Thoughts On the Bishop’s Appeal

David Oatney Diocese of Knoxville, Vocations

Some of you might have heard your pastor make an announcement in your parish this weekend about the Bishop’s Appeal, the annual campaign of the Diocese of Knoxville to raise funds for diocesan-wide projects, missions, and charities. It is very easy to listen to the pitch for the Bishop’s Appeal and simply think “oh great, another plea for more money.” …

Practice Preaching

David Oatney Diocese of Knoxville, Vocations

If you read Catholic blogs on a regular basis, you have probably noticed that many clergy blogs have something in common. Whether it is Monsignor Charles Pope and his official work for the Archdiocese of Washington (Monsignor Pope does the same thing in Washington that myself and Father Christian Mathis have done here at Life At 25 for the Diocese …

The Importance of Retreat

David Oatney Diocese of Knoxville, Prayer, Priesthood, Vocations

The priests of the Diocese of Knoxville are on retreat as I write these lines at Lake Junaluska in North Carolina. The Church asks all of her clergy who are physically able to do so to make a retreat at least once a year, something that their diocese or religious order will often facilitate (here you see Bishop Stika celebrating …

Thoughts and Thanksgiving On Candidacy

David Oatney Diocese of Knoxville, Vocations

On Saturday I was extremely blessed and grateful as Nicole and myself joined 22 of my brother Aspirants for the diaconate for the Rite of Candidacy with Bishop Richard Stika, our formation directors Deacons Tim Elliott, Jim Lawson, and Joe Stackhouse, and many of the Deacons of our diocese and their families. It was certainly a blessed and celebratory occasion, …

Our Lady of the Rosary

David Oatney Diocese of Knoxville, New Evangelization, Prayer, Priesthood, Vocations

Today, October 7th, is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. On this day in 1571, a small and heavily-outnumbered allied Catholic naval force under the command of Don John of Austria defeated a Turk Muhammedian fleet of over 300 ships. This naval battle kept the Western Mediterranean from falling into Muslim hands and preserved the place of Christianity …

Looking Honestly At the Marriage Question and the Culture

David Oatney Catechism, Vocations

A recent blog post that I happened to read by the evangelical Protestant writer and speaker David Murrow at the weblog that he co-writes called A Few Grown Men wondered if so-called “gay marriage” would eventually accelerate the trend in the secular culture toward what some people call “open marriage,” in other words, marriages of convenience where the husband and wife …

Clericalism and Laicism

David Oatney Priesthood, Vocations

Since the beginning of his pontificate, we have seen and heard Pope Francis denounce the evils of clericalism, or the idea that because clergy are part of the clerical state that they ought to be entitled to an exaggerated deference to which their flocks, as fellow Christians, would not be entitled. At its worst, clericalism can lead to a separation …

Seminarians gather for annual retreat

Bill Brewer Catholic Church, News, Vocations

Diocesan seminarians took part in their annual retreat Aug. 5-7 at Christ Prince of Peace Retreat Center in Benton. Eighteen of the diocese’s 23 seminarians were able to attend. “It’s an annual gathering, and really the main purpose is to bring the seminarians together for a couple of days of prayer,” said Father Michael Cummins, the diocesan vocation director. “They’re …

The Future of the Diaconate

David Oatney Vocations

A story from yesterday’s National Catholic Register said that many of our nation’s bishops are extremely pleased with the progress of the permanent diaconate in the United States. The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate has been able to glean that there are around 18,000 permanent deacons serving in the United States, and that is based on the dioceses …

Reflection On Orders and the Church Over Pizza

David Oatney Priesthood, Vocations

Regulars here at Life At 25 may recall that I wrote a post on pastoral humility which featured Father Erik Richtsteig as part of a post on “Two Lessons in Humility” with regard to the way that Father Erik handled himself and cared for his shell-shocked flock after a shooting which took place at his parish, St. James the Just, …

Heralds of the Good News

David Oatney New Evangelization, Priesthood, Vocations, Year of Faith

World Youth Day festivities came to an end in Rio de Janeiro yesterday, but not before millions of young people had the experience of a lifetime, and Pope Francis made his mark on the “Marvelous City” forever. So critical may this World Youth Day of 2013 prove in defining Francis’ pontificate in Church history that even those closest to the …

A fond farewell for Sister Janice

Stephanie Richer Catholic Church, News, Vocations

If the suggestion of retirement is music to your ears, then for Sister Mary Janice Brink, RSM, it will be played by a dulcimer. After 43 years of ministry, Sister Janice is retiring and relocating to the Sisters of Mercy Convent in Nashville. When asked what she planned to do in Nashville, Sister Janice said she looked forward to having …

Handmaids of the Precious Blood in residence

Stephanie Richer Catholic Church, News, Vocations

The Handmaids of the Precious Blood, a contemplative community that is relocating from New Mexico to the Diocese of Knoxville, continue making progress on their move. Four nuns have established residency in the St. John House at the Christ Prince of Peace Retreat Center in Benton and more than a dozen nuns within the Handmaids of the Precious Blood are …