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.

Funeral Arrangements

It is with great sadness that I share with you the passing of Marilynn McKenna. Her funeral will be on Friday, October 9 at 11:00AM at St. Thomas. There will be visitation prior to the funeral starting at 10:00AM. The funeral will also be for her husband, Clarence "Bud" who passed away earlier this year.

May all the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Life Teen Week Two-Pro-Life

Life Teen First Night-September 16

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 click here). 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.


Youth Help and Dance the Night Away at KOC Polish Night

Youth Rafting Trip-September 6


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.




Mass Times

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

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

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. Become a follower by clicking on the follow button at the bottom of the weekly homily page. 

Please click here for a link to Deacon Dave Pecot's Sunday homily blog.

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

St. Thomas Women's Guild


Pat Ryan, guest speaker for the September meeting of the Women’s Guild, began her life in Michigan and ended in Tennessee by a roundabout way.  She is a convert to the Catholic faith and now serves as president of the Knoxville Diocese of the Council of Catholic Women.  Pat brought Pope Francis with her (sadly only a cardboard copy) which she perched on the podium facing her audience! 

Pat’s topic was “Outreach and Volunteerism” and she started her talk by reading parts of James 2.  “What good is it if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can that faith save him? ........So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” Continuing, she said “we do acts of kindness not because the recipient is Catholic but because we are”.  She mentioned two agencies who do exemplary work: Outreach International and Catholic Relief Services, who are usually the first on the ground in an emergency and 92% of monies go to the field, which is a very high percentage. 

The NCCW and their affiliates model their services with both an inside/outside action which is a win-win situation for both.  Pat gave several points to illustrate this inside action.  One should evaluate the program first before volunteering.  Choose ones that allow you to be free to be yourself.  Choose what you enjoy or have a compassion for.  If a program has lost meaning for you, then it is time to go.  Explore new avenues or start something new.  Identify how much time you want to spend.  Do what is best for you. Find your comfort zone. Always do the best you can with a giving heart. 

The outside actions are the benefits from our outreach.  Feeding and clothing the poor was used as an example.  However, Pat believes our most pressing issue is evangelizing to our young women who are busy with work, caring for family, etc. and who sometimes do not have time for church.  It is essential to reach them by any means necessary.  We should consider Facebook, the media, etc. and we need to have opportunities to fit their schedule. 

Pat emphased that we should give the gift of giving and to not center on ourselves.  She showed a collection of prayers that the NCCW has published and she ended her talk with one of those prayers. 

Our next meeting will be October 26 with Angela Wichlinski, a parishioner, talking on “Senior Transitioning and Downsizing”. 

  ADVENT BY CANDLELIGHT - December 6, 2015 

It’s never too early to mark your calendar for this important event.  St. Thomas Women’s Guild will hold its annual Advent by Candlelight for the women of our congregation and their women guests on Sunday, December 6th,2:00 pm.  There is no charge for this event.  This is a wonderful afternoon of Word, music, and fellowship to help you prepare your hearts for the Advent Season before the holidays get into full swing!






On Thursday, October 22, a Kairos team will be entering the Morgan County Correctional Complex (MCCX) to spend the weekend ministering to the inmates housed there. As in the past, we are soliciting cookies for all the inmates in MCCX, which total around 2800.

The goal for our parish is 100 dozen cookies.

The most preferred cookie is chocolate chip. Other acceptable types are Oatmeal and Peanut Butter (plain peanut butter; not chunky).

It is very important NOT to use icing, sugar sprinkles or any type of coating on the outside.

DO NOT add any kind of fruit or nuts to the cookies.

They should be 2-2 1/2 inches in diameter and not more than 1/2 inch thick.

The key ingredient is PRAYER. Please pray as an individual or group over the ingredients. Also pray over the cookies as you drop them on a cookie sheet. Ask God to use your cookies as a source of His love to shine on the inmates and staff on this Kairos weekend. Pray each cookie brings the inmate, officer or warden closer to God.

After baking, lay the cookies flat in a freezer. This will make them easier for packaging. Use one gallon Ziploc bags or the equivalent. DO NOT use aluminum foil. Put one dozen per bag. Place the cookies across the bottom of the bag and roll them up like a container of Pringle chips. Tape the bag if necessary. The cookies can then remain frozen until the collection dates. Label each bag with the type of cookie.

For those who choose to support this ministry financially, we will be selling “meal tickets” for $5 during the collection days. These tickets will have your first name and city on them and will be presented to each “guest” at each meal to let them know they are being prayerfully supported in their weekend.

The collections will be before all Masses on the weekend of October 17-18. God bless you and thank you for your prayers and support.

