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Advent in Bethlehem A young man swings a censer during the procession on the first Sunday of Advent in St. Catherine Church in Bethlehem on Nov. 29, the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is a joyful period during which Christians prepare for the commemoration of Christ’s birth.


Volume 19 • Number 7 • December 6, 2009



of the D I O C E S E of K N O X V I L L E www.d ioces eof kn ox ville.or g


‘The fulfillment of my vocation’ Bishop Stika ordains Father Christopher Riehl to the priesthood at Sacred Heart Cathedral. By Dan McWilliams ishop Richard F. Stika encouraged Father Christopher Riehl to “be the face of Jesus” in every situation he encounters as he embarks upon life in the priesthood. The bishop ordained Father Riehl on Nov. 14 at Sacred Heart Cathedral. He became the 37th priest ordained for the Diocese of Knoxville and the second by Bishop Stika. One of the assisting deacons at Father Riehl’s priestly ordination was his own father, Deacon John Riehl. The two were ordained to the diaconate together by Bishop Joseph E. Kurtz in May 2007. In administering the sacraments, Father Riehl should show Christ’s face to the believer, said Bishop Stika. In facing his own challenges, the new priest should always trust in Jesus, the bishop added. “When you baptize a child, or when you witness the love in the eyes of a man and a woman who are making those solemn commitments until death do them part, be the face of Jesus,” said Bishop Stika. “In those moments of

Pope Benedict XVI waves while holding his new pastoral staff after celebrating evening prayer Nov. 28 in St. Peter’s Basilica to mark the beginning of Advent.

Pope: Keep track of blessings during Advent B Y CI NDY WOODE N

VATICAN CITY (CNS)—During Advent Christians should keep track of the little blessings they receive each day, blessings that are signs of God’s love, Pope Benedict XVI suggested. “To keep a kind of ‘inner diary’ of this love would be a beautiful and healthy task,” the pope said Nov. 28 as he celebrated evening prayer to mark the beginning of Advent. God enters the life of each and every person, Pope Benedict said. But in daily life, most people seem “to have little time for the Advent continued on page 7

Please pray for our priests Dear Lord: We pray that the Blessed Mother will wrap her mantle around your priests and through her intercession strengthen them for their ministry. We pray that Mary will guide your priests to follow her own words, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). May your priests have the heart of St. Joseph, Mary’s most chaste spouse. May the Blessed Mother’s own pierced heart inspire them to embrace all who suffer at the foot of the cross. May your priests be holy and filled with the fire of your love, seeking nothing but your greater glory and the salvation of souls. Amen. St. John Vianney, pray for us. ■ Download prayers and a rosary booklet:

MOMENT OF ORDINATION Bishop Richard F. Stika says the prayer of ordination over Father Christopher Riehl during the Mass on Nov. 14 at Sacred Heart. Looking on are diocesan master of ceremonies Father Tony Dickerson (foreground) and seminarian Jeff Emitt.

doubt, trust in him. In those moments of questioning, trust in him. In those moments when maybe your personality gets ahead of yourself, ask him for help. “In those moments when you wonder why—like the illness of a child or the death of an innocent or the confusion of one who is searching for God and seems not to have the ability to be at peace—again, be the face of Jesus for that person.” Father Riehl, 32, called his ordination “the fulfillment of my vocation.” Moments after the bishop laid his hands on him and prayed the prayer of ordination, Father Riehl was assisting his ordinary at the altar. “Being able to offer the sacrifice with the bishop is very profound,” he said. The new priest’s first assignment is at Immaculate Conception in downtown Knoxville, where he will assist during Advent. In January Father Riehl will leave for Bolivia to spend six weeks studying Spanish. The Riehls were ordained to the diaconate at their home church of Holy TriniOrdination continued on page 3

Bishop blesses Father Henkel Hall at Holy Ghost The newly remodeled basement gathering place allows the parish to ‘continue the praise’ begun decades ago when the church was dedicated. BY DAN MCWILLIAMS

Xavier Mankel and M onsignor Bishop Richard F. Stika recalled the long history of Holy Ghost Parish during the dedication of the church’s newly remodeled basement Nov. 12. The bishop blessed the Father Albert J. Henkel Parish Hall, named for the pastor of the North Knoxville parish from 1958 until his death in 1996. The renovations kept the basement gathering place closed for six months in the 83-year-old building. “This is, as Monsignor said, a part of history,” said the bishop. “Who would have thought years ago when this church went up to the greater glory of God that we would gather together on this November day and continue that work and continue that praise?” The $350,000 project, funded by the Growing in Faith Together capital stewardship campaign and a special building fund, considerably upgraded every area of the basement. The kitchen received a complete overhaul Holy Ghost continued on page 2





Carol Lougheed, assisted by Will Hunse, reads a psalm at the Holy Ghost dedication. Bishop Stika blessed the newly remodeled basement at the North Knoxville church Nov. 12. With him above are diocesan chancellor Deacon Sean Smith (left) and master of ceremonies Father Tony Dickerson.


letters to the


Column missed the mark on ecumenism

Miss Hutton’s recent column (“Brilliant ecumenism,” Nov. 8 ETC) displays a misunderstanding of the modern ecumenical movement. The establishment of a special structure facilitating the movement of disaffected Anglicans into the Roman Catholic Church is a unilateral pastoral provision by the Vatican, allowing these new Catholics to keep some of their traditional liturgy and practice. Some of the fruits of past national and international ecumenical dialogues between Anglicans and Roman Catholics might undoubtedly ease the conversion of Anglican individuals or parishes. But such conversions will involve a period of formation for the Anglican laity as well as seminary education for their clergy and the subsequent acceptance of Catholic doctrine that has historically been an obstacle for many Anglicans. Modern ecumenism, on the other hand, has sought through a laborious process of consideration of major issues that unite and divide churches to find a path to reconciliation of the churches, not individuals. It generally assumes that there will be a need for some central authority (see Pope John Paul II’s query in his encyclical Ut Unum Sint about the role of papal ministry in reuniting the church) and that the rule of “unity in essentials and diversity in all else” will prevail. In my opinion, the best example of modern ecumenical efforts to date has been the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification between the Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation (1999), marking the culmination of decades of dialogue and concluding that this fundamental Reformation issue is no longer church dividing. Ecumenism is a movement achieved through the hard work of theologians and representatives of ecclesial communities under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is reached only by a prayerful consideration of past divisions in the light of present understanding and by a healing of memories. Its results need to be accepted by all the leadership involved and received by the Christians in the pews. The looming dissolution of the Anglican community, one of the major players in the ecumenical world, is to be lamented, not celebrated. Ecumenism is not achieved by individual conversions but by the reconciliation of ecclesial bodies themselves. ■ —Dr. Ellen A. Macek Farragut We welcome letters to the editor and carefully consider all submissions. Letters should be 350 words or less and will be edited for grammar, style, clarity, and length. Submit them by e-mail, mail, or fax:, P.O. Box 11127, Knoxville, TN 37939-1127, 865-5848124. Letters to the editor reflect the opinions of their authors and not those of the editorial staff or the publisher.

living the


Keeping Christmas happy ‘The daylight of Christ’s redemption’ eradicates the ‘dark triumph of evil.’

This Christmas season has been predicted to be less joyous than any in recent memory. Sadly, the tough times have hurt many people. Nevertheless, the meaning of Christmas involves bringing light into the midst of darkness and joy when the people are hurting. In that vein, today’s Scripture readings hearken back to times that were far worse than our own and yet brought forth events of great joy. The first reading alludes to two difficult times. Baruch lived during the Babylonian captivity and the return of the first Jews to Jerusalem. This young generation came back only to face ruins that had to be rebuilt and broken-down

Joy comes when we live knowing that God is near.

s Christmas comes closer, the church cries out even louder that we should rejoice. The Lord is near. And if the Lord is always near, we should live in a state of perpetual joy and a constant realization that God is with us. Knowing Christ is coming, in the true Advent spirit, can’t help but keep


us smiling and deeply happy. The oddest thing about that spiritual truth is that life is not about performing the great and glorious events of world history. Today’s Scriptures tell us we should be happy not because someone has done the impossible but because normal people have the opportu-

Ministries Day set for Jan. 9

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inistries Day will be held Saturday, Jan. 9, at Sacred Heart Cathedral School in Knoxville, with more than 20 sessions to choose from. The day begins at 8 a.m., with an opportunity for participants to visit vendors and publishers and enjoy coffee and doughnuts—or attend Mass at the cathedral—and ends at 3 p.m., with a closing prayer and the awarding of door prizes. Titled “Sharing Gifts in Faith,” the event is open to all adults in the diocese and is tailored to the needs of parents, student youth leaders, youth ministers, RCIA teams, adult educators, liturgy and ministry teams, directors of religious education, and catechists. Attendees may select two morning and two afternoon sessions. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., with a presentation by Catholic Mutual Insurance Group. Cost of the day is $20 (including a box lunch) for those who register by Dec. 30. Those who register after Dec. 30 will not receive lunch. Course selections include topics such as Scripture for young people; fostering priestly vocations; helping children with special needs; insurance, legalities, safety, and paperwork for parishes; the theology of the body; beginningand end-of-life issues; apologetics; vacation Bible school on a shoestring; and Eastern Catholic spirituality. For more information, visit—from which users can download a registration form, schedule, and complete course details—or contact directors of religious education Kathy DeAngelis of St. Patrick Parish in Morristown at 423-586-4091, 277-6296, or krdeangelis@ or Susan Collins of Notre Dame in Greeneville at 639-9382, 329-9173, or ■



DECEMBER 6, 2009

fully portrays the time when John the Baptist began preparing the way for Jesus’ public ministry. Luke names the political leaders of that time. All of them were despots and hungry for power. For the common people and the religious, times were dismal: the powerful got richer by taxing them, taking their property, and keeping them in line through the terror of military might. It was precisely at this time that John preached on the joy of being reconciled to God. In Paul’s message of joy to the Philippians, he teaches that if Christians grow in love, their knowledge and perception of reality will increase. The dark triumph of evil that people think they are witnessing is wiped out by the daylight of Christ’s redemption. That principle can work for us too, as with joy we see the coming of Christ the Lord this happy Christmas. ■ Dec. 6, second Sunday of Advent Baruch 5:1-9 Psalm 126:1-6 Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11 Luke 3:1-6

nity to touch God. Look at what the prophet Zephaniah, a man anointed by God to speak for him, proclaimed. God will rejoice that he is in our midst. Imagine that—our presence makes God happy. What earthshattering activity can we perform to make God take notice? The loud and clear answer is that it does not take a miracle or a tremendous sacrifice to turn God’s head. The big

secret is out now. God appreciates the ordinary. Many people from all sorts of occupations and stations in life came to John the Baptist, asking what they had to do to please God. What they expected was probably something Readings continued on page 3

Dec. 13, third Sunday of Advent Zephaniah 3:14-18 Isaiah 12:2-6 Philippians 4:4-7 Luke 3:10-18



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fortifications that left them vulnerable to their enemies. Those times were fear-filled. But life was even scarier two centuries later, in the aftermath of Alexander the Great. That’s when the Book of Baruch became recognized as the Word of God. At that time Jews were fleeing from Jerusalem to Egypt because their Greek overlords, the Seleucids, were trying to destroy Judaism and all who would be loyal to the Mosaic Law and traditions. Many died. Still, the message from God was to look at the joy that is to come. Thanks to those loyal patriots who stayed and resisted the threats to their existence, Israel defeated its powerful foes and became a symbol of freedom and an example of trust in the divine. The joy they maintained when times were dangerous ensured their victory. The Gospel of Luke beauti-

