Catholic Foundation of East Tennessee

Educating Seminarians and Purchasing Land for a Growing Church: One Priest and One Parish at a Time

While one of the smallest, the Diocese of Knoxville is one of the fastest growing dioceses in America.  Over the last 27 years since Saint John Paul II established the Diocese of Knoxville, the number of faithful has more than doubled from 32,000 to over 66,000 Catholics.  We have grown from 40 parishes and missions to 51.  Our schools, adult formation programs, and ministries have all followed suit.

Our growth as a faith community is due, in large measure, to support from Catholic Foundation of East Tennessee members.

The Foundation assists the Diocese of Knoxville in two vital ways:

– Catholic Foundation members purchase land for new Catholic churches, schools and ministries throughout East Tennessee
– Catholic Foundation members help fund the education of our seminarians

These two fundamental investments make a strong FOUNDATION for the growing Catholic Church of East Tennessee.


FACT:    With help from Catholic Foundation members, more than 50 men have been prepared for priestly ministry

FACT:    We have ordained 11 men to the priesthood in the past 3 years

FACT:    9 seminarians are currently studying for the priesthood.

FACT:    It costs over $45,000 per year to educate each seminarian

FACT:    Seminarian education is the Diocese’s single largest financial commitment


FACT:    When founded as a Diocese, there were 11 counties in East Tennessee without a Catholic Church

FACT:    There are now only 2 counties without a Catholic Church.

FACT:    Catholic Foundation members have purchased property for 14 new churches

Since its inception in 1988, Foundation members have contributed $3 million to the Catholic Foundation, advancing and expanding the Roman Catholic Church in East Tennessee. 
If you are not yet a member, please consider joining us today.

Cost of Membership: $1,000 annually

Photos from the CFET Members Recognition Dinners

Knoxville 2015


A membership in CFET represents a strong commitment to the future growth of our Catholic Faith locally as we work together to continue the mission of Jesus Christ.

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Catholic Foundation 2015
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