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This issue

He dwells among us................ A2 Deanery news.......................... B4 Diocesan calendar................... B5 La Cosecha............ center pullout

The East Tennessee

Columns...............................B6-7 Catholic Charities report.......B8-9 Catholic schools...................B10

Oct. 6, 2013 Volume 23 Number 1 Bishop Richard F. Stika

News from The Diocese of Knoxville • Visit us at dioknox.org or etcatholic.org

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Cardinal Dolan Archbishop delivers keynote address

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Father Robert Barron Preaches love of Eucharist

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Dr. Scott Hahn Gives rousing message of Jesus’ sacrifice

5,000 faithful attend Eucharistic Congress Diocese of Knoxville marks 25th anniversary with Holy Eucharist celebration featuring Catholic theology headliners

This issue

He dwells among us ................. 2 Diocesan calendar .................. 10 Deanery news......................... 11 La Cosecha ........... center pullout

The East Tennessee

Catholic schools ..................... 1 Columns ............................ 18-2 Virtus workshops .................... 2

Oct. 6, 2013 Volume 23 Number 1

Bis Ric F. S

News from The Diocese of Knoxville • Visit us at dioknox.org or etcatholic.org Catholic Charities Sister Mary Christine Cremin’s new role

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Instilling community Father Cummins expands Sant’Egidio

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Rivalry renewed Notre Dame, Knoxville Catholic face off in football SCOTT MAENTZ

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Celebrating the Holy Eucharist Bishop Richard F. Stika leads the closing Mass at the Eucharistic Congress Sept. 14 at the Sevierville Convention Center as visiting bishops concelebrate. Standing to the side of Bishop Stika are transitional Deacons Tony Budnick (left) and Arthur Torres Barona. Concelebrating are from left Bishop Ronald Gainer of the Diocese of Lexington, Ky., Archbishop Robert Carlson of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Bishop David Choby of the Diocese of Nashville, Bishop James V. Johnston of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Mo., Bishop William Medley of the Diocese of Owensboro, Ky., Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of the Archdiocese of Louisville, Bishop Terry Steib of the Diocese of Memphis, Abbot Cletus Meagher, OSB, of St. Bernard Abbey, and Bishop Edward Rice of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Also concelebrating at the Mass were priests from across the Diocese of Knoxville.

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he Diocese of Knoxville commemorated its 25th anniversary in grand fashion Sept. 13-14 as some 5,000 faithful from throughout Tennessee and around the country gathered in prayer and song, fellowship and worship at the Sevierville Convention Center to celebrate the Holy Eucharist in the diocese’s first Eucharistic Congress.

“Wow” was the general consensus as a lineup of Catholic luminaries shared their brands of theological insight and Christ-filled inspiration to convention center halls brimming with enthusiastic followers. “My wife Karen and I attended this conference and were just blown away by the sea of love and affection for our Catholic faith in East Tennessee.

A great experience it was,” said Allen Martin, who traveled from the Sacred Heart of Jesus parish in Ione, Calif., to attend the Eucharistic Congress. Bishop Richard F. Stika opened the Eucharistic Congress with a Youth Mass on Sept. 13 and then celebrated the closing Mass on Sept. 14. The Masses were highlights of the conference, celebrating the Holy

Eucharist. Some 5,000 faithful took part in the closing Mass and received communion. In addition, some 50 priests led the sacrament of reconciliation, hearing 136 hours of confessions in 20 portable private confessionals set up for the worship event. During the Youth Mass, Bishop Stika Congress continued on page A5

Congress participants place all focus on the Holy Eucharist at Mass Bishop Stika: diocese accepts Christ’s call to build kingdom

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ishop Richard F. Stika took the opportunity at the Eucharistic Congress closing Mass on Sept. 14 to welcome all those who joined him to help the diocese celebrate its 25th anniversary and to share with thousands of the faithful his dream of building a new cathedral. Two cardinals, nine bishops, dozens of priests, 30 deacons, and 21 diocesan seminarians helped the bishop celebrate the Mass at the Sevierville Convention Center. “We welcome with Southern hospitality all those who from far and wide join us as neighbors to express gratitude to God for the event that occurred on Sept. 8, 1988, which began a new journey with the ordination of a bishop and the establishment of the Diocese of Knoxville in

East Tennessee,” Bishop Stika said. The bishop was preach ing from an ambo bor rowed from Holy Ghost Parish in Knoxville and before an altar and crucifix lent by Holy Cross Parish in Pigeon Forge. “We do have to give them back to the parishes tomorrow; otherwise, I’m Praised Be Jesus Christ Bishop Richard F. Stika presents the Holy Eucharist during the in trouble,” he said. closing Mass for the Eucharistic Congress, which was attended by more than 5,000 faithful Bishop Stika quoted a from the Diocese of Knoxville and around the country. future saint as he continued his welcome. he said. “It’s much greater than just “As we begin our celebration of our “‘Praised be Jesus Christ.’ These the Diocese of Knoxville and all 25th year, we do so with typical Tenwords, so often proclaimed by the little churches scattered about nessee hospitality, and we welcome Blessed John Paul, as he taught the the world, for it is the faith of the all our neighbors who join us this faith to those who would listen, are apostles, the faith of our fathers and day to focus on Jesus and the gift of words that we speak when we celmothers, transmitted throughout the the Eucharist.” ebrate our faith—the faith that we ages from Jerusalem until this time Bishop Stika welcomed Abbot share as members of a community,” and place as we gather together. Eucharist continued on page A18 STEPHANIE RICHER

By Dan McWilliams


He dwells among us

by Bishop Richard F. Stika

So much to be thankful for

Our Eucharistic Congress reminds us to be thankful for the past and hopeful for the future

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Follow Bishop Richard Stika on Twitter @bishopstika and his blog for news and events from the diocese.

Family portrait Cardinal Timothy Dolan pauses for a photo with a family attending the Eucharistic Congress. The cardinal’s pectoral cross is a topic of conversation between his Eminence and the family’s youngest member.

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ere is Bishop Richard F. Bishop Stika’s Stika’s schedule of events during the month of schedule of events October: for October n

Oct. 1: 7 p.m., Mass for the

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.

sional. How grateful I am to all our priests and those from St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman, Ala., who collectively heard a total of 136 hours of confessions! How I truly hope that more people will experience the healing grace of Christ in this sacrament. Just as the Eucharist gives us impulse to commit ourselves to building a more just society, so, too, it gives us impulse to renew our efforts in building up the local Church of East Tennessee. Because we are growing, this will include new churches and facilities. And I have heard from many that the time has come for a new cathedral church, which is truly a statement about how we as Catholics in our eucharistic faith, dwell in East Tennessee. But knowing that the Lord is guiding us, we look to the future with confidence as we commit ourselves to seeking God’s will. Having inaugurated our Silver Jubilee anniversary with our Eucharistic Congress, we will officially conclude our Year of Celebration on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, with an outdoor Mass at Smokies Stadium in Kodak, Tenn., and a barbeque picnic. At the stadium, located immediately off of Interstate 40 and exit 407, we will bring this Year of Celebration to a fitting conclusion by thanking our Eucharistic Lord for all his blessings. I look forward to sharing more on this in the coming months. Indeed, we have much to be thankful for. n

JIMMY DEE

just beginning. Just as the dismissal at the end of Mass is not the end of our Eucharistic celebration, but a new starting point in our mission to go out into the world and to live and share the Gospel, so, too, our Eucharistic Congress represents a new starting point for us as a diocese as we look to the future. Especially during this Year of Celebration, it is my heartfelt prayer for everyone that we continue to grow in our eucharistic faith, to grow in awareness of the mystery celebrated in each and every Mass and its relationship to our daily life. I pray that, to the degree you are able, there will be an increased desire to make visits to the Blessed Sacrament during the course of the week, for holy hours of prayer, for eucharistic adoration, and for daily Mass. Because our love for the Eucharist should lead us to a greater appreciation for the sacrament of reconciliation, I pray there will be more frequent recourse to this much neglected sacrament. Surrounded as we are by a culture that tends to eliminate the sense of sin, the love for the Eucharist should naturally cause us to want to encounter our merciful and loving Lord in the confes-

JIMMY DEE

ven three weeks after our Eucharistic Congress, I continue to be amazed by the number of people who tell me of how their lives were touched, renewed, and even transformed the weekend of Sept. 13-14. But as well organized as our Congress was, these experiences were the result of the encounter with the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, “the source and summit” of our entire life and that of the Church. How I pray that we should come away from every celebration of the Eucharist, from every Mass, so transformed and enthusiastic! We came together as a diocese to offer thanksgiving, the very meaning of the word “Eucharist,” for our many blessings. We came away with a new enthusiasm for our mission to go out and to live the Gospel and to be a eucharistic people—to be the face and hands of Christ. There is so much to be thankful for and so many to thank who helped make our Eucharistic Congress such a resounding success. I am particularly grateful for the many volunteers who were so eucharistic in the selfless offering of themselves so that others might be able to more fully experience such a wonderful celebration. I am so blessed to be the bishop of this wonderful diocese and I thank all of you who contributed so much to the success of the Jubilee anniversary. But our celebration is far from over—it is

Photo opportunity Bishop Richard F. Stika, in full vestment including his crosier, poses for a cell phone photo with a young Eucharistic Congress attendee while surrounded by many visitors to the congress. Bishop Stika, Cardinal Justin Rigali, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Father Robert Barron, and Dr. Scott Hahn were popular with photographers at the congress.

150th Jubilee for Carmel of St. Joseph in St. Louis. n Oct. 6: 11:30 a.m., Pilgrimage Mass at Immaculate Conception Church. n Oct. 6: 5 p.m., Catholic Founda-

Follow the diocese on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ knoxdiocese

tion of East Tennessee Dinner at Fox Den in Knoxville. n Oct. 8: 11 a.m., General priest meeting at St. Thomas the Apostle in Lenoir City.