Say it again: rejoice

Monday, Dec. 7: Memorial, Ambrose, bishop and doctor of the church, Isaiah 35:1-10; Psalm 85:914; Luke 5:17-26 Tuesday, Dec. 8: Solemnity, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Genesis 3:9-15, 20; Psalm 98:1-4; Ephesians 1:3-6, 1112; Luke 1:26-38 Wednesday, Dec. 9: Isaiah 40:2531; Psalm 103:1-4, 8, 10; Matthew 11:28-30 Thursday, Dec. 10: Isaiah 41:13-20;

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with modernized equipment. Two storerooms were converted into meeting rooms. A hallway from the parish hall to the vestibule stairs, with new restrooms opening off of it, keeps people from cutting through the choir room to the stairs. The restrooms take the space formerly occupied by the nursery, which was relocated to another part of the basement. Brighter fluorescent fixtures replaced incandescent ones in several rooms and hallways. Bishop Stika was joined at

Psalm 145:1, 9-13; Matthew 11:1115 Friday, Dec. 11: Isaiah 48:17-19; Psalm 1:1-4, 6; Matthew 11:16-19 Saturday, Dec. 12: Feast, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Zechariah 2:14-17; Judith 13:18-19; Luke 1:26-38 Monday, Dec. 14: Memorial, John of the Cross, priest, doctor of the church, Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17; Psalm 25:4-9; Matthew 21:23-27 Tuesday, Dec. 15: Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13; Psalm 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-19, 23;

Matthew 21:28-32 Wednesday, Dec. 16: Isaiah 45:6-8, 18, 21-25; Psalm 85:9-14; Luke 7:18-23 Thursday, Dec. 17: Genesis 49:2, 810; Psalm 72:1-4, 7-8, 17; Matthew 1:1-17 Friday, Dec. 18: Jeremiah 23:5-8; Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19; Matthew 1:18-25 Saturday, Dec. 19: Judges 13:2-7, 24-25; Psalm 71:3-6, 16-17; Luke 1:5-25 ■

Holy Ghost by associate pastor Father John Orr, diocesan master of ceremonies Father Tony Dickerson, and chancellor Deacon Sean Smith. The bishop cited the responsorial psalm, “We praise your glorious name, almighty God,” in his remarks before the blessing. “We do that in a variety of different ways,” he said. “You know why this space is sacred and holy and special? It’s not the same as the church because you gather together in church to celebrate the sacra-

ments: Eucharist, Mass, and this evening Benediction. But we continue that celebration when we leave that sacred space and come down to this space, to build what we call the community of Holy Ghost. “We honor Father Henkel as we honor those who have come before us who have given so much to make this place not only a spiritual place but also a place to celebrate family and friendships and all that makes life so

Bishop Richard F. Stika Publisher Mary C. Weaver Editor Dan McWilliams Assistant editor


805 Northshore Drive S.W.

Holy Ghost continued on page 8

Margaret Hunt Administrative assistant Toni Pacitti Intern

Knoxville, TN 37919-7551

The East Tennessee Catholic (USPS 007211) is published twice monthly by the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville, 805 Northshore Drive S.W., Knoxville, TN 37919-7551. Periodicals-class postage paid at Knoxville, Tenn. Printed on recycled paper by the Knoxville News Sentinel Postmaster: Send address changes to The East Tennessee Catholic, P.O. Box 11127, Knoxville, TN 37939-1127 How to reach us:

Phone: 865-584-3307 • fax: 865-584-8124 • e-mail: • web: The East Tennessee Catholic is mailed to all registered Catholic families in East Tennessee. Subscription rate for others is $15 a year in the United States. Make checks payable to the Diocese of Knoxville. www.dioceseofk


he dwells



A gift for Christ Taking advantage of the sacrament of reconciliation can bring Christmas joy.

The other day I took a chance and ventured into the shopping mall in order to begin my adventure of Christmas shopping. I was at the time prepared for the Christmas rush because I chose to enter into the experience at what I thought would be downtime. Was I wrong! I was no different from anyone else who was trying to escape this extraordinary experience. The only major surprise was for those who witnessed me at the mall. A young man from one of our parishes commented that he never saw a bishop at the mall before. I guess he would be surprised to see me working in the yard or taking out the trash. Such are the surprises of life. I must admit that as I shop for the right gift, I am often perplexed as I try to determine what the right gift might be. There is so much to choose from, and it is usually my intent to give a gift that will be useful as well as meaningful. This year, given my time restraints, I decided to make a list, and it has helped keep me focused. But then

again, I still have a few weeks. It is all about preparation. You know the song about “making a list and checking it twice.” In order to make effective decisions and choices, we must begin the process with thoughtful reflection. The same is true of our spiritual life. We have all received so much from God: life and faith, the earth and the sky, and all of life’s possibilities and potential. In a few weeks we again celebrate that moment in salvation history when we experience the story of the birth of the Savior, our Lord Jesus the Christ. In days past some gave him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. What gift might we give Christ this year at Christmas? How about this? I would like to invite you to partake of the great sacrament of reconciliation—to take some time to reflect on how you have used the gift of your life and how you have demonstrated a spirit of gratitude for that gift. It might seem too simple, yet what a tremendous experience it could be to rid yourself of that which is keeping you from being more Christlike. Throughout the season of Advent, our parishes are offering penance services and time for individual confessions. Take advantage of this

opportunity. It will change your life! And just as it is good to have the spirit of Christmas throughout the year, that same commitment to regular confession will bring about the spirit of Christmas joy, as you will continually be touched by the presence of Jesus. So how is Advent so far? As you read this, we will be starting the second week of preparation for the great celebration of the Lord’s birth. Till next time, God bless! ■ BISHOP STIKA’ S SCHE DUL E These are some of Bishop Stika’s appointments: Dec. 6: 1 p.m., Bishop’s Tea with the Ladies of Charity, Chancery Dec. 10: 11 a.m., meeting with Catholic school principals, Chancery; 7 p.m., dinner with St. Gerard’s Guild, bishop’s residence Dec. 11: 11 p.m., Guadalupe Mass and celebration, Sacred Heart Cathedral Dec. 12: 5 p.m., Mass, Our Lady of Fatima Church, Alcoa; 6:30 p.m., dinner with auction winners, Sullivan’s, Maryville Dec. 13: 8:30 a.m., Mass, Our Lady of Fatima Church, Alcoa; 11 a.m., Mass and installation of Father Bede Aboh as pastor, Our Lady of Fatima Dec. 17: 6:30 p.m., Advent Mass with students, St. Mary School, Oak Ridge Dec. 18: 8 a.m., Mass and blessing of new gymnasium, St. Joseph School, Knoxville; 11 a.m., lunch with Monsignor Xavier Mankel and deans, bishop’s residence Dec. 20: 10 a.m., Mass in English, St. Mary Church, Athens; 1 p.m., Mass in Spanish, St. Mary Church ■

Ordination continued from page 1

U.S. bishops create interactive Advent and Christmas website or the second consecutive year, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has created a website ( with suggested prayers and activities for both the Advent and Christmas seasons. New for this year are printable calendars in English and Spanish, with a suggested family activity for each day of the Advent season, which began Nov. 29, and the Christmas season, which ends Jan. 10 with the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The interactive online calendars present a menu of resources for reading, prayer, reflection, and action for each day of the two seasons. Many of the reflections are taken from “Following Christ,” “The Priesthood,” “Mary,” and “The Saints,” four of the collections from the “Spiritual Thoughts Series” by Pope Benedict XVI. A “Festival of Lesson and Carols,” a service of Scripture and song that dates to the late 19th century, may be heard live online or downloaded for later listening. The site also features a variety of Scripture resources focusing on the Old Testament. Jem Sullivan, PhD., of the USCCB Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis, starts off the Advent season with a video explaining how families can enrich their faith by reading the Old Testament. Featured throughout the calendars are video clips of USCCB members and staff discussing their favorite Old Testament stories, passages, and characters. Decorating the site are photos of sanctuaries adorned for Advent and Christmas from across the country, including the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, and photos of seasonal events from several Catholic dioceses. Other resources include a list of recommended holiday-themed movies from USCCB’s Film and Broadcasting office, prayers and blessings from the USCCB publication Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, and suggestions for remembering the needs of immigrants and the poor throughout the season. The site was created by the USCCB Department of Communications, with funding from the Catholic Communication Campaign. ■



Readings continued from page 2

‘BLESS OUR FATHER CHRISTOPHER’ Seminarians and priest alumni of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary sing a hymn in Latin for Father Christopher Riehl during the reception after his priestly ordination. From left are Father Joseph Zolack, Deacon Harold McHale, Father Ronald Check, and seminarians Michael Hendershott, Brendan Buckler, Michael Poston, and Doug Owens. Mr. Hendershott, Mr. Poston, and Mr. Owens are Diocese of Knoxville seminarians.

ty in Jefferson City. After his priestly ordination Father Riehl celebrated his first Mass the same evening at Holy Trinity. Thirty-eight priests joined the bishop and Father Riehl at last month’s ordination. Principal concelebrants were host pastor Monsignor Al Humbrecht, vicar general Monsignor Xavier Mankel, episcopal vicar Father David Boettner, Father Pat Garrity of St. Patrick in Morristown, and Monsignor Joseph Prior, rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. Father Garrity is a longtime friend of the Riehls and dean of the Five Rivers Deanery, the family’s home deanery. Father Riehl attended St. Charles Borromeo in Wynnewood, Pa., and

Conception Seminary in Conception, Mo. Conception rector Father Samuel Russell, OSB, sat with priests from throughout the Diocese of Knoxville at the ordination. Among them was Father David Carter, studying canon law in Rome, who returned home to sing the litany of the saints during the Mass. Thirteen permanent deacons and all nine of the diocese’s seminarians attended, with the seminarians serving at the altar. Deacon Moises Moreno, scheduled for ordination as a priest next year, was the deacon chaplain at Father Riehl’s ordination. In his homily Bishop Stika said that “during this ceremony many words will be spoken and much


ritual will be celebrated.” But shortly before the homily, the soon-to-be Father Riehl stated much— while uttering but a single word (“present”)—when Father Peter Iorio, the diocese’s director of vocations, called him forward, Bishop Stika said. “Even in the simplest occurrences, such as just a few moments ago, when you were called forth and you came forward— that’s a strong pronouncement of faith,” said the bishop. Father Riehl saw much of the United States, as his father was transferred to various towns, before landing in Tennessee. “Who would have thought all those years ago in Maine or in Missouri or in the little places you found yourself that

someday that you would be standing in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Knoxville, making a lifelong pledge?” said Bishop Stika. “Even more than that: an eternal pledge.” At the reception afterward, seminarians and priest alumni of St. Charles Borromeo sang a hymn in Latin for Father Riehl. Translated into English, its text was “Lord, bless our Father Christopher, and hear us on the day that we invoke your name.” Deacon Riehl was in the rare position of witnessing a son’s priestly ordination from the altar as an assisting deacon. “It was wonderful. How can I say anything else?” he said. “It started last night with the holy hour.

that would challenge them for a good, long time, like the mythic trials of Ulysses. Instead he told them what mothers have always said to their children: They are to share with one another. Tax collectors had only to be fair. Soldiers had only to be content with their pay. None of John’s advice would make us famous or rich. We need only to be good. We do not have to be always trying anxiously to do better. We need to relax and do good for others. John applied the same criterion to himself as he responded to questions about his being the Messiah. He was merely announcing the coming of Christ. Even Jesus, when he came, did not make a big splash in the secular history books. For all intents and purposes, Jesus modeled the ordinary life for us to copy. That is the key to eternal happiness. Live without the anxiety of doing too much. Just live knowing God is near and wants to help us. Every day thus becomes filled with Christmas joy. ■ Father Brando is a retired priest of the diocese.

