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.
A Good Turn-out for the Home Campaign Town Hall Meeting
We had a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the potential initiatives of the Home Campaign for St. Thomas and to learn more about the campaign in general. Several presentations were made by Fr. Doug, and John Deinhart. And, small group discussion was facilitated. More information will be coming in the coming weeks and months about the Home campaign and how we can all help.
If you have any questions or concerns or suggestions for St. Thomas campaign initiatives, you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Campaign Information
Mass Schedule for Thanksgiving and Immaculate Conception
Thanksgiving Day Mass:
Thursday, November 26 - 10:00 AM
NO DAILY MASS & NO COMMUNION SERVICE
Friday, November 27th
Immaculate Conception Masses:
Monday, December 7 – Spanish Mass - 7:00 PM
Tuesday, December 8 – English Masses - 8:30 AM, 6:00 PM
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 email@example.com.
If you have recently registered and have not heard from our Welcome Committee, please contact Deacon Dave Pecot at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
POINSETTIAS SALE TO BENEFIT YOUTH
St. Thomas Life Teen will be taking orders for poinsettias after each Mass.
$10 each: Red – White – Pink.
Send a kid to camp!
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.
Saturday 7:00 PM Spanish Vigil
Sunday 9:00 AM
Sunday 11:30 AM
Mon-Fri 8:30 AM
Rosary immediately following daily Mass
Thursday, November 26
Monday, December 7 – Spanish Mass
Tuesday, December 8 – English Masses
Closed 12:00 PM-12:30 PM for lunch
Closed Wednesday, November 25 after 12PM
Closed Thursday and Friday, November 26-27
Deacon Dave's Second Helpings
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.
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.
ADDITIONAL RECONCILIATION TIMES DURING ADVENT
Saturdays, beginning November 28 - December 19 from 3:00pm-4:30pm
Sundays, beginning November 29 - December 20 from 8:00-8:40am and from 10:15-11:00am.
In addition to Tuesdays at 6:00pm
THE DIVINE OFFICE FOR TODAY
Click here to go to Daily Divine Office where you can read and/or listen to the office of prayers.
Read the Latest Catholic News!
THE CHRISTMAS ANGEL TREE
The Christmas Angel Tree is again waiting for the colorful tags to be taken and fulfilled. This has been a long-standing tradition at St. Thomas the Apostle. Christ has appealed to us to give to others in need and the St. Thomas parishioners have answered the challenge as one of the largest contributors to the children of Loudon County. The Resource Centers of Lenoir City and Loudon Schools provide the names and needs of our gift recipients. Loudon teachers select the children and the parents are interviewed. Lenoir City has interviews for parents who apply. Each child has three tags on the tree. At least one of the tags is a Wish Gift. The other tags are basic items the child needs. If you wish to add to your angel’s gift, please do.
When buying the gifts, please ask the cashier for a gift receipt which will allow for an exchange if needed. If you are unable to find the gift requested, use a gift card. Please wrap the gift card in a small box. All gifts should be wrapped, even those placed in large gift bags. It is part of the child’s Christmas fun to open each of their gifts. If the request is a large gift such as a bicycle perhaps two families could purchase this together.
Copy the information on the tag as soon as you can in case that tag is lost!!! It is very difficult for us to connect the gift to the child without the tag. Place the tag on the outside of the present. Please use caution when buying CDs and DVDs in case they are not suitable for the child’s age. If the item has a parental advisory sticker, please do not buy the item.
The gifts should be returned by December 6th so we can pack the gifts and get them to the Resource Centers in time. Last year, some tags were not returned. If for some reason you cannot fulfill the tag requirement, please return the tag to the Angel Tree.
If you have any questions, please contact Linda and Harry DeNardo at 865-986-2850.
SATURDAY 9:00 AM MASS
Beginning December 12th, we will have a daily Mass every Saturday morning at 9:00 AM.
We have 8 women attending our English Women’s Cursillo weekend, November 19 – 22. Please pray that these women are open to the Holy Spirit to grow in their faith.
PRAY FOR CHRISTIANS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
With the encouragement of the National Council of Catholic Women, you will be given an Angelus Prayer card after Mass. Christians in the Middle East are being persecuted and put to death because of their belief in Jesus Christ and their desire to practice their faith. Our Holy Father Pope Francis has called for an end to the persecution. We hope that you will pray the Angelus Prayer daily for the intention of bringing an end to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, especially Iraq and Syria, by invoking the powerful intercession of our Blessed Mother, Mary.
