Master Plan

June 6, 2014

Announcement WeekendMP Banner outside church 4

Just over a year ago, on Pentecost last year, Fr. David Boettner announced the Master Plan process. The master plan is an organized effort to achieve a vision and it is a road map to show how we can continue to grow and minister to the current and future needs of our parish community. The site master plan is a conceptual layout for a site. It looks at historically placed buildings, the next phase of growth, and future growth. It outlines a logical phased growth plan and indicates the maximum potential usage of a site.

Now that the Master Plan process and the campaign study have been completed, we are now moving into the conceptual stage of the Cathedral project.

Please plan to attend Mass the weekend of June 21-22 for an announcement and new update regarding the vision and future of Sacred Heart Cathedral.



May 23, 2014

What’s Up Out Front?



















Creek Bed Renovation

Renovation of the creek bed in front of the Cathedral has begun with the removal of old trunks and the delivery of new trees. You’ll also notice the bed outline for our new landscape plan. The goal of the new landscaping is to produce a natural buffer for remediation of the creek while providing an attractive welcome to everyone visiting campus. Native Tennessee plants will be installed that are low maintenance varieties. This achieves a natural landscape that will benefit the site and footprint for the new Cathedral.

Dig a Hole

Join the planting team! If you can help with installation, please contact Tom Greer in the Cathedral Facilities office at 558.4108 or email

Building Committee Update

The SHC Building Committee met on May 13th with architect James McCrery. The committee will meet again on June 5th.



May 2, 2014

Design and Construction

The Master plan phase has been completed and through the campaign study we have received helpful feedback on the vision and scope of the new Cathedral for Sacred Heart parish and the home of the Diocese of Knoxville.

James McCrery BW

James McCrery, Architect

Barber McMurry Architects is our local firm of the Cathedral project and Duncan Stroik is the conceptual architect for the Master Plan phase. Stroik provided beautiful work in helping us to develop concepts that provided clarity and enabled us to go forward.

As we move on from the Master Plan to the Building phase, James McCrery of McCrery Architects will develop concepts for the design and construction phase of the Cathedral project.

McCrery Architects advocates a truly collaborative approach to design and construction. Visit the McCrery website to learn more. Program needs for the Cathedral remain (1) new worship space, (2) meeting and social space, and (3) educational space. To attain fiscal responsibility, McCrery will design in a tiered fashion to match our fundraising ability.

Thank you for your continued support and if you have any questions, please email




April 14, 2014

Support Strong for Capital Campaign

Dear Parishioners of Sacred Heart Cathedral,

As you may know we recently conducted a planning study to gauge support for a fundraising campaign that would address the strategic priorities for our Diocese and Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish. The Steier Group recently presented their findings and recommendations to us, and we want to share the results with you.

The study showed strong support for a capital campaign.  We are especially heartened to learn that 90% of Sacred Heart parishioners and 72% of all parishioners in the Diocese who participated are in favor of moving forward with a campaign. These results are well above the typical response rate of 50-55% in favor of a diocesan campaign, and well above the hurdle of 60% favorability needed to conduct a successful campaign. In addition to these positive findings, over 180 individuals and couples, including 19 from Sacred Heart Cathedral, indicated that they would be willing to serve in a leadership role for the campaign.

After reviewing the positive results of the study, members of our Diocesan Leadership Team, College of Consultors, and Sacred Heart Cathedral parish leadership have all recommended that we move forward with a major fund-raising campaign for Sacred Heart and diocese-wide needs. We agree with their recommendation and already taken steps to prepare for such an effort.

It is clear to us that now is the right time to do something extraordinary for our parish and growing Diocese.

We will, or course, keep you well informed of our progress in the weeks and months ahead. This is undoubtedly a landmark moment for our Diocese; a transformational effort which will have a long-lasting impact on the life of our local Church and parishes. Most importantly, this is an opportunity for us and for those who depend on us to bring the hope, comfort, guidance, and inspirtation of Jesus Christ into their lives.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

Sincerely in Christ,

~ Most Reverend Richard F. Stika, Bishop of Knoxville, and Very Reverend David Boettner, Rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral

April 4, 2014

Value the Past By Investing in the Future

Schools, churches, cathedral point to growth of Catholicism in East Tennessee
~ by Monsignor Xavier Mankel, Vicar General and Pastor of Holy Ghost


The final celebration of our Diocese’ silver jubilee will be Saturday, September 13 at Knoxville Catholic High School bringing to a close a remarkable year commemorating our 25th anniversary.

As we close, we must look to the future if the past will have much meaning. Since the principal church in any diocese is the cathedral and since our Diocese of Knoxville has its cathedral within a thriving middle-class parish, there seems to be no good reason why a new cathedral cannot become a reality. A cathedral for our diocese should seat 1,000 folks and have a sanctuary area large enough for diocesan functions, especially ordinations to the priesthood and the diaconate.

Knoxville’s new cathedral, please God, will not only be beautiful but a functional place of worship and other kinds of gatherings.

The building should be large enough to house a large choir, an orchestra, and (in time) a pipe organ to accompany the hymn-singing that must be a part of authentic worship as well as be a centerpiece instrument for the promotion of both sacred music and good music in general with concert-type arrangements. Great music has been a diamond in the diadem of the Church through the ages and the cathedral should be the building that helps people support these things.

Most of the great cathedrals throughout the world have pipe organs capable of doing these great things, which is all the more reason Knoxville should have a cathedral that not only promotes worship but the fine arts as well. With the University of Tennessee and many small colleges within driving distance in the diocese, it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to know that these things can become a reality in the next few years.

There are several cathedrals in the world that have a noticeable place in church history: St. John Lateran in Rome is the Holy Father’s cathedral as bishop of Rome. Several ecumenical councils have been held there. In our area, the cathedral in Louisville is surely a place to visit. The cathedral in Covington, Ky., is a downsized version of Notre Dame in Paris.

