As you can see if you are a regular visitor to Life At 25, there has been something of a change of scenery around here, thanks to the technological wizardry of my friends and confrere in diaconate formation Scott Maentz, who takes care of most of our diocesan information technology needs. If you are familiar with our main diocesan site, you know that it has undergone quite a face lift lately and now this blog joins them in taking on a similar look. Part of this new format rearranges the way posts appear on the blog as well, and that means that I will have a bit less work to do. On a personal note, I must say that I prefer the white background that harmonizes with our new diocesan look.
I’ve been asked by several people what may happen to this weblog now that our 25th Anniversary Jubilee is officially completed. The end of our Jubilee Year is, of course, not a reason to stop celebrating the good work of the Church in East Tennessee. Indeed, now that we’ve celebrated the first 25 years, we are about to dig in for a campaign to help build the Diocese of Knoxville’s ability to reach out to the wider world in the name of Jesus Christ for what could be a great many years to come through an effort called the Home Campaign: Where We Worship, Teach, and Serve. Perhaps the great highlight of the campaign for most observers will be the part of the campaign that focuses on the building of a brand new Sacred Heart Cathedral, but as Father David Carter, Bishop Stika, Father John Dowling, Monsignor Patrick Garrity, and many others point out, this campaign is going to be about much more than a new cathedral church on Northshore Drive, but about insuring that our local Church has the resources we need to fund projects and charitable giving for and on behalf of the Catholic community so that our parishes and people won’t want for the things that they need to carry out the most basic of services the Church provides, from facilities which are fit houses of worship, to the means and materials to educate children in the faith, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and help our parish priests be able to retire with a bit of dignity.
As for the “anchor project” of the Home Campaign, the new Sacred Heart Cathedral, I will only offer a personal reflection, but it is one that is rooted in reality. If you’ve actually attended a diocesan event at the present cathedral, such as the Chrism Mass or our recent priestly and diaconal ordinations, then attempting to explain the need for a new cathedral should not be something that we need to go into some great detail about. When there is a diocesan event, the cathedral isn’t just always full, there is never enough room for everyone along with the musicians, photographers, diocesan media, priests, deacons, and religious. The present cathedral isn’t even the largest parish in the diocese, that distinction belongs to All Saints on Cedar Bluff Road. Indeed, God willing, when I and my classmates are ordained to the the diaconate, it will be at All Saints since there is not enough room at the cathedral for all of us and our families and friends to join us. If you are wondering why a new cathedral might be necessary, think about the need for the space to have major diocesan events in our own cathedral church.
Concerning the future of this blog, as long as the bishop wants it to continue, it almost certainly will. At some point in the future, a change of name will probably be in order, but the use of new media to spread the Gospel and enhance the Church will likely go on. Many more people are doing far more important work than this, but people have been blessed by this opus, and I know that because I do hear from them, and I feel blessed that we are able to bless them. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be talking more about the Home Campaign and what it will mean for the diocese of Knoxville.