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.
GOSPEL MEDITATION - ENCOURAGE DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF SCRIPTURE
April 22, 2018 4th Sunday of Easter
Today's Gospel occurs in the middle of Jesus' ministry. At first, Jesus' words seem to be about the value of self-sacrifice in a leader. "I am the Good Shepherd ? I will lay down my life for the sheep." The Apostles likely would have accepted these words easily enough. But then comes something more strange. "I lay down my life in order to take it up again ? I have power to lay it down and power to take it up again." Only later, when Jesus opened the Scriptures to them after his resurrection, would the Apostles understand his words. Only then would they understand why such an act was necessary for the salvation of the world.
Even now, we may struggle with the necessity of Holy Week. How often do we hear complaints against the silence of God, as if He is the "hired man" who "runs away" from suffering? Jesus' life, death, and resurrection is our redemption in fact. God himself bears the full weight of sin's consequences. The Paschal Mystery is also a sign that happens in full view of the human experience. We have seen Jesus lay down his life. We have seen him accompany others. "I know mine and mine know me." We have seen him reach those outside the traditional flock, "sheep not of this fold." Jesus is the Good Shepherd, not only in Scripture but in our daily lives.
While we can't experience physically walking alongside him like the Apostles did, the grace of our redemption continues through the Church. We are shepherded by the sacraments, by faith formation, by good mentors. At the same time, we are not only the sheep. In imitating Jesus, we, too, are invited to lay down our lives for others. We can be the hands, feet, and shepherd's crook of Christ.
VIEW A SHORT VIDEO ON NEXT WEEK'S READINGS FROM FORMED BY CLICKING HERE.
Please note if you need to check on room availability for our facility, please contact the parish office at 865-986-9885. The below list of events is for special events and does not include every activity taking place everyday. Thank you.
FIRST FRIDAY 24-HOUR
On the first Friday of every month, parishioners will have the opportunity to spend an hour with our Lord at all times between 9 AM on First Friday and 8:30 AM on Saturday. A sign-up placard will be positioned in the narthex covering all hours.
This broadened First Friday devotion is being offered because of the wonderful response to the worldwide 24-hour Adoration held earlier this month. There were at least four parishioners in the church for each hour. In order for Eucharistic Adoration to become a permanent observance on First Fridays, it is imperative that there be at least two persons in the church during each hour. The continued success of 24-hour Adoration depends on a core group of adorers who commit to the same hour each time. This ensures that all hours are filled and there are no gaps in attendance. Please prayerfully consider committing to a specific hour for each First Friday. The graces and blessings associated with Eucharistic Adoration are abundant.
MORNING PRAYER ON FRIDAYS
Morning Prayer on Fridays after Daily Mass.
Please join us!
The Rosary is prayed 40 minutes before 5:00PM Mass, 9:00AM and 11:30AM Mass. If you are willing to help lead the Rosary, you should contact the coordinator for each Mass; 5:00PM, Jim Gecsei at 803-3555; 9:00AM, Ralph Pubillones at 458-6111; and 11:30AM, Pam Wallace at 657-3445.
You may also call the parish office to make an appointment at 865-986-9885.
Link to USCCB information on the Sacrament of Reconciliation Reconciliation
Downstairs in the youth room at St. Thomas the Apostle.
Lunch will be provided. If you have any dietary restrictions, feel free to bring a sack lunch.
St. Thomas Women's Guild will be selling tickets for the May 17th Card Party after Masses this weekend. The price of the ticket is the same as last year, $16. Please join us for this wonderful event to raise money for our various charities. If you are a worker at the Card Party, you do not need a ticket, but you do need to pay for your lunch. The cost is $8 and you can pay the ladies that are selling the tickets.
Draw Closer to Our Mother, Mary!
A NEW, Four-Part Series of Beautiful DVD Learning Videos & Group Discussions!
Four Tuesday Evenings in May
Starting 5/1/18, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Refreshments Will Be Served
Come Discover The Amazing story of our Queen and the battles that she won for us!
Better understand her life in Scripture
Walk with Mary throughout History
Learn daily Marian devotional practices
Let her lead you to Christ!
Virtually travel to some of the most well-known
Pilgrimage sites in the US!
Workbook is only $25. Contact Marlene Eeg at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up this weekend before or after Mass. Look for Mary’s table in the Narthex.
Bishop Richard F. Stika,.............. has issued the following statement regarding diocesan efforts to assist families following Thursday’s government raid in Grainger County:
“The arrests of workers and undocumented immigrants in East Tennessee this week has placed an unnecessary stress on vulnerable families that have, in many ways, become victims in a much larger story.
