let us not forget to implore the

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help of Mary, she who the Church calls the mother of mercy. The Religious Sisters of Mercy have a picture at their motherhouse in Alma, Mich., that depicts a sobbing St. Peter being comforted by Mary. In the Blessed Mother’s hands, she holds her son’s crown of thorns. Though tears flow down her cheek, her gaze towards St. Peter is the same gaze Jesus gave him after he denied him three times. When we find it difficult to look upon others with the eyes of mercy, let us be quick to ask for the Blessed Mother’s help.

The king of kings

Recalling that we all are icons of God, I am mindful of a very powerful scene from the 1920 silent film The King of Kings. In this scene, Christ comes into view carrying His cross with a crowd of people crying out as He passes before it. As He disappears from view, the crowd’s mourning suddenly turns to anger as the two thieves come into view carrying their own crosses behind Christ. In striking contrast to their earlier demeanor, this same group of people begin hurling insults at the two thieves and throw rocks and garbage at them. This scene is a powerful reminder of how we must all be the face, and the heart of Jesus, who is our mercy, to not only those we feel are deserving of His mercy, but especially those who the world feel are not.


At every Mass, we hear the words inviting us to communion with our eucharistic Lord: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” We are all invited to mercy’s wedding banquet. What a blessing it will be if those seated around us are there because one day in their past they encountered the love and mercy of Christ in us. ■

down walls and to build bridges. The Church in America, as elsewhere, is called to ‘go out’ from its comfort zone and to be a leaven of communion; communion among ourselves, with our fellow Christians, and with all who seek a future of hope,” Pope Francis said in a message to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which delivered reports on the V Encuentro and cultural diversity in the Church at the USCCB fall assembly Nov. 14-16 in Baltimore. The U.S. bishops heard about the Church’s preparations for the V Encuentro and a study that finds there are nearly 30 million Hispanics in the U.S. Church. That rapidly growing community is having a profound effect on many parishes across the country. Bishop Richard F. Stika has launched the V Encuentro in the Diocese of Knoxville. Church leaders from across the Province of Louisville, of which the Diocese of Knoxville is part, met in Knoxville in November to formulate strategy and plan training. “Encuentro, an encounter with Jesus by coming together more closely as a Catholic community, is an important process that will bring all communities in the Diocese of Knoxville together as part of the New Evangelization,” Bishop Stika said. “Pope Francis is asking us to be missionary disciples and witnesses of God’s love. And I am asking our diocese to take an active role in Encuentro. What better way to do that than by evangelizing and inviting all cultures making up our diocese to get more involved in missionary activity, living the teachings of Jesus, and then being the face, the hands, the feet, and the heart of Jesus through a closer encounter with Him and those in our community.” Earlier this year, the Diocese of Knoxville’s Office of Hispanic Ministry identified a team of diocesan leaders to head the East Tennessee effort, and this team was formed in October. They are gathering Saturday, Dec. 10, at All Saints Church in Knoxville to provide training for parish teams to ensure a smooth beginning for parish Encuentro sessions The East Tennessee Catholic


V Encuentro continued from page 1

Diocesan Encuentro team The 36 members of the Diocese of Knoxville’s V Encuentro leadership team are shown during a training session at the Chancery. They represent the diverse ministries present in the diocese.

that will begin in January. Blanca Primm, interim director of Hispanic Ministry, said 2016 has been the year of preparation for the V Encuentro, which actually took root in 2014. She said the plan is to introduce Encuentro to parishes in 2017, where parish leaders will carry out the Encuentro process and then share their findings at the diocesan Encuentro. Then, in turn, these findings will be shared and assessed at the regional Encuentro. And finally, these findings will be shared at the national Encuentro in September 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. Father Julian Cardona, associate pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Lenoir City, said diocesan priests are anticipating the arrival of Encuentro. Father Cardona is Bishop Stika’s delegate for the V Encuentro process. “Right now all pastors are being informed about forming their parish leadership teams,” Father Cardona said. “It’s all part of Pope Francis’ call for the New Evangelization. We’ve called people from every group in our diocese.” Brittany Koepke, coordinator of Pastoral Juvenil (Hispanic Youth & Young Adult Ministry), a branch of the Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry, noted that the 36 members of the Encuentro leadership team represent a variety of ministries such as youth, Cursillo, mar-

riage encounter, and jail outreach. Mrs. Primm noted that while the V Encuentro is being organized by the Hispanic community, the process is open to all the faithful, including every ethnicity and background. As the Catholic Church continues its growth around the world, studies show that in the United States, the Hispanic community is reshaping dioceses, prompting many U.S. parishes to look for ways to bridge the cultural divide. So, just what does Encuentro involve? According to the USCCB and the national Encuentro program, its main goal is to discern ways in which the Church in the United States can better respond to the presence of Hispanics and other communities, and to strengthen the ways in which these communities respond to the call of the New Evangelization as missionary disciples serving the Church. All leaders in dioceses, parishes, lay ecclesial movements, and other Catholic organizations and institutions are invited to participate by encountering Hispanic/ Latino Catholics, particularly those living in the periphery, through the missionary process of evangelization and consultation of the V Encuentro. The objectives of the V Encuentro are: ■ Call all Catholics in the United States to become authentic and joyful missionary

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disciples that give witness to God’s Love with a prophetic voice in a culturally diverse Church; ■ Provide a renewed ecclesial vision that develops effective pathways to invite, engage and form Hispanic Catholic youth, young adults, and families to live out their baptismal vocation; ■ Invite all Catholic leaders to engage and accompany Hispanic Catholics who find themselves in the peripheries of the Church and society, particularly those who live in at-risk situations and are not actively involved in their faith community; ■ Identify and promote opportunities for Hispanic Catholic pastoral leaders to serve at all ministerial levels of the Church and the larger society, and increase the number of protagonists in the New Evangelization; ■ Stimulate a new wave of faith formation and leadership development initiatives that prepare Hispanic Catholics to share and celebrate the Good News of Jesus Christ and to become leaven for the Reign of God in society. Five themes inspired by Pope Francis’ call to create a culture of Encounter are: ■ Be called to a loving encounter with Jesus; ■ With words and actions, “Do it”; ■ Walk together with Jesus; ■ Bear fruits of new life; ■ Celebrate the joy of being missionary disciples. Encuentro leaders in the Diocese of Knoxville and within the Louisville Province are receiving training from the Southeast Pastoral Institute (SEPI), a regional office of bishops of the Southeast for Hispanic ministry. SEPI was established in 1979 from a recommendation of the II Encuentro and now serves 30 dioceses with a population of more than 5 million Hispanics. “Bishops have come to realize that the merging majority of the faithful in the Church in the United States come from Hispanic backgrounds, not just from recently arrived immigrants, but we’re talking about the big numbers of U.S.-born Hispanics, second- and third-