Child-protection training sessions he Diocese of Knoxville’s program for the protection of children and youth is based on training developed by Virtus and is offered regularly throughout the diocese. A three-hour seminar for adults, “Protecting God’s Children,” is required for parish and school employees and regular volunteers in contact


with children or vulnerable adults and is recommended for parents and grandparents. The following training session has been scheduled: ■ Sacred Heart Cathedral, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19 (session will be held in the Shea Room). To register for a session, visit virtusonline. org. ■

Diocese of Knoxville procedure for reporting sexual abuse Anyone who has actual knowledge of or who has reasonable cause to suspect an incident of sexual abuse should report such information to the appropriate civil authorities first, then to the bishop’s office, 865-584-3307, or the diocesan victims’ assistance coordinator, Marla Lenihan, 865-482-1388.

Ordination continued on page 6


DECEMBER 6, 2009


■ The Knights of Columbus will sponsor a fish fry and evening with Santa after the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Friday, Dec. 4, in the school gym. The event also includes a book fair, games, raffles, and a craft sale. Admission is free, but those attending are asked to bring nonperishable items for the food pantry. ■ Men’s, women’s, and children’s used shoes are needed for OLPH’s sister parish in Haiti. Bring donations to the school or church office. ■ Sixth-grader Tyler Enos won the NFL’s Punt, Pass & Kick local and sectional competitions at Finley Stadium to advance to the state contest held before the Tennessee Titans’ game Nov. 29.

St. Augustine, Signal Mountain ■ The women’s annual cookie swap and ornament party will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6. Cost: $5 to offset cost of supplies. Bring four dozen homemade cookies for the cookie swap, and bring a dessert or appetizer and a beverage of your choice. Adults only. Call Stephanie Sawyer at 423-886-5338.

St. Catherine Labouré, Copperhill ■ The ecumenical committee collected nonperishable food items for Thanksgiving to support four families.

St. Jude, Chattanooga ■ The Knights of Columbus will hold their annual Breakfast with Santa after the 8 and 10:30 a.m. Masses on Sunday, Dec. 6, in Siener Hall. Cost: $3 for adults and $2 for children, with a $12 family maximum. A photo with Santa is included. ■ A first Friday breakfast will be served after the 8:15 a.m. Mass on Dec. 4 in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Those who want to bring food or learn more should contact Mary Arnold at 423-843-0507 or mla3197@ or Monica Griffin at 8427930 or

St. Mary, Athens ■ The annual ladies’ holiday gathering will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16. Call Sue Granger at 423-506-7836 for more information.

St. Stephen, Chattanooga ■ The annual parish Christmas dinner

will be served after the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Saturday, Dec. 12. Call 423-8921262 to respond by Monday, Dec. 7.

Sts. Peter and Paul, Chattanooga ■ Brennan Champlin, Sophia Dill, J. Callan Kroll, Lakeland Dean Schumaker, Andrea Subtirelv, Mercedes Warwick received their first Holy Communion during the 9 a.m. Mass on Nov. 22. Their sacrament-preparation teachers were Peggy Trundle and Kim Butler. Cumberland Mountain Deanery

All Saints, Knoxville ■ The parish choir will present The Journey of Promises, a cantata directed by Walt Otey, on Jan. 8 and 10 as a fundraiser for Catholic Charities. Volunteers who can play violin, viola, trumpet, tuba, bassoon, or harp are needed. Call Mr. Otey at 865-388-0690 for details. ■ Parishioners 21 years of age and older are invited to attend the third annual parish Christmas party at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, at Knoxville Catholic High School. Place reservations in the Christmas party box in the narthex or call Patti Gibson at 777-1343. ■ The Hispanic community will host All Saints’ first fiesta in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. The event will begin with a procession followed by Mass, dinner, and live mariachi music. Volunteers are needed to set up, serve, and clean up. Contact Andrea at 382-1044 or

St. Alphonsus, Crossville ■ Members of the youth group served

a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to 225 parishioners and friends of St. Alphonsus on Nov. 20. Proceeds will be used to provide Christmas baskets and to fund St. Alphonsus Community Services.

St. Francis of Assisi, Fairfield Glade ■ A concert of old and new Christmas songs will be presented by the

DECEMBER 6, 2009

St. John Neumann, Farragut ■ A morning of reflection on the Our

Father will be presented from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, in the school library and church. The event will begin with a continental breakfast at 8:45. Call 865-966-4540 or e-mail neuman for details. ■ Gifts for young boys and girls, teens, and adults are needed for the giving tree. Leave unwrapped gifts between the school cafeteria and gym after weekend Masses before Monday, Dec. 14.

oly Resurrection Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Mission will relocate to Holy Ghost Church, 1041 N. Central St. in Knoxville, starting Sunday, Dec. 13. Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at


3:30 p.m. Sundays and at other times by announcement. Holy Resurrection, formerly at Holy Family Church in Seymour, is part of the Ruthenian Byzantine Archeparchy of Pittsburgh under Archbishop

Basil M. Schott, OFM. All are welcome to attend, and participation in the Divine Liturgy fulfills one’s Sunday obligation. For more information, call Father Thomas O’Connell at 865-256-4880. ■

Glade couple celebrates 50th anniversary Nov. 21 ev and Jerry Pitts of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Fairfield Glade celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Nov. 21. They were married at Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Church in Roosevelt, N.Y., with Father Richard E. Vahey officiating. The couple have five children, Kenneth Pitts of Waterbury, Conn.; Cynthia Van Diest of Glens Falls, N.Y.; David Pitts of Wilton, Conn.; Jeffrey Pius of Rolling Meadows, Ill.; and Diane Ward of Spring, Texas; and 12 grandchildren. Mr. Pitts retired from the MacGray Co. after 37 years as the Maytag representative in Connecticut. Mrs. Pitts retired from



OLPH, Chattanooga

parish choir at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, at the church. ■ The Knights of Columbus will host a Christmas craft fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at K of C Park on Highway 70. Admission and parking are free. Call 707-7291 for more details. ■ The students at St. Francis of Assisi in Fairfield Glade made Thanksgiving cards for people on the parish prayer list on All Saints Day. Participating were Madelyn Ryba, Katie Norton, Arvi Pabi, Sierra and Denny Cope, John and Jeremy Weismuller, and Jonathon Norton. ■ Anniversaries: Max and Peggy Wigner (54), Frank and Judy Simmonds (53), Ron and Mary White (51)

Bev and Jerry Pitts

the Futures Group in Glastonbury, Conn., after 20 years as a proofreader and copy editor. They moved to Fairfield Glade in 1997. Mr. and Mrs. Pitts celebrated their anniversary with several family members in Palm Coast, Fla. ■

St. Mary, Oak Ridge ■ The parish Christmas party will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, in the family-life center for adults 21 years and older. Dinner will be provided by Oliver’s Catering and will include baked ham, roast beef, hot vegetables, salad, dinner rolls, and dessert. Wine and beer will be available at the cash bar. ■ The junior high Christmas party is set for 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9, at the youth building. The senior high party will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, at the youth building. A children’s Christmas party and posada will take place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20, following the Mass in Spanish. The event will begin with a procession from the church to the gym, followed by the party at 3 p.m.

St. Thomas the Apostle, Lenoir City


Chattanooga Deanery


Byzantine mission relocates to Holy Ghost in Knoxville


Birthday blessing Bill Maher, who attends Mass daily at St. Thérèse of Lisieux in Cleveland, celebrated his 91st birthday recently. Above, he receives a blessing at the end of Mass from St. Thérèse pastor Father Peter Iorio. After Sunday Masses are completed, Mr. Maher stays behind to straighten all the books in the pews.

■ The Fair Trade Christmas Gift Fes-

tival will be held at 9:15 a.m. Monday, Dec. 7, in the Deacon José Rivera Room. Handmade jewelry, pottery, purses, baskets, shawls, and scarves will be sold. ■ Baptism: Abril Marin Ramirez, daughter of Eugenio and Emiliana Ramirez Five Rivers Deanery

Holy Trinity, Jefferson City ■ The youth group is selling rosaries,

crosses, and jewelry for Christmas. Call Scott Mulligan at 865-297-2844. ■ The Council of Catholic Women and Young at Heart will present a joint Christmas party at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, at the parish center. Cost of the evening, which includes a catered meal with music, is $15 per person. ■ The CCW is selling gift jars of bean and potato soups in the narthex. Cost is $10 each or three for $25. ■ Anniversary: Joe and Regina Clay (40)

Notre Dame, Greeneville



St. Alphonsus holds successful craft fair and bake sale A craft fair and bake sale Nov. 13 and 14 at St. Alphonsus Church in Crossville was a great success. The parish Crafters Guild sponsored the event. Santa Claus (Nevin Harrison) and his elf (Trish Graham) heard children’s wishes for Christmas and give them a gift. The parish, St. Alphonsus Community Services, and other local charities will benefit from the profits of the craft fair and bake sale.

■ Father William Casey, a former

pastor of Notre Dame, was guest speaker at the Council of Catholic Women’s monthly meeting Nov. 22.

St. Dominic, Kingsport ■ The fifth annual Martha and Mary Cookie Exchange Party will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, in the parish life center. Bring three dozen homemade cookies, with copies of the recipe, and a tin to take cookies home in.

St. Elizabeth, Elizabethton ■ The annual Advent angel tree to

provide needy local elementary schoolchildren with Christmas presents has been set up at St. Elizabeth. Gifts will be distributed through the Elizabethton school system before the Christmas holidays. ■ Volunteers prepared and served meals for 303 homeless and elderly people Nov. 7 at St. John Episcopal Church as part of the communitywide Food for the Multitude program. The next day for St. Elizabeth parishioners to volunteer for Food for the Multitude is Saturday, Dec. 19. Parish notes continued on page 8



Catechists attend conference at Lake Barkley Catechetical leaders from around the diocese recently attended the Mid-South Catholic Leadership Conference at Lake Barkley State Resort Park in Cadiz, Ky. Participants listened to speakers and attended Mass at the annual event. From left are (front) Cindy Panter of St. Mary Parish in Oak Ridge; Sara Carey of St. Alphonsus in Crossville; Peggy Long of All Saints in Knoxville; and Ruth Campbell of St. Mary; and (back) Randy Carey of St. Alphonsus; Father Richard Armstrong, assistant director of the diocesan Christian Formation Office; Karen Wilkins-Butz of St. Mary; Brigid Johnson of Sacred Heart Cathedral; and Sister Yvette Gillen, RSM, of St. Therese in Clinton.