Cathedral_of_the_Incarnation_(Nashville,_Tennessee)_-_exteriorAnd of course, the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville is one of the great buildings in the South. The entire cathedral complex there is worthy of a visit.

NOTE: Mgsr. Mankel was the pastor at Sacred Heart Cathedral from 1987-1997




March 30, 2014

Preparation Continues

Great Jesus statue photo landscape CROPPED

Members of the Sacred Heart Master Plan/Building Committee and the Steering Committee have been working steadily behind the scenes toward the ongoing Cathedral project for our parish. Master Plan architectural firm, BarberMcMurry, and construction firm, Merit Construction, have been diligently working with the City of Knoxville on the landscape plan along our creek bed.

Additionally, the committees, architect, and builder met this week with The Steier Group, the firm who will be guiding us through the development of a campaign for the new Cathedral.

We appreciate your patience and support during this important process. Visit the Master Plan website for the history of the Cathedral project, and questions, comments and suggestions are always welcome by emailing

Where East Tennessee Comes to Pray – the Cathedral Parish for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Knoxville.



March 14, 2014

Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus | Knoxville

From its humble beginnings in 1956, Sacred Heart became the Cathedral of the newly formed Diocese of Knoxville in 1988Cornerstone

It was determined in 1952 that Knoxville was in need of a third parish (besides Holy Ghost and Immaculate Conception) to enable the works of an expanding Catholic population. The general area of Northshore Drive was selected because it had access to public utilities. About six acres of the William Towle farm were purchased in 1953 for $25,000.

Shortly after his arrival in Knoxville in 1955, Father Edward Dolan worked with architects and building contractors to complete the entire plant, including church, school, rectory, and convent for $1 million. The parish became an independent church entity on January 1, 1956, numbering 199 families. The official title given to it was The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Father Dolan celebrated the first Mass in the new church at midnight, Christmas, 1956. The official dedication was held in January of 1957.

Click here to see the 1957 Dedication Program.

Father Joseph Julius was pastor from 1972 to 1981 and under his direction, St. John Neumann parish spun off Sacred Heart and formed in Farragut. Father Xavier Mankel was named pastor in July 1987. In 1988 the church was named the Cathedral of the newly created Diocese of Knoxville. Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell was ordained its first ordinary. All Saints Parish began operation in September, 1994 as another outgrowth of Sacred Heart.

Father Al Humbrecht was named pastor in August 1997, and Bishop Joseph E. Kurtz was appointed Bishop of Knoxville on December 8, 1999. Kurtz was succeeded on March 19, 2009 by Bishop Richard Stika.

In February of 2010, the Very Rev. David Boettner was named Pastor/Rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral. A Transition Team was appointed to get the pulse of the parish and develop a Strategic Plan encompassing the years 2011 to 2016. Five areas of needs were deteremined: Facilities, Faith Formation, Communication, School, and Unity in Diversity. See the full SHC Strategic Plan 2011-2016 here.

As we are mid-way through the 2011-16 Strategic Plan, the parish has completed the Master Plan which will include new worship space, new meeting space, and school improvements. A capital campaign will take place in the near future.

Families registered at Sacred Heart Cathedral today number 1,411. May God grant the increase.

Click HERE to see historical photos of the church and school.


March 7, 2014

Our Lady of Fatima Church | AlcoaOLFAlcoa inside

In 1950, Bishop William Adrian of Nashville requested a survey to determine the number of Catholics living in Blount and Sevier Counties.

A Maryville/Alcoa Mission Parish was established and the first Mass was celebrated at a funeral home. The young parish then leased a two-story house, remodeled it, providing space for a church, an office, and a three-room apartment for a priest upstairs. (See black and white photo top-left).

During the first year of the parish (1950-51), many fundraisers were held to help fund the purchase of property from the Aluminum Company of America for a new church and rectory at the corner of Hunt and Wright Roads. The new church was dedicated on December 6, 1952 and was home to nearly 95 families.

A Catholic grade school was part of the parish from 1955-1970. The school discontinued operation due to the closure of the U.S. Air Force base at McGhee Tyson Airport.

By 1988, the parish had grown to 355 families, and by 1995, it outgrew its red brick church (above right). An eleven acre tract was purchased on Louisville Road and included an additional 3.7 acres acquired by a parishioner’s bequest that included two houses, a storage building, and a 24,000 square foot office building. The parish renovated the offices into a temporary worship place in 1996, calling it the Fatima Center.

Eventually, in May of 1998, new ground was broken for a new, $2.8 million dollar church as the parish had grown to 675 families. Brewer, Ingram, and Fuller Architects designed the church as an eight-sided structure. Merit Construction served as the builder. The new Our Lady of Fatima church was dedicated by then-Bishop Joseph E. Kurtz on March 11, 2000.

Today, the parish serves 1,100 families and just completed a major $1.7 million dollar addition and renovation to the Fatima Parish Life Center. Bishop Stika dedicated and blessed the expansion last June.

Sources: Our Lady of Fatima website and Dan McWilliams, “History of the Diocese of Knoxville.


March 1, 2014

Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul | Chattanooga

Sts. Peter and Paul was founded in 1852 by Fr. Henry Brown, a Presbyterian convertexterior closeup

Catholics in Chattanooga met for Mass in a number of buildings from the early 1840′s until 1890, when the current building on Eighth Street was dedicated. Former buildings included a nearly-completed stone church destroyed in 1863 by the occupying Union Army, which used the stone for fortifications and culverts.

In 1887, Irish priest Father William Walsh was appointed pastor and immediately made plans for a new church. Ground was broken Feb. 1, 1888, and the church was dedicated June 29, 1890. The church building was described as an “imposing Gothic structure of brick and stone, 165 feet long by 75 feet wide, seating 1,000 persons.” However, in 1939, due to crumbling sandstone trim, the original 174-foot-high twin towers had to be removed, and the east tower (see exterior photo above) was shortened to its current height.

