Women and men religious serving in the Diocese of Knoxville participated in solemn vespers with exposition and benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament Sept. 13 as part of the National Day of Prayer during the Year of Consecrated Life.
Father Ron Franco, CSP, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Knoxville, was celebrant of the vespers service held at Immaculate Conception.
More than 80 diocesan parishioners and women and men religious took part in the vespers service, praying to the Most Holy Trinity, observing adoration, saying the rosary and reading Scripture as Father Franco exposed the Most Blessed Sacrament.
2015 has been designated by the Catholic Church as the Year of Consecrated Life in recognition of men and women religious who serve the Church. The Diocese of Knoxville is holding observances to mark the occasion.
The women religious represented in the diocese include the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia (OP), Handmaids of the Precious Blood (HPB), Missionary Congregation of the Evangelizing Sisters of Mary (ESM), Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus “Ad Gentes” (MAG), Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Mich. (RSM), Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (SCN), Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – South Central Community (RSM), Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George (FSGM), Sisters of St. Joseph, Third Order of St. Francis (SSJ-TOSF), Sisters of the Divine Compassion (RDC), and Sisters of the Good Shepherd (RGS).
Religious institutes and societies of men represented in the diocese are the Alexian Brothers (CFA), Apostles of Jesus (AJ), Paulist Fathers (CSP), Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (MSFS), Glenmary Home Missioners (GHM), and Crusaders of the Holy Spirit (CHS).