The 10th annual Chattanooga Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols will be hosted by First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1505 N. Moore Road, at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13. The program is free. Music will be presented by the Roueché Chorale & Symphony Orchestra. Jeff Roueché, a parishioner of St. Stephen in Chattanooga, is the founder and artistic director of the chorale. Members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Jude in Chattanooga and St. Gerard Majella in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., will also be participating in the service. The congregation will play an active part in the singing of traditional carols and will hear sacred favorites such as “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night.” For more information, call the chorale office at 423-855-2981 or visit www.theroueche Father John Orr, associate pastor at Holy Ghost in Knoxville, will present a talk on St. Louis Marie de Montfort’s True Devotion to Our Lady at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, in Father Henkel Hall at Holy Ghost after the 6 p.m. holy-day Mass. Refreshments will be served. The talk is sponsored by the Holy Ghost Legion of Mary. The annual Madrigal Dinner at Notre Dame Church in Greeneville will have three performances this year, nightly from Thursday, Dec. 3, through Saturday, Dec. 5. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and dinner will be served at 7. The event benefits the parish building fund. Visitors can welcome the madrigal’s king and queen, along with their 16member court in period costume, before a traditional wassail toast, and listen to songs accompanied by a harpsichord, flute, and hand cymbals. A five-course meal will be served by the “wench staff.” Tickets are on sale for $25 each at Notre Dame, and they may also be purchased by calling Susan Collins at the parish office at 423639-9382. Ages 12 and up only. Seating is limited each night, and no tickets will be sold at the door. The Ladies of Charity of Chattanooga Christmas Angel Project is seeking financial support for its annual ministry, which helped more than 200 people last year. Mail donations to Ladies of Charity, Christmas Fund, 2821 Rossville Blvd., Chattanooga, TN 37407 by Sunday, Dec. 6. A Knoxville Catholic High School admissions placement test for incoming freshmen (current eighth-graders) will be given at 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. Cost is $25, payable at the time of the test. Contact Barrie Smith at 865-5600502 or to reserve a place. The Rosary Ministry at St. Alphonsus Parish in Crossville is collecting surplus, unwanted, or broken rosaries for the Diocese of Fort Portal, Uganda, where there is a great need and an even greater shortage of rosaries (Sept. 6 ETC). In December Father Adolf Busobozi, a priest currently studying in the United States, will be visiting his family in Uganda and will take donated rosaries. Send rosaries to Rosary Ministry, c/o Katie McLaird, 63 Cow Pen Road, Crossville, TN 38571, or place them in the box in the entrance to St. Alphonsus. The Society of Friendly Fellows was re-established Oct. 25, 2008, and recently held its one-year anniversary party in Knoxville. Proceeds from the society’s book, Daily Thoughts for Friendly Fellows, have provided $1,111.41 for the National Parkinson Foundation. The society has recently added “Seek the Good” awareness wristbands, sales of which will also benefit the foundation. Author Ellen Hubrig will be signing Daily Thoughts books at Coldwell Banker’s open house on Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, and at LifeWay Christian Bookstores in Farragut from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. Married couples are invited to attend a free introductory session for the Creighton Model System, a method of monitoring a couple’s fertility, following the noon Mass on Sunday, Dec. 6, at St. Thérèse of Lisieux Church in Cleveland. The natural-family-planning THE E A S T TE NNE S S E E CATHOLI C

method assists couples in achieving or avoiding pregnancy, helps those who have previously experienced infertility, and can help identify underlying health issues. To RSVP or learn more, contact Judi Phillips at 423-892-4668 or The next “Picture of Love” engagedcouples retreat will begin with breakfast at 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Chattanooga. This one-day marriage-preparation retreat is a supplement to couples’ marriage formation with their parish priest and is designed to help couples gain a better understanding of the joys and challenges of living the sacrament of matrimony in their day-today lives. The day will include Mass and end with dinner at 6 p.m. Cost is $135 per couple. The retreat certificate is good for a $60 discount on a marriage license. To register or learn more, contact Marian Christiana at 423-892-2310 or



Cardinal Rigali receives gift from Justice and Peace director Paul Simoneau, director of the diocesan Justice and Peace Office, made a presentation to Cardinal Justin F. Rigali during the Philadelphia archbishop’s recent visit to Knoxville. Inside the frame are a torn copy of the blueprints of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, which members of the Pro-Life Coalition of East Tennessee (ProCET) and other groups helped keep from opening in Knoxville earlier this year, placed around a Knoxville News Sentinel story headlined “Clinic won’t make move.” The inscription to Cardinal Rigali from the Diocese of Knoxville stated, “Goliath is not invincible!” Cardinal Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said, “this is a very important point for us to remember in our fight against the culture of death.”

A “Community for Discernment” meets monthly at the Lakeview Center for Spiritual Formation in Knoxville and will accept new members in January. Through small-group sharing, participants, assisted by an experienced facilitator, focus on discerning and articulating God’s presence in their daily life. Call Barbara Haning at 865-6710766 or 588-9194 for more information. In 2010 Bishop Richard F. Stika will host celebrations in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Kingsport to honor married couples and their commitment to the sacrament of marriage. Each celebration will include Mass and an opportunity to renew wedding vows. Mass will begin at 11 a.m. with a luncheon following each event. The first celebration will be held Jan. 9 at St. John Neumann Church in Farragut. The second is set for Feb. 6 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Chattanooga and the third at St. Dominic Church in Kingsport on (note new date) July 24. To attend one of the celebrations, RSVP to Marian Christiana of the diocesan Office of Marriage Preparation and Enrichment at 423-892-2310 or mchristiana@diocese Divorce and Beyond is a structured nine-week program for Catholic men and women who have experienced or are experiencing divorce. In Knoxville a group will begin meeting Sunday, Jan. 10, in the Shea Room at Sacred Heart Cathedral. Sessions, held from 2 to 4 p.m., will conclude March 7. To register, call 865-691-2256. In Chattanooga a group will begin meeting Monday, Jan. 25, in the parish life center at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. Sessions will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. through March 29. To register, contact Marian Christiana at 423-892-2310 or Cost is $15. The Diocesan Discernment Program for 2009-10 for men considering a priestly vocation will offer a day of reflection from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Chancery office in Knoxville. The topic will be the life of a diocesan priest. Program participants will attend the national March for Life in Washington, D.C., from Jan. 21 through 23 and attend a discernment retreat Feb. 12 through 14. For more information, contact Father Michael Cummins at the Catholic Center at East Tennessee State University at 423-9267061 or The Serra Club of Knoxville is sponsoring an essay contest for grade school children, offered in memory of Serrans Paul and Katherine Murphy. The theme is “A Year for Priests.” Winning essays will be selected from two divisions: one for third, fourth, and fifth graders, with a maximum length of 150 words, and one for sixth- through eighth-graders, with a maximum length of 300 words. Winners will be announced during vocations week in January. Prizes will be awarded at the January Serra Club meeting. First-place finishers in each division will receive $50 and a plaque, and runnersup will be awarded $25 and a plaque. Submit essays to Catholic school teachers or CCD teachers. A parent must sign the entries of homeschooled students. Essays, with the entrant’s Calendar continued on page 7


on the

Bishop dedicates new convent for ‘Ad Gentes’ Sisters Bishop Richard F. Stika blessed the new Casa San Juan Diego convent of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (“Ad Gentes” Sisters) on Nov. 22 in Jonesborough. The blessing took place after the bishop’s pastoral visit to St. Mary Church in Johnson City the same day. Sisters Carmen Gordillo and Isabel Gonzalez, who serve the Hispanic community of the Five Rivers Deanery, are currently in charge of the convent. Their motherhouse is in Tlaxcala state, Mexico. Above, the bishop holds baby Alin Jimenez. Seated with them are Sister Isabel (left) and Sister Carmen. Standing are (from left) St. Mary pastor Father Anietie Akata, Angeles Martinez, Francisco Isaac, Gabriel Isaac, Lillian Isaac, Luis Palomo, Gloria Palomo, Father Randy Stice, Hortensia Hopkins, and Father Tony Dickerson.

Search retreats scheduled around the diocese earch for Christian Maturity retreats, which are open to high school juniors and seniors, have been scheduled in Knoxville and in the Chattanooga and Five Rivers deaneries. The retreats are facilitated by teens under the guidance of Search coordinators. The focus of Search is to motivate youth to seek a personal relationship with Christ, to get them involved in their parish youth group, and to promote leadership. The central elements of Search are trust, sharing, community, prayer, growth, and fun. ■ Search 88 has been set for the weekend of Jan. 15 through 17 at Knoxville Catholic High School. Students should see their youth minister for a registration form.


For more information, contact Kristen Lehman at 865-689-7011 or, Annie Nassis at 531-0770 or, or Deacon Dan Hosford at 603-9682 or ■ Upcoming Chattanooga Deanery dates are Feb. 19 through 21 for Search 128 and March 19 through 21 for Search 129. To request a registration form or learn more, contact Donna Jones at 423-718-4387 or djones6029@ ■ In the Five Rivers Deanery, Search 40 is scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 5 through 7. For forms or more details, contact Deacon Jim Fage at 423-7482836 or ■

Knox Ladies of Charity to meet in their new building he Ladies of Charity of Knoxville will hold their Christmas meeting and party in a special place: the lobby of their new building. The Ladies recently purchased the former Royal Beauty Supply building on Baxter Avenue behind Holy Ghost Church in North Knoxville. The meeting will be held Friday, Dec. 11, following a 9:30 a.m. rosary and 10 a.m. Mass at Holy Ghost.


Luncheon will be potluck; meat will be provided, so those attending should bring a dish of their choice. If your dish needs to be warmed or cooled, bring it to the Holy Ghost basement before Mass, and it will be taken care of and transported to the lunch. Those attending should also bring a personal hygiene product (such as shampoo or soap) to the meeting for the Ladies’ emergency-assistance office. ■

Ladies of Charity Bishop’s Tea set for Dec. 6 he Ladies of Charity of Knoxville will host the annual Bishop’s Tea from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at the



Chancery office. Proceeds will buy kerosene for those in need. Admission is a donation to the fund; no minimum dona-

tion is required. Last year’s event raised more than $9,000 and provided kerosene to almost 400 people. ■ DECEMBER 6, 2009