Bishop continued on page A9

Visit the diocese on Facebook: on.fb.me/ dioceseofknoxville

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The East Tennessee Catholic (USPS 007211) is published bi-monthly by The Diocese of Knoxville, 805 S. Northshore Drive, Knoxville, TN 37919-7551. Periodicals-class postage paid at Knoxville, Tenn. Printed on recycled paper by the Knoxville News Sentinel. 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. Postmaster: Send address changes to The East Tennessee Catholic, 805 S. Northshore Drive, Knoxville, TN 37919-7551 Reach us by phone: 865-584-3307 • fax: 865-584-8124 • e-mail: webmaster@dioknox.org • web: dioknox.org

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan praises diocese for silver jubilee be a darn lie because no selfrespecting Irishman would let it sit around that long.” Cardinal Dolan said “there are a number of reasons I’m glad to be here with you in the Diocese of Knoxville, believe me. “First of all, it’s always good for my heart, my soul, to be with God’s people in prayer as we seek to renew our faith. That’s what you’re doing here at this Eucharistic Congress. Secondly, the youth and vitality and promise of this great Diocese of Knoxville is inspirational for me. Do you realize that?” The cardinal hails from an archdiocese that celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2008, while the Diocese of Knoxville kicked off its 25thanniversary celebration with the Eucharistic Congress. One reason the cardinal said he was “happy to be

By Dan McWilliams

SCOTT MAENTZ

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ardinal Timothy Dolan expressed gratitude at being invited to speak during the Diocese of Knoxville’s Eucharistic Congress on Sept. 14. The Archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who also is a good friend of Bishop Richard F. Stika, kept his congress audience members laughing while giving them plenty to think about in a 56-minute keynote address. “This is great and thank you and, most of all, thank God,” Cardinal Dolan said. “I appreciate the gracious invitation at this historic moment. I’ve been looking forward to this event to be with all of you here in the Diocese of Knoxville as you convene the silver jubilee of this diocese so appropriately by centering upon our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, really and truly present in the most Holy Eucharist.” The cardinal grumbled lightheartedly that he had only water to drink at the podium during his talk. “Actually late last night I was thinking very fondly of this diocese here in eastern Tennessee as I was writing my address and as I was sipping on some Jack Daniel’s single-barrel whiskey,” he said. “Jack Daniel’s singlebarrel whiskey—probably my second favorite whiskey. My favorite, as you might imagine because of my name and my background, would be Jameson Irish Whiskey— Jameson 18-year-old Irish whiskey to be precise, which my dear father said had to

DAN MCWILLIAMS

New York archbishop: Look at Eucharist from 3 angles

Happy to be here Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, delivers the Eucharistic Congress keynote address.

here is I’m in the company of a lot of good friends,” including Bishop Stika; Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Knoxville’s second bishop and the USCCB vice president; and Cardinal Justin Rigali, who was the principal consecrator for both Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Stika’s episcopal ordinations. Cardinal Dolan’s talk looked at the Eucharist from three different angles. “I want you to look at the Eucharist as the holy sacrifice, as our communal meal, Connecting Cardinal Dolan said there and as the real is an intimate connection between the presence,” he said. Mass and Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross “Sacrifice, meal, and

presence—the three angles of this diamond, this work of art, this gift and mystery that we call the most Holy Eucharist.” On his first point, the cardinal quoted St. Paul: “Every time that you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord.” “You see what St. Paul is getting at, everybody? There is an intimate connection between the Mass and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross on the hill called Calvary on that Friday strangely called good. That’s why we call the Mass the holy sacrifice of the Mass. In our ancient Catholic belief, the Mass is the renewal of that supreme definitive sacrifice of Jesus on the cross on Calvary that first Good Friday.” Sometimes “we Catholics are prodded by more fundamentalist and evangelical

Christians. You got any here in Tennessee?” Cardinal Dolan said. “Very often, they will say, ‘Aha! Does that mean that you Catholics do not believe that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was not the definitive, once and for all, saving act of redemption?’ And we answer, that doesn’t mean that at all. “That means that we as Catholics believe, rooted in the Bible and the 2,000-year reflection of the people of the strength of the Church, that the death of Jesus on the cross is so definitive, so dramatic that it is infinite, it is eternal, because the one who offered that sacrifice is not only true man, but true God, so his sacrifice takes upon itself infinite and eternal value.” That sacrifice on the cross “is still going on because it

Dolan continued on page A14

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e join you in thanking God on the 25th anniversary of the Diocese of Knoxville. With best wishes for a grace-filled Eucharistic Congress,

† Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr. † Bishop Emeritus John J. Leibrecht Faithful of the Diocese of SpringfieldCape Girardeau, in Missouri. and the

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Father Robert Barron preaches love of the Holy Eucharist Original sin an interruption of God’s divine meal

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hen Father Robert Barron speaks, people listen, and that certainly was true Sept. 14, when the world-renowned theologian compared the holy sacrifice of the Mass to the Garden of Eden, the Last Supper, and the mountain where Jesus feeds the 5,000. The comparison to feeding 5,000 was especially appropriate given that Father Barron’s presentation during the Diocese of Knoxville’s Eucharistic Congress was shortly before the closing Mass, where 5,000 congress attendees would gather to receive the holy Eucharist. Father Barron was afraid Dr. Scott Hahn “stole his thunder” during the congress. Father Barron, founder and executive director of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and rector/president of the University of St. Mary of the Lake/ Mundelein Seminary, and Dr. Hahn both had similar themes in their talks on the Eucharist on Sept. 14 at the Sevierville Events Center. “What is the one thing that unites the saints as different as they are from Augustine to Thomas Aquinas to the Little Flower to Francis of Assisi to Edith Stein? Their love of the Holy Eucharist,” Father Barron said. “It’s the sign, it seems to me, that somebody is connected to the body of Christ. So it’s always a privilege, always a joy to talk about the Eucharist.” The eagerness of people to receive the Eucharist became apparent when Father Barron once had the opportunity to distribute Communion in St.

Peter’s Square, he said. “As you’re distributing, people are just rushing up to you in sort of the Italian way, but they rushed up and stretched their hands out and they’d say, ‘Padre, per favore.’ ‘Please, Father!’ And I would distribute, then the hands would continue to stretch out—the young hands, the old hands, the hands of different colors—and ‘Father, per favore!’ “And what struck me was that was the right attitude toward the Eucharist. It is something that we should be begging for from the bottom of our Power of God Father Robert Barron delivers a rousing talk to thousands of followers souls, because without who attended the Diocese of Knoxville’s Eucharistic Congress to hear him. the Eucharist, we starve to death spiritually.” that day. are beaten into plowshares and Father Barron said he wonders The original sin in the Garden of spears into pruning hooks,” Father whether Catholics hear “The body Eden was “an interruption” of God’s Barron said. of Christ, amen” with a ho-hum divine meal, Father Barron said. “That’s the mountain where there attitude. “An interruption of the flow of the will be no more warfare. That’s the “Think of St. Peter’s Square: ‘Padre, divine life leading to us and through mountain where the lion and the per favore!’ Like someone physically us to the rest of the world. Do you see lamb lie down together, right? But starving—that’s the right attitude to how in the Biblical reading, our trouwhat else happens on that mounthe Eucharist. That’s the right behavble began with a bad meal? The origitain? On this mountain, the Lord of ior concomitant to the claim that the nal sin was a kind of bad meal. ‘I will hosts will make all peoples a feast, a Eucharist is the source and summit of take, I will have, I will make it mine. feast of rich food, of well-aged wines Christian life.” I determine right from wrong. I will strained clear. God lays out for his Father Barron talked about the eat of this tree on my own terms.’ No, people on his holy mountain a meal, Eucharist “under these three great no. That’s where the garden is coma sacred banquet. It’s meant to rerubrics, and they’re familiar to us, I promised. Therefore, we shouldn’t be cover and recapitulate Eden.” think: namely a meal, sacrifice, and surprised that throughout the Bible, Jesus, “the person who speaks and real presence. Again, I’m touching on what’s God trying to do? He’s trying acts in the very person of God, is the some things that Dr. Hahn does as to re-establish his sacred meal.” God who was offended by the original well.” Father Barron’s address also Isaiah prophesied and saw “the sin,” Father Barron said. prefigured the themes of Cardinal great sacred mountain, that’s the sa “He is the God who set out the saTimothy Dolan’s keynote talk later cred mountain on which the swords Barron continued on page A19

STEPHANIE RICHER

By Dan McWilliams

THE E A S T T E N N E S S E E C A T H OLIC

PAM RHOADES

Congress continued from page A1

emphasized that the diocese’s teens are not the church of the future, but rather they are the church of today. In addition to Bishop Stika, diocesan youth attending the Congress heard from lauded theologian Dr. Scott Hahn, noted prayer and worship leaders ValLimar Jansen and Paul George as well as performers Sarah Kroger and Josh Blakesley, who also led adoration. Hispanic guests at the Congress heard from Father Rafael Capo´ and Sister Rosa Hernandez, MGSps, and a concert by Johann Alvarez, who also led adoration. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, gave the keynote address and praised the Diocese of Knoxville for its spirit of growth, saying it is a shining example of the Catholic Church growing dramatically in areas that historically have been dominated by other faiths. “The youth, vitality and promise of this diocese is inspirational for me,” Cardinal Dolan said. “Here in the South you have a remarkable sense of pride and cohesion, and a sense of what it means to be Catholic.” Cardinal Dolan was constantly surrounded by well-wishers as he made his way through the Sevierville Convention Center, often stopping to chat and pose for photos. His celebrity-like status prompted Bishop Stika, a longtime friend of the cardinal from their time serving the Church together in St. Louis, to joke that it was as if paparazzi had descended on the Eucharistic Congress. Bishop Stika and Cardinal Justin Rigali, who is in residence in the Diocese of Knoxville, also were constantly greeted by Eucharistic Congress attendees as they made their way through the Convention Center halls. Bishop Stika interacted with adults and youth, posing for photos and asking nearly everyone he met where they were from. He also was seen placing his zucchetto, a small round head cover as part of his official dress, on the head of an admiring child as the boy’s parents and siblings relished the moment. It also was an opportunity for Cardinal Dolan to share time with Cardinal Rigali. Cardinal Rigali was instrumental in the rise of Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Stika within the Church. Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Stika received their episcopal consecration from Cardinal Rigali, who once was the archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Cardinals Rigali and Dolan also participated in the papal con-

The Body of Christ Monsignor Al Humbrecht of Holy Spirit Church in Soddy-Daisy distributes Communion at Mass during the Eucharistic Congress. clave last spring that led to the selection of Pope Francis as the successor to Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Dolan drew laughs from the several thousand attendees at his keynote address as he told stories and joked with the group. Father Robert Barron and Dr. Scott Hahn, both of whom attract large audiences at public appearances, delivered inspirational talks to thousands of Eucharistic Congress guests. During his uplifting talks to adults and youth attending the congress, Dr. Hahn told the faithful that partaking in the Eucharist at Mass is the closest thing we have to Heaven. He said the Last Supper and Calvary are infused, adding that if they are not then the Last Supper is just a meal and Calvary is just an execution. “Jesus is not a victim of the Romans, but he is a victim of divine love,” Dr. Hahn said. He said when translating the Gospel of John into other languages, there is no figurative language for “Eat my flesh and drink my blood” because Jesus meant for them to be taken literally. Dr. Hahn, a former Presbyterian who converted to Catholicism, also said that when he used to do Bible studies with Presbyterians as a teen, Presbyterians would say “Jesus paid a debt that he didn’t owe because we owed a debt that we couldn’t pay,” which had an impact on the theologian and author, whose books include Rome Sweet Home and The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth, because Dr. Hahn described himself as a troublemaker as a teen and he knew what debt he owed. A highlight of the Eucharistic Congress was a chat on the first night with Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Stika, which attracted more than 1,600 people.

