Effective March 20, the public celebration of Masses in the Diocese of Knoxville will cease until concerns over the spread of the coronavirus subside. Priests and deacons of the diocese were notified by Bishop Stika of his decision on Monday night.
He announced his decision to the public on his Facebook page.
Bishop Stika has requested that all small adoration chapels in the diocese be closed but that all churches remain open for daily adoration, allowing people to spread out.
"I do this with great regret but with prudence and care for all," Bishop Stika said. "I have also mandated that all parish and diocesan meetings be postponed until after this crisis has passed," he added.
A Message from Our Bishop
Watch Mass via live stream
Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Mon.-Fri. at 8:05 a.m. and noon; Saturday at 5 p.m.; Sunday at 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. (en español)
All Saints Church, Knoxville
Mon.-Fri. at 9 a.m.; Saturday at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. (en español); Sunday at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Our Lady of Fatima Church, Alcoa
Sunday at 11 a.m.
St. Francis of Assisi Church, Fairfield Glade
Tues.-Fri. at 8 a.m.; Sunday at 10 a.m.
Prayer for the Intercession of Mary
- Bishop Stika issues pastoral letter in preparation for Holy Week April 2, 2020
- Coronavirus prompts diocesan schools’ shift to at-home learning March 25, 2020
- Obispo emite Decreto sobre las Liturgias de la Semana Santa March 24, 2020
- Diocese of Knoxville Chancery closed effective March 24 March 24, 2020
- Bishop issues decree on Holy Week liturgies March 23, 2020
ubscribe now by entering your name, email address and mobile phone number below. You can easily unsubscribe at any time.
A Message from Our Pastor
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus;
Bishop Richard F. Stika has canceled all public Masses in the Diocese of Knoxville beginning Friday, March 20, 2020. This was done for the protection of the health and well-being of the public and parishioners from the coronavirus. The bishop will review this decision by April 1. All church meetings are likewise canceled. The important thing for us is how we will respond to the crisis before us. Do you remember when Jesus healed the ten lepers? Let us follow the example of the one Samaritan, who returned to give thanks to Jesus, rather than the other nine who turned away and went about their earthly lives. (Luke 17:11-19)
This has been a difficult decision for our bishop, as it will be difficult for all the faithful
nurtured by Jesus' most precious Body and Blood. Not only is it important to not contract the virus for ourselves, but we do not want to be carriers to those more vulnerable to the coronavirus. It is our Christian duty to follow wherever the Lord Jesus leads us. Remember the faithful Christians of Nagasaki, Japan, who, though driven underground, sustained their faith from the 16th to the 19th centuries without benefit of pastoral oversight or the full sacramental life of the Church. Our sacrifice will be small compared to theirs, but that is our calling.
I want you to know that Fr. Hendershott, Deacon Gordy Lowery, myself and the parish
staff have been discussing ways that we can meet your sacramental needs in the days ahead. The church will be open for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament weekdays from 10 a.m. until Noon. On Fridays we will also have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at that time. On Saturdays, the adoration time will be from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. to Noon. I ask that adorers observe social distancing by spreading out in the church. I will also be available for the sacrament of reconciliation when I am in the church, office, or by appointment.
If you are not on the church's email communication list, please call the office with your name and email address. I will soon announce adoration times when the church will be open – with social distancing. I am always available for confessions by appointment. You can also keep in touch with parish news on our website. I intend to
post Sunday homilies there as well as daily reflections. In addition to EWTN, four local parishes stream their Sunday and weekday Masses from their parish website. They include the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, All Saints Catholic Church, and Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Alcoa. Please see their websites for their Mass times. For those who attend the Latin Mass, please visit www.knoxlatinmass.net for information regarding live-streamed Mass in the
Extraordinary Form by Christ the King Catholic Church in Sarasota, FL. Dr. Edwards has also posted the Mass propers so that they can be prayed individually.
All of the priests of the diocese will be celebrating Mass privately each day. Please be
assured that your intentions will be remembered as they always are when we celebrate Mass publicly. The parish office will remain open from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day. Please call if you have any questions or concerns.
I am implementing reductions to essential expenses only. Please remember, church
expenses have not been quarantined. This is a temporary disruption in our sacramental life. For us to be "open for business" when life returns to normal, we need regular contributions to continue for those who have the financial means. I will be in touch with you soon about online giving options.
If you or some other vulnerable person you know need assistance for grocery delivery,
errands, or other essential tasks, the Knights of Columbus are ready to help. Just call the church office with your name and phone number. This service is also possible to caretakers of persons in high-risk categories.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Bill McNeeley