The church’s stained-glass windows, designed by renowned artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, depict significant events in the lives of the parish’s patron saints. The nave of Sts. Peter and Paul Church also has 14 polychrome Stations of the Cross.

Church Improvements

The church underwent a $300,000 face lift in the late 1990′s, when the ceiling vaults were painted, the Tiffany windows cleaned, the Stations of the Cross refurbished, and damaged areas repaired. In 2006, the church repaired its then–70-year-old Kilgen organ. In 2010, a 1.2 million dollar parish hall was developed in the 9,100 square foot lower level previously used for storage.Sts Peter and Paul interior

Becoming a Basilica

In 2011, Bishop Stika received news that Pope Benedict XVI had elevated Sts. Peter and Paul Church to a “minor basilica”, the first such honor for any Tennessee church. A Mass on October 22, 2011, marked the church’s inauguration as the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Visit the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul‎ at 214 East 8th Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402 | (423) 266-1618, and online.

Sources: Dan McWilliams – East Tennessee Catholic, Basilica website, History of the Diocese of Knoxville



February 20, 2014

St. Mary | Gatlinburg


Catholic activity in the Smokies began with the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
St. Mary Catholic Church in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

St. Mary Catholic Church in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

The birth of St. Mary Church in Gatlinburg began on Easter Sunday in 1935. Three years later, a log cabin was donated by the Conroy family of Knoxville which became Gatlinburg’s first Catholic Church. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Labor Day in 1940, the 40-seat cabin church quickly outgrew itself.

In 1950, St. Mary became a mission of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Alcoa. Under the direction of OLF pastor, Rev. Paul Clunan, a new Gothic design stone church was built on Historic Nature Trail Road in the heart of Gatlinburg. The church was dedicated to our Blessed Lady on November 26, 1953. The rectory was added in 1969, and in the next decade a new wing provided classrooms, parish hall and 125 additional seats.

From its humble beginnings with a dozen parishoners in 1938, St. Mary has grown to 109 families in 2014 and has been instrumental in the establishment of two addition parishes in Sevier County, Holy Cross in Pigeon Forge and Holy Family in Seymour.

In honor of the 60th anniversary of the parish, a new stained glass window was installed above the front entrance of the church.

Fr. Joe Brando looks on as the new stained glass is unveiled in 2013.

Fr. Joe Brando looks on as the new stained glass is unveiled in 2013.

Altar servers process under new stained glass.

Altar servers process under new stained glass.

Visit St. Mary at 304 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 and

Sources: Mike Sweeney,, History of the Diocese of Knoxville




February 7, 2014

As we celebrate the Silver Anniversary of the Diocese and the Smoky Mountain Deanery Pilgrimage masses, it’s time to reflect on our history while embracing the future!

Holy Ghost
Holy Ghost, 1041 N. Central Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37917

Holy Ghost, 1041 N. Central Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37917

Knoxville’s second Catholic parish came to life in the early 20th century, when Bishop Thomas Byrne commissioned Father James Lorigan, assistant pastor of Immaculate Conception, to build a new church in North Knoxville. The announcement about the new parish, to be named Holy Ghost, was made, not coincidentally, on the feast of Pentecost in 1907 from the pulpit of Immaculate Conception Church.

Holy Ghost interior

Holy Ghost interior

Built in 1908, the original church featured an altar of Tennessee marble. It served as the parish’s church until 1926. Holy Ghost’s fourth pastor, Father L. J. Kemphues, announced plans for construction of a new church. Cincinnati architects Crowe and Schulte were retained, along with Knoxville contractor J.M. Dunn and Son, to design and build the current Indiana Bedford stone Norman-Gothic structure, one of the most beautiful churches in Tennessee.

The groundbreaking took place in 1925. A year later, the new (and current) Holy Ghost Church was dedicated. The original church still stands (next door to the current church – serves as the home of the Holy Resurrection Byzantine Catholic Mission). Source: Jackie Owen and Beth Beazley, Holy Ghost website.

Detail of wood carving

Detail of wood carving

Holy Ghost outgrew their first church in less than 20 years. Sacred Heart is now in its 58th year and in the planning stages of building a new cathedral parish.

For more, the new 160-page hardcover book, History of the Diocese of Knoxville, at the parish office. It features vintage & modern day photos, a history of each parish, the diocese, and biographies of all three bishops.


January 31, 2104

As we continue to celebrate the Silver Anniversary of the Diocese, it’s a great time to reflect on where we’ve been while planning for the future.

Church of the Immaculate Conception
IC was established in 1855 in Knoxville when Fr. Henry Brown purchased land on Summitt Hill & Vine Avenue. He designed the church in the Gothic Revival style. Despite anti-Catholic sentiment, the parish continued to grow with Irish, German and Italian immigrants. By 1880, the little IC 9.27.1886stone church was too small for the congregation and plans for a larger structure began.

Joseph Baumann, a leading Knoxville architect, designed the new church in the Victorian Gothic style. Ground breaking was in July of 1883, and the new IC was dedicated on September 19, 1886. (Source: IC website)

Ironically, 71 years later, it was Baumann and Baumann, Inc. that designed Sacred Heart church in 1953 with our dedication being January 21, 1957. (Click here to see the SH Dedication program.)

Immaculate Conception outgrew their church in 31 years. Sacred Heart is currently planning a new church after 58 years.

For more, pick-up the 160-page hardcover book, History of the Diocese of Knoxville, featuring vintage & modern day photos, a history of each parish, history of the diocese, biographies of all three bishops, and a history of both diocesan high schools. Copies of the book will be available after Mass for purchase.

December 9, 2013

Cathedral webpage header PS2

Campaign Study Underway

Dear Sacred Heart Cathedral Parishioners,

After an extensive process of gathering ideas from our clergy, lay leadership and community, we are preparing for a capital campaign that will address the long overdue need to build a Cathedral appropriate for our vibrant and growing Catholic community in the Diocese of Knoxville. The Cathedral is not only your home, but our diocesan home…an enduring symbol reflecting our priorities of faith, community and worship.