“For many years now, I have advocated for action by government leaders to come up with laws that protect our national identity and sovereign borders and also recognize America’s undeniable role as a sanctuary for those who arrived here many years ago with no intent to do harm. I remain disappointed that no common-sense solutions have been agreed to. In the meantime, families suffer and people live in the shadows.
“This week, I have been inspired by the tireless and faithful work of many volunteers who gathered to assist families at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Morristown. I am grateful for the leadership, pastoral guidance, and care provided by Father Patrick Brownell, pastor of St. Patrick Church in Morristown, and Father Steve Pawelk, pastor of St. John Paul II Catholic Mission in Grainger County.
“I am thankful for Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, our diocesan Hispanic Ministry, our diocesan Justice and Peace Ministry, counselors, caregivers, and the many businesses and community organizations in Morristown and surrounding areas that provided services, food, water, personal supplies, and love to all of the men, women, and children who have been affected.
“Over the past few days, I have said that our response to this incident isn’t about politics or personal agendas. It’s about being the face, hands, feet, and heart of Jesus— at all times and to all people.”
Bishop Richard F. Stika
Diocese of Knoxville
If you would like to help, please know that your support of the Displaced Family Assistance Fund at Catholic Charities of East Tennessee will go directly to resources and material needs of families affected by these recent events. Please consider clicking the highlighted link to help.
ATTENTION ST. THOMAS THE APOSTLE PARISHIONERS
The Adult Faith Formation Committee continues to add new educational programs and special events each month for you to consider. There is a growing number of short and longer programs of different topics for you to consider. Attached you will find the schedule of the new programs which start in April. We encourage you to consider attending any or even all of these sessions, and no formal advanced signup is needed. If you have not participated in any programs like this in the past, simply come to one and give it a try. Facilitators will welcome you with ease and plan to enjoy the casual atmosphere to learn more about Catholicism and strengthen your faith.
The class listing is below and the calendar can be also be downloaded below or viewed on the AFF programs page.
The Adult Faith Formation Committee
ART AND ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY
Do you like to work with flowers? Decorate for Easter and Christmas? St. Thomas Art and Environment group is looking for helpers and ideas. We have a committed and energetic group but need additional guys and gals to help with this ministry. Call Kathy Simms (865)335-4670.
A huge thank you to all who contributed; financially, through prayers, cookies and meal tickets to our Kairos weekend at the Morgan County Correctional Complex. Without the generosity of St. Thomas the Apostle Church members, our weekend may not have happened and our ministry may have been severely compromised. As a result of your efforts we were able to minister to 24 guests and saw the conversion to Jesus Christ of a majority of them and the strengthening of their faith. We were also able to distribute 2,500 dozen cookies to inmates not attending our weekend. Our ministry is now financially sound and will be sustained for the foreseeable future.
God bless you all,
Greg Brennan, Bob Maloney, Jim Mattavi, Stu McFadden, Tom Shaughnessy and Harry Westcott
Kairos Team #29.
Beginning the week of April 16 we will be painting our church sanctuary. This is a significant project that will require at least a full week to complete, and we request cooperation and patience from all St. Thomas parishioners. Painters will be in the church each morning beginning at 9:00 am. Please be courteous and allow them plenty of space to work.
The Women’s Guild would like to get out the crafts we have stored and sell them along with the bake items in November. There will not be monthly workshops this year but we would appreciate any help we could get from all of you wonderful crafters. Please make an item or two and donate to the craft table. We have a stash of wine corks and some fiber fill and pine cones if you could use them for your projects. Call Linda (408-2339) if you have questions or ideas.
We’re brought up to be strong, self-sufficient, independent people. We tend to think that if we ask for help, it’s a sign of weakness. So we try to keep our struggles hidden, stuffed deep inside. However, that’s not God’s plan. Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” God wants us to care for others—and allow others to care for us in our time of need. Contact Barbara Brennan 458-8922 or Tom Ringenbach 458-0915 for more information.
Do You Normally Attend Mass on Saturday?
We need 2-3 people who can give less than 30 minutes once a month to help insert the AFF Calendar into the STA Parish Bulletins. This is typically done the last Saturday of each month. Newly printed calendars would be ready to simply insert into the printed bulletins and left on a stack in the Narthex. It’s a fast, easy task that could be done after morning Mass on Saturday, or before the 5 pm Mass on Saturday afternoon.
Your participation and dedication to helping with this small project every month would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Bette Purvis at email@example.com, phone # 865.405.1937 to volunteer.
Today, we celebrate “Good Shepherd Sunday” where we reflect on Jesus’ love and care for us. This month, through your gifts of food and diapers last weekend, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul will be able to be “Good Shepherds” to the hearts of the poor, to those who live in fear and doubt, loneliness and dread. Thank you for your generous donations. The next regular meeting will be on Friday, May 4 in the Deacon Jose Rivera Room at 9:15. Call Larry Finneran at (865) 657-9119 for more information.
