From the Pastor

As we begin another new year, we look forward to working together in 2018 to continue the inspiring vision of our founder, Servant of God Isaac Hecker, and the mission of the Paulist Fathers in East Tennessee. The Paulist Fathers have been in Knoxville since 1973, sharing the good news of Christ and his Church in the heart of this city. Much has been accomplished over the years, and your generous spiritual support and financial assistance have been essential in enabling us to continue our commitment to the mission of evangelization in all its forms. Meanwhile many new challenges and opportunities await our response. I am confident that much will be accomplished with your collaboration.

So, once again, I invite you to participate in next Sunday’s Annual Paulist Appeal, which provides critical support to allow us to fulfill our mission, especially through vocation outreach and the formation and education of our novices and seminarians (among them, Michael Hennessy, who spent his pastoral year at Immaculate Conception and who will be ordained a Paulist priest this coming May). Your generosity will also assist the Paulist Fathers to provide proper care for our Senior Paulist Fathers.

Our guest preacher for this year’s Annual Paulist Appeal will be Father James Haley, CSP, a former pastor of Immaculate Conception parish (1979-1987 and 1998-2005). Father Haley was ordained a Paulist priest on April 27, 1968, and is therefore celebrating his Golden Jubilee, his 50th anniversary of priestly ordination this year!

Thank you for your generous consideration of our Annual Paulist Appeal. Your gift, no matter the size, truly makes a difference. Please know that you are remembered in the daily prayers of the Paulist Fathers.

Today is also the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. In his Message in preparation for this day, Pope Francis reaffirmed that “our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate.”

“Considering the current situation, welcoming means, above all, offering broader options for migrants and refugees to enter destination countries safely and legally. … The second verb – protecting – may be understood as a series of steps intended to defend the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees, independent of their legal status. … Promoting essentially means a determined effort to ensure that all migrants and refugees – as well as the communities which welcome them – are empowered to achieve their potential as human beings, in all the dimensions which constitute the humanity intended by the Creator. Among these, we must recognize the true value of the religious dimension, ensuring to all foreigners in any country the freedom of religious belief and practice.” [Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2018]

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