Please join us!

Our parish is located in the heart of the scenic East Tennessee, not far from Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains. Whether you are from this area or visiting, we welcome you to join us.

Mission: St. Thomas the Apostle is a Roman Catholic community centered in Faith and fully engaged in Evangelizing, Discipleship, Prayer and Worship that is functioning as a well-informed Parish Community.

The New Crucifix Installation

New to St. Thomas?

We welcome you to St. Thomas and hope that you will soon feel like a part of our community of faith.

If you are visiting with us or have not registered at the parish, we would love to get to know you better! You may stop in the office to register or pick-up a registration form in church or even register online (see further down on this page). Or if you would like to just learn more from a member of our Welcome Committee, please contact

If you have recently registered and have not heard from our Welcome Committee, please contact Deacon Dave Pecot at

The Welcome Committee's mission is not only to help you to know about St. Thomas but to also help you feel to like St. Thomas is your home and an extension of your family.





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Mass Times

Saturday 5:00 PM English Vigil
Saturday 7:00 PM Spanish Vigil
Sunday 9:00 AM
Sunday 11:30 AM

Labor Day-10:00AM

Mon-Fri 8:30 AM
Rosary immediately following daily Mass

Eucharistic Adoration



Eucharistic Adoration will be on First Fridays, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  




Office Hours

Monday-Friday 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
Closed 12:00 PM-12:30 PM for lunch

CLOSED-September 7, 2015. Labor Day

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Reconciliation is available Tuesdays at 6:00 PM and Saturdays from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM.

You may also call the parish office to make an appointment at 865-986-9885.

Download - Pastoral Exhortation on the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

Link to USCCB information on the Sacrament of Reconciliation



Click here to go to Daily Divine Office where you can read and/or listen to the office of prayers.



Click here to view Mass on


                                            KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS


The Knights of Columbus Council 12633 will be hosting their “Polish Feast” Dinner/Dance on Friday, October 2, 2015 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church. The menu will include; Kielbasa (polish sausage), Sauerkraut, Pierogi, Golbalki (stuffed cabbage rolls), potatoes, pickled beets and dessert. Festive music, dancing and libations are included in the price of the ticket, $27.50 per person. 

 Reservations and ticket information are available from Bill Twohig at 865-607-2248 or, Ed Valente at 865 406-9641,  evpv315@gmail.comm, or Chet Kwiatkowski at 988-3894. Knights will be selling tickets after all Masses the weekends of August 22 & 23 thru Sept. 26 & 27.



Registration for Fall and Winter AFF (Adult Faith Formation) is taking place now.

Please review the AFF booklet to see which classes you want to sign up for following Masses.  You may order materials for the classes on these dates as well.  Click here to download a booklet and registration form.

Click here to visit the AFF page and view the full listing of opportunities.


Great Adventure Series  

  • ACTS: The Spread of the Kingdom  
  • REVELATION: The Kingdom Yet to Come  


  • A Journey Through Church History   
  • Peter: The Cornerstone of Catholicism 

A Year of Prayer – “Pray for Me”-Fr. Doug Owens

  • Preparing for Sunday Mass                       
  • Fr. Doug’s Talks on Prayer 
  • Spiritual Retreats with Fr. Doug  

Deacon Dave Lucheon 

Book Discussions 

  • An Invitation to the Contemplative Life - Thomas Merton
  • The ShackWilliam P. Young
  • Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist – Brant Pitre                 
DVD Series
  • Unlocking the Mysteries of the Bible  with Jeff Cavins                                 
  • Revelation with Jeff Cavins                                     

  Deacon Dave Pecot  

“Mercy: God’s Gift” Lunch, presentation, small table group discussion 

 NEW  Fr. Robert Barron DVD Study-Men's small groups 

The Mystery of God: Who God is and Why He Matters


Neighbors Gather for Prayer

August kicks off our “Year of Prayer”

On August 12th, Fr. Doug met with a small gathering of Toqua neighbors to share thoughts on prayer and scripture reflection.  Once a month, throughout the coming year a different host family will invite 10-12 neighbors to their home to meet with Fr. Doug. 

We hope that these initial gatherings will ignite a desire for neighbors to continue to meet and share faith and fellowship together on a regular basis which will in turn continue to build up our community of faith here at St. Thomas and the community at large.



Parents of students in grades K-12 are invited to the Parish Family Life Center on Wednesday, August 26, 6:30-7:30pm for registration.  We will also be distributing important information and class dates. 

Tuition: $40 family with 1 child + $10 for each additional child.  Tuition does not have to be paid in full at the time of registration.  You make payments at your convenience.  At least one parent should attend this meeting.  

Religious Education schedule posted for 2015-2016. Click here to be redirected.

To download a printable registration form in English, click here.

To download a printable registration form in Spanish, click here.

Click here to register online.