Copyright 2009 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops 6

DECEMBER 6, 2009

Ordination continued from page 3


Ireland continued from page 10

undone,” he said. “I offer to each and every survivor my apology, my sorrow, and my shame for what happened to them. I am aware, however, that no words of apology will ever be sufficient.” Archbishop Martin asked Catholics to support and encourage the “many good priests of the archdiocese . . . at what is a difficult time,” and he acknowledged the sense of betrayal felt by many Catholics. “I hope that all of us—bishops, priests, and lay persons—working together can rebuild trust by ensuring that day after day the church in the Archdiocese of Dublin becomes a safer environment for children,” he said. Justice campaigner and abuse survivor Andrew Madden said he was happy the report was published but angered by its contents and the response by church officials. In an RTE radio interview, he said: “I can’t help notice how articulate the bishops are when it comes to apologizing for the abuse, which is not what the inquiry is about, and then using very flowery language” about their roles. “They are very articulate when it comes to apologizing for what other people did, namely pedophile priests. What they did themselves, they are not owning that,” he said. The report found that Auxiliary Bishops James Kavanagh, Dermot O’Mahony, Laurence Forristal, Donal Murray and Brendan Comiskey “were aware for many years of complaints and/or suspicions of clerical child sexual abuse in the archdiocese.” Bishop Comiskey resigned at the request of the Vatican in 2002 following publication of evidence that he covered up child abuse. Bishop Murray is now serving as bishop of Limerick and is considered the hierarchy’s most senior moral theologian. “Bishop Murray handled a number of complaints and suspicions badly,” the report said, calling at least one situation “inexcusable.” It noted that in 2002 Bishop Murray acknowledged that “he had not dealt well with the situation.” Since the report’s publication, there have been several calls for Bishop Murray to resign. Enda Kenny, leader of the political party Fine Gael, called for all bishops implicated in the diocesan report to resign immediately, but Bishop Murray is the only one of the five auxiliaries still serving. Denying that he had done anything wrong, on Nov. 27 Bishop Murray told the weekly Limerick Leader that he would not resign, but later that afternoon he said in a local-radio interview, “The question whether I remain on, as far as I am concerned, is a question for the people and priests of Limerick.” Victims also have called for the investigation to be extended to other dioceses. Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland, president of the Irish bishops’ conference, said: “I am shocked and ashamed by the abuse of children described in the report. I want to apologize to all those who have been hurt and their families. “I also want to apologize to all the people of Ireland that this abuse was covered up and that the reputation of the church was put before the safety and well-being of children. I am deeply sorry, and I am ashamed.” He also encouraged Catholics to cooperate with police in investigation of any crime. His comments echoed those made by Dermot Ahern, minister of justice, equality, and law reform, who said: “The era where evil people could do so under the cover of the cloth, facilitated and shielded from the consequences by their authorities, while the lives of children were ruined with such cruelty, is over for good. The bottom line is this: A collar will protect no criminal.” The report found no direct evidence of a pedophile ring among priests in the Dublin Archdiocese, although it said there were worrying connections between some priests, notably Father William Carney and Father Francis McCarthy, who were seminarians together in the 1970s and who, in one case, both abused the same child. In September 2006 the commission wrote to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asking for information on reports of clerical child sexual abuse conveyed by the Archdiocese of Dublin. The doctrinal congregation did not reply but did contact Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs to say the commission had not gone through appropriate diplomatic channels. The commission is an independent body and did not consider it appropriate to use diplomatic channels. In February 2007 the commission wrote to the papal nuncio in Dublin, asking whether documents were available that were relevant to the commission’s investigations, but it received no answer from the nunciature. Likewise, the nuncio did not respond when extracts of the commission’s draft report were sent to him in advance of publication. ■

FATHER RIEHL AND FATHER Newly ordained Father Christopher Riehl (second from right) and his father, Deacon John Riehl (second from left), join Bishop Stika at the altar during the ordination Mass. With them (from left) are Monsignor Al Humbrecht, Monsignor Xavier Mankel, Father Tony Dickerson, Deacon Moises Moreno, Father Pat Garrity, and Monsignor Joseph Prior, rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. Father Riehl is the 37th priest ordained for the Diocese of Knoxville.

Father Carter gave a talk about the significance of the priesthood and how the priest has a very honorable and important job to help us achieve salvation. When you think about how your son has dedicated his life to do that—it’s just an awesome feeling.” Since the Riehls’ diaconate ordination, there have been two Deacon Riehls in the household. The priestly ordination may not resolve the title confusion, however. “It’s interesting. He’s going to call me Father, and I’m going to call him Father,” said

the elder Riehl. Friends of the family traveled hundreds of miles to be at the ordination, said Deacon Riehl. “We had people coming from Detroit, whom we were in a prayer group with 25 years ago. We only knew them for two and a half years, and yet they wanted to come and be part of the celebration. There’s a couple here we met in Marriage Encounter when we lived in Indiana. “We have some friends here whom we met when we lived in Alabama. More for the

The new priest, Father Chris Riehl, greets family friend Father Pat Garrity, pastor of St. Patrick Church in Morristown and dean of the Five Rivers Deanery.

Family members smile during Father Riehl’s ordination Mass. From left, they are his mother, Shirley Riehl; niece and goddaughter Cecilia Williams, 4; brother Tim Riehl; Tim’s friend Amber Whittaker; nephew Connor Sivley, 5; and sister Cindy Riehl. www.d ioceseofknoxville.or g

church than for Chris and for the family, I think it’s quite a tribute that they would drive all this way to be part of an ordination.” Mom Shirley Riehl called the second Saturday in November a “humbling, exciting, wonderful day.” “It’s something he’s worked for for a long time,” she said. “I don’t think it really hit me until the ordination: my son is a priest. It’s still hitting me.” Mrs. Riehl sent many prayers to heaven to make sure she would not be too emotional during the Mass, especially for the role she played as gift bearer. “I was fine. I said more Hail Marys, Glory Be’s, and Our Fathers during that Mass than I think I ever have during Mass,” she said. “I asked Mary to be with me and help me because she would know: he’s her priest. [The ordination] wasn’t about me falling apart or anything like that—it was about Christopher, and it needed to be.” Mrs. Riehl said she recognized after the fact some signs that her son might be a priest. As a teenager, “when he would pass the tabernacle, I could see that it was very special to him,” she said. “When he was younger, we were living in Missouri. I remember taking him to his first penance service, and when he came out, he said, ‘I wish I was a grown-up because I could go to confession any time I wanted.’ I thought, ‘Wow, Christopher, if you want to go to confession whenever you want to go, let us know, and we will take you.’” Father Riehl was a couple of classes away from earning a degree as a paralegal when he decided to pursue a vocation to the priesthood. “When I was in college, I was going to Mass, going to confession, and praying the rosary, and the idea of the priesthood slowly started to creep in,” he said. Father Riehl started in seminary in 2000 and called his road of more than nine years to the priesthood a long one filled with “twists and turns, a lot of studying, a lot of good parish assignments and experiences, and a lot of good priestly examples.” “It’s been quite an adventure, and that’s the way Archbishop Kurtz put it when he first accepted me. The priestly life and the seminary are an adventure for God, and I’ve certainly found that to be the case.” ■ THE E A S T TE NNE S S E E CATHOL I C


Take note of ETC deadlines


Father Herbert Prescott, 84, dies after 54 years of priestly service ather Herbert W. Prescott Jr., 84, of Chattanooga, a priest of 54 years who served parishes and schools throughout Tennessee, died Thursday, Nov. 26, at his home. Father Prescott was born April 24, 1925, in Long Branch, N.J., to Herbert and Edna Prescott. He attended parochial schools in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Baltimore and studied at Baltimore’s Loyola College and St. Mary’s Seminary, as well as Fordham University. He earned a bachelor of science degree and a master’s in education at Loyola. He was ordained to the priesthood May 28, 1955, at St. Thomas Church in Memphis by Bishop William L. Adrian. Father Prescott’s early ministry included being administrator of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Germantown and chaplain for St. Peter Orphanage, associate pastor at Sacred Heart, professor at Catholic High School, associate pastor of Blessed Sacrament, and associate pastor of Immaculate Conception, all in Memphis. He also assisted the Greeneville Missions. In 1962 he became the first priest principal of Knoxville Catholic High School, serving there until 1965. Afterward he was chaplain for Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, pastor of St. James in Memphis, and coordinator of Special Servic-


Father Herbert Prescott

es to Exceptional Children for the Memphis area. He served as pastor of Our Lady of Fatima in Alcoa, director of the Center for Special Education in Memphis, and professor at Bishop Byrne High School in Memphis, and he celebrated Sunday Mass at St. Alphonsus in Covington and St. Paul in Memphis. In 1970 Father Prescott became director of Memphis Catholic High School and moderator of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women for the Memphis area. He next served as pastor of St. Paul Parish in Tullahoma. He was appointed pastor of St. Augustine in Signal Mountain in 1973 and in 1974 became chaplain of St. Mary’s Hospital in Knoxville and the priest in charge of St. Thomas the Apostle in Lenoir City. He also served as chaplain of Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga in the 1970s. He became pastor of St. Bridget in Dayton in 1976 and a teacher

of religion at Notre Dame High School in 1977. He served as pastor of St. Stephen in Chattanooga from 1984 to 1990 and returned to St. Bridget as pastor before retiring in 1993. He left retirement to serve as administrator pro tem of St. Mary in Gatlinburg, upon the death of Father Francis Schilling in 2000, and again in 2002 to serve as administrator of St. Stephen. At the time of his death he was serving as a chaplain at the Alexian Village in Signal Mountain. Then–Bishop Joseph E. Kurtz and St. Stephen pastor Father P. J. McGinnity joined him for his 50th-anniversary Mass on May 14, 2005, at St. Stephen. Father Prescott was preceded in death by his cousins Ray Siener and Monsignor Leo C. Siener. Survivors include his cousins Shirley Siener, Sally Siener Cooper, Wendy Siener Kelly, Lori Siener Heagy, and Mary Siener Ferguson. The funeral Mass was to be celebrated Wednesday, Dec. 2, at St. Stephen Church with Bishop Richard F. Stika officiating. Burial was to follow in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Chattanooga. Memorials may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice. Friends and family may share thoughts and memories of Father Prescott at ■

Glenmary priest Father John Otterbacher dies at 81 lenmary Father John Otterbacher, 81, who assisted at several rural parishes in East Tennessee, died suddenly Monday, Nov. 23, at the Glenmary residence in Cincinnati. A home missioner for 57 years, Father Otterbacher was a native of Sand Lake, Mich. He served as associate pastor of Glenmary missions in Ohio and Virginia and as pastor of missions in Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia, and North Carolina. In addition, he directed Glenmary’s religious-education department. He received Glenmary seniormember status in 1993 and in later life became a skilled woodcarver and devoted vegetable gardener. He had been living in Treadway, Tenn., until October, when he moved back to Cincinnati. In Tennessee Father Otterbacher assisted at St. James the Apostle in Sneedville, St. Henry in Rogersville, and St. Dominic


in Kingsport. “Father Otterbacher was a gentle, sensitive man who had a deep love for rural America and its people,” said Father Dan Dorsey, the president of Glenmary. “Because of ill health he had to leave assigned ministry a bit younger than most, but his love and passion for the missions never wavered over the years.” John Otterbacher first heard of the home missions when Glenmary Father Raphael Sourd spoke at St. Joseph Seminary in Grand Rapids, Mich., where the future priest was studying in the mid1940s. Following a visit to Cincinnati and a meeting with Glenmary founder Father William Howard Bishop, the young man decided the home missions were his calling. After completing his studies at St. Gregory/St. Mary Seminary and Glenmary Seminary in Cincinnati, he was ordained in May 1956. Five months later Father Otter-


Five Rivers Deanery 7 p.m. Dec. 3—St. Patrick, Morristown; Dec. 7—Good Shepherd, Newport; Dec. 9— Holy Trinity, Jefferson City; Dec. 10—St. Dominic, Kingsport; Dec. 14—St. Elizabeth, Elizabethton; Dec. 15—St. Mary, Johnson City; Dec. 16—Notre Dame, Greeneville; Dec. 17— St. Henry, Rogersville; Dec. 18—St. Anthony of Padua, Mountain City Cumberland Mountain Deanery 7 p.m. EST, except as noted. Dec. 3—St. Mary, Oak Ridge; THE E A S T TE NNE S S E E CATHOLI C

Dec. 9—Blessed Sacrament, Harriman; St. Therese, Clinton, and St. Joseph, Norris, at St. Joseph; Dec. 10—Our Lady of Perpetual Help, LaFollette; Dec. 13—Christ the King, Tazewell, 1 p.m.; Dec. 14—All Saints, Knoxville; Dec. 15—St. Francis of Assisi, Fairfield Glade, 6 p.m. CST; Dec. 16—St. Christopher, Jamestown, 6 p.m. CST; Dec. 21—St. Ann, Lancing Chattanooga Deanery 7 p.m. EST, except as noted. Dec. 3—Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Chattanooga; Dec.6—St. Catherine Labouré, Copperhill, 6 p.m.; Dec. 9—Sts. Peter and Paul, Chattanooga, 5:30 p.m.; Our Lady of Lourdes, South Pittsburg, 6:30 p.m. CST; St. Bridget, Dayton, 6:30 p.m.;