Additional capital elements include the need for meeting and educational space at Sacred Heart Cathedral parish. We will also seek to address diocesan initiatives such as charitable outreach, priest retirement, and funding for the Catholic education trust fund.

We are considering a Diocese-wide campaign to support this effort. It is important to understand that Catholics outside of the Sacred Heart community will follow your lead when considering their level of support. As such, with this study we are proposing a goal of $10 million for Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish and a $35 million goal for the rest of the Diocese.

Included in this brochure are details about the purpose and scope of the campaign. We ask you to review the information carefully and share your feedback. Your input will guide our decision in the months ahead and help us to appropriately shape the capital campaign. Please visit this page to participate in the Campaign Planning Survey.

Thank you for your assistance in this important process, and please keep us in your prayers as we embark on this wonderful journey together. May God continue to bless you and your family,

Most Reverend Richard F. Stika
Bishop of Knoxville

Very Reverend David A. Boettner
Rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral



November 29, 2013Diocese Crest

The Diocese of Knoxville is launching a campaign planning study to determine the level of support for a diocesan capital campaign.

Representatives from the Steier Group, a Catholic development and fundraising firm, will be conducting interviews and collecting surveys seeking feedback about the proposed campaign. The campaign would address individual parish needs, building a cathedral, charitable initiatives, priest retirement, and tuition assistance for Catholic school families.

The study will be conducted starting in December and ending in early 2014. During the 12-week study, parishioners will have a variety of ways to respond. While some will be personally interviewed, others will have the option to mail in a survey, go online to answer questions, and/or attend focus groups. Participants will be given a case statement that outlines each of the needs and how the diocese would like to address them. Responses collected during the study are confidential. The results will be used to recommend how the diocese will proceed and what it can expect to accomplish.

Under the current campaign plan, the amount needed is estimated to be between $35 million and $40 million. The Diocese of Knoxville’s GiFT campaign, conducted nearly 10 years ago, was successful in raising more than $27 million.

The Steier Group, based in Omaha, Neb., has directed a number of successful efforts, including a $51 million campaign in the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis. and a $49 million campaign for the Sioux Falls, S.D., Catholic schools.

November 8, 2013

Catholic Church Architecture

Duncan Stroik videoSacred Heart Cathedral architect Duncan Stroik speaks to the movement in Catholic church architecture to return to the sense of the sacred – transcendence, beauty and permanence. Watch HERE.

McNamara 8

Rediscovering Liturgical Images

There was a time when imagery was plentiful and now it’s rather sparse. In the 1930s, there was a movement to use less imagery and make the alter more prominent.

After Vatican II in 1962 (SHC was built in 1956), the movement became (a) the altar and tabernacle are primary, (b) devotionals and plaques were secondary, and (c) statues were moved away from the altar.

Denis McNamara states, “It is now time for us to say liturgical images are part of the rite and they belong in a church….the empty wall of cream colored drywall is past…we can come to a full good balance of how images can be used to grow closer to God.” Learn more HERE.

November 1, 2013

Sacred Heart Riparian Buffer Zone

This week the Master Plan committee finalized the landscape plan for the creek bed area by Northshore Drive. Plantings will include new trees and native grasses. The Cathedral will re-submit Phase One of the formalized plan to the City of Knoxville to receive a permit. Work will begin shortly thereafter with a goal of installation by the end of the year pending availability of plant material.


October 18, 2013

Catholic Church Architecture: Sacred ImagesMcnamara sacred images

Dr. Denis McNamara, faculty member at the Liturgical Institute in Mundelein, Illinois, speaks on the importance of sacred images in Catholic worship, noting their sacramental character as revealers of the presence of heavenly beings. Watch here.

Work on the Sacred Heart Master Plan continues. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to email the Master Plan committee.

October 11,2013

The Master Plan subcommittee continues to meet with Barber McMurry and Merit Construction on a weekly basis. Most of our efforts at this time are focused on the landscape plan for the creek area, and finalizing our contract with BarberMcMurry Architects and Duncan Stroik Architects. The Landscape plan is in play due to the fall planting season. We hope our fellow parishioners will pitch in and help with the new plantings during “Parish Clean-Up Day” on Saturday, October 26th from 9AM-NOON! If at any time you have any questions, feel free to email the Master Plan committee. ~ Jerry Bodie, Chairman

October 4, 2013

Landscape Design

Creek Bed 100413 005You may have noticed the clearing along the creek in front of the church. This week, the BarberMcMurry design team continued work on a landscape plan for the Riprarian Buffer zone along Fourth Creek in front of the parish property. A Riprarian Buffer is a naturally vegetated area next to water resources that protects stream water quality, non-point source pollution, provides bank stabilization and aquatic and wildlife habitat.

Working closely with the City of Knoxville Engineering Department, Hedstrom Design is nearing completion on a landscape plan for this area that will begin to be implemented during this Fall planting season.

Creek Bed 100413 014 Creek Bed 100413 010

September 27, 2013Mcnamara columns

Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy

This week we continue the Denis McNamara video series on traditional church architecture and elements of the church and their meanings.

“We are living stones in the Temple of Christ. In the ancient world, columns were understood as architectural versions of people – the pillars of the Church.” Dr. Denis McNamara, of the Liturgical Institute in Mundelein, Illinois, speaks of the historical and theological meaning of columns and why they are important theological markers for today’s new churches. Watch HERE.

September 15, 2013

DSC_0221 DSC_0865

At the Diocese of Knoxville’s Eucharistic Congress on September 13-14, Bishop Richard Stika shared his dreams and vision of the Diocese including four new missions, new churches, St. Mary’s Legacy Foundation/Mobile Clinic and a new Cathedral. Here are the resources to date on the Sacred Heart Master Plan and the future Cathedral of the Diocese of Knoxville – Sacred Heart Cathedral:

Eucharistic Congress Cathedral Video

Sacred Heart Town Hall Master Plan Presentation

Click here to view the updated Site Plan from the Town Hall presentation.