V Encuentro continued on page 43 December 4, 2016 35

USCCB answers questions on proper administration of cremations As more people opt for alternative to burial, more queries are made into the correct handling of ashes


Q: The new document from the Con-

gregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) spells out regulations regarding cremation. Does it change anything in how the Catholic Church in this country has regulated this issue?

A: No, the new document from the

CDF doesn’t change anything for us in this country. For example, we already have permission to have a funeral Mass in the presence of cremated remains. What the instruction does do, however, is reiterate the church’s

36 December 4, 2016

ervation of the ashes of the departed in a sacred place ensures that they are not excluded from the prayers and remembrance of the Christian community. It prevents the faithful departed from being forgotten, or their remains from being shown a lack of respect…” (n. 5).

Q: Entombment of ashes is expen-

sive; is there any ‘consecrated ground or consecrated place’ where Catholics can place ashes for free?

A: That would vary from place to


n 1963, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued an instruction permitting cremation as long as it was not done as a sign of denial of the basic Christian belief in the resurrection of the dead. The permission was incorporated into the Code of Canon Law in 1983 and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches in 1990. However, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the congregation, told reporters Oct. 25 that church law had not specified exactly what should be done with “cremains,” and several bishops’ conferences asked the congregation to provide guidance. That request led to “Ad resurgendum cum Christo” (“To Rise With Christ”), an instruction “regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation,” issued Oct. 25. The document was approved by Pope Francis after consultation with other Vatican offices and with bishops’ conferences and the Eastern churches’ synods of bishops. Release of the new document has prompted many Catholics to ask whether it changes any regulations about cremation. Catholic News Service provided some of those questions to the staff of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship,which responded with the following answers:

By Catholic News Service

Resting in peace St. Mary in Oak Ridge is one of several Diocese of Knoxville parishes that have columbaria where relatives can place the cremated remains of loved ones in a pastoral setting that meets Church guidelines.

preference for the burial of the body in normal circumstances, and, when cremation is necessary, its insistence that the remains be properly interred.

Q: If the document says that traditional burial is preferred, does that mean cremation is wrong?

A: If the church saw cremation as

“wrong,” it wouldn’t permit it! Sometimes cremation can truly be necessary. However, the ancient custom and the preference of the church is to bury the body, whenever possible.

Q: What should I do if I’ve already scattered the ashes?

A: We can’t change the past, of

course, and if you truly didn’t realize at that time that it shouldn’t be done, then you shouldn’t burden yourself with guilt. Remember that what happens to a person’s body after death has no bearing on what happens when that person’s soul meets the Lord on judgment day. However, you might wish to offer extra prayers for the person’s happy repose.

Q: If I plan to donate my body to sci-

ence, after which it will be cremated, is that OK? What if the laboratory disposes of these ashes?

A: This would seem to be a valid reason for cremation. However, it would be important to make sure that arrangements are made for a funeral Mass, and that a trusted relative or friend is able to receive the remains and see to their proper burial. Q: How do I convince my dad to let

me bury my mother’s ashes, which he now has at home?

A: Only you would know the best

way to approach a situation like that, and it would depend a lot on his reasons for keeping the remains and on his own personal faith. Perhaps making him aware of the church’s preference would be enough to convince him? Or the assurance that his own earthly remains will one day be buried alongside those of his wife? Also, the Vatican’s instruction itself articulates some compelling reasons: “The res-

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place. There have been some Catholic dioceses and cemeteries that have even organized special opportunities for the interment of cremated remains for no cost at all, just as a way to encourage people who might have been keeping the remains without a good idea of what to do with them. You might wish to bring this question to the office of your local bishop -- the people who assist him might be able to help you find an appropriate place, particularly if the expense is an important factor.

Q: “I am afraid I did something

wrong. When my daughter died, I could not afford to bury her, but I had her cremated and her ashes will be buried with me. I also had some ashes put in crosses for her children. I am distressed I did something very wrong.”

A: Clearly you did that with good

intentions, and weren’t aware of what the Church wants us to do with the mortal remains of our loved ones, so you shouldn’t burden yourself with guilt over this. Would it be possible now to find a cemetery plot where you can bury her remains, and make arrangements so that your own remains can someday go into the same location? If at all possible, the ashes in the crosses should also be buried or interred along with them.

Cremation continued on page 42

Understanding the sacraments

by Father Randy Stice

To rise with Christ Vatican’s Congregation for the Faith issues instructions on burial and cremation practices


n October the Congregation for the Faith issued an instruction titled To Rise with Christ (Ad resurgendum cum Christo) that reiterates the Church’s “doctrinal and pastoral reasons for the preference of the burial of the remains of the faithful and to set out norms pertaining to the conservation of ashes in the case of cremation” (no. 1). The instruction begins by summarizing the Church’s understanding of death in the light of Christ’s Paschal Mystery—his suffering, death and resurrection. Our participation in Christ’s Paschal Mystery begins at baptism, in which “we are immersed in the death and resurrection of Christ and sacramentally assimilated to him” so that “we already truly participate in the life of the risen Christ” (no. 2). As a result for us “death has a positive meaning,” with the liturgy itself proclaiming: “Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended, and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven” (no. 2, quoting Preface I for the Dead). At death the body and soul are separated, “but in the resurrection God will give incorruptible life to our body, transformed by reunion with our soul” (no. 2). The Church continues to affirm her faith in the resurrection: “The confidence of Christians is the resurrection of the dead; believing this we live” (no. 2.). It has been “the most ancient Christian tradition” to bury the bodies of her deceased children “in cemeteries or other sacred places,” for this “the most fitting way to express faith and hope in The East Tennessee Catholic