Youth-Coming SOON....Life Teen!

What is Life Teen?Life Teen is a movement within the Roman Catholic Church, Life Teen leads teenagers and their families into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church.
We are super excited to be launching our youth program this Fall with Life Teen!  

Please visit this site, to read about Life Teen.









Fashion Show Fun



In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks “Do you also want to leave?” We must ask ourselves if we really want to hear the good news of his love for us and for others.  Is the word of God able to break into our consciousness, change us and call us to hear the cries of the poor?  As you give your gift to the poor through the monthly parish charity collection, in your heart you will also find the good news of God’s love.  A portion of that collection supports the mission of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul to help all who are in dire situations.  Call Curt Sheldon at 458-8510 for more information about the Society.


Are you a baptized Catholic who “fell through the cracks” when it came to the Sacrament of Confirmation?  Many, many adults never received the Sacrament through no fault of their own.  So many reasons: Your family had to move in the year of your Confirmation age; conflicts with extra-curricular activities; or maybe you weren’t emotionally or spiritually ready as a teenager. Bishop Stika will be celebrating a Confirmation Mass for baptized Catholics who have never been confirmed on September 13, 2015 at 5:00pm at Sacred Heart Cathedral. If you are a Catholic in good standing and desire to be enriched with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, call now for an appointment with Fr. Doug or Fr. Julian. You may be surprised to find out how easy it will be for you to be confirmed at last! 





The SCRIP program provides a means to donate, at no additional cost to you, while you shop, dine out, purchase gasoline or buy clothes.  Rather than paying the merchant with cash or check, debit or credit cards, you use St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church retail gift cards. To learn how you can participate, please attend one of the parish meetings scheduled after Masses on:  Sept 19/20, or Sept 26/27 in the PFLC.


We are in need for 2-3 people to become Eucharistic Ministers to our brothers and sisters who cannot attend Mass. The ministry is one day a month to administer the Body of Christ. Please call Bob Joyce for more information, 458-4550.


The Chinese word for crisis is a combination of two characters:  one for "danger," the other for "opportunity."   This reminds us that every crisis, though it involves impending danger, also offers opportunities for personal or spiritual growth.  Stephen Ministers are trained to walk with you through the dangers of your crisis and to help you find the opportunities God has in store for you.  For more information about Stephen Ministry, call Barbara Brennan (458-8922) or Tom Ringenbach (458-0915).


St. Thomas the Apostle Parish is blessed to have an ever-growing religious education program staffed with well-trained and dedicated catechists. This year we have a need for new adults to step forward and join in this ministry for children.  If you have an interest in sharing the love of Jesus and our rich faith tradition with children and would be willing to train and prepare to be a catechist, substitute catechist, or classroom helper, please contact Jill St. Yves, or 986-9885.


Calling all men of St. Thomas parish to our annual Cursillo Men’s Weekend at Apison Retreat Center this Oct 15-18th.   The retreat center is off the Ooltewah exit just north of Chattanooga. Fr. Joe Brando will be the resident clergy for the retreat.  The talks will be presented by select Diocesan laity.  

It is a great program; one you won’t soon forget; with the help of the Holy Spirit the Cursillo will enable you to get more in touch with God, the Church, and your fellow brothers and sisters. There is no better spiritual way to spend an October weekend than this Men’s Weekend. God-willing it can become the most memorable weekend you have ever spent.  

As a means to further visualize the Cursillo Weekend, the following definition is offered: Cursillo (Spanish) meaning “little course” is a course in Christianity that moves you to recognize how you are called to live out your Christian life.  

If you would like more information or want to join us, please contact Lance Lyons at or 865-405-3151.

Can You Help with Coffee in the Courtyard? 

Call Kevin Cooney 986-9885 ext. 14 or


A new Mass announcement policy has been implemented.  Until further notice, all announcements will be made by the cantor five minutes prior to the start of Mass. 

Any parish organization, group or individual wishing to include an announcement on any given Sunday must submit it to Jim Polhamus via e-mail by 4PM on Thursday of the same week, but no more than one week prior to the event. Announcements will be edited for length and clarity. 

 If you would like to make an announcement regarding a parish activity, please email the webmaster at






With fifty-eight in attendance, the August meeting of the Women’s Guild was opened with a prayer by Father Doug.  The prayer he used was the “Prayer to be Merciful to Others”.  After a brief business meeting, Father started his presentation on Mercy by relating two parables.  One was the parable of the unforgiving servant and the other was the Pharisee and the tax collector praying in the temple.  Father spent some time explaining the meaning of these parables. 