Town Hall Takeaway pdf

DoK Silver Jubilee Photo Gallery

September 13, 2013

The Master Planning process continues to build momentum. Read Friday’s article in the Knoxville News Sentinel about the Eucharistic Congress and the vision for the mother church of the Diocese, Sacred Heart Cathedral!

At the end of the Closing Mass tomorrow night at the Eucharistic Congress, Bishop Stika will have a few remarks about the future of the Diocese and its Cathedral, and will have a short video presentation. The parish website will have all the details following the Eucharistic Congress. It’s not only an exciting time for our Diocese, but our Sacred Heart parish as well. Thank you for your continued prayers as we extend the ministry of Jesus Christ throughout East Tennessee.

September 8, 2013
Kelly Headden -BMA, Duncan Stroik, Jerry Bodie, Fr. Randy Stice

Kelly Headden -BMA, Duncan Stroik, Jerry Bodie, Fr. Randy Stice

A Letter from Jerry Bodie, Master Planning Committee Chairman:

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

It has been a little over three weeks since our Town Hall meeting and I continue to hear positive comments about our Master Plan presentation. During our discussion at the last meeting, everyone thought it would be a good idea to update the parish on our next steps.

One of those steps will be to develop a contract for the schematic design phase which will help us get a better estimate on costs for the first phase of this project.

Cathedral School

Because the town hall was focused on addressing the needs of the parish and of the campus, we will be reviewing specific school needs in coming weeks. We look forward to an October meeting with our school community to go over the school aspects of the Master Plan in greater detail.

Steering Committee

Bruce Hartmann and Dugan McLaughlin are co-chairing the Steering committee and have been working with John Deinhart, the Diocesan Director of Stewardship and Strategic Planning, in selecting a firm to conduct a feasibility study and capital campaign. This feasibility study will begin in October and should be completed by the end of December 2013. It will help us to determine the level of support not only from the parish but also throughout the Diocese.

I hope to see all of you at the Eucharistic Congress next weekend.  At the very end of the Closing Mass there will be a short video of our Cathedral showcasing the new “Home” for our Diocese.

Thanks again for all you do for our Parish and our Diocese,
Jerry Bodie
SHC Master Plan Committee Chairman

Master plan committee members include: Kathy Bracic, Thom Haeuptle, Dave Rechter, Pam Rhoades, Ed Trent, Tom Greer, Jerry Bodie, Fr. David Boettner, Fr. Randy Stice, Deacon Ben Johnston, Carol Taylor. [Email](

September 1, 2013

Fr. David Boettner has been meeting with priests from around the Diocese presenting the Master Plan for the mother Church of the Diocese, Sacred Heart Cathedral. Cumberland Mountain Deanery and the Smoky Mountain Deanery have seen the vision; up next are meetings with Five Rivers Deanery and Chattanooga Deanery. The priests of the diocese are excited about the momentum of the Cathedral project and look forward a place of pilgrimage and worship in the Diocese of Knoxville.

More details forthcoming at the Eucharistic Congress in two weeks. Hope you’ve made plans to attend our first convention in Sevierville September 13-14! If not, register here! If you have any questions or comments about the Master Plan, email

Smoky Mtn Deanery MP photo
August 23, 2013


Nearly 400 parishioners turned out for the Parish Town Hall meeting last Sunday to learn details of the Sacred Heart Master Plan! Everyone had a wonderful time following the presentation at the award-winning barbeque dinner on the pavilion! Check out the Town Hall Photo Gallery.

Read more about the importance of traditional Catholic church architecture in a great article from the National Catholic Register.

“The trend in Catholic church architecture in the United States is definitely, without question, becoming more traditional,” said Denis McNamara, an architectural historian specializing in American church architecture at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Stay in the know with the Master Plan page and feel free to email any questions or suggestions to

August 9 & 16, 2013

Everyone is invited to the Sacred Heart Master Plan Presentation on Sunday, August 18th at 4:00pm in the Gym. Fr. David Boettner and the Master Plan Committee are very excited to present to the parish the elements of the Master Plan regarding our worship space, meeting space and school renovations.

Please plan on joining us NEXT SUNDAY, August 18 to set the stage for the next 25-50 years of our Sacred Heart Parish! Plus, there will be a picnic barbeque following the Town Hall Meeting on the Pavilion! We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information or questions, email


Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 10.48.59 AM
August 2, 2013

Catholic Church Architecture

Part 5 – Decoration and Ornament – by Denis McNamara
Ornament is a sign of festivity. In our culture, when something is worth celebrating, we light candles, prepare a meal, bring out the good china; in other words, we make a sacrificial offering for the event. Ornament in sacred architecture reveals to us the use of a building and when tied to decoration reveals the nature and understanding of the sacred liturgy.

“We should be Catholic first in our theology of architecture and then find ways to make it beautiful and desirable.”~ Denis McNamara, Architect

The Sacred Heart Master Plan Presentation will be held on Sunday, August 18th at 4:00pm in the SHCS Gym. The entire Sacred Heart Community is invited to attend and enjoy a wonderful parish cook-out following the presentation!

July 18, 2013

Construction Manager Announced

Several weeks ago the Sacred Heart Master Plan Committee issued Request For Proposals to area construction firms in order to assist in the master planning process. The committee interviewed several local firms to assist in the design and cost analysis of the master plan. After prayerful consideration, the Committee has selected the local firm of Merit Construction as the construction firm for the master planning process.

Merit Construction, Inc. is a general contractor / construction manager headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Merit is a versatile, responsive company primarily focused on commercial, institutional and industrial construction as well as specialty projects. Merit’s goal is to exceed expectations and deliver on time and within the established budget. To view a few of their projects and to learn more about Merit, please visit their website at

Members of the SHC Master Planning Committee are: Jerry Bodie (Chair), Fr. Randy Stice, Kathy Bracic, Tom Greer (Ex-Officio), Thom Haeuptle, Deacon Ben Johnston, Dave Rechter, Carol Taylor, Ed Trent and Pam Rhoades (Communications). Comments and feedback are welcome by emailing

You are invited to attend the exciting Master Plan Unveiling on Sunday, August 18th at 4:00pm in the SHCS Gym with a parish cook-out to follow!