When cremation is chosen, “the ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place, that is, in a cemetery or, in certain cases, in a church or an area which has been set aside for this purpose, and so dedicated by the competent ecclesial authority” the resurrection of the body” (no. 3). In the tender language of the instruction, “The Church who, as Mother, has accompanied the Christian during his earthly pilgrimage, offers to the Father, in Christ, the child of her grace, and she commits to the earth, in hope, the seed of the body that will rise in glory” (no. 3). The instruction explains why the Church prefers burial of the body. First, burial is a confirmation of the Church’s faith in the resurrection of the body and shows “the great dignity of the human body as an integral part of the human person whose body forms part of their identity” (no. 3). For this reason, the Church rejects “rites that involve erroneous ideas about death, such as considering death as the definitive annihilation of the person, or the moment of fusion with Mother Nature or the universe, or as a stage in the cycle of regeneration, or as the definitive liberation from the “prison” of the body” (no. 3). A second reason is that burial of the dead is “one of the corporal works of mercy” (No. 3). And third, it “encourages family members and the whole Christian community to pray for and remember the dead, while at the same time fostering the venera-

tion of martyrs and saints” (no. 3). The ancient practice of burial “in cemeteries, in churches or their environs” expresses the relationship between the dead and the living and opposes “any tendency to minimize, or relegate to the purely private sphere, the event of death and the meaning it has for Christians” (no. 4). While burial “shows a greater esteem towards the deceased,” the Church permits cremation as long as it is not “chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine” (no. 4), summarized above. Cremation of the body does not affect the deceased’s soul, “nor does it prevent God, in his omnipotence, from raising up the deceased body to new life” (no. 4). When cremation is chosen, “the ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place, that is, in a cemetery or, in certain cases, in a church or an area which has been set aside for this purpose, and so dedicated by the competent ecclesial authority” (no. 5). This “ensures that they are not excluded from the prayers and remembrance of their family or the Christian community. It prevents the faithful departed from being forgotten, or their remains from being shown a lack of respect, which eventuality is possible, most especially once the immediately subsequent generation has too passed away. Also it prevents any unfitting or superstitious practices” (no. 5). This means, explains the instruction, that it is not permitted to keep “ the ashes…in a domestic residence,” or “to scatter the ashes of the faithful departed in the air, Resurrection continued on page 42

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

Fr. Collins succeeds Dcn. Preske as Scouts chaplain Father Dustin Collins, associate pastor of St. Mary Parish in Oak Ridge, has been named chaplain for Scouting for the Diocese of Knoxville. He succeeds Deacon Otto Preske, who is retiring as chaplain but continues serving as deacon at Good Shepherd Church in Newport. Fr. Collins “We couldn’t have found a better replacement for Deacon Otto,” said George C. LeCrone Sr., lay chairman for the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting.” He (Deacon Preske) has been Dcn. Preske a faithful servant for Catholic Scouting in East Tennessee since the diocese was formed in 1988.” Father Collins was a Scout in the diocese, which made him a logical choice to succeed Deacon Preske, according to Mr. LeCrone. “I have been involved with Scouting for most of my life. I received my Arrow of Light as well as the rank of Eagle. I worked two seasons at Camp Davy Crockett as the Camp chaplain. I am happy to be involved with this diocesan program. Receiving my religious award while involved in Scouting was helpful in my discernment of the priesthood. Therefore, this program has a lot to offer our youth and is beneficial to have,” Father Collins said. The transition was effective in November. “We really hate to lose him (Deacon Preske), but we couldn’t have found a better replacement. Father Collins is an Eagle Scout from the Diocese of Knoxville. He’s been very supportive. We’re so pleased to have him,” Mr. LeCrone said. ■ December 4, 2016 37

Praying for Perspective

by George Valadie

The Christmas story and common ground The times may be different, but relating to Mary and Joseph is easier than you would think


eason’s greetings! A year or so ago, when The East Tennessee Catholic and I began talking about writing this column, I had but one idea to offer and it was neither philosophical nor theological. Odd I know, given this is a diocesan publication. Simply put, maybe someone might like to read what a “husband and a daddy” has to say about life and kids, marriage and Catholic schools in this quickly evolving 21st century. A bold idea coming from me I know; egotistical some would say. I know I said it. But maybe. The only credential of expertise I could offer was my 40 years of experience as a Catholic school teacher, a spouse and a father. Let it be noted that though I am all three, it doesn’t qualify me to be any. But it’s who I am, what I am, and it’s the perspective I bring. And I’ve found that praying for more perspective is exactly what I need. From the very beginning, Nancy and I knew we wanted children, and while dating we had spoken often of our eventual family, the one we were dreaming we’d begin after getting a job, a running car and a savings account, preferably two of each. I can’t help but smile thinking of the hearty, deep-throated belly laugh that roared forth from our Creator as He listened in on our dreams. And so the “eventual” of which we spoke happened far sooner than that. In fact, we had but one job, half a running car and no savings accounts. We affectionately called her Boo-Boo long before we named her Katy. It was an attempt to substitute humor for shock. We hardly knew how to be adults, much less parents. I was recalling that very shock and those early days when I heard

38 December 4, 2016

the Gospel recounting Gabriel’s visit to Mary. Confused, but faith-filled, she agreed to what she could never know. I imagine “confused but faithfilled” is how a lot of moms get this sort of news. But being a guy and all, my thoughts keep going to Joseph, the father-to-be, and the roller-coaster ride that comes with getting such a news flash. No, I take that back. I’ve got nothing that compares with hearing what that man heard. “I’m not lying,” Mary must have offered shyly, “an angel told me and then …” He may have had more faith than she. The Gospels don’t tell us much about the man so I don’t have many mental images of Joseph. There are several that stick more than others. My favorite comes from the Gospel of Luke telling of when Jesus and his family were returning home after having journeyed with a caravan for the annual Passover celebration. Not a single miracle happened that trip. Just life. Like at our house. In fact their experience there was the same as ours. Shopping at the mall, walking through the grocery store, playing at the park. You know that solitary moment when your heart stops dead cold, but the darker angels of your imagination won’t. There they were, Mary and Joseph, a panic-stricken mom and dad, desperately searching for their 12-yearold after the festival in Jerusalem. Mom: “Where have you been? You scared us to death! Are you crazy?” Dad: “You better answer your mother, boy!” They got an answer all right, but they didn’t understand it. I know the feeling well. It happened all the time at my house. Luke says, “ … and his mother kept all these things in her heart.”