During the 90-minute dialogue, Bishop Stika asked Cardinal Rigali about his experiences as a cardinal, as a Vatican emissary and adviser to several popes, as an archbishop, a member of the College of Cardinals and participant in two papal conclaves, as well as their long friendship and time working together. Bishop Stika delivered the homilies at

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the opening Youth Mass and the closing Mass. During the Youth Mass, Bishop Stika told the students that while they are called the Church of the future, they actually are the Church of today. In the closing Mass, he told the more than 5,000 faithful in attendance that the Diocese of Knoxville occupies a special place, but it is part of a larger faith community of the Catholic Church around the world. Bishop Stika, quoting Blessed John Paul II, said praised be Jesus Christ, who taught the faith to those who would listen, and proclaimed those words we speak as we celebrate our faith—”the faith that we share as members of a community,” Bishop Stika said. “It’s much greater than just the Diocese of Knoxville and all the little churches scattered about the world, for it is the faith of the apostles, the faith of our fathers and mothers, transmitted throughout the ages from Jerusalem until this time and place as we gather together. But as a local church, as the Diocese of Knoxville at this particular time and place, we give thanks for our faith as it is lived in a particular way in East Tennessee … as we begin the celebration of our 25th year,” he added. n

The Most Reverend William F. Medley and the Church of the Diocese of Owensboro Extend Heartfelt Congratulations And Prayers of Support to The Most Reverend Richard F. Stika and the People of God of the Diocese of Knoxville On the 25th Diocesan Jubilee “To you all, then, who are God’s beloved … called to be saints, may God our Father and the Lord Jesus send grace and peace.” Romans 1:7

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Congratulations to the Diocese of Knoxville as You Celebrate Your 25th Anniversary Archbishop of St. Louis

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Scott Hahn: Jesus says what he means, means what he says When confronted by life’s crossroads, renowned theologian’s message for us is remember to ‘Turn down Pride and you’ll find Mercy’ By Stephanie Richer

STEPHANIE RICHER

encountered the risen Jesus but only recognized him in the breaking of bread, as told in the Gospel of Luke—then maybe Dr. Scott Hahn provided the crossroads during his presentation Sept. 14 at the Eucharistic Congress. Dr. Hahn spoke to several thousand people who were packed into the Sevierville Convention Center to hear the noted theologian and author. Recalling when he visited a friend in a Pittsburgh hospital who had cancer, Dr. Hahn realized that while he knew where the Presbyterian hospital was located, he didn’t know where the Catholic medical center, Mercy Hospital, was located. When he asked a stranger how to find the hospital, the man replied, “turn down Pride and you’ll find Mercy.” That anecdote set the theme for Dr. Hahn’s presentations on how he had to struggle with the his own pride as an ordained Presbyterian minister when his work studying the early Church fathers brought him to the realization that the holy Eucharist was truly the body and blood of Christ on his personal road to Emmaus in becoming a Catholic. “There’s gold in them thar hills,” Dr. Hahn said, referring to the writings of the fathers such as St. Igna-

It’s about the Eucharist Dr. Scott Hahn tells his audience that Jesus continues to offer himself perpetually as a sacrifice through the Eucharist. ‘For years we’ve been studying the menu while the Catholics got to enjoy the meal.’ — Scott Hahn, quoting wife Kimberly Hahn as they discussed their possible conversion to Catholicism STEPHANIE RICHER

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f you are trying to find the road to Emmaus— where two disciples

The real thing ’He said he was the true manna, the new manna’ — Dr. Hahn referring to Jesus Christ. tius of Antioch. Dr. Hahn spoke of his early career as a minister. After receiving his ordination, he was hired by a congregation who expected him to preach and do Biblical research. The problem, said Dr. Hahn, came one Saturday

night when he began to read Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John, since he had been leading his congregation through that Gospel. After reading the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 people with loaves and fishes, Dr. Hahn related the confusion he felt when he

encountered Jesus’ words proclaiming himself to be the bread of life that all must eat. “He said he was the true manna, the new manna,” Dr. Hahn said. “And when he heard the Jews murmuring, he said, ‘Truly, truly I say to you ... I was only speaking figuratively.’” Dr. Hahn laughed along with the audience. “That’s what I expected him to say.” Dr. Hahn recalled his confusion, “I said to myself, ‘That must be a bad translation.” He checked a Greek version of the

Gospel only to find that the verb used four times by Jesus—trago—could not have a figurative meaning as it meant, literally, “to gnaw, to munch, to masticate.” Dr. Hahn recounted how it was around 9 p.m. when he was preparing his sermon, so he thought he would consult the writings of the early Church Fathers, “which proved to be a big mistake,” he said. “Because by midnight, it was obvious that there was something of an interpretative consensus among the Fathers that Jesus said what he meant, and meant what he said, that he was talking about the Eucharist. The Eucharist! Come on, Fathers, you’re starting to sound like…Catholics!” “St. Augustine really opened my eyes,” Dr. Hahn said, setting this Gospel against the background of Passover. “Passover was the key—it wasn’t enough to slaughter the lamb and sprinkle the blood, you had to eat the lamb—not was not an option.” “Back in the Old Testament, if you were there in Egypt for the first Passover, eating the lamb was the climax…if you slaughtered the lamb and sprinkled the blood, and then you took a vote and it was unanimous that none of you liked lamb, the whole family decided to abstain, we’ll make some unleavened bread into the shape of a lamb, we’ll eat that in memory of Moses instead,

Hahn continued on page A20

Our congratulations to the

Diocese of Knoxville

on their 25th Anniversary Jubilee!

And we pray for God’s blessing on the Eucharistic Congress. - Bishop J. Terry Steib, SVD

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Youth Mass attracts students from across Diocese of Knoxville By Will Brewer

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s hundreds of youth from around the Diocese of Knoxville joined together in worship and praise at the Eucharistic Congress Sept. 13, Bishop Richard F. Stika posed an interesting question to them. “How do you build a church?” he asked during the Youth Mass, which opened the diocese’s Eucharistic Congress to celebrate the 25th Jubilee. Bishop Stika emphasized that the diocese’s youth are not the church of the future, they are the church of today. The growing population of young people was on display at the Eucharistic Congress, a trend readily apparent to anyone who walked into the ballrooms full of students from across the diocese. Whether it was the inspirational music coming from the Knoxville Catholic High School choir, enthusiastic teens from Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, or the initiation of this year’s Diocesan Youth Ministry Advisory Council, which consists of high school students from around the diocese, it appeared obvious that the “Church of today” is very much alive. Answering his question of how you build a church, Bishop Stika said, “Follow the Church legends of East Tennessee…and build it around the Eucharist.” “See what God has in store for you tonight and

this weekend,” he advised the students. At the beginning of his homily, Bishop Stika looked around at the large student turnout and the impressively appointed altar and remarked, “I didn’t know we had a cathedral in Sevierville.” Bishop Stika also advised the youth congregation to “welcome everybody this weekend with Southern hospitality.” And he also encouraged them to let their voices be heard. “Don’t just sing, but sing with a purpose to reach out to God so that He will reach out to us,” Bishop Stika said. Bishop Stika referred to legendary priests who started the Catholic Church in East Tennessee, exhibiting the evangelization spirit we are called on to continue. “Many of the missions they started are large churches in the diocese today. This is much like the disciples did in Acts of the Apostles,” he said. He also said, “‘where two or more are gathered in My name’...and there are a lot more than two here to pray before the Eucharist.” Grant McKeown, a freshman at Knoxville Catholic High School, said Bishop Stika’s message about being the Church of today inspired him to evangelize and to start doing good for the Church now rather than wait until later in life. “It could inspire a lot of people to go out and evangelize and reach out to people when they wouldn’t

STEPHANIE RICHER

Bishop Stika to teens: You are the Church of today

Newly initiated Bishop Richard F. Stika participates in the initiation of this year’s Diocesan Youth Ministry Advisory Council during the Youth Mass he celebrated on Sept. 13. ‘I was moved by seeing all the young people kneeling in front of the monstrance and singing in praise. I could see them believe in His real presence right there in the moment.’ — Patrick Nkurunziza of Blessed John XXIII Parish on the University of Tennessee campus otherwise do so,” Grant said. Claire Hendee, who ministers to the Exalt high school youth group at Sacred Heart Cathedral, said she hoped the Mass was a sign to the diocese’s youth that “their faith is not something that they ever graduate from or have to wait to start.” Rather, as Hendee pointed out, there are several things that students can do now in order to grow in and deepen their faith. After Mass, the diocesan youth took part in a concert featuring popular Christian artists Josh Blakesley and Sarah Kroger. As the lights flashed and the music played, hun-

dreds of students gathered in front of the stage waving their arms, singing together in fellowship and harmony. In the middle of the concert, renowned speaker Paul George led students in a devotional talk to prepare them for adoration. “Do not tune in to the voice that tells you everyday ‘not you...you’re not good enough,’” Mr. George said. Instead, he told students to “tune into the voice that always tells you ‘I love you’ and find God this weekend so that you can live life to the fullest.” After Mr. George finished speaking, students knelt and bowed down in

adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. “I was moved by seeing all the young people kneeling in front of the monstrance and singing in praise,” said Patrick Nkurunziza, a college junior from Blessed John XXIII Parish on the University of Tennessee campus. “I could see them believe in His real presence right there in the moment.” Grant McKeown believes there is more to do to answer Bishop Stika’s question about how to build a church. “Even when you talk to students who go to Mass regularly, they can’t tell you what they just experienced or even what the homily was about,” he said. “It would be great to get teenagers excited about their faith and their Church again.”n