Come to the PFLC for your 2016 calendar!
One per family, please.
MEN'S STUDY GROUP
The Tuesday morning Men's Study group will start a six lesson study of "The Mystery of God - Who God is and why it matters" by Bishop Robert Barron on November 24th. If you are interested in joining us call Stu McFadden at 458-3911, for more information.
SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL
Today as we celebrate Christ the King, may we open the door of our heart so wide that we may listen to the voice of Jesus calling us to help build his kingdom here on earth. This month, through your gifts, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul was able to bring God’s love and mercy to families, providing food, utility payments, rent and other bills. God Bless You! Call Larry Finneran at 657-9119 for more information.
NEW MASS SETTING
The St. Thomas Choirs will be introducing a new Mass setting, to be premiered on the first weekend of Advent. The St. Thomas Advent Mass, written by Marla Emerson, is an arrangement of known Advent musical tunes. It is very simple, and very easy to learn. There will be Mass Cards in the pews beginning on first Sunday of Advent. The choirs will perform the Mass parts as a prelude to the weekend Masses beginning next weekend. We are hopeful that the parish will enjoy singing and praying this new Mass setting, especially written for OUR parish, St. Thomas the Apostle.
ST. THOMAS SCRIP (GIFT CARDS)
If you don’t want to be bothered filling out an order form you can enter your order online at www.shopwithscrip.com. You will first need to register as a participant in the St. Thomas Program. You will need our account number to complete the process. That number is: AC2C169A45425. Once our SCRIP coordinator validates your account you can begin entering your orders. Online orders aren’t shipped until we receive payment. You can drop your payment off after any weekend Mass in the Parish Family Life Center. The coordinator will then release your order and it will then be shipped with our normal weekly shipment. Your order will be available for pick up after any Mass the following weekend.
KROGER - CARD REBATE PROGRAM
Kroger has a program where they will rebate money back to St. Thomas. For us to take advantage of their program you must register your Kroger Plus card in their Community Rewards program. To do this, go on line to krogercommunityrewards.com. Click on: Sign In/Register. If you’re a new online customer, click on the Sign up Today in the new customer box. Follow the instructions. The St. Thomas NPO number is 42126. Once you’re registered you can use either your phone number or the Kroger Plus card at the checkout for each purchase to count. Kroger will rebate money directly back to St. Thomas each quarter based on what enrollees purchase.
For the Christmas Season if you plan to give gift cards as presents, please buy them from St. Thomas. Using our program gets us rebates to support our charitable programs. It’s easy. We’re in the PFLC after all Masses. For everyone that has purchased our gift cards, Thank you. For everyone else, give us a try.
Stephen Ministers don’t just provide care for people experiencing a major crisis. They also provide care and support for people weighed down by the little things in life. If you’re feeling down, lonely, stressed, or discouraged, you could benefit from the care, support, and encouragement of a Stephen Minister. It’s free. It’s confidential. And it will really make a difference in your life! To find out more, talk with one of our Stephen Leaders: Barbara Brennan (458-8922) or Tom Ringenbach (458-0915). Our Stephen Ministers are there to care!
COFFEE IN THE COURTYARD
Can You Help with Coffee in the Courtyard?
Call Kevin Cooney 986-9885 ext. 14 or
WEEKEND MASS ANNOUNCEMENTS
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADVENT BY CANDLELIGHT
A SPECIAL AFTERNOON FOR THE
WOMEN OF ST. THOMAS THE APOSTLE
Advent by Candlelight is a wonderful way to prepare our hearts for the Christmas season. This special afternoon will be held Sunday, December 6, 2015, at 2:00 pm for the women of St. Thomas parish to come together for an afternoon of reflection, celebration and friendship as they prepare the way of the Lord during the Season of Advent. Our Bell Choir will be participating this year to add to the program: BELLS OF ADVENT.
The afternoon is designed to bring our women together for a relaxing afternoon of socialization while providing a faithful reflection on the preparation for Christmas. ALL WOMEN ARE WELCOME.
Several women have already signed up to host a table of 8 for the afternoon. Our hostesses organize their tables so all contribute an appetizer or dessert and we provide the beverage. The décor and table settings will be unique to each table as the tables are simple or elaborately decorated. Some bring paper or plastic, others may bring china and crystal, and others may bring a combination of both. It all works to transform our parish social hall into a lovely setting for the afternoon.