As background, Father Doug said Pope Francis is stressing the importance of being merciful and forgiving.  Helping the poor should be high on our list as we live our lives.  Sometimes our perception of the poor, that they just didn’t work hard enough, for example, can hinder our service to the poor.  We are obliged to help those who don’t have what we may have. Thus, the Pope has issued a Papal Bull declaring a Year of Mercy—a Jubilee—which begins December 8, 2015, Immaculate Conception and ends November 20, 2016, Christ the King.   An interesting fact: “bull” in this case means “to boil” which refers to the wax seal used on important documents which seems to boil when it is applied.  

Since a jubilee is a time one wipes the slate clean and starts over, Pope Francis will open the Holy doors during this time for people to make pilgrimages to the holy sites and will send special envoys worldwide to bestow mercy for sins that normally can only be forgiven by the Pope. 

What are we to do during this special event?  Father tested our memories by asking us to name the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.  He briefly explained many of them and said that we as a parish are doing quite well with most of them.  But, there is always room for improvement.  Many are difficult to do but we are obliged to put them to practice and participate with the right attitude.  After all, it is really payback time for the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus endured for us all. 

Father suggested that we read the Litany of Humility by Cardinal Merry del Val each day and he recited it as our closing prayer.  

Lunch at the Tanasi Club House provided additional time for friendship and laughter.  Approximately thirty attended. 

Our next meeting will be September 28 with Pat Ryan as our guest speaker.  Her topic will be “The Importance of Outreach and Volunteerism”.   

Totus Tuus

Spring Fling and Parish Picnic


Are you looking for a profound knowledge of God and his Church?

The goal of the Cursillo movement is to establish a closer and meaningful relationship with Christ by using the gospel as a way of life. Would you like to have the opportunity to experience this relationship with Christ and his church? The next three day weekends are coming soon.

The Cursillo movement of the Diocese of Knoxville announces their schedule. 

2015 Event                     Location                                             Dates

Men’s English                  Apison TN                                          Oct 15-18

Women’s English             Apison TN                                          Nov 19-22


For more information call:

Men’s English:                                          Women’s English

Tony Hartman        458. 0936                       Bette Purvis           458. 8070

The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor - Psalm 34

 A story about faith and God’s love alive here in our parish……
from the heart and hands of our newly-formed Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Through the Holy Spirit and the people of God who have hearts to bring God’s love to the poor, a single mother with four children is filled with gratitude to God and the members from our Society of St. Vincent de Paul who prayed with her and helped her avoid a financial crisis.

This single mother came to us with a large water bill.  She had a water leak which created a utility bill of $648.00.  She faced an imminent shut-off notice.  Not knowing where to turn, she came to the church; and St. Thomas the Apostle’s Society of St. Vincent de Paul came to her aid. 

Two of our society members visited and prayed with her at her home.  Together, they prayed to the Holy Spirit for guidance. After visiting and praying with her, the St. Vincent de Paul team suggested an amount that she might pay, while we would contribute the remainder of the utility bill. 

She was very hopeful that she would be able to do this and so grateful for the prayers and presence of the society members.  During a time of mutual prayer led by our Vincentians, she received a phone call but chose not to answer her phone, so as not to interrupt the moment of prayer.  We later found out that this was a very important call and an answer to that same prayer.

Our practice is to always reach out to our clients with a follow-up phone call. She was able to obtain her portion of the bill from an out of town uncle and the bill was paid. During the call, she expressed her profound gratitude for the financial assistance but was most appreciative for the prayers offered for her family by the St. Vincent de Paul team. 

She then shared with us how overjoyed she was as she had been called to take a pre-screening drug test for one job and has a second interview on another (this was the call received during prayer with us).  She was so joyful and thankful for the support of the church family and that her prayers were answered.  God is truly good.

This story should be edifying for all of us as we see God’s very presence and love revealed through the people of the church loving and caring for each other as God calls us to do every day.

God's love will be witnessed by embracing all works of charity.

St. Thomas Youth on an Impactful Mission

See the article in the News Herald about our Youth!!

We are so proud of you and happy about how you have embraced the corporal works of mercy to love and care for our brothers and sisters in need. THANK YOU!!

What is Give Us This Day® ?

If you would like to view the July issue of Give Us this Day Online, click here!
What is Give Us This Day® ?

A new, personal prayer periodical from Liturgical Press-a trusted publisher of liturgy, Scripture, and spirituality founded by the Benedictines of Saint John's Abbey in 1926. 

Deeply rooted in the Catholic tradition, Give Us This Day® is about prayer-praying daily, praying well, praying with confidence. 

Give Us This Day® supports your desire to establish prayer as a part of your life, enhancing your existing practices and deepening your encounter with God by providing:

  • A practical approach to daily prayer
  • Prayers and readings for daily Mass
  • Daily prayer, Morning and Evening
  • A reflection on the Scriptures for each day


Our Amazing Youth at Catholic Heart Workcamp

Online Parish Registration

To register online, click below. 

Online Giving

 Click on the the above box to be redirected to the WeShare site.