Diocese of Knoxville Bishop Stika & the Catholics of the

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Scott Hahn (Solo) is a force for good, reaches Congress youth with inspired message Diocesan DYMAC team adds ‘Star Wars’ theme to presentation

the Romans. He was a victim of divine love.” r. Scott Hahn may travel Dr. Hahn later talked about across the world giving how he was shocked that the his widely followed talks, Mass was a line-by-line reitera but you can bet he has never had tion of the Book of Revelation. an introduction like the one he He said the Mass is the closest received at the Eucharistic Conthing we have to Heaven here on gress from Diocese of Knoxville Earth. youth. He began his talk by offering Dr. Hahn, whose backstory an amusing anecdote about a is highlighted time he got lost ‘I liked how he connected the by the fact he looking for Mercy Church fathers and the Eucharist formerly was Hospital. The to his conversion because that is a Presbyterian solution was to why my father converted, too.’ minister before “turn down Pride — Rachel Davis of the Diocesan converting to and you’ll find Youth Ministry Advisory Council Catholicism, Mercy.” was introduced by two members “Sure enough, I turned down of the Diocesan Youth Ministry Pride Avenue and I found Mercy Advisory Council before more Hospital,” Dr. Hahn said, drawthan 1,000 students and youth ing laughs from the students as directors. he explained that the directions DYMAC members Kathleen could be used just as well in our Merriman and Monica Raymond own moral lives. presented Dr. Hahn in a Star As Dr. Hahn began to discover Wars-themed introduction. that Catholicism was indeed the “Hahn used to be a Presbytetruth, he recalled that he found rian but he finally realized that himself asking the same question they were not the droids he was the disciples asked themselves looking for,” the students said on the road to Emmaus, “was On guard Dr. Scott Hahn and Diocese of Knoxville youth leader Kathleen before introducing him as Dr. not my heart burning within Merriman of St. Mary Church in Johnson City embrace the Star Wars theme Scott Hahn-Solo. me while He opened to me the as the introduction to Dr. Hahn’s special address to youth attending the Eu Dr. Hahn, who was clearly Scripture?” charistic Congress. The teens portrayed Dr. Hahn as Dr. Scott Hahn-Solo, amused, played along by re “But He was revealed to me who played along, saying “help me Jesus Christ, you’re my only hope.” sponding, “help me Jesus Christ, in the breaking of the bread,” he you’re my only hope.” responded, referencing his daily The students said afterward journeys to Mass. that they were amazed at how Students attendnice Dr. Hahn was backstage and ing Dr. Hahn’s talk that such a famous speaker could were intrigued by be so humble. his analysis of the All jokes aside, Dr. Hahn gave Eucharist. a rousing lecture to a ballroom Logan Parsons, full of youth about how impora sophomore who tant the Eucharist is to Cathoattends Knoxville lics. In fact, it was his scriptural Catholic High research of the Eucharist that School, said he was proved to him that Catholicism fascinated by had the only answer to forgiveHahn’s explanations ness and redemption. of Scripture and “The more research I did, the how those translamore everything kept coming tions change to and up Catholic,” Dr. Hahn said, from English. continuing to explain that the “I thought it was Church’s comparison of Old interesting how difTestament and New Testament ferent interpretareadings at every Mass was briltions of the Bible are liant because it was exactly how so different from the May God’s force be with you Dr. Scott Hahn is amused by his introduction before his the early Church fathers such as Scripture that we St. Augustine and St. Ambrose know,” Logan Par- youth presentation Sept. 13. Giving the intro are Kathleen Merriman, left, and Monica Raymond of St. Albert the Great Church in Knoxville. intended Scripture to be read. sons said. Dr. Hahn went on to talk about Kathleen Merrithe significance of the Holy Euman was in agreement with LoMAC member Rachel Davis said The students attending Dr. charist and its origins at the Last gan’s assessment. his story reminded her of her faHahn’s lecture said they were Supper. “The old is revealed in the new ther ’s conversion. intrigued by what they learned “The Last Supper and Calvary and the new is enlightened by “I liked how he connected the about the Eucharist, especially are infused. If they’re not, the the old,” she said, repeating one Church fathers and the Eucharist since the Eucharist was the focal Last Supper is just a meal and of Dr. Hahn’s key phrases. to his conversion because that is point of the Eucharistic Congress Calvary is just an execution,” he Feeling a closer connection to why my father converted, too,” and the reason they were in atsaid. “Jesus was not a victim of Dr. Hahn and his remarks, DYshe said. tendance. n By Will Brewer

STEPHANIE RICHER

STEPHANIE RICHER

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Bishop continued from page A2

Oct. 11: Catholic Public Policy board meeting in Nashville. n Oct. 12: 5 p.m., Diaconal Rite of Candidacy Mass at All Saints Church in Knoxville. n Oct. 13-15: Visit to Sts. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Michigan. n Oct. 16: 11:45 a.m., Meeting with the Conquest Middle School Youth Group. n Oct. 16: 6 p.m., Catholic Foundation of East Tennessee dinner at the home of Deacon Frank Fischer. n Oct 18: 7 a.m., Red Mass at Immaculate n

Conception Church in Knoxville. n Oct. 20: 10 a.m., confirmation at St. Mary Church in Athens. n Oct. 21-24: Priest retreat at Lake Junaluska, N.C. n Oct. 25: 6 p.m., Mass in celebration of Bishop Shaheen at St. Raymond Cathedral in St. Louis. n Oct. 26: 2:30 p.m., Holy Sepulchre Mass and Investiture at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, D.C. n Oct. 30: 6:30 p.m., Mass and dinner with students at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. n

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Bishop Stika, Cardinal Rigali entertain in ‘Evening Chat’

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atch out Cardinal Dolan and Stephen Colbert, there’s a new Catholic stand-up team and they just might take their brand of catechetical comedy on the road.

Bishop Richard F. Stika and Cardinal Justin Rigali held an “Evening Chat” Sept. 13 attended by more than 1,600 people on the first evening of the Eucharistic Congress. Not quite knowing what to expect, many in the audience were anticipating a deep discussion on the Church and the role of the Gospel in the daily lives of the faithful. While there certainly was that, Bishop Stika and Cardinal Rigali also applied a lighter approach to the evening chat that drew frequent laughs and made it apparent that the bishop and cardinal play well off each other and enjoy each other’s company. Positioned behind lecterns on opposite ends of a stage in a point, counterpoint style, the pair—facing each other—rivaled Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Stephen Colbert, who is host of TV’s popular Emmy Awardwinning The Colbert Report and also a comedian and political satirist. They have developed somewhat of a comedic chemistry when Cardinal Dolan appears in public with Colbert or on The Colbert Report. The Evening Chat began when Bishop Stika asked Cardinal Rigali about his experiences as a priest, including serving as papal nuncio to the island nation of Madagascar that involved ministering to lepers. The cardinal refers to his time there as “The Madagascar Experience.” Cardinal Rigali joked that he was simply “minding my own business” in Los Angeles when he was tapped to go to the Vatican early in his vocation, then he was simply “minding my own business” in Rome when he was assigned to Madagascar, then was “minding my own business” in Madagascar when he was transferred back to Rome to work closely within the papacy. The cardinal related a story from when he was

a priest and given an assignment from Rome. His mother asked, “What does this mean?” And the cardinal replied, “It means they can send me anywhere in the world. For example, I could be assigned to Madagascar.” His next assignment was Madagascar, which drew an immediate audience response of surprise. Cardinal Rigali described his relationship with Pope Paul VI, who took a special interest in the cardinal’s brother, who was dying of cancer at age 50. Cardinal Rigali said the pope took him aside as the cardinal was preparing to return home to Los Angeles to be near his ill brother and asked “how is Paul?” “How is his wife holding up?” How are his children?” “What can I do?” “I was amazed. I thought to myself, ‘how can he possibly worry about Paul,” Cardinal Rigali asked, adding that the pope then offered a Mass for the cardinal’s brother when he died. The cardinal paused to figure the death date (1977) and looked to Bishop Stika for assistance. Bishop Stika then matterof-factly offered, “I liked history, not math.” The comment prompted laughs. Cardinal Rigali’s stories were steeped in history and drama, gripping the audience, as he described life in the priesthood on the front row of papal history. He recalled with vivid detail working alongside Pope John Paul I, who served as pope for 33 days before his sudden death in 1978. Cardinal Rigali told of being with Pope John Paul I during his last audience, 10 hours before the pope died. “The pope looked fine. There was no indication he would be dead in 10 hours,” Cardinal Rigali said, remembering that the pope visited with him briefly as the cardinal was finishing some work, just before the pope was retiring for the evening. “The last thing he said to me was ‘I have disturbed you. Thank you disturbed Monsignor.’ I said it is an honor to be with you, Holy Father.’” That story prompted an immediate response from Bishop Stika, who wryly smiled and deadpanned, “Popes are infallible, you

Making his point Cardinal Justin Rigali and Bishop Richard F. Stika present their “Evening Chat” on Sept. 13 at the Eucharistic Congress, which drew a standing ovation from the audience.

BILL BREWER

By Bill Brewer

SCOTT MAENTZ

Amusing dialogue gives insight into Church, papacy

Thanks for the memories Cardinal Justin Rigali receives a warm reception from audience members.

know.” Laughter again enveloped the Sevierville Convention Center ballroom. “I think we should take this on the road,” Bishop Stika joked. Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Stika have known and worked with each other for decades, with the bishop serving as vicar general and chancellor of the Archdiocese of St. Louis when Cardinal Rigali was St. Louis’ archbishop in the 1990s. In addition to Popes Paul VI and John Paul I, Cardinal Rigali worked closely with Pope John Paul II. In a more serious tone, the bishop then informed the audience that Cardinal Rigali was in John Paul II’s entourage when the pope was shot by Mehmet Ali Ağca in a 1981 assassination attempt in St. Peter’s Square. “The doctors don’t understand how it was possible for the bullets to enter his body in such a complex area and did not explode,” Cardinal

Rigali said. And in a dramatic demonstration of forgiveness and love, the pope later visited his shooter in prison and forgave Ağca, then befriended his family. “He had already offered pardon to this brother of his. Ali Ağca had only one question for the pope. He only wanted to know ‘why didn’t you die? Why didn’t you die?’ He thought he had committed the perfect crime,” Cardinal Rigali said. Bishop Stika proudly noted that Cardinal Rigali has served in two papal conclaves—the first selected Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005 and the second selected Pope Francis in March. “I have two questions,” Bishop Stika said to the cardinal with a hint of mischief. “First, who did you vote for,” the bishop asked, again eliciting laughs from audience members who knew that cardinals are bound to never discuss what occurs

The Secretariat and the Cursillistas of

behind closed doors during a conclave. “Even today I sneak into his room when he’s going to sleep and whisper ‘whoooo did you vote forrrrr…’ He responds ‘go awayyyyyy…’” “My second question is what was it like,” the bishop asked. “It was overwhelming. We were anything but alone. We knew the Holy Spirit was with us,” Cardinal Rigali said, adding that Pope Benedict was elected April 19, 2005, and the cardinal’s birthday also is April 19. “Once elected, the cardinals vowed obedience to Pope Benedict as we knelt in front of the Last Judgment painting. When I stood, he said, ‘Happy Birthday.’” As the evening chat drew to a close, Bishop Stika informed the audience that Cardinal Rigali was with Pope Francis for 14 of the pope’s first 16 meals following his papal election March 13. In those first days, Cardinal Rigali relayed Bishop Stika’s request to the pope for a blessing for the Diocese of Knoxville. In one of his first acts as pope, he presented Cardinal Rigali a written blessing for the diocese and signed it simply “Francis,” which is most unusual for a signed papal document. “Do you know what it’s worth on eBay,” Bishop Stika mused, again to the delight of the audience. Both Bishop Stika and Cardinal Rigali were greeted by well-wishers after their talk and given thumbs-up for their effort. It remains to be seen whether their show will indeed go on the road. n

Knoxville Cursillo Community congratulate the Diocese of Knoxville on its 25th anniversary May it continue to be a shining example of apostolic zeal and evangelization. A10

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ValLimar Jansen’s spiritual workout connects with youth By Margaret Hunt

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AN ENGAGING MESSAGE Nationally acclaimed

singer and speaker ValLimar Jansen delivers a powerful message to youth attending her session during the Eucharistic Congress on Sept. 14.