Dads keep them in the pit of their stomach. When I get to imagine the perfect family being imperfect, it gives me hope. The next image is one completely of my own creation, but I have no trouble whatsoever picturing Joseph the day they hauled his boy off to be killed. They didn’t have to describe all that much for me to see that scene. He apparently did not grieve publicly, that’s not hard for me to imagine either. And lastly, I can see Joseph, this soon-to-be father, walking alongside Mary and their mule on that first trip to Bethlehem. If they were every bit the normal couple I hope them to be, it was a rough trip. Pregnant women make lots of restroom stops; hoisting her up and down; too many bumps; and never the right kind of snacks. Glowing … but grouchy. It was his fault they had to make the trip anyway. After all, Bethlehem was his family’s hometown, not hers. And don’t you know he just dreaded having to tell her the inn was full? “… But honey, the man said there’s a great barn just out back. Yes, I told him we’ve been travelling all day. Yes, I told him you were gonna deliver any minute. No, I think the animals have to stay. ... But it didn’t cost as much as we had planned,” he offered sheepishly, hoping for at least a smile. Hoping. It’s Christmas! I praise Jesus and I honor Mary, but I admire Joseph. Daddies are a kindred spirit. Dear God – We thank you for being a daddy, too. It helps us see you as our own. Merry Christmas! Amen. ■ George Valadie is president of Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga.

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Funeral Mass held at Notre Dame for Br. Roland Driscoll A funeral Mass was held Nov. 2 for Brother Roland Driscoll, CSC, who died Oct. 28 at Holy Cross Village in Notre Dame, Ind. He was 98. Brother Roland was born in Knoxville on Feb. 1, 1918, to Leo and Br. Roland Nell Brennan Driscoll. He attended Knoxville Catholic High School through his junior year before leaving to join the order of the Holy Cross Brothers in Watertown, Wis., where he completed high school. After spending a year in the novitiate in Rolling Prairie, Ind., he attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., where he graduated in 1942. He made his final vows in 1941 while attending Notre Dame. He spent his life teaching in high schools, with his longest tenure at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, where he also served as athletics director for 19 years. He retired to Knoxville in 1981 to help his sister care for their elderly mother. He was very active at Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish for many years and was asked to write a history of Sacred Heart for the parish’s 50th anniversary, which was published in a program for the golden jubilee. After living in Knoxville for some 25 years, Brother Roland was asked by his brother superior to return to Notre Dame to the Holy Cross

Brother continued on page 43

Living the readings

Weekday readings Thursday, Dec. 1: Isaiah 26:1-6; Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27; Matthew 7:21, 24-27 Friday, Dec. 2: Isaiah 29:1724; Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14; Matthew 9:27-31 Saturday, Dec. 3: Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26; Psalm 147:1-6; Matthew 9:35 10:1 and 10:5-8 Sunday, Dec. 4: Isaiah 11:110; Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12 Monday, Dec. 5: Isaiah 35:1-10; Psalm 85:9-14; Luke 5:17-26 Tuesday, Dec. 6: Isaiah 40:1-11; Psalm 96:1-3, 1013; Matthew 18:12-14 Wednesday, Dec. 7: Isaiah 40:25-31; Psalm 103:1-4, 8, 10; Matthew 11:28-30 Thursday, Dec. 8: Genesis 3:9-15, 20; Psalm 98:1-4; Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38 Friday, Dec. 9: Isaiah 48:1719; Psalm 1:1-4, 6; Matthew 11:16-19 Saturday, Dec. 10: Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11; Psalm 80:23, 15-16, 18-19; Matthew 17:9-13 Sunday, Dec. 11: Isaiah 35:1-6, 10; Psalm 146:610; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11:2-11 Monday, Dec. 12: Zechariah 2:14-17; Judith 13:18-19; Luke 1:26-38 Tuesday, Dec. 13: Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13; Psalm 34:23, 6-7, 17-19, 23; Matthew 21:28-32 Wednesday, Dec. 14: Isaiah 45:6-8, 18, 21-25; Psalm 85:9-14; Luke 7:18-23 Thursday, Dec. 15: Isaiah 54:1-10; Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13; Luke 7:24-30 Friday, Dec. 16: Isaiah 56:13, 6-8, Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 7-8; John 5:33-36 Readings continued on page 40 The East Tennessee Catholic

by Father Joseph Brando

A Christmas change of life Prepare for, rejoice in, and live out the holy season message


e are approaching one of the great highlights of the year. If we can look at the entire calendar from afar, we can see Christmas and Epiphany shining out and giving us hope. In a few months beyond those twin celebrations we have Easter and Pentecost. These feasts proclaim the redemption of the world through the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, our Savior. Everything in our spiritual lives and the Church’s liturgical life revolve around these basic elements of our faith. Therefore, with December upon us it is beneficial that we take a panoramic perspective of the entire Christmas cycle so that we can intelligently experience what the Church has beautifully set before us. Thus we can better appreciate the movement through which we experience our journey into the mystery of God’s entry into our lives. Christmas actually has three parts: Advent, the feasts of the Nativity and Epiphany, and the beginning of Ordinary Time. We’ll begin in the middle, taking a look at the readings for the Christmas feast days to see what the Church presents as the essence of the Christmas story. Then we’ll go back to determine how we can prepare ourselves to accept this good news into our hearts. Finally, we’ll take an overview of the seven Sundays of Ordinary Time to measure how well we have put the Christmas message into action in our lives. As you know, the Church has a three-year cycle for the Sunday readings. This year, starting on the first Sunday of Advent, we began Year A. Most of the Gospel readings will be taken from Matthew (B Gospels are from Mark and C Gospels favor Luke as we just experienced). This gives us a slightly different slant on the divine message.

