Paul Simoneau, the Vice Chancellor for Administration of the Diocese of Knoxville, attended the Kids Helping Kids Fun Walk last month. At first, I thought he was just stopping by my booth to say hello. He actually had several specific questions for me about the logistics of the event.
Paul told me that the Diocese was planning an event for September. Like the Fun Walk, the Diocesan festival would be held at Knoxville Catholic High School. Paul invited me to attend the next planning meeting and to emcee the actual event.
The 2014 Diocesan Homecoming will take place on Saturday, September 13. Bishop Richard Stika wants it to resemble a parish festival but on a bigger scale. Admission is free but registration is required.
There will be various sports and games include a softball tournament organized by Coach Kevin Cooney. Games like sack races and a tug-of-war will make the event feel like an old-time community fair.
There will be food from Domino’s and water from Sam’s Club. Both of those sponsors also participated in the Kids Helping Kids Fun Walk. I’m excited about the amateur BBQ competition being organized by Tom Greer, the facilities manager of Sacred Heart Cathedral.
The day culminates with an outdoor Mass celebrated by Bishop Stika at 4:00 pm on the KCHS football field. The Mass fulfills the Sunday obligation. The executive committee is talking to Fr. Michael Woods of All Saints Parish about canceling his 5:00 p.m. Mass that day because the 4:00 p.m. Mass is likely to be nearing its conclusion at that same time. All Saints and KCHS are on the same campus and share parking lots.
I asked Deacon Sean Smith how they will distribute communion at the outdoor Mass. He said that he had just witnessed 800,000 people receive communion at the canonization Mass for Saints John XXIII and John Paul II. If they can do that, we can easily handle a crowd of about 2,500.