Cathedral Groundbreaking

April 19, 2015 marked the start of a new era at Sacred Heart Cathedral, the mother church of the Diocese of Knoxville.

Bishop Richard F. Stika welcomed Catholic leaders from around the world, and the Governor of Tennessee to break ground for a new cathedral located at 711 S. Northshore Drive in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The groundbreaking event began at approximately 12:30 p.m. on the front lawn at Sacred Heart Cathedral following an 11:00 a.m. bilingual Mass celebrated by Cardinal Justin Rigali on the occasion of his 80th birthday.  The ceremony included prayers and a blessing of the new cathedral site and a blessing of the cornerstone that will be used in construction. An outline of the new worship space was painted onto the lawn and parking lot, giving those in attendance a measure of the size of the structure, which is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Joining Bishop Stika on stage were Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, Cardinal William Levada, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the most senior of the nine congregations of the Roman Curia in the Vatican and Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia, and Sacred Heart Cathedral Rector, Fr. David Boettner. Additionally, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, Dr. Joe DiPietro, President of the University of Tennessee, and Butch Jones, University of Tennessee Head Football Coach were in attendance, along with over 1,200 parishioners and friends of Sacred Heart.

Check out all the videos, photos and stories from this historic day!

Cathedral Groundbreaking Mass celebrated by Cardinal Justin Rigali on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

Cathedral Groundbreaking Ceremony with Bishop Richard Stika and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

Bishop Stika’s remarks on the historic moment of the Cathedral Groundbreaking and birthday wishes for Cardinal Rigali.

Renderings by McCrery Architects, Washington, D.C.

This project is for an entirely new cathedral in Knoxville, Tennessee. In welcome collaboration with BarberMcMurry Architects, McCrery Architects has designed a cathedral that will serve The Diocese of Knoxville with seating for 1,000 parishioners in a 25,000 square foot worship space. The project is currently in the Schematic Design Phase, with more project information located at the website for the Cathedral Campaign.

Commissioned by the Most Reverend Richard F. Stika, Bishop of The Diocese of Knoxville.

See the link for the ongoing Cathedral project:

See this link for the website of the Architect of Record: