Updated: Mar 25
Considering the impacts developing within our community related to the global experience involving the new coronavirus, COVID-19, we want to share some ongoing information that affects various activities involving our parish church, Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and our Knights of Columbus council.
*** IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please be aware that any changes put forth involving specific topics will be considered upheld Until Further Notice. Due to the ongoing and rapidly changing parameters of the situation, leaders from Supreme, State, and Local councils along with Church leaders are constantly re-evaluating decisions that involve several activities and encourage you to actively monitor your email, our council website, and the diocese's website for any updated communications. ***
Diocese of Knoxville Announcements:
Bishop Stika: All Public Masses Suspended in the Diocese of Knoxville
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.
The bishop provides more information in the following video that was released by the diocese on Tuesday.
Watch Mass via Live Stream
Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Monday - Friday: 8:05 AM and Noon
Saturday: 5:00 PM;
Sunday: 7:30 AM, 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM (en español)
All Saints Church, Knoxville Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM
Saturday: 5:00 PM, 7:00 PM (en español)
Sunday at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Our Lady of Fatima Church, Alcoa Sunday: 11:00 AM
St. Francis of Assisi Church, Fairfield Glade Tuesday - Friday: 8:00 AM
Sunday: 10:00 AM
Stations of the Cross - Friday: 5:00 PM
The Church is continually monitoring the situation and may consider additional changes, if needed, to ensure everyone’s well-being is taken into consideration.
During Bishop Stika's initial communication on March 13th, he also shared, "Throughout history, the Catholic Church has stood strong and been a refuge for the world when we have faced struggles. During this time of uncertainty, I ask you to pray for this Intercession of Mary, and also The Memorare."
"I also pray that you find peace and comfort in your lives and that you remember the hope that Christ brings to us with his promise of salvation, especially when times are uncertain."
Bishop Stika's initial statement and the formal decree to the diocese regarding the Coronavirus and Diocesan Procedures can be found within the following link:
In addition to this on March 13, Bishop Stika issued the following procedural mandates for Masses in the diocese:
The faithful’s obligation to attend Sunday Mass is dispensed. (NOW UPDATED TO INCLUDE COMPLETE DISPENSATION FOR ANY CATHOLIC IN THE DIOCESE OF KNOXVILLE).
Empty holy water fonts and keep them completely dry.
Refrain from passing collection baskets person-to-person, and instead use fixed locations in appropriate aisles so that parishioners can place their donation in it as they process to or from Communion.
Refrain from holding hands during the recitation of the Our Father. Omit the Sign of Peace, or exchange it without physical contact.
Suspend the distribution of the Precious Blood of Christ.
Suspend the distribution of the Sacred Host on the tongue and distribute it only in the hand.
Additional Changes at the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Father David Boettner of the Cathedral parish has shared the following update:
"Based on current CDC guidelines, Today I am suspending all public gatherings on our campus until March 31st with the following exceptions:
Public Masses will continue with social distancing measures and disinfecting procedures observed.
Wednesday evening Adoration (5:30 PM - 6:30 PM) will be held with social distancing and disinfecting procedures observed, but individual confession will not be available. Saturday morning confessions will also be suspended.
Friday Evening Stations of the Cross will be prayed and open to the public with social distancing and disinfecting procedures observed.
Previously scheduled funerals, weddings and baptisms may be held without receptions if they cannot be rescheduled for a later date. Social distancing and disinfecting procedures should be observed.
Communion to the home-bound will be suspended except for Viaticum. Those who have been bringing communion to the home-bound should continue to make weekly contact by phone and invite them to spiritual communion. If someone is in danger of dying, please immediately notify all three priests so that we can attend to them.
We will be evaluating this suspension to determine if we can return to normal activities after March 31st."
Status of Activities / Events
Activities suspended / cancelled at this time:
Men's Reflection Night
Lenten Fish Fry
Fidelis / Fraternus
St. Patrick's Day Parade
Bridge Ministry - Cancelled until at least May 30
KARM - All volunteer activities have been cancelled.
2020 Knights Cup Lacrosse Tournament
2020 KoC Tennessee State Convention
General and Leadership meetings physically held at the council's hall will be cancelled until further notice. The council will be utilizing a video / telecommunication alternative to help present meetings and share information through these times. Please monitor your email for this information.
Encouragement to Pray a Novena for these Times
Carl Anderson, the Supreme Knight, and Archbishop William E. Lori, the Supreme Chaplain, had shared the following message:
"Following the example of Pope Francis, the supreme chaplain and I urge you to pray a Novena for Protection in Time of Pandemic (PDF) during this difficult moment for our country and our world. At important moments in the past, the Knights of Columbus has urged its members to pray. We did this at the outset of World War II, after 9/11, and during papal conclaves and civic elections. Today, the world faces a pandemic illness for the first time in a century. Having lost our founder, the Venerable Servant of God Father Michael McGivney, to a viral pandemic 130 years ago, we know such situations can be very serious. We also know that prayer is an important expression of our trust in God and our relationship with him." As Archbishop William E. Lori noted in his video message for this novena: "Our response to the pandemic draws on our respect as Catholics for both faith and reason. Reason dictates that we should take the health precautions recommended by medical professionals and by science." “At the same time,” the archbishop tells us, “our faith makes clear that God is our all-powerful creator and that God is more powerful than any natural force, illness or economic setback.”
"Furthermore, the supreme chaplain notes that 'prayer has always been for Christ and his Church the most important response in times of adversity.'
I join Archbishop Lori in pointing out that the pandemic coincides with the liturgical season of Lent, which calls individuals to reconsider their relationships with God and neighbor, and “to take time for introspection and improvement of those relationships, and this seems particularly appropriate at this time.”
As men of faith, let us pray — together with our families whenever possible and appropriate — joining our prayers with those of the Holy Father, the supreme chaplain and people around the world. This special novena will begin on Sunday, March 15, and conclude on Monday, March 23.
Finally, I also call your attention to this prayer (PDF) invoking the maternal intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, prepared by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, that can be prayed both during the novena and in the days beyond."
We will provide updates as soon as possible when we receive them.