On June 25 Cardinal Rigali celebrated Mass at St. Dominic Church in Kingsport and marked the occasion of graduation of SEPI (Southeastern Pastoral Institute) School of Ministries Level II in the Five Rivers Deanery. About 50 parish leaders received graduation certificates from the Diocese of Knoxville and from SEPI for having completed 150 hours of catechetical formation.
Cardinal Rigali, Father Michael Cummins, Father Alex Waraksa, Deacon Edgardo Farias from the Archdiocese of Miami, representing SEPI, and Diocesan Hispanic Ministry Director Blanca Primm recognized the students, who were sent out as new missionary disciples to go forward and evangelize. Father Peter Iorio, pastor of St. Mary Church in Johnson City, also supported this effort but could not be present.
The catechetical classes were taken during one weekend a month for the past year. The students are from the following parishes: St. Dominic, Kingsport; St. Mary, Johnson City; St. Anthony of Padua, Mountain City; Notre Dame, Greeneville; St. Patrick, Morristown; St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Mission, Erwin; Holy Ghost, Knoxville.