July 16, 2013

What is Classical Architecture and why is it useful?Church Architecture Part 4screen shot

After 40-50 years of the modernist dominance in architecture, people are now asking for classical design particularly in churches.

Classical architecture is fundamentally respectful of tradition, harmony, and the order of nature. Sacred architecture expert Denis McNamara reveals more on the New Classicism in this video clip.

Thank you for your prayers for the future of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Knoxville.

Save the date! On Sunday, August 18 the Sacred Heart Master Plan will be unveiled in the Gym at 4:00pm with a cookout to follow!
July 12, 2013

The Church Has Deep Roots in Judaism

Catholic Church Architecture Part 3 You Tube screen shot

Sacred architecture expert Denis McNamara reflects on how the Mass not only recalls the Passover feast but is also a foretaste of the heavenly glory that is coming to us. Check out this clip:

“Every Catholic Church is a place of meeting, to offer the sacrifice as a mystical body and to draw down the graces of God, the loving Father who in His mercy wants to share His diving life with us.”

There are many things to pray for on a daily basis. We appreciate your continued prayers for the vision of our wonderful Sacred Heart campus and future Cathedral.

SAVE THE DATE! On Sunday,  August 18th join us in the Gym at 4:00pm for the unveiling of the Sacred Heart Master Plan. Cookout to follow!

July 5, 2013

As in the Lord’s Prayer, “On Earth as it is in Heaven.” How can earth be more like heaven? Sacred architecture expert Denis McNamara describes the vaulting forms used in Cathedrals (St. Patrick’s NYC in this clip) – Christians today are invited to go in and experience a glorious version of returning to the Garden of Eden. Please pray for the Sacred Heart Cathedral Master Plan! Click here to see the clip.

McNamara St Patricks

June 28, 2013

This week the Master Plan Committee worked on looking for a construction manager to help with the estimation of potential costs in the different phases of the Master Plan. We invite you to pray for the planning process and for God’s will for our Sacred Heart parish.

Save the date of Sunday, August 18th for a Master Plan Parish Town Hall Meeting in the Gym at 4:00pm with a cookout to follow! Litany of the SH of Jesus


Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy

Christ, have mercy, Christ, have mercy

Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy

God our Father in heaven, have mercy on us

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us

God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us

Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, Son of the eternal Father, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, one with the eternal Word, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, infinite in majesty, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, aflame with love for us, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, source of justice and love, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, well-spring of all virtue, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, worthy of all praise, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, treasure-house of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, in whom there dwells the fullness of God, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is Well pleased, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, from whose fullness we have all received , have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, desire of the eternal hills, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, patient and full of mercy, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, generous to all who turn to you, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, atonement for our sins, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, overwhelmed with insults, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, broken for our sins, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, obedient even to death, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, pierced by a lance have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, victim of our sins, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, salvation of all who trust in you, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, hope of all who die in you, have mercy on us

Heart of Jesus, delight of all the saints, have mercy on us

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us

Lamb of God, you take away  the sins of the world, have mercy on us

Lamb of God, you take away  the sins of the world, have mercy on us

Jesus, gentle and humble of heart. Touch our hearts and make them like your own.

Let us pray.

Father, we rejoice in the gifts of love we have received from the heart of Jesus your Son. Open our hearts to share his life and continue to bless us with his love. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

June 21, 2013

WORSHIP is at the heart of the Master Plan. How do we prepare Sacred Heart for the next 50-75 years? In the mid-fifties, 199 families combined their resources to build a new parish “out west.” Sixty years later, we are focused on the vision for the future – a once in a lifetime opportunity for our parish.

The essence of the Master Plan is Worship, Education, and Parish Hall and Meeting Center.

Over 40% of parishioners took part in the Master Plan survey with overwhelmingly positive support for new worship space, meeting space, and school renovations. Worship will guide the master plan.

Cathedral architect, Duncan Stroik, met with Bishop Stika, Fr. David, the Master Plan committee, and the Steering Committee on June 20th. The vision for the Cathedral is that of Transcendence, Beauty and Permanence. Our parish will raise the banner of Christ in East Tennessee and beyond. Barber McMurry Architects are drafting the Master Plan and it should be complete by mid-August, followed by a parish-wide meeting to unveil the vision.

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please contact any one of the Master Plan Committee members: Jerry Bodie (Chairman), Thom Haeuptle, Dave Rechter, Deacon Ben Johnston, Carol Taylor, Pam Rhoades, Ed Trent, Fr. Randy Stice, Kathy Bracic, Tom Greer, and Fr. David Boettner. Or via email at

June 14, 2013

Construction Manager

A subcommittee of the Master Planning committee met on Wednesday, June 12 to review the Construction Manager Request for Proposals issued for the Sacred Heart Cathedral project. The “RFP’s” were sent to qualified construction firms interested in providing services for the construction of a new Cathedral and renovations to parish and school facilities. All bidders were required to have construction experience of a comparable scope, complexity, and nature of the project. Proposals were due at 2:00pm on Wednesday, June 12th.

The subcommittee will select a construction manager via a formula provided by BarberMcMurry Architects to ensure fairness in the decision process.

Next Step

Ecclesiastic consultant to the Cathedral project, Duncan Stroik Architect, will be in Knoxville on June 20th to meet with Bishop Stika, the Master Plan committee, and the Steering Committee. Committee members can be reached at

Thank you for your support and prayers in this exciting time in the life of our Cathedral parish!

June 7, 2013

Program Phase Complete

The Master Planning committee reconvened on Friday, June 7 to complete the Program Phase: addressing the needs of the parish, school, and Cathedral. Thank you for your valuable input via the Master Plan Survey over the past few weeks.