SCOTT MAENTZ

f you were expecting to sit back and be entertained at the workshop led by ValLimar Jansen at the Eucharistic Congress on Sept. 14, she would quickly remind you of the responsibility of every Catholic to actively participate at Mass and invite you to take your place in the “primary choir.” Speaking to an energetic and enthusiastic audience of around 400 youth, Mrs. Jansen, a cantor, recording artist, and university professor, not only performed but also catechized everyone in the room regarding the importance of taking an active part with the Catholic community at Mass through singing, praying, and giving praise to God. The spiritual workout even came with a cooldown at the end of her presentation. Mrs. Jansen said that too often people arrive at Mass distracted and are content to go through the motions forgetting that we all need to be fully present in mind, body, and spirit, enabling the faithful to “commune and unite” with Christ through his presence in the Eucharist in order to be transformed and be his presence in the world. She said “our faith requires us to take a journey” and that “every day we take baby steps of faith,” because our job on earth is to get ready for heaven and to help our brothers and sisters on their journeys as well. With that in mind, Mrs. Jansen engaged her

audience in song and reminded the group that when we gather for Mass we “share our stories and the stories of our forefathers and foremothers, the saints, martyrs, and our personal faith” and that Jesus is with us through the Scriptures, the Eucharist, and also within the Catholic community. She also encouraged the attendees to be mindful of their posture at Mass and to recognize the light of Christ in one another. The presentation concluded with two onewoman skits. Mrs. Jansen first channeled Mary, the wife of Cleopas who was one of the women who went to prepare the body of Jesus after his crucifixion and burial. She humorously portrayed Mary’s consternation with her husband’s disbelief of her report that Jesus was no longer in the tomb and that a “gardener” had chastised her for looking for Christ there since he had already risen from the dead. She then movingly captured Mary’s wonder and joy when her husband later told her about his own experience on the road to Emmaus when he and the disciples recognized their Lord “in the breaking of the bread.” The second skit focused on the encounter between the Samaritan woman at the well and Jesus. Mrs. Jansen portrayed her as worldly and marginalized—a woman who had to get water from the well when no one else was around because she was considered an outcast.

PAM RHOADES

Energetic and enthusiastic audience responds to acclaimed singer’s message about taking active interest in the Mass

A SPIRITUAL WORKOUT Teens attending the Eucharistic Congress on Sept. 14 at the Sevierville Con-

vention Center take part in singer and speaker ValLimar Jansen’s presentation.

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She captured the woman’s disbelief and initial distrust of Christ when he asked her for a drink of water, then her irrepressible joy after realizing that the “living water” he offered was for the salvation of all because he was the promised Messiah. Mrs. Jansen’s enthusiasm for her subject impressed several of the workshop’s participants. Kris DeGeere and her daughter, Morgan, a Notre Dame High School student, were impressed by “her charisma” and that she could “teach the parts of the Mass and then weave them together with song.” “You felt like you were meeting Jesus for the first time like the woman at the well,” Mrs. De Geere said. Abbey Markus, a high school student who attends Holy Spirit Church in Soddy-Daisy, was most impressed with “how strong she was in her faith—that impressed me.” Hunter Gruter, another Notre Dame High School student attending the Eucharistic Congress, felt “uplifted” and enjoyed Mrs. Jansen’s “physical” approach of spreading her love of the faith. It appears that Mrs. Jansen’s message was wellreceived and that it successfully nourished the faith of the attendees. n

THE EAST TENNESSEE CATHOLIC


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is infinite, it is eternal, and at every single holy sacrifice of the Mass, we are sucked up into it, we are absorbed into that infinite, eternal act of sacrifice by God the Son to God the Father.” When he was a priest in St. Louis, then–Father Dolan met the father of a dying girl named Yvonne. As the priest was leaving the girl’s family at the hospital to celebrate a 6:30 a.m. Mass, the father spoke to him. “He said to me, ‘You know, Father Tim, when you say Mass, when you raise up the paten at the offertory, would you put Yvonne on it?’ That father knew what it meant when we talk about the sacrifice of the Mass.” While Catholics’ participation in Mass is important, “the Mass is not our doing at all, is it?” Cardinal Dolan said. “The Mass is the action, the saving action, the sacrificial action, of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He never has a bad day. He never does something that doesn’t work. ... “John Vianney, the Curé of Ars, the patron saint of priests, said, ‘All the good works in the world are not equal to one holy sacrifice of the Mass, because they are the work of human beings while the Mass is the work of God. Even martyrdom,’ John Vianney says, ‘shrinks for it is the sacrifice of a person to God while Mass is the sacrifice of God for man.’” The cardinal’s second point is “my favorite, the Mass as a meal.” Cardinal Dolan was speaking at the congress on the day of Yom Kippur. He said he asked a rabbi in New York to explain the Jewish feasts to him. “He said, ‘I’ll try my best, but this is the best way to remember. Every Jewish holy day, every Jewish feast, boils down to this: they tried to kill us, God saved us, let’s eat. . . .’ “I don’t want to be irreverent here, folks, but in a way, that’s what Jesus is saying at every Mass. ‘They tried to kill me; God, my father, saved me; let’s eat.’ Because the Holy Eucharist is part a communal, or spiritual or supernatural family meal.” Jesus’ post-resurrection apparitions “more often than not took place in the context of a meal,” the cardinal said. That reminded him of his first choice of a motto when he was named auxiliary bishop of St. Louis. Then–Archbishop Rigali told him he needed to choose one, and the future cardinal said he had a favorite quote of Christ. “I said I think of the verse in the Gospels where Jesus, after Easter, appeared to his disciples on the Sea of Galilee, and he said to them, ‘Does anybody have anything to eat?’ [Archbishop Rigali] didn’t go along with that! “The point is true, right? When our Lord showed up after Easter, more often than not, he shared a meal with his apostles, and that’s what he does with us at every single Mass. He feeds us, he breaks bread with us, he shares a meal with us—his supernatural family—and everybody, that’s

why we crave Holy Communion. That’s why we love to receive the Eucharist. That’s why the highlight of the week for a faithful Catholic is that sacred Sunday meal when we are fed by Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.” Pope St. Pius X “said it well: ‘This side of heaven, there is no way to be closer to Jesus than to worthily receive him in Holy Communion,’” the cardinal quoted. “We’re hungry for the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharist is our spiritual food—it satisfies the deepest hunger of the human heart, and this sacred meal of the Mass is the place where he feeds us.” A New York cabbie knew that St. Patrick’s Cathedral is just such a place, the cardinal said. The cabbie was asked to take a Methodist Church benefactor to Christ Church but drove him instead to St. Patrick’s. “The gentleman said to the cabbie, ‘This isn’t Christ Church,’ and the cabbie, as only a New York cabbie could, turned around and said, ‘Look, buster, I don’t know anything about religion. All I know is that here in New York, this is where he lives,’” Cardinal Dolan said. “I use that a lot on appeals! ‘This is where he lives,’ see? This is where he feeds us the communal meal we call the holy sacrifice of the Mass.” On the Mass as the real presence, Cardinal Dolan told the story of Thomas Merton’s conversion. Merton, then a teacher at Columbia University, would “sneak in the back” of the Catholic student center, “and he would sort of sarcastically, cynically, aloofly, but with great interest watch the people at Mass, and that’s what moved him. “He records in Seven Storey Mountain that he watched the people, especially when the priest held up the sacred host at Mass, and he said, ‘These people have the look of awe and faith. They really believe that host is divine.’ It was that simple faith in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist that was the final attraction to him to join the faith.” Elizabeth Ann Seton had a similar conversion story, the cardinal said. The future saint, then an Anglican, was staying with an Italian Catholic family in Livorno, Italy, after her husband died. On the feast of Corpus Christi, she accompanied the Italian family “as the Blessed Sacrament was carried in procession on the streets of Livorno, and as it came by, she saw all the people go down on their knees. And behind her was the minister of her church, and the minister said to her, ‘These stupid peasants believe that the son of God is present in that wafer of bread.’ St. Elizabeth Ann Seton thought, ‘So do I.’” Cardinal Dolan said he once had the high honor of carrying the Blessed Sacrament in Orvieto, Italy. As he passed down one street, he saw a young Italian father with his 2- or 3-year-old boy. “As I’m walking by, I see the father

whisper in his boy’s ear, then point to the holy Eucharist in the monstrance. I hear the father whisper to his little boy, ‘Ecco, Jesu.’ ‘There is Jesus.’ I thought to myself, that boy might have 30 years of Catholic education, and he’s never going to get a lesson in faith like he just got from his father. ‘Ecco, Jesu.’ Jesus is really and truly present in the most blessed sacrament of the altar.” The cardinal recalled going to this summer’s World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, where 2.5 million youth attended a Mass with Pope Francis on Copacabana Beach—renamed “Popa-

cabana” for the occasion. “All you could see was young people,” Cardinal Dolan said. “They were rowdy, a lot of applause for Pope Francis. It was tremendous—a lot of exhilaration, a lot of noise, a lot of enthusiasm. But at the certain moment when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed on that altar and the pope kneels down on the altar—dead silence. Two and a half million young people—dead silence as they knew of the real presence. ...These young kids know what the real presence is. They know he is alive and present in the Eucharist.” n

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he Most Reverend Roger J.Foys, D.D., the priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful of the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, send our congratulations, best wishes, and prayers to the Diocese of Knoxville as you celebrate your 25th anniversary.

et your light shine. Matthew 5:16

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Eucharistic Congress a labor of love for Diocese of Knoxville By Bill Brewer