Learn more about online giving and the opportunities for giving at St. Thomas the Apostle

Click here to see an Online Giving Flyer  

Download the WeShare User's Guide

St.Thomas Staff

The staff of St. Thomas the Apostle welcome you. We are a vibrant and active parish that seeks to spread God's word and our faith with positive action. We are here to help you! 
Please click on the staff member names below for more information. 



Please help us to be attentive to those who are ill, homebound or in the hospital. Either the patient or family member must notify the parish office (865-986-9885) if they or a family member is ill or in the hospital. (We will not be notified by the hospital due to patient confidentiality.) 

Communion can be brought to the home or healthcare facility. 

Altar Flowers

If you would like to donate flowers for the altar, please contact the parish office at 865-986-9885.


Prayer Requests

Click on Picture to make a prayer request

Click on the picture to fill out online prayer request form.

Becoming Catholic

Are you interested in becoming Catholic or learning more about the Catholic faith? Please click on the picture for more information!
An August 3rd, Catholic Inquiry sessions will begin meeting every Monday at 6:00PM in Room 123 in the Parish Family Life Center.  All are welcome to join us!



As most of you know, the Supreme Court has declared that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 States. To help inform you regarding the Church's teaching on marriage, I have included a link to information on the USCCB's site, and also a link to a statement from Archbishop Kurtz, President of the USCCB. Bishop Stika's reaction is below.

Echoing the teachings of the Church as well as what was expounded upon by both Archbishop Kurtz and Bishop Stika, we are disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision. While we appreciate the dignity and respect all human beings, we still hold that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

I encourage you to read these articles so that we can fully understand and support the teachings of the Church; in Bishop Stika' s words "I urge people not to condemn the decision but rather to just say what we believe...". I also urge you to pray for a greater and more profound respect for the sanctity of the Sacrament of Marriage. Below is a copy of the prayer for the defense of marriage.

In Christ through Mary,

Fr. Doug

Link to Archbishop Kurtz's article on OSV Newsweekly

USCCB Marriage Information and articles

Bishop Richard F. Stika issued a statement following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on June 26 calling for all states to license and recognize same-sex unions.

I am disappointed in today’s Supreme Court decision,” Bishop Stika said shortly after the court decision.

“Regardless of the ruling, as Catholics and Christians, we will not apologize for our beliefs. The Bible and sacred scripture teaches us that marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman. We believe this as truth.”

Later in the day, Bishop Stika answered questions during a brief session with Knoxville media and reiterated his feelings.

“We believe what we believe in. It’s important and it’s our truth. It is that which has given us guidance for centuries. I don’t apologize for that. I am just asking people to be respectful of our position. I urge people not to condemn the decision but rather to just say what we believe in.

We can stand behind our own truth of faith and what a sacrament of union is, so we just kind of move on. We don’t have to attack. We have to accept what the supreme court has made a decision on and still stand on what we believe in.”

Prayer In Defense Of Marriage

God our Father, we give you thanks
for the gift of marriage: the bond of life and love,
and the font of the family.
The love of husband and wife enriches your Church with children,
fills the world with a multitude of spiritual fruitfulness and service,
and is the sign of the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, for his Church.

The grace of Jesus flowed forth at Cana at the
request of the Blessed Mother. May your Son,
through the intercession of Mary, pour out upon us
a new measure of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
as we join with all people of good will
to promote and protect the unique beauty of marriage.

May your Holy Spirit enlighten our society
to treasure the heroic love of husband and wife,
and guide our leaders to sustain and protect
the singular place of mothers and fathers
in the lives of their children.

Father, we ask that our prayers
be joined to those of the Virgin Mary,
that your Word may transform our service
so as to safeguard the incomparable splendor of marriage.
We ask all these things through Christ our Lord,

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.


New Mass Intention Guidelines


In an effort to make more Masses available for your intentions but to also continue to follow The Code of Canon Law and to be fair to all parishioners, the following are our new guidelines for requesting Mass Intentions beginning on March 9, 2015:

  • Multiple intentions will be available for each Mass.
  • Because there will be more than one intention per Mass, we will no longer accept any donations; as according to Canon Law, we are only allowed to accept one donation per Mass and we want to be fair to all.
  • The names of the people who are being prayed for will no longer be announced individually in the Prayers of the Faithful during Mass, as the list could be lengthy at times. The celebrant will know the names of the daily intentions and will be keeping those people in prayer during Mass.
  • The names will continue to be listed in the bulletin.
  • To be fair to those requests made before the policy change: any Mass intentions requested prior to this change in policy (March 9, 2015), the name will be announced during the Prayers of the Faithful.

If you have questions regarding these changes, please contact Fr. Doug directly.

What are Coptic Christians and Why You Should Know

Click on the picture to learn more!


Weekly Readings

Weekly reading

Weekly reading

Readings for the Week of August 30, 2015

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