This event is complementary. If you wish to attend please call Bette at 865.458.8070 or email
Women's Guild Fashion Show Fun
St. Thomas Women's Guild November Meeting
NOVEMBER MEETING OF THE WOMEN’S GUILD
The November meeting of the Women’s Guild was held earlier than usual because of the Thanksgiving holiday. Thirty-six ladies gathered for a short business meeting. Allis Hanley, president, thanked all the outgoing board members and introduced the 2016 board for a vote by the members. A report on the fall bake sale was given by Joyce Egler, one of the co-chairs. She thanked all those involved in any way. The bake sale was a huge success, profiting over $1,900, which will be used for the Guild’s charitable organizations.
After the meeting, members filled eighty-five quart jars with dried ingredients which will make a large amount of healthy soup by adding water and heating. These jars will be given out by the Friendship Kitchen when they deliver the holiday meals to the local recipients. The Guild donated the “soup in a jar” last year and they were very well received. It was a fun project as well. With the work of many hands, the jars were completed in no time and were topped off with holiday fabric and a pretty bow.
A second project, “bags of love”, got underway. Ten homemade tote bags were filled with a quilt, donated by the Village Quilters, and some hygiene items and a few books and toys. This will be a continuing project for the Guild. These tote bags will be distributed by the sheriff’s department to children as they are removed from their homes during meth raids.
Sunday, December 6 from 2:00PM to -4:00PM, members and friends will meet in the PFLC for the Advent by Candlelight Tea. The program, Bells of Advent, is a Christ-centered preparation for the Advent Season. Please join us.
Youth Lead a Successful Evening of Spaghetti and Karaoke
The St. Thomas youth and the youth leaders served spaghetti to about 260 people last Friday night! Great fun was had by all during the Karoke as well, and many were able to help the women's guild by buying dessert from the bake sale.
The proceeds from the dinner will help to pay for those going to Catholic Heart Work Camp this coming summer. Check out the pictures and thanks for coming!
Spaghetti and Karaoke
Life Teen Week Two-Pro-Life
Youth Rafting Trip-September 6
Life Teen First Night-September 16
Our Amazing Youth at Catholic Heart Workcamp
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.
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
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.
Youth Help and Dance the Night Away at KOC Polish Night
Trunk or Treat
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.
- Fr. Doug Owens, Pastor
- Fr. Julian Cardona, Associate Pastor
- Deacon Jose Rivera (Retired), Deacon Emeritus
- Deacon Sean Smith, Deacon
- Deacon Tom Bomkamp, Deacon
- Deacon Dave Pecot, Deacon
- Phil Johnson, Business Manager
- Lupe Cortes, Secretary/Receptionist
- Kevin Cooney, Director of Sports,Family and Youth Ministry
- Jill St. Yves, Director of Religious Education
- Marla Sloane Emerson, Music Coordinator
- Jim Polhamus, Liturgical Coordinator
- Paul Carter, Maintenance Coordinator
- Christine Lucheon, Bookkeeper/Webmaster
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.
If you would like to donate flowers for the altar, please contact the parish office at 865-986-9885.
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."
Spring Fling and Parish Picnic
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.
MARRIAGE AND THE SUPREME COURT
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,
Link to Archbishop Kurtz's article on OSV Newsweekly
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.
Readings for the Week of November 29, 2015
- Sunday: Jer 33:14-16 / Ps 25:4-5, 8-10, 14 / 1 Thes 3:12—4:2 / Lk 21:25-28, 34-36
- Monday: Rom 10:9-18 / Ps 19:8-11 / Mt 4:18-22
- Tuesday: Is 11:1-10 / Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17 / Lk 10:21-24
- Wednesday: Is 25:6-10a / Ps 23:1-6 / Mt 15:29-37
- Thursday: Is 26:1-6 / Ps 118:1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27 / Mt 7:21, 24-27
- Friday: Is 29:17-24 / Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14 / Mt 9:27-31
- Saturday: Is 30:19-21, 23-26 / Ps 147:1-6 / Mt 9:35—10:1, 5a, 6-8
- Next Sunday: Bar 5:1-9 / Ps 126:1-6 / Phil 1:4-6, 8-11 / Lk 3:1-6