The three main components of the project were again stressed: the new Cathedral, Parish and Conference Center, and upgrades and space at the School.

Three site sketches were presented by Barber McMurry Architects. The committee recommended taking the best parts of each plan and combining them in order to meet the needs of the Sacred Heart community such as accessible and additional parking, worship and meeting space, traffic flow, elevations, and overall site organization. The committee agreed that the site plan will be a living document allowing for options as we move along in the process.

What Happens Next?
A subcommittee of the Master Plan committee will meet next week to select a construction manager. Additionally, Duncan Stroik Architect will be in Knoxville again on June 20th to meet with Bishop Stika, the Master Plan committee, and the Steering Committee. Thank you for your support and prayers in this exciting time in the life of our Cathedral parish!
Members of the Sacred Heart Master Planning Committee include: Deacon Ben Johnston, Kathy Bracic, Dave Rechter, Fr. Randy Stice, Fr. David Boettner, Ed Trent, Jerry Bodie, Tom Greer, Pam Rhoades, Carol Taylor, and Thom Haeuptle. Kelly Headden and Jeff Williamson represent BarberMcMurry Architects with ecclesiastical consultant Duncan Stroik. Committee members can be reached at any time for feedback at

June 2, 2013

The Program Phase

Thank you for taking time to respond to the Master Plan Survey. Over 425 parishioners responded! Your input and direction is essential to building on our foundation and preparing for the next 50-100 years of our Cathedral Parish.

More meetings are scheduled in June to complete the Master Plan portion of the project. Updates will be posted here. Your Input is always welcome by emailing

The SHC Master Plan committee working on the Program phase of the Master Plan consists of: Kelly Headden-BarberMcMurry, Fr. David Boettner, Dave Rechter, Carol Taylor, Deacon Ben Johnston, Jerry Bodie, Thom Haeuptle, Kathy Bracic, Fr. Randy Stice, Tom Greer, Pam Rhoades.

May 26, 2013

Master Plan Online Survey

If you didn’t make it to mass last weekend, watch Fr. David’s homily about the Sacred Heart Master Plan:
We want to hear you, so speak up and take part in our parish master plan survey. Your participation now will lay the foundation for Sacred Heart Master Plan project. Thank you!
      And take the survey >> 
Click here to go to the online parish survey.
May 17, 2013

Master Planning Parish Presentations

At all of this weekend’s masses, all parishioners will have the opportunity to offer feedback on the Cathedral Master Plan. Mr. Kelly Headden from BarberMcMurry Architects will join Fr. David Boettner to speak about the master planning process.

There are three phases to a master planning project: fact-finding, conceptual design, and presentation. We are currently in the discovery portion of our project and are beginning the conceptual sketches. It is important that the fact-finding portion of the project be thorough.

The Master Plan at Sacred Heart has three parts: a Cathedral, a renovation of the original Parish Church (the current Cathedral) for use as a Parish Hall and Conference Center, and an expansion and renovation to the Cathedral School. A critical component of the success of all of these portions of the project will be necessary revisions to the site. Steps to correct current issues with site access/egress, vehicular circulation, parking, pedestrian circulation, and landscaping on campus will also be studied.

We have met with all of the leadership groups involved with each of the components on campus. Through these sessions, we have developed a set of basic criteria for future development of the campus. Now, we need your feedback. Please click on the seven-question survey below to offer your input. Thank you for your time!

SHC Master Plan Survey


May 6, 2013

What is a Cathedral?

We are embarking on an exciting and far-reaching project—a master plan that will serve as a road map for the future growth of Sacred Heart Cathedral and enable us to better serve the needs of our parish community and our diocese. The centerpiece of the master plan is the construction of a new cathedral.

At this early stage of the master planning process, it will be helpful to reflect on what is distinctive about a cathedral parish. How is a cathedral different from all of the other church buildings in a diocese? The most authoritative answer to this question is provided by the Ceremonial of Bishops, a text promulgated by the Congregation for Divine Worship that describes how the Mass and other liturgical rites are celebrated when the bishop is the presider. The Ceremonial of Bishops devotes a chapter to “The Cathedral Church.” In this article I would like to present the main points of that chapter.

The name “cathedral” comes from the Latin word cathedra, which is the bishop’s chair. The bishop’s chair—his cathedra—is “the sign of his teaching office and pastoral power in the particular Church [diocese], and a sign also of the unity of believers in the faith that the bishop proclaims as shepherd of the Lord’s flock.” Only the diocesan bishop, or a bishop he permits to use it, occupies this chair. When a priest celebrates Mass or other liturgies at the cathedral, he uses a chair that is set up in a place separate from the bishop’s chair. The cathedral, then, is the site of the bishop’s chair, a church building that should manifest the bishop’s role as shepherd of his diocese and shine forth as a resplendent sign of the Diocese of Knoxville.

Here is the Ceremonial’s description of the cathedral:

The diocesan cathedral “in the majesty of its building is a symbol of the spiritual temple that is built up in souls and is resplendent with the glory of divine grace. As Saint Paul says: ‘We are the temple of the living God’ (2 Corinthians 6:16). The cathedral, furthermore, should be regarded as the express image of Christ’s visible Church, praying, singing, and worshiping on earth. The cathedral should be regarded as the image of Christ’s Mystical Body, whose members are joined together in an organism of charity that is sustained by the outpouring of God’s gifts” (Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution Mirificus eventus).

For these reasons, concludes the Ceremonial, “the cathedral church should be regarded as the center of the liturgical life of that diocese.”

As the center of the liturgical life of a diocese, “the cathedral church should be a model for the other churches of the diocese in its conformity to the directives laid down in liturgical documents and books with regard to the arrangement and adornment of churches.” All that the Church teaches about the church building should be radiantly evident in the cathedral church. The Second Vatican Council taught that “all things set apart for use in divine worship should be truly worthy, becoming, and beautiful, signs and symbols of the supernatural world.” If this is true of all church buildings and their furnishings, how much more should it characterize the cathedral church?