Matthew’s Christmas message at the vigil Mass strongly presents Jesus as the Son of David. He names all of Jesus’ forefathers illustrating the drumbeat of Israel’s history and calling the readers to see how Israel’s faithfulness leads them and us to the conclusion that right now (at the birth of Jesus) God is with us. Joseph, himself a son of David, gives his adopted son the right to be in Israel’s royal family and the head of its army. He saves his people by leading them in battle. As David never lost a battle, Jesus would lead his people to prominence over all the peoples of the world in bringing peace to the world. On his mother’s side, Jesus was conceived through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Jesus is the Son of God. He is Emmanuel (meaning “God is with us”). So Matthew drives home the reality that, at the birth of Jesus, God entered the world. In Christ, people could relate to God. The Lord could communicate with us and lead us to a relationship with his heavenly Father. There are three other Christmas Masses. Besides the vigil Mass, there is a Mass during the night, a Mass at dawn, and a Mass during the day. Luke is the Gospel writer for the night Mass and the Mass at dawn. There, he softly mentions Jesus’ Davidic ancestry, but he emphasizes the angels who invited shepherds to come to the manger where Jesus lay with Mary and Joseph. Then he tells us that angels also were there to give glory to God. Thus, Luke propagates to all his readers that we could join the angels in praising God and recognizing Jesus as the giver of peace. At dawn, Luke relates that the shepherds followed the angels’ invitation and eventually returned to their flocks glorifying and praising God. He also tells us Mary’s reaction. She kept this memory, reflecting on it in her heart. That is, she was changed by this event. At

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the Mass during the day, we hear from John, who does not describe the events of Jesus’ birth. He gives us the bottom line. The true light came into the very world he created, but our world did not know him or accept him. However, some people did accept him. To those people he gave the power to become children of God. That’s what can and should happen to us. We should listen for the invitation to come to Jesus and allow that relationship to change us from the inside out. We can follow Mary and come ever closer to her Son by reflecting on this heavenly reality in our hearts. And we can be children of God. That’s what can and should happen to us. We should listen for the invitation to come to Jesus and allow that relationship to change us from the inside out. We can follow Mary and come ever closer to her Son by reflecting on this heavenly reality in our hearts. And we can be children of God. We have the picture. Christmas is an invitation. We have the opportunity to embrace the Son of God. Matthew would have us realizing the son of David would lead us triumphantly following the Lord to glory. Luke presents the same message, except his vision is soft, loving, and centered in the heart. John would encourage us to not follow the way of the world but rather to come to know that Jesus is the true light. If we come to know him, we can be “children of God,” which is divine. So Christmas gives us at least three ways to react to the event of Jesus’ birth. How can we prepare ourselves to respond positively to the invitation that we personally received? For that information we can simply turn to the Sundays of Advent. As you know, Year A presents the Gospel message mostly through the outlook of Matthew. And in all four Gospels of the four Sundays of Advent, he does not fail to inform

Christmas continued on page 40 December 4, 2016 39

Christmas continued from page 39

us clearly as to what our attitude should be to experience a meaningful Christmas. At the first Sunday of Advent, Matthew takes us back to the days of Noah. God was in the process of ending the world as it had become by means of a vast flood. Then he would begin again by using Noah’s family as the “new Adam.” What made Noah so different from the rest of humanity? He saw signs that God was coming and was looking forward to that day. By building the ark, he proved he did not live for the present, but for the infinite. He did not let the crowd around him dictate his actions or thoughts. He was prepared. So that is one decision we need to make before Christmas can be the happy day it is meant to be. On the second Sunday of Advent, Matthew introduces us to John the Baptist. His battle cry was “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” “Repent” means to change your mindset. Specifically, John wants us to see God alive in this world. That is a happy vision and it changes the way we live our lives. It also is a prerequisite for a happy Christmas. John’s vision should be ours as well. Our choice is between becoming pure wheat that is nourishing, flavorful, and produces wealth, or we might become chaff that is worthless and burned away. So our preparation for Christmas is to change our outlook on life to one that bears fruit. We need to be a source of new life for others. We need to make this life a joy for others. We should look for the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. On the third Sunday of Advent, Matthew stays with the Baptist. He tells us John is in prison. Actually, John’s death was imminent and he most probably knew it. Remarkably, he continued to lead people to life. He gives his disciples (presumably a rather large number) a task to find Jesus and ask him if he is the Messiah. Jesus answers with a request (not a speech)

40 December 4, 2016

that they look and listen to what he is doing. What he was doing is what the Messiah was going to do when he came. There could be no mistake that they reported back the answer John wanted to hear. What we, then, need to do before Christmas is what John did. He brought others to Christ. The people he sent to Jesus were the closest to him. Still, he sent them to Jesus so that they could realize Jesus was the Messiah and the one to follow. On the fourth Sunday of Advent, with Christmas looming, Matthew brings Mary and Joseph to our minds. What they had in common is their saying “yes” to the angel who requested that she agree to give birth to a child without the benefit of a man. Joseph was asked to realize that the child she conceived was through the Holy Spirit. That tells us true Christmas joy would pass by if we did not have complete trust in God. Like St. Joseph, we need to believe our dreams and courageously do God’s will. Matthew simply states about Joseph: “He did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him.” Our dreams are the result of our attitudes during the day. Having a heavenly attitude will produce dreams worthy of Joseph. So let’s work to improve our attitudes before Christmas if we expect gifts from God this Christmas. This year, because Christmas falls on a Sunday, the feasts of Holy Family and the Baptism of the Lord are designated to Mondays. However, they would underscore what is accomplished by preparing and living Christmas. Our families can be raised to the level of “holy.” To be “holy” is to be different than normal. It is to be picked out, to be separated from the ordinary and taken in by God. That deserves a day of rejoicing and feasting. The feast of the Baptism also is directly related to Christmas. This was an event that the apostles considered necessary to have participated in to be numbered as one of the 12. The event included a manifestation of the Holy Spirit and the voice of God, the