Coffee in the Courtyard

Please join us for coffee, donuts and fellowship after the 9:00 AM and 11:30 AM Masses on Sunday.


Can You Help with Coffee in the Courtyard? 

Call Kevin Cooney 986-9885 ext. 14 or


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.

Life Teen-Every Wednesday Evening



LifeTeen is a national high school youth ministry program that offers true Catholic catechesis and spirituality, service, and social opportunities. Our high school youth group meets on Wednesday nights from 7:00pm-8:30pm during the school year.  

My high schooler goes to Catholic school.  Why should they come to Life Teen?

Investing in Catholic schooling is a big commitment and provides teens with incredible intellectual formation in the teachings of the Catholic faith.  At Life Teen, we believe that the key to engaging a teen in their faith is to move them beyond knowing things about God to actually knowing God.  
The intellectual formation that your teen has received at school will be a great foundation to their experience at Life Teen where we build community, tackle challenging issues in the life of a Catholic Teen, and help them discover God's great love and respond with a life of discipleship 
Life Teen leads teenagers and their families into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church.  

Please visit this site, to read about Life Teen.











Parents, if you missed the meeting at the Parish Family Life Center on Wednesday, August 26, 6:30-7:30pm to register children for Religious Education, you can still register by filling out a form and returning it to the parish office or by filling out the online registration form below.  

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.


Women's Guild Fashion Show Fun



It’s not too late to participate!

Click here to download a booklet and registration form.

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


Deacon David Lucheon is offering ten-week classes on William P. Young's "The Shack" on either Tuesday evenings beginning October 13th from 6:30-7:45 PM or on Thursday mornings beginning October 15th from 9:30-10:45 AM at St. Thomas.  The Shack is Deacon David’s favorite novel as it helps explain our relationship to the Trinity which is the central mystery of the Church.  The book costs $15 and will be provided to you by Deacon David.  If you’d like to join the class, please send an e-mail to Deacon David at   



Knoxville will be joining hundreds of other cities on Sat, Oct 10th to gather together in prayer in front of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country.    

Fr. John Dowling will lead the Catholic Community in praying a Rosary from 9:30 to 10:00 am.  

From 10:00 to 11:00 am, we will join together in interfaith prayer for the intentions that different speakers will lead us in.   

Please join us and help us keep our witness strong - more than ever, your prayers and witness are needed in front of Planned Parenthood.  


In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples, “Let the children come to me…for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”  This week, please help the Society of St. Vincent de Paul to bring the love and mercy of Jesus to children, parents and grandparents who are in need.   The next meeting will be Friday, October 16 at 1:00 pm in the Deacon Jose Room.  Call Larry Finneran at 657-9119 for more information.


Our teens will accept your donations of diapers, formula, or baby clothes, after each Mass beginning Saturday, October 9th thru Sunday, October 31st. Please look for our St Thomas Playpen in the narthex! Our donations will be given to the Pregnancy Help Center.


Communion Antiphon for October and November: 

Bread of Heaven, in Holy Light. (repeat) 

Draw us forth to the table, the table of Life. 

Bread of Heaven, in Holy Light. 

Wine of salvation, in Holy Light (repeat) 

We shall live forever in Jesus Christ. 

Wine of salvation, in Holy Light.


From time to time, parishioners will desire to take Communion to those who are ill, infirm, or otherwise physically unable to attend Mass. The correct method for taking Holy Communion to someone is with a "pyx" and a "burse".   The pyx is a small container that holds the Blessed Sacrament and the burse (which holds the pyx) is a small pouch with a cord attached for wearing around the neck. It may be worn over or under clothing. There is a supply of pyx and burses in the church.  If you need to borrow a pyx or burse, or both, ask the sacristan before or after Mass or pick one up at the office.  Please return them when they are no longer needed.


Knoxville Right to Life Banquet 

October 13, 2015, 6:30 PM 

Knoxville Convention Center  

We will carpool from St. Thomas. 

Please call Kay Sheldon, 458-8510, for more details.  


The Women's Guild FALL BAKE SALE will be held November 7th - 8th.  

Our parish is blessed with some wonderful bakers.  To be successful in supporting our local and Catholic Charities, we will need a lot of homemade bakery i.e. cakes, pies, cookies, breads, and muffins.  Parishioners also enjoy jellies, jams, homemade bread and butter pickles, relishes, and more.  Please pull your favorite recipes to share your yummy bakery with the parish.  If you can bake one or more items, please contact either Joyce Egler @ 458-4303 or Tanny Williams @ 458-8022 or  





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. 


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).


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



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!!

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.

"The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:3-7



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!


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

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.

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.


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.


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 October 4, 2015

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