It’s been years in the planning, and Saturday, it finally became a reality.
Read on and view pictures.
More than 1,000 East Tennessee Catholics filled their new Knoxville cathedral Saturday, dedicating the house of worship with reverence, gratefulness and a certain amount of awe.
The Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is a 28,000-square-foot, $30.8 million building atop a hill overlooking West Knoxville’s Northshore Drive. The building whose signature dome rises 14 stories is the mother church for more than 70,000 Catholics living in East Tennessee.
Requiring nearly three years to construct, the structure replaces the simpler, 7,500-square-foot, 580-seat Sacred Heart Cathedral that opened first as a parish church in 1956.
“This is your house, a place where we will gather hopefully for centuries,” Diocese of Knoxville Bishop Richard F. Stika told those gathered for the three-hour dedication mass of the 711 S. Northshore Drive building.
More than 100 priests, 21 bishops and archbishops and five cardinals participated in the ceremony that included music, prayers and communion. The service began as the clergy walked down the central aisle to the hymn “To Jesus Christ, Our Sovereign King.” As they proceeded down the 150-foot aisle, some priests smiled, nodded or waved at members of their parishes.
You can see more at the cathedral website.
And check out this tour of the cathedral from a couple months ago, as workers were completing it: