Chair Lift

Sacred Heart Cathedral held a town hall meeting on Sunday to update parishioners on the master plan for expansion. Fr. David Boettner unveiled the site design by local architects BarberMcMurry and liturgical architect Duncan G. Stroik. Bishop Richard Stika made some remarks near the end of the meeting. Cardinal Justin Rigali was also in attendance.


The plan calls for a new cathedral for the Diocese of Knoxville that will sit in front of the current entrance to Sacred Heart Cathedral School. The old cathedral will eventually be converted into a parish hall. The planning committee listed the identified needs in three categories:

Worship Space

  • home for the Diocese
  • large, welcoming narthex
  • occupancy of at least 900
  • daily Mass chapel
  • baptistery
  • confessionals
  • side chapels
  • adequate vesting and sacristy space
  • 24-hour adoration chapel
  • choir loft

Meeting and Social Space

  • meeting space / parish hall
  • social space
  • enhanced food service
  • better accessibility and visibility
  • convenient parking
  • welcoming to everyone

Education Space

  • multiple vehicular access points
  • enhanced security
  • centralized administration and admissions area
  • additional classrooms
  • fine arts – theatre and music rooms
  • indoor and outdoor athletic space

The ambitious first-phase timetable calls for them to dedicate the new cathedral in just over three years, in January 2017. The heavy-duty earth moving will begin at the end of current school year. According to a brochure handed out at the meeting, “The projected cost is between $35 and $38 million. The cost will be funded by the parish, the entire diocese, as well as other outside charitable gifts.”

The brochure also stated that “recent population studies indicate that the projected growth of East Tennessee could be as many as 200,000 over the next ten years. This could have the effect of doubling the size of the Diocese of Knoxville. Adequate space will be needed to minister to our growing area.”

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