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he Eucharistic Congress began in spring 2012 as an idea floated by Sister Mary Timothea Elliott, RSM, during a conversation with Deacon Sean Smith about how to celebrate the Diocese of Knoxville’s 25th anniversary. It ended 18 months later with the successful completion of a world-class event, the first Eucharistic Congress in the diocese’s history. It attracted Catholics from throughout Tennessee, across the country, and even Canada to a two-day worship experience in Sevierville that many, if not all, of the 5,000 attendees called spiritually moving. By most accounts, the congress was a momentous occasion in the history of the diocese that fulfilled spiritual needs ranging from the liturgical, theological and catechetical to the sacramental. The congress also was a fun, social, entertaining two-day retreat that offered a little something for everyone. But in between Sister Timothea’s concept and the end of the congress closing Mass on Sept. 14, thousands of hours of planning involving hundreds of volunteers were required to create a cathedral in Sevierville’s

convention center large enough to accommodate 5,000 faithful plus more than 100 priests, deacons and women religious to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and mark the beginning of the diocese’s silver jubilee year. As Bishop Richard F. Stika blessed the concept of a Eucharistic Congress and led the effort, he asked Deacon Smith, the diocese’s chancellor, to make the idea a reality. The idea wasn’t exactly foreign to Deacon Smith. “I started planning for this well more than a year ago because I know one of the measures of success would be attendance. So you really had to have a quality speaker corps. And the caliber of folks we had made it imperative to book them more than a year in advance. That was the most critical step,” Deacon Smith said. For such a small diocese, the Church in East Tennessee sure did dream big. Working with Bishop Stika, Deacon Smith secured commitments from all-stars in the U.S. Catholic Church— Cardinal Justin Rigali, a high-ranking prelate in the College of Cardinals who has directly served several popes; Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who is archbishop of New York, president of the

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Deacon Sean Smith leads team of volunteers

Logistical leadership Deacon Sean Smith escorts Cardinal Timothy Dolan inside the Sevierville Convention Center during the Eucharistic Congress on Sept. 14.

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world; Father Robert Barron, a world-renowned theologian and author considered the Bishop Fulton Sheen of our time; and Dr. Scott Hahn, a highly regarded theologian and author who has a wide following for his brand of theology. Securing those speakers early in the process was a huge hurdle to overcome. But it was only the beginning of 18 months of hurdles to get over to make the congress a success. Deacon Smith relied on

previous experience overseeing another diocesan event to organize the Eucharistic Congress. Both attracted 5,000 attendees and involved converting convention center space into worship space that could accommodate large numbers of men and women religious, from cardinals to seminarians. But there were stark differences, too. The diocese had never put on a two-day event of that magnitude that involved lodging, transportation, hospitality for 5,000 guests including lunch, multiple live programs, safety and

security for that many people for that duration. “The model I used for this whole thing was Bishop Stika’s ordination and installation Mass [March 2009]. But this was that event times 10 because this event went over two days and we had multiple things going on,” he said. As chairman of the Eucharistic Congress organizing committee, Deacon Smith called upon key volunteers, many who played essential roles in the ordination/installation Mass, to lend their time and talent to the 25th anniversary celebration,

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Congratulations

Diocese of Knoxville for 25 years!

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Visitors overwhelmed by experience, God’s presence

Eucharistic Congress draws people from around the country seeking inspiration from all-star lineup of speakers

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Couple retreat Sharon and Frank Benavides travelled from Calhoun, Ga., to attend the Diocese of Knoxville’s Eucharistic Congress.

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ucharistic Congress visitors from outside the region were overwhelmed by God’s presence at the worship event and left East Tennessee with rave reviews for the Diocese of Knoxville and its Catholic faithful. The travelers joined diocesan attendees in praising the Congress for its focus on the Holy Eucharist, inspiring messages, Southern hospitality, and atmosphere that placed God above all else. “We need more of this. We need more of this enthusiasm for being Catholic,” said Deacon James Carper, one of many people who traveled significant distances to attend the congress. Deacon Carper’s home parish is St. Peter Claver Church in Simi Valley, Calif., which is in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “My wife is a voracious reader of Our Sunday Visitor,” Deacon Carver said, noting that when his wife saw an advertisement in the national Catholic publication for the Eucharistic Congress, she excitedly showed it to him. Deacon Carper knew they had to attend after seeing the lineup of speakers. “If it were a concert, they’d all be Catholic rock stars,” he said. Others from outside East Tennessee and the state agreed that the initial attraction for them was the caliber of the speakers. “My husband is a huge fan of Dr. Scott Hahn,” said Brandi Jodoin of Edmonton, Alberta, in Canada.

So much so, she related, that last Christmas the family gave her husband, Corey Jodoin, a promise to buy him a ticket to wherever Dr. Hahn would be speaking. When Mr. Jodoin checked Dr. Hahn’s speaking schedule, he learned of the Eucharistic Congress and its schedule, and immediately booked his flight. “It doesn’t get much better than this,” Deacon John “Scotty” Wainscott of St. Louis said about the speakers. While speakers such as Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Dr. Scott Hahn and Father Robert Barron may have been the initial draw, it was the Diocese of Knoxville that left the greatest impression with those who attended. Brandi Jodoin, speaking for her husband, who traveled to Sevierville with their teenage son, Elijah, said she could not attend the Eucharistic Congress for a good reason— there are 11 children in the Jodoin family and all are homeschooled by Mrs. Jodoin. She said her husband and son had a “fantastic time,” adding that Mr. Jodoin said the highlight for him was the final Mass on Saturday, Sept. 14. “We have an extreme shortage of priests. In one case, we have five parishes with just one priest among them,” Brandi Jodoin said. “To attend a Mass with two cardinals, several bishops, and more than 100 priests and deacons was amazing,” she said, quoting her husband. Mrs. Jodoin mentioned that her

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An uplifting encounter Bishop James V. Johnston of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Mo., reunites with Rodney and Vicki Neff of Knoxville during the Eucharistic Congress. The Neffs say Bishop Johnston was an early positive influence in their decision to join the Church last Easter.

Representing the South Becky and Clarence Guenther, left, with their friend Mary Moore, traveled from Charleston, S.C. to attend the Eucharistic Congress. They are shown with Katia Thoman and Monique Davis of Peachtree City, Ga.

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Cletus Meagher, OSB, of St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman, Ala., a native of Cleveland, Tenn., and the visiting bishops. They included Archbishop Robert Carlson and Bishop Edward Rice from the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Bishop William Medley of the Diocese of Owensboro, Ky., A18

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and Bishop Ronald Gainer of the Diocese of Lexington, Ky. Bishop Stika also welcomed Tennessee’s other two bishops, Bishop Terry Steib from the Diocese of Memphis and Bishop David Choby from the Diocese of Nashville, “who are so committed to building the church in the Volunteer State,” he said. The bishop greeted two

husband also was impressed by the number of priests available for confessions at all times during the Congress. Closer to East Tennessee, Clarence and Becky Guenther traveled from the Diocese of Charleston, S.C., to be a part of the congress and spoke to Bishop Richard F. Stika and Cardinal Justin Rigali following their “Evening Chat” on Sept. 13. Mr. Guenther makes rosaries as a ministry and presented the bishop and cardinal with two of his creations. “I loved it,” Mr. Guenther said. “So did I,” Mrs. Guenther said. “Our deacon mentioned the Eucharistic Congress. When Traveling Sister Sister Virginia Ann we found out that Cardinal Brooks, of the Daughters of Charity, trav[Timothy] Dolan, Father Barron eled from Evansville, Ind., to attend the and Scott Hahn were there, we Diocese of Knoxville’s Eucharistic Congress said we’re going.” Monique Davis and Katia given to Deacon Sean Smith,” he Thoman attended the congress from added. Peachtree City, Ga., after hearing Deacon Carper of California was about it from friends. quick to point out how happy he “I participated in the Eucharistic was to see how widely deacons parCongress in Atlanta and I wanted ticipate in the diocese, noting their to experience the one here. It was “high visibility.” a beautiful exchange of love,” Ms. “To see their presence, even a deDavis said. tail like having the same dalmatic, And for Rodney and Vicki Neff was very gratifying,” Deacon Carpof Holy Ghost Parish in Knoxville, er said. who joined the Catholic Church at Deacons Carper and Wainscott, Easter Vigil last spring, the congress as well as Brandi Jodoin, mentioned was spiritually uplifting and faith that it was wonderful to see so affirming. many religious women in atten “We got to experience how rich dance at the congress, too. the Church is theologically and “My husband was astounded by spiritually. You could feel the Holy the number of orders in the dioSpirit. And listening to the insights cese,” Mrs. Jodoin said. from Cardinal Rigali and Cardinal Deacon Carper felt a special menDolan made the messages accessition was needed for the diocesan ble for all of us,” Rodney Neff said. youth. He works in youth ministry “This has made us go forward and at Holy Cross Church in South grow as Christians.” Central Los Angeles. Deacon Wainscott knows Diocese “I have to say I was impressed by of Knoxville Bishop Richard F. Stika the engagement of youth,” he said. and Cardinal Justin Rigali from “At the end of the Youth Mass, I their tenure in St. Louis. His wife, counted about 24 youth up there Mary, worked for Bishop Stika and with the bishop. For him to have attended the bishop’s ordination/ youth involved as advisers and to installation in Knoxville in 2009. listen to them is incredibly huge.” “I was keeping track of [the Con He said he felt Bishop Stika pargress],” he said. “I wanted to come ticularly was approachable and down and see how things were goexpressed his admiration for the ing for Bishop Stika.” bishop as the leader of the diocese. The deacon was quite happy to Brandi Jodoin’s husband felt the see the diocese, Bishop Stika and same. “He said that it was clear Cardinal Rigali doing very well. He that Bishop Stika wanted this to be pointed out that he is the vocations a world-class event, and it was,” chairman for his local Serra Club in she said. St. Louis and was impressed with Deacon Wainscott said with a the number of diocesan seminarians laugh that when Bishop Stika pregiven the size of the diocese. sented his dream of a new cathe “But I was more impressed with dral, he wanted to stand up and the diversity of the crowd,” he said. yell, ‘build it, and they will come!’ I “It was obvious that the people of liked his outlook.” the diocese went out of their way to “It is not just Knoxville, but all include everyone.” of East Tennessee,” he said about “And I was particularly imBishop Stika’s vision for the future pressed with the standing ovation of the diocese. n

bishops returning home: Bishop James V. Johnston of the Diocese of Springfield– Cape Girardeau, Mo., a native of Knoxville and one of the first two priests ordained in the Diocese of Knoxville, as well as Knoxville’s second bishop, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville. “Bishop Johnston, welcome back to your roots,” Bishop www.dioknox.org

Stika said, adding, “Much of what we celebrate today has its foundation in the pastoral leadership of Archbishop Kurtz.” Attending the Mass in choir were Eucharistic Congress keynote speaker Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Knoxville’s

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own Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop emeritus of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who was celebrating his 28th anniversary as a bishop that day. “As we gather together today, I ask you to remember in a very special way a very close personal friend of mine who died two years ago to-

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day,” Bishop Stika said. “He was a Maronite archbishop by the name of Francis Zayek, and so we pray that he also rejoices with us today from heaven.” Bishop Stika recalled his arrival in the diocese in March 2009. “Upon my arrival I was offered much advice and I still am,” he said. “First of all, to remember that orange is the color, how to sing Rocky Top, how to pronounce “Murrville” [Maryville], and that this area isn’t Eastern Tennessee but rather East Tennessee. “I was also reminded that this is missionary territory. Now I took this to mean that I was sent to this area to convert those who have not heard the good news of the baseball Cardinals—I’m working on it—but I realized that I was no longer in a Catholic area but rather in an area that in many ways did not understand the Catholic faith, especially the Eucharist that we hold so dear.” The bishop said in the history of the local Church in the Diocese of Knoxville, “we have been chosen by the Lord by virtue of our baptism.” “The constant invitation of the Lord to follow existed way before 1988, when this diocese was established, but our history these last 25 years has been a history of accepting the challenge of the Lord and teaching the faith,” he said. “From 32,000 Catholics, give or take, 25 years ago to around 62,000 today, give or take, the story of our Catholic faith has been shared and lived. “This occurs from Chattanooga to the Tri-Cities, from Knoxville to Crossville, from the four new missions recently established in this past year, from our mother churches of the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, our new basilica, to the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Knoxville. Faith lived and shared, faith proclaimed and treasured but especially celebrated.” Bishop Stika mentioned the “remarkable” number of 21 seminarians at the congress from a diocesan population of 62,000. And he gave thanks for the “long-term commitment of religious communities like the longserving Sisters of Mercy, but also the Paulist and Glenmary communities, the Sisters of Mercy of Alma and the

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cred banquet. He is the God who established the people Israel through a series of sacred meals; therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised that meals play a major role in the life and ministry of Jesus.” Father Barron asked, “What’s the Mass, this sacred meal?” “It’s the garden of Eden, isn’t it? It’s Isaiah’s holy mountain, isn’t it, where God himself is laying out for us a banquet? What’s the Mass? It’s the mountain where Jesus feeds the 5,000. What’s the Mass? It’s the Last Supper, where Jesus gathers around himself the new Israel. Friends, all of this happens when we gather for Mass.” On the Mass as a sacrifice, Father Barron said that in the late 1960s and ’70s, “we talked about Mass as a sacred meal.” “Sacrifice—I hardly ever heard about that. The holy sacrifice of the Mass, that was old-fashioned–minded. No, it’s the sacred, happy meal—a gathering. Sacrifice? Not so much. That, everybody, was a huge mistake. That was a huge mistake both theologically and spiritually and pastorally and in every other way, because sacrifice is so basic to the way the Bible understands the Eucharist, the cross, and the life, dying, and rising of Jesus.” If people went back in a time machine to the ancient world, “we’d be struck by a lot of things that are strange, but what would most strike us would be the prevalence of sacrifice, the number of sacrifices going on all the time,” Father Barron said. “So what was the logic of the ancient world, including ancient Israel? Really kind of simple: to take some aspect of God’s creation, whether it’s an animal or the first fruits of your harvest—take some aspect of God’s creation and return it to God. Because God needs it? No, God needs nothing, but return it to God as a sign of gratitude, thanksgiving, communion, atonement. Some aspect of creation—return it so as to

Peer review Father Robert Barron, center, is shown with Diocese of Knoxville Monsignor Patrick Garrity, left, and Father David Boettner. reestablish or reaffirm a connectedness to God. That’s a logical sacrifice.” A sacrifice was “a bloody, painful affair,” he said. “Sacrifice prior to the original sin would have been effortless because we’d be in right relation to God. We would be in friendship with God, so naturally returning something to God from creation to the creator in gratitude and love would be effortless. But what’s the problem here? The problem here is that we live in a world gone wrong. We live in the world after the fall. We’re all compromised. Therefore, aligning ourselves properly to God will always hurt. It will always cost.” Jesus “is not one more prophet in a long line of prophets, not one guru, not one teacher among many, but Jesus is the very incarnation of Yahweh,” Father Barron said. “He is the one who speaks and acts in the person of God; therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised that sacrifice is central to who he is.” Je-

sus bore the “full weight of human sin and brings us with him online to the father,” he added. “Remember what sacrifice is meant to do. It was meant to bring together divinity and humanity, but in a world gone wrong, this will always mean a bloody sacrificial business, and so indeed it ends. Here is the great act of atonement, the great act of sacrifice that brings the whole world back online to the father. “Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Behold, the scapegoat upon whom is placed all the sins of the world. Behold, therefore, the great priest who effects this great sacrifice by which the world is healed.” When people gather for Mass, “you’re in the holy temple, now renewed,” Father Barron said. “When you gather for Mass, where are you? You are in the cenacle of the Last Supper. When you gather for Mass, where are you? You are at Mount Calvary.”

Apostles of Jesus, just to name a few. “Now we welcome our first contemplative community, the Handmaids of the Precious Blood for they are in the process of moving their motherhouse from New Mexico to Benton, Tenn. Although these pontifical sisters are a cloistered community, four of the pioneer sisters are with us today, and as the newest community in our midst, we welcome the sisters to their new home and are grateful for their constant prayers for us, the people of God. “We also remember today in a very special way the Alexian Brothers, who have their international generalate, their world headquarters, here on Signal Mountain.” Bishop Stika also asked those in attendance to remember ministers of the Gospel who were not able to attend the Eucharistic Congress. “In particular, we remember Monsignor Xavier Mankel, who on Sunday [Sept. 8], along with the diocese, celebrated his 25th anniversary serving as vicar general. Monsignor has had some illness and is on the mend, but we pray for him. Also we remember a very special priest to us all in the diocese, Monsignor Phil Thoni, who now lives in Nashville.” The bishop closed his homily with a reference to the day’s feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. “So, my sisters and brothers, those I am privileged to serve as bishop, I invite you again to follow the Lord with his cross into the future and lift high that cross and to invite the fallen away to follow him and to welcome new members to share with us in the Eucharist,” he said. Bishop Stika delivered part of his remarks in Spanish. “Once again, it has taken me a while, but I’m learning!” he said. “I’m learning Spanish.” At the end of Mass, Bishop Stika introduced a video presentation of a proposed new Sacred Heart Cathedral. “You know, I’ve always wondered about people who have dreams where they never take them in any direction,” he said. “For me, faith is always about hope and the possibilities and the potentials of doing things that really make a difference, just like we have this Eucharistic Congress. “I’d like to show you something

that is a dream of mine, but it’s a dream that I inherited from many people over 25 years in one way or another. It’s a dream that I hope in some way might occur in these next few years.” There was an audible “ooh” from the audience as the video showed a large domed cathedral on a redesigned Sacred Heart campus. “You know, folks, it’s a dream,” Bishop Stika said. “Dreams are meant to be a reality. We’re a diocese that’s growing up, so we’ll see how the dream plays out. It’s not my cathedral; it’s yours. We’ll take a look and see what we can do in the future. We’ll be doing a feasibility study, asking a lot of questions and we’ll see how it works out.” Mentioning the potential costs of a new cathedral, Bishop Stika said, “we’re not an either/or diocese” but one “that looks into the future and takes a gamble” on such things as buying the St. Mary’s Mobile Medical Clinic, funding Catholic Charities despite 95 percent of the clients not being Catholic, helping rebuild Haiti, and taking mission trips to Colombia. “We’re a diocese accepting the call of Christ to build his kingdom but also to be nourished in our faith, and that’s where the cathedral comes in,” the bishop said. “Jesus, I trust in you,” he added, echoing his episcopal motto. The bishop concluded his closing remarks with “a few thoughts of gratitude.” “When I was in grade school, we were taught to be people never filled with a sense of pride, so I’m asking for your forgiveness, because I can’t tell you how proud I am of you and for all the people who had so much to do with gathering us together these two days to celebrate this Eucharistic Congress. . . . “This congress is the result of so many who have given so much time so that Southern hospitality may be given to all who have entered these doors.” Bishop Stika gave thanks for the diocese’s two high schools; its eight elementary schools; the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation in Nashville; the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus “Ad Gentes”; Cardinal Rigali’s secretary, Sister M. Clara Auer, FSGM; diocesan Chancellor Deacon Sean Smith, who

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Father Barron asked, “What’s the ground for the real presence?” “It is that magnificent sixth chapter of John. Everybody here, read that chapter with great care. Find a really good commentary on it. Work your way through it prayerfully. Jesus just fed the 5,000, so a eucharistic act has just taken place. This great Isaiahan act of feeding the 5,000, and then he engages in this stunning commentary about what he’s done.” People in Jesus’ day “reacted so negatively when He said my flesh is real food, because this was not only disgusting for a first century Jew, it was also deeply objectionable religiously because throughout the Old Testament you’ve got prohibitions against eating an animal’s flesh with its blood,” Father Barron said. Later in John 6, after Jesus had said, “‘whoever eats this bread will live forever,’” Father Barron said, “‘many disciples turned back and no longer went about with him.’ The real-presence teaching has always been a divisive teaching.” Father Barron said that St. Thomas Aquinas is his favorite saint and that because of him he became a priest. He said the saint had written his masterpiece, Summa Theologica, “but he was unsure that he had done justice” to his topic. “So Thomas, they say, put the text at the foot of the cross and begged the Lord, ‘Tell me, tell me, is this right?’ The magnificent story attested to by a number of people who witnessed this say that from the cross, a voice came: ‘You’ve spoken well of me, Thomas. What would you have as a reward?’ Jesus spoke to Thomas in Latin. “Then the great answer, and by the way, if you’re asked this question by the risen Jesus, here’s the answer.

Don’t say, ‘a Maserati.’ ‘Thomas, what would you have?’ Thomas said, ‘Nil nisi te.’ ‘Nothing, except you.’ That’s the right answer.” n organized the Eucharistic Congress, and his top assistant, Paul Simoneau, the diocese’s director of Justice and Peace and vice chancellor; the Chancery staff for its help in planning the Congress; the staff of the Convention Center; all of the Congress’ presenters and musicians; and the Knights of Columbus and Catholic Extension. Deacon Smith and Mr. Simoneau received a standing ovation. The bishop said he would be doing the “Stika wink” as he processed out of Mass. He said that Cardinal John J. Carberry of St. Louis once winked at him, leading to his vocation. “At that time I was thinking about getting married and living happily ever after, and he winked at me, and years later I became a priest. I told the cardinal that the whole reason I was a priest today is because you winked at me. So for the rest of his life, he took the credit for my vocation. So when I’m processing out, I’m warning you all, I’m doing a lot of winking.” Bishop Stika’s final words were “not to waste this” Eucharistic Congress: “Don’t waste the energy, the vitality, the enthusiasm. If you’re not from this diocese, take it home with you to wherever you come from. Share it with others. Sing the praises of God by your actions and your activity. If you belong to the Diocese of Knoxville, we have a great foundation, but we can’t rejoice just for this day or this year. God expects a great deal of us because he has greatly blessed us. ... God has shared this with us. Go home, as the Mass reminds us, to be sent forth to build the kingdom of God.” The bishop ended the Mass by giving an apostolic blessing. The Eucharistic Congress, which began Friday, Sept. 13, opened Saturday, Sept. 14 with a welcome and morning prayer. Bishop Stika gave the welcome in a bilingual videotaped presentation. Before Cardinal Dolan’s keynote talk, Cardinal Rigali presided at a eucharistic adoration and benediction service before a full convention center hall Saturday afternoon. Cardinal Dolan was among those attending the adoration. n OCTOBER 6, 2013

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In harmony Young singers from the diocese volunteer their talent to the congress.