Advent continued from page 1

Lord and little time even for ourselves. One ends up being absorbed in doing things,” he said. Taking a little time each day to recognize signs of God’s love reminds people that “God is here; he has not withdrawn from the world; he has not left us alone,” the pope said. Pope Benedict said that if people live each day with their eyes open to the signs of God’s presence, they will be filled with joy as they await the final coming of the Lord. The pope spoke about waiting and about Advent hope during his noon Angelus address Nov. 29. “The contemporary world needs hope above all; people living in developing countries need it, but those in economically advanced countries do too,” he said. “Seeing so many false certainties fail, we become aware that we need a hope we can trust in and that is found only in Christ,” the pope said. Those who are “yearning for freedom, for justice, and for peace can stand tall and raise their heads, because in Christ freedom is near.” During the evening prayer service Nov. 28 the pope used his new pastoral staff, replacing a similar one that had been used by Pope Pius IX. The new staff with a cross on top is a gift from a Rome-based Catholic fraternal organization; it is six feet tall and weighs five and a half pounds. The paschal lamb, a symbol of the risen Christ, is in the center of the front of the cross, and the four Gospel writers—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—are represented on its four points. The Chi Rho—the X and the P from the first letters of Christ’s name in Greek—are in the center of the back of the cross, and the four points feature doctors of the church from the West and the East: Sts. Augustine and Ambrose and Sts. Athanasius and John Chrysostom. A ring around the base of the cross is inscribed with Pope Benedict’s name. ■ Copyright 2009 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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Father John Otterbacher, GHM

bacher was assigned as associate pastor of Glenmary’s mission in West Union, Ohio. His first Christmas there was memorable, as he offered Mass three times for a total of four people. He also served as associate pastor in Norton, Va., before embarking on his first pastorate in Appalachia, Va., in 1961. He went on to lead Glenmary missions in Pulaski, Tenn., and Spencer, W.Va, Otterbacher continued on page 8

Advent penance services scheduled in all deaneries ere is a list of remaining Advent penance services around the Diocese of Knoxville:

e welcome submissions about parish and community events. Send notices by e-mail (, fax (865-584-8124), or mail (P.O. Box 11127, Knoxville, TN 37939). To make sure we receive information about upcoming events in time for publication, please submit it by the following deadlines: ■ Monday, Dec. 7, for the Dec. 20 issue ■ Monday, Dec. 28, for the Jan. 10 issue ■ Monday, Jan. 11, for the Jan. 24 issue ■ Monday, Jan. 25, for the Feb. 7 issue ■ Monday, Feb. 8, for the Feb. 21 issue ■ Monday, Feb. 22, for the March 7 issue ■ Monday, March 8, for the March 21 issue ■ Monday, March 29, for the April 11 issue. When submitting photos or information about past events, please keep in mind that we have a backlog of submissions. ■

Dec. 10—St. Jude, Chattanooga; Dec.14—Shepherd of the Valley, Dunlap, 6:30 p.m. CST; St. Mary, Athens; Dec. 15—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Cleveland; Dec. 17—St. Stephen, Chattanooga Smoky Mountain Deanery 7 p.m. Dec. 7—John XXIII, Knoxville; Dec. 10—Our Lady of Fatima, Alcoa, and St. Francis of Assisi, Townsend, at Our Lady of Fatima; Dec. 13—Holy Ghost, Knoxville, and Immaculate Conception, Knoxville, at St. Joseph School; Dec. 14—St. Albert the Great, Knoxville; Dec. 15—Sacred Heart Cathedral, Knoxville; Dec. 16—Holy Family, Seymour, and St. Joseph the Worker, Madisonville ■


name, grade, address, and telephone number on the first page, should be mailed to Colette Seitz, 3630 S. Creek Road, Knoxville, TN 37920. The deadline for entries has been extended to Friday, Jan. 15. The next Engaged Encounter weekend in the diocese will be held Jan. 15 through 17 at the Magnuson Hotel in Sweetwater. Weekend cost is $239, including meals, rooms, and materials, and couples completing the entire weekend will receive a $60 discount on their marriage license. To register, call Mike or Charla Haley at 865-220-0120. For more information on Engaged Encounter, e-mail Paul or Pam Schaffer at or visit A Seekers of Silence Contemplative Saturday Morning will be held Dec. 5 at John XXIII Catholic Center in Knoxville. Mary Kedl will give a talk titled “Chanting Across the Ages.” Coffee and tea will be served at 8:30 a.m.; the workshop will run from 9 a.m. to noon. Bring a bag lunch. RSVP to 865-523-7931. The St. Thomas the Apostle Ukrainian Catholic Mission celebrates Divine Liturgy at 10 a.m. Sundays in the chapel at the Chancery office. Call Father Richard Armstrong at 865-584-3307. Mass in the extraordinary form (“traditional Latin”) is celebrated at 1:30 p.m. each Sunday at Holy Ghost Church in Knoxville and at 3 p.m. on first and third Sundays at St. Thérèse of Lisieux Church in Cleveland. Visit for details. Upcoming events for Catholic Singles of Greater Knoxville (40 and over) include the following: ■ Saturday, Dec. 12: Annual singles Christmas party at Hannalore’s home, 7 p.m. Bring appetizer, dessert, or dish and gift ($5 to $10) to exchange. Call Hannalore at 865-694-2791 for directions. ■ Wednesday, Dec. 16: Coffee and conversation at Panera Bread on North Peters Road, 6:30 p.m. Call Randy S. at 556-3781. ■ Friday, Dec. 18: View holiday lights in West Knoxville. Meet at the All Saints Church pavilion at 6 p.m. to carpool. Contact Donna at 531-3839 or penguin7@ ■ DECEMBER 6, 2009



the catholic




Albert E. Kirk, 99, of Holy Ghost Parish in Knoxville died Saturday, Nov. 14. Mr. Kirk was a graduate of Knoxville High School and attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he played basketball from 1931 to 1934 and was the captain for the ’33-’34 season. He was believed to have been the Volunteers’ oldest living basketball player. He was also a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. He was a long-standing member of Holy Ghost and a member of the Legion of Mary. He retired after 30 years from the U.S. Postal Service. He was a charter member of Beaver Brook Country Club, where he enjoyed golfing until age 98. He was a resident of Fountain City for 64 years. His son, Monsignor Albert Kirk, and a nephew, Monsignor Thomas Kirk, were both recently named monsignors by the Holy Father. Mr. Kirk was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Martha Gibbins Kirk; parents, William and Bridgett Kirk; sisters, Jane Leamon, Margaret Kirk, and Helen Schaad; and brothers, Deadrick Kirk, James Kirk, Edward Kirk, and Stephen Kirk. He is also survived by his daughter and son-inlaw, Carol and Eddie Holden; two granddaughters; and many nieces and nephews. A funeral Mass was celebrated Tuesday, Nov. 17, at Holy Ghost Church with Monsignor Al Kirk officiating. Interment followed in Calvary Cemetery, Knoxville. Memorials may be made to the Ladies of Charity, 119 Dameron Ave., Knoxville, TN 37917 or to the charity of your choice. Sign the guestbook at www.gentrygriffey ■

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before his two-year assignment as the society’s religious-education department head. Then he moved on to pastor the mission church in Jefferson, N.C., for five years until his health required him to take disability status. In his later years as a senior member Father Otterbacher refined his skills as an expert woodcarver—creating intricately designed walking sticks and canes that he gave as gifts. He also planted and tended a large vegetable garden until 2008 and shared his harvest with other people. “You can take the boy off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy,” said Glenmary Father George Mathis, one of his oldest friends. Father Otterbacher is survived by a niece, cousins, and his fellow missioners and friends. The funeral Mass was celebrated Wednesday, Dec. 2, at St. Matthias the Apostle Church in Cincinnati. Burial followed in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Cincinnati. Memorial gifts may be sent to Glenmary Home Missioners, P.O. Box 465618, Cincinnati, OH 45246. ■

Natural law and bigotry The Founding Fathers would deem a Washington Post editorial bizarre.

On Nov. 3 Ken Cuccinelli was elected attorney general of Virginia in a landslide. His 15 percent margin of victory strongly suggests that Old Dominion voters were unimpressed by a shrill Washington Post editorial published on Oct. 30, which opined that Mr. Cuccinelli “would likely become an embarrassment for the commonwealth” as his “affability and quick wit . . . have tended to mask his extremist views.” What, you ask, were those “extremist views”? Well, the Post’s indictment—in an editorial titled “Mr. Cuccinelli’s bigotry”—centered on the fact that candidate Cuccinelli had described homosexual behavior as contrary to “natural law” and had further suggested that natural law was a useful guide to public policy. Mr. Cuccinelli did not propose to prosecute, much less jail, every gay and lesbian between the Potomac River and the North Carolina border, and no sane person thought he intended to do so. Yet the Post’s anonymous editorial writer described Mr. Cuccinelli’s appeal to natural law as a “retrofit [of] the old language of racism, bias, and intolerance in a new context.” Baloney. What’s being retrofitted here is old-time antiCatholic bigotry, tarted up in the guise of tolerance and extended to those who think there are moral truths built

called to


into the world and into us— truths we can grasp by reason. Ken Cuccinelli is a serious, practicing Catholic. He’s also a sophisticated politician who knows that you don’t argue public policy in the public square on the basis of uniquely Catholic theological premises. Rather, you make your arguments in a public vocabulary, accessible to all. That’s the grammar and vocabulary of the natural moral law: the basis on which Thomas Jefferson argued the case for American national independence, Martin Luther King Jr. promoted the civil rights of African Americans, and John Paul II passionately and effectively defended the religious and political rights of all. Was Jefferson a bigot when he staked America’s claim to independent nationhood on “self-evident” moral truths derived from “the laws of nature?” Was King a bigot when, in his “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” he argued that “an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law”? Was John Paul II a bigot when, at the United Nations in 1995, he suggested that the truths of the natural moral law—“the moral logic which is built into human life”—could serve as a universal “grammar” enabling genuinely cross-cultural dialogue? Please. On the 20th anniversary of the Revolution of 1989, it was a sadness that the editors of the Washington Post misread the moral texture of the American founding, the civilrights revolution, and the revolution of conscience that brought down the Berlin


A gift that lasts

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■ Money collected in honor of the Nov. 17 feast

day of parish patron St. Elizabeth of Hungary amounted to $861.37. It will be used for the Food for the Multitude program. ■ Baptism: Leann Eaton ■ Newcomer: Joyce Clapp Smoky Mountain Deanery

Holy Family, Seymour ■ A bereavement committee has been created to help parishioners and their families and friends cope with the loss of a loved one. ■ Under the direction of pastor Father Ragan Schriver, a liturgical committee has been established. ■ Parishioners recently donated coats and other winter outer wear to be given to Catholic Charities. ■ The Knights of Columbus sold smoked turkeys for Thanksgiving. ■ The Young at Heart group is collecting items of clothing and Christmas gifts for a Head Start class in Sevier County. ■ The youth group and Young at Heart are sponsoring an angel tree, with the donated gifts going to another Head Start class.

