Bishop Richard F. Stika has appointed Father Doug Owens, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Lenoir City, as the Diocese of Knoxville’s newest vicar general and moderator of the curia.
Father Owens succeeds the late Monsignor Xavier Mankel as one of two vicars general serving the diocese, joining Father David Boettner, rector of the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Father Boettner has served as moderator of the curia since March 2008.
Bishop Stika praised the work Father Boettner is doing as a leader of the diocese who is pastoring one of the diocese’s largest parishes and schools, is managing construction of the new cathedral, and will continue his many administrative duties with the Chancery and diocese.
The bishop said Father Owens will be a good addition to the diocesan leadership team in helping him, Father Boettner, and diocesan chancellor Deacon Sean Smith in fulfilling the ministry of the diocese.
In introducing Father Owens as vicar general on July 21 at the Chancery, Bishop Stika praised the service of Monsignor Mankel, who had served as a vicar general since the earliest days of the diocese. Monsignor Mankel died June 21 at the age of 81 after a long illness.
Bishop Stika said he was confident Father Owens will ably follow in the footsteps of Monsignor Mankel in helping lead the diocese in the many ways it serves God and the Catholic community of East Tennessee.
Father Owens, who will continue to serve as pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle, will begin his appointment on Aug. 1. His current appointment as dean of the Cumberland Mountain Deanery will conclude on July 31.
“Father Doug, you have faithfully served the Diocese of Knoxville for six years. You have been a trusted adviser to me for two years and you also have been a key member of my leadership councils. Your counsel and business experience are a blessing to the diocese, and I am grateful to you for your willingness to serve in this important leadership role. I look forward to working with you,” Bishop Stika said.