The cathedral church is the preferred place for the celebration of the most important diocesan liturgical celebrations. “In this church, on the more solemn liturgical days, the bishop presides at the liturgy. There also…he consecrates the sacred chrism and confers the sacrament of holy orders.” For this reason, the sanctuary, that is, the place where the bishop, priests, and ministers carry out their ministries, “should be sufficiently spacious for the rites to be carried out without obstruction to movement or to the view of the assembly.” To give just one example, at the Chrism Mass, all of the priests of the diocese renew their commitment to priestly service. Presently we have over 70 priests in our diocese and 19 seminarians, so in the next 10-15 years we will need a sanctuary spacious enough to accommodate 80-100 priests.

The Ceremonial recommends a number of specific features to facilitate beautiful and prayerful liturgies. “If at all possible, provision should be made for a gathering place of the people near the cathedral church—another church, a suitable hall, a square, or a cloister—where the blessings of candles, of palms, and of fire, as well as other preparatory celebrations, may take place and from which processions to the cathedral church may begin.” In addition, it “should have a vesting room as close as possible to the church entrance, where the bishop, concelebrants, and ministers can put on their liturgical vestments and from which the entrance procession can begin.” Finally, it should have a sacristy, which should normally be separate from the vesting room, “where vestments and other liturgical materials are kept. It may also serve as the place where the celebrant and the ministers prepare for a celebration on ordinary occasions.” Our current cathedral church lacks all of these features.

Because of its symbolism and importance, the diocese should strive “to instill esteem and reverence for the cathedral church in the hearts of the faithful. Among such measures are the annual celebration of the dedication of the cathedral and pilgrimages in which the faithful, especially in groups of parishes or sections of the diocese, visit the cathedral in a spirit of devotion.”

The bishop is the teacher, sanctifier and pastor of his diocese, and the Ceremonial teaches that this office “shines forth most clearly in a liturgy that he celebrates with his people.” Liturgical celebrations led by the bishop “manifest the mystery of the Church as that mystery involves Christ’s presence.” For this reason, “all should hold in great esteem the liturgical life of the diocese centered around the bishop, especially in his cathedral church; they must be convinced that the preeminent manifestation of the Church is present in the full, active participation of all God’s holy people in these liturgical celebrations, especially in the same Eucharist, in a single prayer, at one altar at which the bishop presides, surrounded by his college of presbyters [priests] and by his ministers.”

This is the goal of our master plan: a cathedral church that is a sign and symbol of heavenly realities and that manifests the beauty and majesty of Christ’s Church in East Tennessee.


May 3, 2013

Work on the Sacred Heart Master Plan continues with the Site Map shown below. Click here for a closer look.

BarberMcMurry Architects will complete the Master Plan by August. The master plan will project growth and parish needs for the next 5, 10, and 20 years in phases. A steering committee will be in place shortly to build enthusiasm and support for the plan of the Cathedral. A feasibility study will begin in September.

Your input and feedback is welcome. Email, and please plan on attending the Master Plan Open Forums following all the masses on May 17 and 18.


April 26, 2013

BarberMcMurry Architects and Duncan Stoik Architects met with four groups this week to discuss priorities and needs for the Sacred Heart Master Plan: parish staff, school staff, the Master Planning Committee, and the Bishop.

MPC Meeting 4/24/13

A lot of great information was collected and will be developed into a “Working Program.”

Engagement and involvement from the Sacred Heart parish and school family, as well as the community is extremely important in the Master Planning process. There will be Open Forums in which everyone will have the opportunity to participate.

The first Parish Presentation will be held after masses on Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18 to receive input and feedback from the community and to build enthusiasm. Please plan to stay after mass for a 20-30 minute program! There will also be opportunities to offer input via online surveys in coming weeks.

Please continue to check the parish website under the Master Plan tab – the bulletin, and the weekly Parish Update emails for the latest news. Feel free to email with any questions as well!

Jerry Bodie makes a point with architect Duncan Stroik and committee member Thom Haeuptle.

Kelly Headden -BMA, Duncan Stroik, Jerry Bodie, Fr. Randy Stice

Master Plan Committee members include:  Jerry Bodie (Chair), Fr. Randy Stice, Kathy Bracic, Tom Greer (Ex-Officio), Thom Haeuptle, Ed Trent, Deacon Ben Johnston, Dave Rechter, Carol Taylor and Pam Rhoades (Communications).

BarberMcMurry team includes: Kelly Headden and Jeff Williamson

Duncan Stroik team includes: Duncan Stroik and Tom Stroka


April 19, 2013

The Sacred Heart Cathedral Master Planning Committee recently selected the local firm of Barber McMurry Architects as the consultant for the master planning process. In addition, the firm of Duncan Stroik Architect, LLC will be the Ecclesiastical Consultant working directly with Barber McMurry and the Committee.

Duncan G. Stroik

Duncan G. Stroik (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is our Master Plan?

Our master plan is an organized effort to achieve a vision and it is a road map to show how we can continue to grow and minister to the needs of our parish community. The site master plan is a conceptual layout for a site. It looks at historically placed buildings, the next phase of growth, and the future growth. It will outline a logical phased growth plan and indicate the maximum potential usage of a site.

How Do You Master Plan?

First a topographic survey of our property will be completed. Next, the overall land is analyzed with respect to streets, easements, buffers, zoning, setbacks, flood plains and natural features. The land remaining is the actual usable acreage.

Then a study of all of the activities and events that take place at Sacred Heart Cathedral will be conducted to determine the best use of current building and indicate what future construction needs look like.

The most important aspect of master planning is to provide a road map for future growth for Sacred Heart Cathedral.

These two firms have vast experience in both master planning and Sacred Architecture. We will continue to keep you informed and will be asking for input as we make progress in shaping a vision for the future of Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Check out this video to learn more about Catholic Church Architecture.


Catholic Church Architecture Part 1 of 10

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