Immaculate Conception, Knoxville ■ An “Americana Musical Fete” will be presented

from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at the home of Jack and Marlene O’Hanlon to raise money for a new piano. Call the church office at 865-522-1508 to RSVP by Wednesday, Dec. 9. ■ The women’s group’s recent craft fair raised $3,420 before expenses.

Our Lady of Fatima, Alcoa ■ Bishop Richard F. Stika will install Father Bede

Aboh as pastor at the 11 a.m. Mass on Sunday, Dec. 13. ■ Norm Miller and Ray Bolton received the Knights of Columbus Family of the Month award for September and October, respectively. Keith Feltz and Al Hinger were named Knights of the Month for September and October.

St. Albert the Great, Knoxville ■ Baptism: Sabrina Armstrong Shaffer, daughter of AnnaMaria and Christopher Shaffer ■


DECEMBER 6, 2009

Advent inspires a meaningful, enduring present: the hope we give others.

When I was a child, I acted like a child, full of wonder and excitement about life, especially Christmas. Too young to appreciate the anticipation of generations of people, children learn reasons for the preparations and excitement of the season

over time and though experiences with others. All children have much to learn about gratitude, love, and generosity in relation to gifts and giving. The lights, glitter, songs, food, brightly wrapped packages, visitors, and seasonal spirit catch a child’s attention. Sensing an excitement and joy reflected in celebrations, we learn that gifts and gift-giving have special significance. We all have the ability to give to

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tended the dedication. Monsignor Mankel acknowledged architect Charles Richmond; contractor Dorman Blaine of Blaine Construction; construction supervisor Matt Mitchell; project superintendent Don Niday; parishioners Tommy Bentley, Kitty Bentley, and Jean Holt of Standard Electric; parishioner Art Clancy III, who made new cabinets for the basement; and Richard Higginbotham of Higginbotham Heating & AC. Some fixtures in the basement restrooms dated to the dedication of the church in 1926, when the parish moved next door to a new location. “After 80 years the original basement had weathered fairly well, and it was an upgrade from the privies that were outside when we used the other church, but it was time [to remodel],” said Monsignor Mankel. “I think you

wonderful.” The parish hall lets the Holy Ghost family “continue the celebrations of our faith and our trust in Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Stika. “May this kitchen always fill those who are in need and those who are hungry,” he said. “May this ceiling always protect those who gather together in the name of the Lord Jesus, and may the spirit of this church continue to blossom through the years. Maybe in 80 years they’ll do something else, and they will remember all of us gathered here on this November day with a spirit of gratitude for what we have done for them, as we gather this evening to celebrate with gratitude what those over these 80 years have done for us.” Several people who had a hand in the remodeling at-


Wall—revolutions in which believers, nonbelievers, skeptics, and agnostics united in defense of human rights that could be known as such through the natural moral law. Jefferson and the other American Founders would have found the Post’s identification of “natural law” with “bigotry” simply bizarre. So would Dr. King. And so would Vaclav Havel and other leaders of the Revolution of 1989, if they happened to be surfing the Internet on Oct. 30 and stumbled across the Post’s lamebrained attack on those who think that rationally known moral norms ought to have some bearing on how we should live together. To be sure, the Post was not quite as over the top as Frank Rich of The New York Times, who labeled as “Stalinists” those Republicans in upstate New York who thought abortion on demand and gay “marriage” bad ideas. But that’s Frank Rich: the former “Butcher of Broadway” is always over the top. The Post editorial branding natural-law reasoning as bigotry was worse because the moral lexicon of the natural law is the common vocabulary by which Americans of every political, ideological, and religious flavor have argued in defense of life, in defense of marriage rightly understood, and in defense of religious freedom. To call such arguments retrofitted “bigotry” is a crude attempt to drive classical moral understandings out of the public square by smearing their advocates as morally coarse antisocial misfits. Memo to Post editors: we’re not impressed, and we’re not going away. ■ George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. others through our thoughtful and loving gestures. Looking through family keepsakes, I found several handmade Christmas creations produced during childhood. Simple in design, some with prominently large and uneven stitches, others with irregular painting or handwriting, each had been saved with special care. Gifts need not be large, expensive, or elaborate to be treasured. Time, thought, and effort invested in making or choosing a gift reflects love and appreciation for a special relationship. The joy observed in the receiver rewards the gift giver. The world lures us to purchases and gift giving, but Erpenbach continued on page 9

will find that the workmanship and the quality of the materials and everything are just super great.” Bishop Stika said that Father Henkel may come out ahead of him in the area of namesake facilities. “In a way I’m jealous of Father Henkel. When I left St. Louis, I was just in the beginning of a capital campaign in my parish for $5.5 million. It was going to be done in stages, and so I understand that they might dedicate the first completion of stage one in my name. From what I understand, it’s going to be the Bishop Richard Stika Memorial Bathrooms.” The bishop told parishioners of the Nov. 10 honor given to their pastor: the naming of a conference room at the Chancery office after Monsignor Mankel. Bishop Holy Ghost continued on page 9


around the


from the


East Tennesseans make pro-life promises Two deacons and 16 laity commit themselves as Missionaries of the Gospel of Life. he Diocese of Knoxville made history Nov. 21, when for the first time a bishop received the final promises of deacon and lay associates of Priests for Life’s Missionaries of the Gospel of Life. The number making the commitment—18— was also a record. The ceremony took place during Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral, with Bishop Richard F. Stika presiding. “To those today who make a commitment, in the words you will speak, the words you will pray, and the words you will live, be Christlike,” the bishop said during his homily. “As I so often say, be the face of Jesus. Speak the words of Jesus. “Know the Scriptures so that your argument might not be one of a political nature—but one of Jesus, of faith and of trust in God.” The associates follow a spirituality based on that of Priests for Life, as developed by the group’s national director, Father Frank Pavone of Staten Island, N.Y. Present during the Nov. 21 Mass was Jim Pinto, national coordinator of lay associates for Missionaries of the Gospel of Life. Making their promises as deacon associates were Deacon Mike Gouge of St. John Neumann Parish in Farragut and Deacon Gordon Lowery of Knoxville. Lay associates making promises were Eileen Casey, Mike Colicchio, Sandi Davidson, Bonner Frye, Esther Golightly, Kristie Hopwood, Peggy Humphreys, Cindy Kedrowski, Karen Lhotka, Fran Lowery, Deb Maupin,



‘NEVER TIRE OF DOING GOOD’ Sixteen laypeople and two deacons made promises as associates of Priests for Life’s Missionaries of the Gospel of Life on Nov. 21. The Mass took place at Sacred Heart Cathedral, with Bishop Richard F. Stika presiding.

Lisa Morris, Robb Morris, Mary Phelan, Paul Simoneau, and Lorie Weeden. “The fact that Bishop Stika received our promises is particularly important because it reinforces the sense of solidarity we have under his guidance,” said Mr. Simoneau, director of the diocesan Justice and Peace Office. “Our small diocese, which until last year had the second largest number of Missionaries of the Gospel of Life in the United States, has really been a model for the national program,” he said. Before the candidates publicly stated their commitment to the pro-life cause, Bishop Stika asked them three questions, among which was “Will you speak and work to defend the rights of your unborn brothers and sisters as the top priority of your apostolic activities?” In fact, most of the associates are heavily involved in pro-life work in East Tennessee and are familiar faces among those praying near

abortion clinics and spearheading pro-life work in the diocese. In his homily the bishop reminded the associates that they are called to be Christlike as they go about their work. He recalled having once seen a demonstration in which pro-life and pro-choice people with large placards were face to face with one another, “with snarling looks on their faces.” “They were shoving those signs in one another’s faces, arguing and fighting,” he said. “I often wondered what advice Jesus would give to those people who were snarling and filled with hatred.” When Christians fight for the right to life, he said, they should follow Christ’s example. Even when he turned the moneylenders out of the temple, he didn’t strike the people who were dishonoring his Father’s house, the bishop said. “‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do’ were among the last words he spoke on the cross.”

Those working in the pro-life cause must be prepared to engage people in conversation about their beliefs: “not to argue with them but to present the facts.” “I think the Lord would ask us to use our intellect and to explain why we are for or against something,” said Bishop Stika. He also challenged his listeners to remember that the prolife movement encompasses all life, from conception until natural death. “Capital punishment is not a natural death,” he said. Christians are charged “to do what we can . . . to promote life from conception to natural death. If we do that, we will have fought the good fight and lived the faith, not just in words.” “As St. Paul reminds us, may we never tire of doing good and of being faithful in our commitment to the holy and sacred nature of life.” ■ For more information, visit www.priestsfor

Stika also acknowledged Willia Mankel, the monsignor’s mother, who attended the basement blessing. “Mrs. Mankel, we honor you as we honor your son because without you, no hall,” said the bishop. The floor of the parish hall, which will be tiled later, is the only unfinished portion of the basement project. “If anybody’s got an extra couple hundred thousand or a thousand or 50 cents or a dollar, I’ll come back for the dedication of the holy floor, but until then we give thanks to God for what we have now,” said Bishop Stika. Monsignor Mankel is the 10th pastor in Holy Ghost’s 102-year history, and at the basement dedication he told the gathering a little about several of his predecessors. They include Monsignor Louis Kemphues, who arrived in 1921 and led the effort to build Holy Ghost’s current church, dedicated by Bishop Alphonse J. Smith. Father Henkel was one of THE E A S T TE NNE S S E E CATHOLIC


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‘CELEBRATING WITH GRATITUDE’ Bishop Stika makes a point during the blessing of Father Henkel Hall, as Holy Ghost pastor Monsignor Xavier Mankel looks on. The hall’s namesake, Father Albert J. Henkel, was pastor of Holy Ghost from 1958 until his death in 1996.

two people the Holy Ghost pastor wished had lived long enough to work with Bishop Stika. The other was “my daddy,” George Mankel Sr., said the monsignor. Father Henkel made “the adjustments we all had to make when the Second Vatican Council came along,” said

Monsignor Mankel. “He took them in holy stride. He was not the first to try anything new but certainly in the vanguard when it came to initiating the programs that the church wanted done. Thank you, Bishop, for the opportunity to say something about our dear, dear friend.” ■

www.d ioceseofknoxville.or g



Christmas: a season, not a day or most of the world Christmas will be celebrated on Dec. 25 and boxed away within a few days. Not so in our Catholic churches. The crèche will remain prominent, and Christmas carols will continue to be sung—for in the season of the church, Christmas is a time to be savored, not rushed. Dec. 24 is but the beginning of Christmas, which continues until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord on Jan. 10. Harlan Miller once said, “I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.” Although the Paraclete cannot jar Christmas, we can provide means for you to stretch out the season and deepen your participation in the Christmas mystery. Keep listening to the songs of the season. Our seasonal music includes Josh Groban’s bestselling CD Noel ($18.99) and Andrea Bocelli’s My Christmas ($18.95). Begin a Christmas novena. Mark Nielson has compiled “Daybreak From on High,” a novena formatted for individuals, families, and school or other prayer groups (Creative Communications, $1.29). Delve into the mystery of the Incarnation. The Origins of Christmas (Liturgical Press, 2004, $14.95) and The Birth of Jesus According to the Gospels by


Joseph F. Kelly (Liturgical Press, 2008, $14.95) help us grasp the ongoing presence of Christ, beginning with his birth. Watch for the Light (Orbis Books, 2004, $16) is an anthology of authors—including Thomas Merton, C. S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer—that provides a selection for reflection every day of the Advent and Christmas seasons. In Living the Days of Advent and the Christmas Season, Susan Heyboer O’Keefe has created a small prayer book of perforated pages that can be tacked or taped in conspicuous places to aid reflection and meditation (Paulist Press, 2009, $3.95). Engage your children in extending the season. Our Sunday Visitor publishes a trifold pamphlet, “The Twelve Days of Christmas: Celebrating the Season as Catholics,” with ideas for helping Christmas linger. Specifically for children are activity books such as My First Christmas Sticker Book, My Favorite Advent and Christmas Activity Book, and My Big Christmas Sticker and Activity Book. And there’s Saint Nicholas by Ann Tompert (Boyds Mills Press, 2005, $8.95) to explain the saint behind Santa Claus. ■ Call the store at 865588-0388 or 800-3332097.