ROSARY BEFORE MASS
The Rosary is prayed 40 minutes before 5:00PM Mass and 11:30AM Mass; starting Sunday, July 2, the Rosary preceding the 9:00AM Mass will start. If you are willing to help lead the Rosary, you should contact the coordinator for each Mass; 5:00, Jim Gecsei at 803-3555, 9:00, Ralph Pubillones at 458-6111, and 11:30, Pam Wallace at 657-3445.
If you would register your Kroger Plus card and designate St. Thomas as your charitable choice once each quarter Kroger will send St. Thomas a donation check. The donation amount is based on how much we collectively spend each quarter at Kroger. Nothing else is required on your part, just shop as you normally would. To register visit Kroger.com. If you do not have computer access you can call 1(800) 576-4377, OPTION 3, or just visit the customer service desk and they will help you. The St. Thomas program number with Kroger is 42126. It is easy and the church benefits. If you are not registered, please consider doing so and if you are registered, thank you!
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 click here). Or if you would like to just learn more from a member of our Welcome Committee, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have recently registered and have not heard from our Welcome Committee, please contact Deacon Dave Pecot at email@example.com.
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.
DEACON DAVE'S SECOND HELPINGS
Ever try to remember a homily on Monday? Often the things we hear on Sunday are inspiring and should be used to fuel our spiritual lives during the week. But we often fail to remember the key point that would assist us in applying the gospel to our lives. Try reading Deacon Dave's reflections on the Sunday gospel. Deacon Dave's Second Helpings is a weekly blog on the Sunday readings. You can find his homilies through a link on the St. Thomas web site. Click the link below to get to Deacon Dave's Second Helpings.
There are hundreds of options for you to view from your home computer, laptop, or smart cell phone at no charge any time of the day or night with our Parish subscription.
We have found that the site works best using the Chrome or Firefox browser.
Above on our site, there is a menu item, called "FORMED for St. Thomas the Apostle", click on that menu item to be taken directly to our FORMED page.
Once you are on our FORMED page, under the Parish Code, you will see a space for your email address. Add your email address and you will be prompted to put in a password for future use. After this, you can click on “WELCOME TO FORMED” and select that video play button to learn more about what will be available to you as a new user
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.
COME EXPLORE CATHOLICISM UPDATE
No Inquiry Sessions will be held from Monday, March 26 through Monday, April 23.
NEW PROGRAM: All those interested are welcome to join us for a 5 session Bible Study on the Gospel of John beginning on Sunday, April 29, at 10:15am, in Room 118 of the PFLC. We will meet twice a month on the following dates: April 29, May 13 & 27, and June 10 & 24. Please bring a Bible! For more information, call Deacon John Krepps, 469-0604, or firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be no Inquiry sessions during July.
Our regular Catholic Inquiry sessions will begin again on August 5 & 6.
If you would like to donate flowers for the altar, please contact the parish office at 865-986-9885.
In keeping with the mission to heal the pain of child abuse, members of the St. Thomas Women’s Guild display “Bags of Love” which they volunteered to assemble and sew for the children who are served by Kids First Child Advocacy Center. The children are victims of severe abuse. The bags will hold Christmas gifts for the children.
Pictured are Virginia Zorovich, Donna Maloney, Cindy Rogers, Allis Hanley and Ellen Hubrig
On January 15, St. Thomas Catholic Women's Guild members gathered in the deacon Jose Room to present donations to a group of charitable and civic organizations for their dedication to the greater Knoxville community. Fundraisers which were held in 2017 and sponsored by the Guild provided the funds for the donations.
Donna Curry, 2017 president of the Guild, performed her last official duty, by presenting checks to representatives from Focus, Right To Life, CAC, Cathloic Charities of East TN, Project Lifesaver, Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts, and Bridge Refugee Services.
After distributing the donations, Donna introduced incoming president Kay Sheldon and the members of the 2018 Board of Guild officers:
Jan Scobey - Vice- President Penny Manczko - Secretary Karen Schutte - Treasurer Nadine Mazienis - Program Chair Ida Ames - Program Co-Chair Mary Mills - Membership Chair Jan Cosens - Membership Co- Chair Mary Beth Bruss - Publicity Chair Mary Vaughan - Publicity Co- Chair Donna Curry - At Large Member
Guild programs for this year will include -
St. Vincent DePaul speaker, Larry Finneran
Catholic Charities speaker, Lisa Healy
May Card Party
July Tour of New Cathedral in Knoxville
POW Bill Robinson presentation
October Ladies Retreat off campus
November Assembling Soup in a Jar
December Advent By Candlelight
All women of the parish are invited to attend meetings on the third Monday of the month.
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.
If you have questions regarding these changes, please contact Fr. Doug directly.