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Divine guidance Dorothy Curtis and Deacon Arthur Torres Barona discuss Communion distribution.

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How does it look? Cardinal Timothy Dolan shares his zucchetto with a young admirer.

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Scenes from the Eucharistic Congress

In Communion Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville distributes Communion during the closing Mass.

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programs. He received a full scholarship to Marquette University, a Jesuit institution. But at home his studies caused conflict between he and his wife, Kimberly, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister who had been, as Dr. Hahn was before, opposed to Catholicism. When she asked him whether he was on the road to becoming Catholic, he reassured her that any conversion would “take years.” “If it happened,” he said, “I wanted it to be intellectually respectable. I’m not much, but I’m all I think about.” In the summer of 1985, the Hahns relocated to Marquette University after Dr. Hahn promised his wife he would not consider conversion until 1990 “at the earliest.” Shortly after arriving in Milwaukee, he decided to go and observe a Catholic Mass, attending a noon Mass offered in a basement chapel. “What could be safer?” he said. “Who would come except maybe a couple of old nuns?” Instead, with his notebook and Bible in hand, he was surprised to see both nuns and “businessmen coming in on their lunch break, young women with children, bag ladies from the side streets and alleys, genuflecting and kneeling with reverence.” As the Mass progressed, he was astounded to hear what he called a “perfect match with what Justin Martyr described as liturgy in the early church” and recounted a piv-

otal moment. “Then when I heard for the first time in my life a Catholic priest pronounce the words of consecration, when he said, ‘This is my body,’ and held up the Host, I felt as if the last drops of my own doubt just drained out of my head and my heart. I was in the back pew and I said, like doubting Thomas, My Lord, my God, that’s you.” He felt at that moment as if he were one of the disciples who met Jesus on the road to Emmaus and came to know Him through the breaking of the bread. The esteem he held in being a “Bible Christian” was gone—he had turned down pride and found mercy. Within a few weeks he approached his pastor, then Father Fabian Bruskewitz, now the retired bishop of Lincoln, Neb., and “hypothetically” asked him if he would have to go through RCIA to become Catholic. Father Bruskewitz said he could be received at the next Easter Vigil. One of the most difficult aspects, he recalled, was facing his wife, Kimberly, and asking her to release him from the promise he had made to her just a few months before that he would not consider conversion until five years had passed. As he explained to her, “delaying obedience to what I feel is true feels more like disobedience every day.” She agreed, but not happily. Dr. Hahn noted a change, though, in Kimberly’s attitude at his recep-

tion into the Church. He recalled how she marveled at the beauty of the liturgy and the ancient ritual surrounding the vigil. He fondly remembered her comment at witnessing consecration—“This is unfair.” When he asked her why, she replied, “For years we’ve been studying the menu, while the Catholics got to enjoy the meal.” Later, in 1990, Kimberly was received into the Church. Dr. Hahn explained that a study of the Book of Revelation shows that Jesus continues to offer himself perpetually as a sacrifice through the Eucharist. At a Catholic Mass, he explained, we are not alone, but join “with the angels and saints,” as described in Revelation. He said in one of the first Bible studies he and Kimberly led after she converted, she asked the participants, “Who wants to go to Heaven?” All raised their hands. She then said as Catholics we don’t have to die to go to Heaven, we just have to go to Mass.” At the end of his talk, Dr. Hahn emphasized that the Eucharist, as the true presence of Christ, was the key to our future as the body of Christ. In knowing him, as the disciples on the road to Emmaus did, “in the breaking of the Bread, Dr. Hahn said, “we will effect better change in our country, in our hearts and our homes, by entering more effectively into the Mass. It’s not about politics.” n

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speakers and liturgies have a major impact on spiritual enrichment, and we wanted to transform a convention center into a cathedral,” Deacon Smith said. “So, people participating in the liturgies felt like they were in a cathedral, not a convention center.” To do that, volunteers moved essential elements for the Masses to the convention center from different parishes. For example, Holy Cross in Pigeon Forge contributed the altar and large crucifix hanging above the altar. Holy Ghost in Knoxville contributed the large ambo on which the Scripture was proclaimed as well as the bishop’s and deacon’s chairs, the cardinals’ chairs and kneelers. Other ecclesial furnishings came from the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. John Neumann Church. “You felt God’s presence there,” Deacon Smith said. That also was of utmost importance to Sister Timothea, who also felt the Holy Spirit at the congress.

“One of the things that is troubling is many Catholics don’t go to Mass on Sunday and they have begun to doubt the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist,” she said. “I think it was truly wonderful.” “I just saw so many happy people. It really was spiritually uplifting. Just the thought of 5,000 people at one place; it really made you begin to think about Jesus feeding the 5,000,” she noted. In addition to the sacrifice of the Mass, an important element of the congress was the sacrament of reconciliation made available to all 5,000 attendees. Priests serving on the organizing committee like Father Randy Stice, Father David Carter, Father Ron Franco, Father Steve Pawelk and Father Joe Reed oversaw the Masses, adoration and benediction, the liturgies and sacraments. And in addition to celebrating Masses for more than 5,000, another remarkable result was the hundreds of confessions heard. Father Carter said 49 priests heard

136 hours of confessions over the two-day period. Confessions were heard in 20 portable, plastic confessionals that could be assembled and disassembled on site and offered penitents the sacrament with priests face-toface or behind a screen. The confessionals were set up along a hallway in the convention center. “Possibly a fifth or more of the attendees were in confession. It was a true outpouring of grace. People’s lives were touched. People’s hearts were converted, Father Carter said. “It was a powerful moment during the weekend.” Father Carter said it was easy to see God’s presence at the congress through the sacraments of reconciliation and communion. “God was speaking to his people during the Eucharistic Congress and people were responding,” he said. “They were some of the most powerful conversions I’ve heard. This event changed people’s lives.” n

you would have awakened and the first born would be dead.“ Dr. Hahn recalled he mounted the pulpit the next morning to announce to the congregation…that he was terminating his series on the Gospel of John because he had found “greener pastures” in other parts of the New Testament, knowing that sharing his revelation of the previous night’s study would have gotten him fired. But the seed of doubt into what he had been taught and believed remained. Dr. Hahn’s studies led him to realize that the New Testament is a sacrifice and the Eucharistic sacrifice is the New Testament, and that the Eucharist was really Jesus. Around this time, he recounted, he was teaching at Dominion Theological Institute in McLean, Va., and was asked by the college president to lunch at a five-star restaurant. Dr. Hahn thought he was going to be fired. “The secret must be out—I’m a closet Catholic,” he said. When instead he found he was being offered the position of seminary dean, that began his first step in “turning down pride”—his conscience led him to decline the offer. For the next two years Dr. Hahn began to read a variety of Catholic theologians, “most of whom I never heard of, including this guy named Ratzinger,” he said, laughingly recalling the occasion. This led him to apply to doctrinal

such as Paul Simoneau, diocesan vice chancellor and director of the Office of Justice and Peace, and the Knights of Columbus. And while planning a Mass for 5,000 Catholics led by more than 100 men and women religious is a daunting task under any circumstance, diocesan volunteers had experience to make it work...and work well. Volunteers executed each of the hundreds of vital details, from organizing the sacred music and creating the keepsake program to assembling a team large enough to register the 5,000 visitors. Deacon Smith offered a heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers who worked on the congress, saying without them the event would not have been possible. “The other measure of success that I strived for was it had to be spiritually enriching. That is a key measure of success. People who were walking out of that Mass should be spiritually enriched and charged. The

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THE EAST TENNESSEE CATHOLIC


SCOTT MAENTZ

SCOTT MAENTZ

Scenes from the Eucharistic Congress

Faithful formation Knights of Columbus honor guards stand at attention, directed by Bill Wicke.

Life affirming Father John Dowling of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Fairfield Glade offers his pro-life assistance.

JIMMY DEE

STEPHANIE RICHER

Team Blue This youth group is planning its next move at the congress under the guidance of Father Aaron Wessman.

SCOTT MAENTZ

STEPHANIE RICHER

Well read Visitors check out the speakers’ books and videos on display.

SCOTT MAENTZ

Priestly procession Priests from across the Diocese of Knoxville and outside the diocese walk in procession into the closing Mass on Saturday, Sept. 14.

PAM RHOADES

May we help you? Sisters staff vocation display tables, ready to assist attendees.

This way Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Stika discuss their options among Eucharistic Congress events.

JIMMY DEE

PAM RHOADES

Stepping lightly Father Albert Sescon of St. Thérèse of Lisieux Church in Cleveland shows off his youthful side to the younger set.

Amen Cardinals Justin Rigali and Timothy Dolan receive Communion from Deacon Sean Smith. THE E A S T T E N N E S S E E C A T H OLIC

Live in concert Sarah Kroger and Josh Blakesley perform for youth attending the congress following the Youth Mass on Friday, Sept. 13. www.dioknox.org

OCTOBER 6, 2013

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To The Diocese of Knoxville:

Happy Anniversary! W

e join the Diocese of Knoxville in celebrating a milestone 25th Anniversary, a quarter-century of faith and service in East Tennessee.

Since the founding of the Diocese in 1988, the rich history and traditions of the Catholic Church have served thousands of lives in East Tennessee. Through worship, outreach, ministries and support, the Diocese of Knoxville shines the light of Christ throughout its 36 counties, 47 parishes and four missions. It is an honor to wish Happy Anniversary to the Diocese of Knoxville and offer congratulations on such a milestone. We look forward to the next 25 years, sharing a vision of hope within the East Tennessee community where truly all are welcome.

Knoxville Latin Mass Community

Glenn and Debbie Hobbs

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THE EAST TENNESSEE CATHOLIC

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The Oct. 6, 2013, A section of The East Tennessee Catholic newspaper

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