SCHOOL, CHURCH AND RECTORY IN 1956
The late Monsignor Edward Dolan, P.A., succeeded Father Murray as pastor of Immaculate Conception in May of 1955. Shortly after his arrival in Knoxville, Father Dolan began negotiations with Baumann and Baumann Architects and Emory and Richards General 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 was appointed its first pastor and took up residence in one finished room of the school on July 18, 1956. He moved into the completed rectory in November 1956 and celebrated the first Mass in the new church at midnight, Christmas, 1956. He served as pastor for 16 more years.
Father Robert Hofstetter served as pastor from 1981 until 1987. He oversaw the expansion of the physical plant to include kindergartens, science labs, computer labs, an art department, and other modifications. His reputation as a spiritual director drew people from outside the parish to workshops in spirituality, liturgy, and other areas of growth in the Lord.
1956 CHURCH INTERIOR
Father Al Humbrecht was named pastor in August 1997. In November 1998, Bishop O’Connell was named the 3rd Bishop of Palm Beach, FL. In January 1999, Fr. Al Humbrecht was elected Diocesan Administrator until the Holy See should appoint a Bishop for the Diocese of Knoxville. Bishop Joseph 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. In order to help him get to know the parish well, Fr. David appointed a Transition Team which hosted listening sessions throughout the parish to get the pulse of the parish and give him a “State of the Parish” report. Following the work of the Transition Team, the Parish Pastoral Council began a Strategic Planning Process that produce a five-year plan for the years 2011-2016. As the parish implements this plan, it will focus on five areas based upon the expressed needs of the parish: Facilities, Faith Formation, Communication, School, and Unity in Diversity.
At last count, the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus numbered about 2,424 families. May God grant the increase.