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these can cause people to use nonexistent funds, buy unnecessary things, and even give to impress people. Instead, consider real, lasting, and meaningful gifts. What do we and others really want or need? Advent, the new church year, and the celebration of the birth of Our Savior inspire us with hope for our lives, faith, and future. We’re called to give hope to others. Our efforts and contributions can light up people’s eyes and lives. Likewise, our offerings to the church enable continual proclamation of the Son of God, serving and guiding more people than we might imagine. Advent invites us to a closer relationship with God. Take the time to become more aware of his presence in your life. Acknowledge God’s closeness with gratitude. Reach out to embrace him in return for his love and generosity by living as a good steward and disciple. Share what he has given with joy, love, and outreach to illuminate the way for others. Look for signs of God’s likeness in each person. Greet others in ways that reflect your care for them, just as God does for us. Practice patience amidst the hustle and bustle that is so much a part of the season. Give others the gift of prayer and other presents, remembering those you know; those you read and hear about; and those you sense feel lost, forgotten, isolated, sad, lonely, or suffering. Remember also the men and women who nobly and generously serve our nation in the military, particularly those who are far away and missing their loved ones and home. We might each take time to reflect on our early experiences of Advent and Christmas. Our memories will remind us of people we knew, shared time with, and loved. Jesus calls all children, knowing their enthusiasm for learning and believing. Let us never lose the beautiful nature of childhood as we grow older. May we reach out to others so that they may be drawn to the love given through the Nativity of Jesus. God bless all throughout Advent, Christmas, and the New Year. ■ Mrs. Erpenbach is the director of the diocesan Stewardship and Development Office. DECEMBER 6, 2009


Report on clergy abuse in Dublin released


Pro-lifers vow to fight new requirements imposed on pregnancy centers B Y GE OR GE P. MATYSEK JR.

BALTIMORE (CNS)—Pro-life leaders are vowing to fight a measure passed Nov. 23 by the Baltimore City Council that imposes new requirements on four pregnancy-resource centers in the city. The bill, approved in a 12-3 vote, requires prolife pregnancy centers to post signs stating that they do not provide abortion or birth control. Baltimore Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien had campaigned against the bill, arguing that it unfairly singles out pro-life centers for harassment. “To say I’m disappointed is too mild,” said Nancy Paltell, associate director for the respectlife department of the Maryland Catholic Conference. “I’m disgusted that lobbying organizations like Planned Parenthood and NARAL hold such power over a governmental body like the City Council.” Paltell was holding out hope that Mayor Sheila Dixon will veto the bill, and she urged pro-life supporters to let the mayor know they oppose the measure. “It’s just bad public policy,” said Paltell, a representative of the state’s Catholic bishops in Annapolis, the state capital. “There’s no reason to put that blemish on Baltimore City. It’s unnecessary, unfair, and unwarranted.” Paltell pointed out that City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, lead sponsor of the measure, acknowledged that pregnancy-resource centers do “good and charitable work.” “We should leave them alone,” Paltell said, noting that the centers offer help with clothing, baby supplies, counseling, job referrals, and other services. “The state and the city are sending clients to these charities because they are providing services that no other city or state agency provides,” Paltell said. Sean Caine, communications director for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, said the archdiocese was considering suing the city should the bill become law. Paltell noted that several other groups were taking the same path. Supporters also have organized a petition drive to amend the city charter to prohibit the City Council from passing legislation requiring any speech concerning abortion and birth control. When she introduced the bill in October, Rawlings-Blake said its purpose was to promote “truth in advertising.” She acknowledged that lobbyists for groups that support legal abortion asked her to sponsor the measure after they alleged that pro-life pregnancy centers were giving out misleading information. During a hearing, none of the 50 people who testified was an actual patient who claimed to have been misled. Councilman James B. Kraft was the only lawmaker who rose to speak on the bill prior to the Nov. 23 vote. He opposed it, he said, because it does not require women’s centers that provide abortion to indicate what pregnancy-related services they do not offer. His amendment to broaden the bill had been defeated in a 10-5 vote Nov. 16. “It should not just apply to these four centers,” Kraft said. Carol A. Clewes, executive director of the Center for Pregnancy Concerns in Baltimore, said she was not optimistic Dixon, who supports keeping abortion legal, will veto the bill. “The Center for Pregnancy Concerns doesn’t feel nearly as welcomed in the city of Baltimore as it used to,” Clewes said of the measure’s passage. She asserted that the bill “impugns our integrity.” Although pro-life centers already post signs saying they do not provide abortion or birth control, Clewes said her charity will comply with the bill if it becomes law. The Baltimore bill, which imposes a $150 daily fine on pregnancy centers that fail to post signs, is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. Elsewhere in the state, the council that governs Montgomery County, a Washington suburban area, was considering a similar measure. ■ Copyright 2009 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

The good we do lives after us— when we remember to make a will.

Only you can divide your own property as you want it divided. A bequest to your church can be a living memorial to the nobility of your life.


DECEMBER 6, 2009

A just-published document details a ‘horrendous scandal’ in the Irish church. By Cindy Wooden BY CI A N MOL L OY

DUBLIN, Ireland (CNS)—A report detailing failures of church leaders’ handling of sex-abuse cases in the Archdiocese of Dublin has resulted in calls for bishops’ resignations and further investigations and prosecution. “The Dublin Archdiocese’s preoccupations in dealing with cases of child sexual abuse, at least until the mid-1990s, were the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the church, and the preservation of its assets,” said the report by the independent Commission of Investigation, headed by Judge Yvonne Murphy. “All other considerations, including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities. The archdiocese did not implement its own canon-law rules and did its best to avoid any application of the law of the state.” The report said church officials and police colluded in covering up instances of child sexual abuse by clergy. The commission investigated the period from January 1975 to May 2004, during which time there were four Dublin archbishops: the late John Charles McQuaid, Dermot J. Ryan, and Kevin McNamara and Cardinal Desmond Connell, who retired in 2004 and is now 83. The report found said Police Commissioner Daniel Costigan was in a “totally inappropriate relationship” with Archbishop McQuaid; it said Costigan would inform Archbishop McQuaid of complaints against priests while ensuring that further police investigations were quashed.


from the

SORROW AND SHAME Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Ireland, addresses the media Nov. 26 after the release of a report detailing failures of church leaders’ handling of sex-abuse cases in the Archdiocese of Dublin. The report has resulted in calls for bishops’ resignations and further investigations and prosecution.

Fachtna Murphy, current police commissioner, said none of the officers implicated in the report are currently serving on the force. The report said that in early 1988 the archdiocese purchased insurance indemnifying it against claims for damages for arising from clerical child-abuse claims. “The taking out of insurance was an act proving knowledge of child sexual abuse as a potential major cost to the archdiocese and is inconsistent with the view that archdiocesan officials were still ‘on a learning curve’ at a much later date or were lacking in an appreciation of the phenomenon of clerical child sex abuse,” the report said. The report said then–Archbishop Connell, consecrated in March, was “slow to recognize the seriousness of the situation when he took

over in 1988. He was over-reliant on advice from other people, including his auxiliary bishops and legal and medical experts. He was clearly personally appalled by the abuse, but it took him some time to realize that it could not be dealt with by keeping it secret and protecting priests from the normal civil processes.” It said Archbishop Connell’s predecessors did not meet with complainants, and although Archbishop Connell saw “very few . . . some found him sympathetic and kind but with little understanding of the overall plight of victims. Others found him to be remote and aloof.” The report contrasted this with the “active interest” the archbishop showed in civil litigation and how he personally approved the defense strategy used in court cases. “Archdiocesan lia-

bility for injury and damage caused was never admitted. The archbishop’s strategies in the civil cases, while legally acceptable, often added to the hurt and grief of many complainants.” More than twothirds of the 325 complaints evaluated by the commission were made during the 1990s and 2000s. Cardinal Connell served as archbishop until 2004. As of Nov. 30 he had made no comment on the report. The report emphasized that the commission was established not to determine where child sexual abuse took place “but rather to record the manner in which complaints were dealt with by church and state authorities.” “It is also important in the commission’s view not to equate the number of complaints with the actual instances of child sexual abuse,” the report said. “Of those investigated by the commission, one priest admitted to sexually abusing over 100 children, while another accepted that he had abused on a fortnightly basis during the currency of his ministry, which lasted for over 25 years. The total number of documented complaints recorded against those two priests is only just over 70.” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin had warned that the report would shock Catholics. “Efforts made to ‘protect the church’ and to ‘avoid scandal’ have had the ironic result of bringing this horrendous scandal on the church today,” he said in a statement released Nov. 26, the day the report was made public. “The damage done to children abused by priests can never be Ireland continued on page 6

Vatican announces new round of Catholic–Anglican talks BY CI NDY WOODE N

VATICAN CITY (CNS)—The formal theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion will continue and will focus on the relationship between the local church and the universal church, the Vatican announced. This third phase of work by the Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission “will deal with fundamental questions regarding the church as communion local and universal and how in communion the local and universal church comes to discern right ethical teaching,” said a Vatican announcement published Nov. 28. The announcement was made one week after Pope Benedict XVI and Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, met at the Vatican. The question of the rela-

tionship of the local church to the universal church has been the subject of debate both within the Catholic Church and especially in the Anglican Communion, primarily as it relates to the authority of local bishops and the authority of local churches to make decisions on matters of church practice and on moral issues. Monsignor Mark Langham, an official at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, told Vatican Radio Nov. 26 that ARCIC III would begin with the broad question of the relationship between the local and universal church. Only then, he said, would it begin to discuss specific issues that individual Anglican provinces have dealt with separately, such as the ordination of women, blessing same-sex unions, and ordaining openly gay clergy. He said the Vatican and the Anglican Communion hope the first meeting of the new

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commission would take place before the end of 2010, but both sides still have to appoint theologians to the commission, establish working groups and set a meeting schedule. ARCIC was established after Pope Paul VI and Anglican Archbishop Michael Ramsey of Canterbury met in 1966. The first round of talks, known as ARCIC I, met from 1970 to ’82 and reached agreements on baptism, Eucharist, and ministry and developed common understanding on some issues related to authority in the church. ARCIC II met from 1983 to 2005 and reached agreements on papal authority, salvation, and the church; the church as communion; and a variety of beliefs about Mary and Marian piety. ■ Copyright 2009 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops THE E A S T TE NNE S S E E CATHOL I C

Dec. 6, 2009, East Tennessee Catholic  

Dec. 6, 2009, edition of The East Tennessee Catholic newspaper

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