Father. Those who were there became visionaries. We are in contact with God when we prepare well for the Christmas holidays and live boldly the Christmas life all year long. There are seven Sundays following the octave of Christmas that are numbered among the Ordinary Sundays (from two through eight). They can give us signs that we can look for to verify we are leading the Christmas life. On the second Sunday in Ordinary Time (there is no first such Sunday, probably because if it were first it wouldn’t be Ordinary), John the Baptist proclaims that he has come to the conclusion that Jesus is the Son of God. So our faith will be that much stronger as we live out what gifts God has bestowed on us this Christmas. On the third Sunday we have Jesus picking out the first of the 12 disciples. That also is an indication that if we work for a deeply religious Christmas you may find a calling to come closer to the Lord and follow Him wherever that may lead you. On the fourth Sunday, Jesus takes his disciples away from the crowds and delivers what is called “The Sermon on the Mount.” It begins with the Beatitudes. They indicate the rewards of living the Christmas life. You receive the kingdom of God; you will be comforted; you will inherit the land; you will be happily satisfied; you will experience God’s mercy; you will see God; you will be a child of God; and the kingdom of heaven will be yours. That’s not a bad reward for making a Christmas change of life. The Sermon on the Mount continues to be the subject of the Gospels for the rest of the season. We are put on a higher level of morality. Yet this level leads us to a heavenly joy that makes this world heavenly. Enjoy the approaching season, and follow the three parts of the festivities: prepare for, rejoice in, and live out the true message of Christmas. ■

Readings continued from page 39 Saturday, Dec. 17: Genesis 49:2, 8-10; Psalm 72: 1-4, 7-8, 17; Matthew 1:1-17 Sunday, Dec. 18: Isaiah 7:10-14; Psalm 24:1-6; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-24 Monday, Dec. 19: Judges 13:2-7, 24-25; Psalm 71:3-6, 16-17; Luke 1:5-25 Tuesday, Dec. 20: Isaiah 7:10-14; Psalm 24:1-6; Luke 1:26-38 Wednesday, Dec. 21: Song of Songs 2:8-14; Psalm 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21; Luke 1:39-45 Thursday, Dec. 22: 1 Samuel 1:24-28; 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8; Luke 1:46-56 Friday, Dec. 23: Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24; Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 14; Luke 1:57-66 Saturday, Dec. 24: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16; Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29; Luke 1:67-79 Sunday, Dec. 25: Vigil – Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29; Acts 13:16-17, 22-25; Matthew 1:1-25; Night – Isaiah 9:1-6; Psalm 96:1-3, 11-13; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14; Dawn – Isaiah 62:1112; Psalm 97:1, 6, 11-12; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:15-20; Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 98:1-6; Hebrews 1:1-6; John 1:1-18 Monday, Dec. 26: Acts 6:8-10 and 7:54-59; Psalm 31:3-4, 6, 8, 16-17; Matthew 10:17-22 Tuesday, Dec. 27: 1 John 1:1-4; Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 1112; John 20:1-8 Wednesday, Dec. 28: 1 John 1:5 2:2; Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8; Matthew 2:13-18 Thursday, Dec. 29: 1 John 2:3-11; Psalm 96:1-3, 5-6; Luke 2:22-35 Friday, Dec. 30: Sirach 3:26, 12-14; Psalm 128:1-5; Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23 Saturday, Dec. 31: 1 John 2:18-21; Psalm 96:1-2, 1113; John 1:1-18 ■

Father Brando is retired from the active priesthood in the Diocese of Knoxville.

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

Marriage enrichment

Union County group honors Father Pawelk Father Steve Pawelk, GHM, pastor of St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish in Maynardville and St. John Paul II Catholic Mission in Rutledge, has been named the 2016 Man of the Year by the Union County Business and Professional Association. Father Pawelk was honored at the group’s Fr. Pawelk annual banquet Nov. 5. Upon receiving the honor, Father Pawelk said, “I am humbled by this. I really have felt welcome here. I brag about the county all the time. The beauty of the Lord surrounds you here and the beauty of the people. People here are good. People here are honest. It’s a blessing, and I hope I can live up to it one day.” Father Pawelk was asked to give the invocation at the association’s annual dinner on Nov. 5 when he was surprised with the award. ■

Deacons incardinated into Knoxville Diocese Bishop Richard F. Stika joined deacons of the Diocese of Knoxville and their wives on Oct. 8 for a day of reflection and prayer at the Christ Prince of Peace Retreat Center in Benton. Two of the deacons who currently serve our diocese were incardinated during a Mass celebrated by Bishop Stika. Deacon Gary Brinkworth Brinkworth, who serves at St. Stephen Church in Chattanooga, had served in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee in Florida. Deacon Bill Jacobs, who serves at Our Lady of Fatima Jacobs Church in Alcoa, had served in the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla. Bishop Stika ordained 24 permanent deacons earlier this year, and plans are underway to form a new class. ■

The East Tennessee Catholic

by Marian Christiana

Christmas peacemakers

The challenge for all of us is to promote calm, understanding during holidays


dvent is upon us, and no doubt we all are busy preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ with our loved ones. This Advent I would like to challenge you to join me in preparing for Christmas by becoming a peacemaker. A simple definition of peacemaker is a person who tries to bring calm and understanding through the use of good communication skills to people who disagree, quarrel, or fight. Intentionally learning and using the communication skills necessary to become a peacemaker will benefit all of your relationships, especially in your marriage and family life. If you ever have had the pleasure of spending time with a peacemaker, you know how their willingness to truly listen to you and try to see your point of view can have a very calming effect. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful gift to your family and friends if you were that calming effect this holiday season? Sometimes being surrounded by loved ones for the holidays can be quite stressful. Patterns that have been established over the years can be hard to change even though the circumstances of our lives have changed. Children have matured, moved out of the house and moved on with their lives. Siblings have had different experiences and now have new opinions or beliefs that they didn’t have when everyone lived under the same roof.

