Monday, March 5, 2018


On Saturday, with great joy and gratitude to God, the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville celebrated the Dedication of our new Diocesan Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was a glorious celebration, enhanced by the presence of cardinals, bishops, as well as most of the priests and deacons of the diocese and about 1000 lay faithful. We were all gathered to fulfill a dream many years in the making, to provide for the growing Catholic Church in East Tennessee a fitting house of prayer for generations to come. 

As the new altar and the walls of the church were anointed with sacred chrism, the bishop prayed that God in his power make them holy, visible signs of the mystery of Christ and his Church.” As incense was burned on the newly consecrated altar (photo), clouds of sacred smoke rising symbolically into the new baldacchino, the Bishop prayed As this building is filled with fragrance so may your church fill the world with the fragrance of Christ. As the altar candles and the candles marking the 12 places where the walls were anointed were lit, the Bishop prayed Light of Christ, shine forth in the Church and bring all nations to the fullness of truth. 

This genuinely beautiful new cathedral is both a monument of human art and an expression of transcendent faith. It unites the far-flung local parish communities of this region into one local Church, united not only with one another but with the Universal Church under the leadership of the successors of the Apostles. The holy relics enshrined in its altar signify our unity across both space and time with the saints in heaven and with generations of heroic martyrs and confessors of the faith.

To erect a church in the contemporary world is a bold statement not just of the Church's institutional presence in a world which would just as soon not notice, but of the abiding, persistent, permanent relevance of what takes place daily inside that building. It is a profession of faith and confidence that the altar at that building's center unites a community around it, a community conscious of its mission to transform the world in which it finds itself.

No comments:

Post a Comment