Photo of Bible with a small crown whose shadow forms a heart.

STK Church News

Greetings on this rainy and cold Tuesday morning,

As you have likely heard today that all Masses have been suspending here in the diocese of Knoxville beginning in March 20th for the foreseeable future. This decision was not made lightly and comes at a cost for both the larger Catholic community and as individual Catholics.

I have no idea how this will affect our upcoming Holy Week and Easter celebrations let alone the weddings, 1sts Communions and Confirmations already on our Church calendar. Yet, I remain hopeful and have decided to use this time of social distancing to fast and pray for the victims of this pandemic and the health care professionals who will care for those who are sick. I invite you do join me in these prayers.

As a Priest, I cannot imagine not attending, let alone celebrating a Sunday Mass, however prudence is a virtue and with all the unknowns right now, prudence is the wise choice.

The Church will be open every day and the readings for that day will be displayed prominently in front of the altar. Please feel free to stop by and say a prayer or two (but keep your distance from each other).

I thought that this is also a time to be creative in how we engage each other as a faith community and ask that each of you be aware of what is happening around you with your neighbors, friends and family. Many of whom may not be able to shop, visits doctors, vote and any number of the “regular” things of life. Please help them or let me know and I will try to help them.

If any of you need groceries or medicines and cannot or do not wish to go out in public let me know, I will arrange for someone to shop for you and all we ask in return is that you pay for your groceries. No gas, no time and certainly no tip, this is not Uber eats, it’s a way we can reach out to our sisters and brothers in Christ.

For this upcoming Sunday we are going to try something different. We will be hosting a Zoom meeting which if you follow the links in this letter you can participate in the Sunday Mass via the internet.

When you click on the like you may be asked to download Zoom before anything happens. You will have the option of video or audio (or both). This way you can stay home, be safe and at least participate in the Sunday liturgy. This is an experiment so we’ll see how it goes.

The Zoom meeting/ Mass will be Sunday at 9am (for English Mass) and 11am (for Spanish Mass).

Let’s hold each other close in prayer as we walk together on this unknown and unfamiliar road this lent.

Peace and Prayers,

Fr. Neil

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