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The Great Smoky Mountain Journal


Tuesday, January 01, 2019 02:44 PM

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Knoxville's Sacred Heart Cathedral New $30.8M New Building To Celebrate Easter, Good Friday Services

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- In the works since April 2015, the parishioners of Sacred Heart Cathedral were finally able to celebrate inside their new church for Good Friday and Easter services this year.

East Tennesseans watched the massive building go up around the old cathedral and school in Knoxville. The new cathedral has become the mother church for all Catholic churches in the area, but it came with a price tag: $30.8 million.

"Some people might say, 'Why spend so much on a building?'" Bishop Richard Stika said. "Well, this has been built to last over 200-plus years."

Crowds have filled the pews inside for every service. Some have come to see what it looks like, and others have come in search for peace.

"It pays off because this is the one place that we honor God, it's sacred space," Bishop Stika said. "It's not an arena, it's not a stadium."

The entire Diocese of Knoxville, including of all East Tennessee's Catholic Churches, came together to build the worship space.

"Every year, the Diocese of Knoxville, which is all of East Tennessee, we raise between $3-6 million for charity and education, and that's going to continue and continue to grow," Bishop Stika said.

Church leaders have said the new cathedral has been worth every penny.

Members of Knoxville's Sacred Heart parish were able to use it to celebrate the Easter holiday in a new and sacred space. However, community members of different faiths were also invited to view the beauty of the new building. Bishop Stika said the cathedral is open during the day to visitors.

Easter services were planned to be held inside the cathedral, including Holy Saturday service on Saturday morning at 8:05, and an Easter service on Saturday night at 8:15.