We can help eliminate the holiday stress if we learn some peacemaking skills that we can use if conflict should arise within our circle of influence during the holidays. Parents have aged and have new needs or issues they are facing. Now throw in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins or old friends into the mix and the combination can be toxic. We can help eliminate the holiday stress if we learn some peacemaking skills that we can use if conflict should arise within our circle of influence during the holidays. Here are the basic concepts of peacemaking skills: ■ Accept others where they are; ■ Engage in active listening with the desire to understand the other person’s perspective; ■ Use “I messages” such as “I feel,” “I think,” and so on when discussing your point of view; ■ Accept your own feelings and the feelings of others; ■ Show a willingness to seek solutions that will benefit all concerned, such as calmly agreeing to disagree, which can be a positive outcome for any discussion; ■ Affirm the other person’s positive qualities and seek forgiveness for any hurts you may have caused and offer forgiveness if you have been hurt. A well-known book on the subject of conflict resolution and peacemaking among individuals

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and families is The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by Ken Sande. This book will guide you through the steps of developing peacemaking skills from a Christian perspective. Ken reminds us that the most important requirement of peacemaking is remembering who we are in Christ. We are God’s chosen people who are called to love one another as Christ has loved us. After our recent election I had the opportunity to implement some of these peacemaking skills and witness their effect on an emotional conversation with our youngest daughter, Marie. Marie is now 26 and has been out of the house for several years living in a different state. She was very upset by the outcome of the election. She had her heart set on a victory for the first woman president of the United States along with many concerns about the direction our country will take with our new president. At the beginning of our conversation I tried to respond to all of her points, but the conversation just got more and more emotional. I finally decided to follow the skills involved in peacemaking and truly listen. It turns out that what she really needed from me was to be heard. I worked on accepting her feelings and affirming her positive qualities such as her curiosity and her knowledge of history and the political process.

Marriage continued on page 42

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December 4, 2016 41

Annual rosary held to mark All Saints Day at Calvary Cemetery By Bill Brewer ore than 50 people attended the annual All Saints Day rosary at Calvary Cemetery in East Knoxville. The rosary this year was said on Sunday, Nov. 6, with Father Ron Franco, CSP, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Knoxville, leading the prayer. Among the priests joining Father Franco were Monsignor Xavier Mankel and Father Tim Sullivan, CSP, associate pastor at Immaculate Conception, which maintains the cemetery. Father Franco led those attending the annual prayer on a walk around Calvary as they said the rosary. Many of those taking part in the rosary have relatives and friends buried in the cemetery and maintain a connection with Calvary. The All Saints Day rosary is important to those with a deep connection

Cremation continued from page 36

Q: Many people die and are never

buried properly. Perhaps they die at sea or in an explosion or whatever. Why is the Vatican worried about something like this when there are so many other problems in the world?


Resurrection continued from page 37

on land, at sea or in some other way, nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewellery or other objects” (no. 6). In her funeral rites, the Church “commends the dead to God’s merciful love and pleads for the forgiveness of their sins” (Order of Christian Funerals, n. 6). In adMarriage continued from page 41

This showed her that I was willing to work toward a win/win for both of us during the conversation by finding common ground. I apologized for not listening very well at the beginning of the conversation. By trying to truly listen and understand her feelings I opened a door to more dialogue

42 December 4, 2016


A: This instruction isn’t concerned

Praying for the faithful departed Father Franco leads a rosary at Calvary Cemetery in East Knoxville to commemorate All Saints Day.

with those kinds of situations. Burial at sea is necessary at times, as is cremation. The main purpose for this instruction is to help foster a healthy respect for the human body, even after death, especially in light of the move in recent years away from traditional burial in favor of more expedient and economical means. Where contemporary culture today may well question what difference it makes, the church is reminding us to recall that the human body is an integral part of the human person, deserving of respect even after death. The earliest Christians buried the bodies of their dead, and this set them apart from many of their contemporaries. We bury our dead out of reverence for God our creator, and as a sign that we look forward to the resurrection on the last day. ■

to the cemetery, according to Father Franco. He has said it’s up to every parishioner to realize that we’re all connected with those buried in Calvary Cemetery and Mount Olivet Cemetery in Chattanooga, either directly through family relationships or indirectly through friendships and acquaintances and through church family. Father Franco has said we all need

to pray for one another and for those who have died, so saying the annual All Saints Day rosary is a good opportunity to gather and do that. The Knoxville and Chattanooga cemeteries have served the Church for more than 100 years and are the burial sites for generations of Catholics, including resting places for priests and religious who have served the diocese. ■

dition, through these rites the faithful “offer worship, praise, and thanksgiving to God for the gift of a life which has now been returned to God, the author of life and the hope of the just” (Order of Christian Funerals, n. 5). In the eucharistic sacrifice, “the principal celebration of the Christian funeral…the Christian community

affirms and expresses the union of the Church on earth with the Church in heaven in the one great communion of saints” (Order of Christian Funerals, nn. 5-6). To rise with Christ reaffirms and clarifies the Church’s consistent faith and practice with respect to Christian burial and addresses questions concerning cremation

so that all may be done “for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church” (Order of Mass, n. 29). ■

instead of closing a door that may have resulted in damage to our relationship. The experience of using peacemaking skills for a positive outcome has encouraged me to incorporate improving my peacemaking skills this Advent as I prepare for the birth of our Lord. We may not always be successful in our efforts to be peacemak-

ers this Advent and Christmas, but making an intentional effort to be a calming influence during the holidays will be a blessing to everyone and may even help lower your blood pressure. By developing a habit of using peacemaking skills this Advent, perhaps more of us can become better communicators through-

out the New Year and beyond. As the song “Let There be Peace on Earth” by Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller says, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” Merry Christmas! ■

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

Father Stice is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Athens and directs the diocesan Office of Worship and Liturgy. He can be reached at

Mrs. Christiana is coordinator of the diocesan Marriage Preparation and Enrichment Office.

V Encuentro continued from page 35

generation Hispanics who need to be evangelized, and the Church has not really done a great job,” said Father Rafael Capó, executive director of SEPI, who led the regional V Encuentro training. “The bishops have seen this need in response to Pope Francis’ call for evangelization in his letter, The Joy of the Gospel and his call for missionary discipleship; the bishops have realized that we need to give a response to this moment that mirrors how the Church began in the United States 500 years ago, when the first evangelizers came from Spain and the Church began with a Hispanic face. Now 500 years later, the Church in the United States has this Hispanic face once again, and we need to respond to this moment,” he added. Father Capó emphasized that the point of Encuentro is more about preparing Hispanic brothers and sisters to evangelize for the Catholic community and to become leaders in the Catholic Church in the United States. “It’s one Church with different faces. But they have to realize that they have to become evangelizers as well,” he said. “This process of the V National Encuentro convened with the intention for Hispanic ministry, wanting to arrive at pastoral responses for the Hispanic community, but it’s not just for the Hispanic community. It is a process of evangelization by the Catholic Church in the United States as a whole, having the leadership of Hispanic communities, but realizing that our Church is a culturally diverse Church, we walk as one Church in Christ, one faith, one baptism, all brothers and sisters culturally diverse as was the Church when it began at the time of the apostles. We are a reflection of those apostolic times and we need to evangelize as one Church in different languages with different faces, with different cultures but as one body in Christ,” Father Capó said. Father Capó wants to ensure that the V Encuentro is successful in forming new leaders within the Hispanic community to serve all the Church at every level. A successful Encuentro also must reach all The East Tennessee Catholic

Catholic youth in effective ways. Mrs. Primm emphasized the goal of Encuentro to develop leadership, including at the youth level and noted that will be a key element in making participants missionary disciples, especially in the Hispanic community. “The reality is our Church has a large Hispanic community. The bishops are asking if we serving the needs of the growing Hispanic community effectively. The Encuentro process is primarily focused on assessing the needs and aspirations of the Hispanic community, but the aim is to benefit all the communities that make up the Church overall,” Ms. Koepke said. “The one-size-fits-all ministry model does not work because there are not just linguistic differences to consider, but cultural and educational aspects as well.” The Encuentro leaders agree that current efforts to reach all these communities are not enough and that more needs to be done. Ms. Koepke pointed to new statistics by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate that show 60 percent of all Catholics under the age of 18 are Hispanic and questions if that large number of Hispanic youth is visible in U.S. Catholic churches. “It is urgent that the Catholic Hispanic youth be the focus of evangelizing activity in the U.S. Church. More than half of Catholics under 30 are Hispanic,” Mrs. Primm said, adding that part of the V Encuentro’s focus will be making sure youth educational needs are being met, such as bilingual resources and English as a Second Language programs. “The V Encuentro is designed to develop leaders in the Church and within the education environments. As pastors, we need to continue efforts to do more things to reach Catholic youth,” Father Cardona said. One of the diocesan leaders in Encuentro is Sedonna Prater, director of curriculum and instruction for Diocese of Knoxville schools and former teacher and principal at Sacred Heart Cathedral School. Mrs. Prater said the Encuentro com-

mittee needs school representation. “It’s important to remember that Encuentro means an encounter with Christ,” Mrs. Prater said. “This is to help everyone know Jesus. It’s about awakening the fire as Catholics to reach out to our communities.” Another diocesan Encuentro leader is Sacred Heart Cathedral parishioner Chester Pun-Chuen. Mr. Pun-Chuen is looking forward to “interfacing” with other communities within the diocese as part of the Encuentro process. “We need to be inclusive of the total community,” he said. “The Encuentro, or encounter, is for communities to embrace each other as one Church, as the universal Church, as we believe the Catholic faith is the universal Church. There are many faces of God in one house.” Mr. Pun-Chuen hopes Encuentro will lead to openness, acceptance, and embracing among the different communities to form the whole Church community. “We are one family,” he said, noting that many in the Hispanic community are second- or third-generation who have been born in the United States. Mr. Pun-Chuen will help introduce the V Encuentro program at Sacred Heart and work to develop this movement throughout the diocese. Mrs. Primm said Encuentro will be introduced to each parish in the diocese in January, and the parishes will hold five sessions that will incorporate the goals and themes of the V Encuentro during the year. The results of the parish sessions will be compiled and passed on to the diocese, which will report to the region, which then will be presented to the V National Encuentro in Fort Worth. Bishop Stika is excited about the possibilities of Encuentro and the fellowship it can foster among communities, leading to a more unified Church. “With all parishes in the diocese taking part in Encuentro, I see all the communities that make our diocese so special joining together in God’s love to become one faith-filled Catholic community,” Bishop Stika said. ■

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

Upcoming Virtus training sessions The Diocese of Knoxville’s program for the protection of children, youth and vulnerable adults is offered throughout the diocese. The seminars are required for parish and school employees and regular volunteers in contact with children and vulnerable adults. The following training sessions are scheduled: ■ All

Saints, Knoxville, 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3; ■ St. Mary School, Johnson City, 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5; ■ St. Dominic Church, Kingsport, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6; ■ Chancery, Knoxville, workshop for facilitators, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, and Friday, Dec. 9.; ■ Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Chattanooga, 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15. ■

Brother continued from page 38

Brothers’ house, where he resided until the fall of 2015, when he relocated to Holy Cross Village for assisted living care. Brother Roland was preceded in death by three sisters and two brothers, including Father James Driscoll of the Diocese of Knoxville. Brother Roland is survived by his sister, Mrs. Julia Driscoll Schriver of Knoxville, and 14 nieces and nephews, including Father Ragan Schriver of the Diocese of Knoxville, who concelebrated the funeral Mass for Brother Roland. ■

December 4, 2016 43



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44 December 4, 2016

The Diocese of Knoxville Living our Roman Catholic faith in East Tennessee

Dec. 4, 2016, ET Catholic  
Dec. 4, 2016, ET Catholic  

The Dec. 4, 2016, issue of The East Tennessee Catholic newspaper