19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (Aug. 9): Our live stream for this Sunday’s 11 a.m. Mass at St. Therese is available by clicking the photo below if you are unable to attend in person.


(St. Joseph in Norris will also live-stream this weekend. Click here to watch their 9 a.m. Mass.)

AUGUST HELP: As our weekend Mass numbers steadily grow, we continue to need volunteers to clean the church on Saturdays and Sundays. Please consider helping the small number of folks who have been working since in-person Masses resumed in May. There are two great ways you can serve St. Therese — ushering and sanitizing. Consider lending a hand to either task. You will be trained and will be shown the ins and outs of whichever you choose. To sign up for either, use the list on the bulletin board in the parish hall or on SIGNUP GENIUS by clicking here for the month of August.

THURSDAY NIGHT SCRIPTURE STUDY: This group is meeting again in the parish hall, with social distancing seating. The Scripture class helps prepare for the Sunday Mass. You are welcome to join anytime! If you are interested, please contact Jean Chiaro at (865) 742-5137.

FIRST WEEKEND FELLOWSHIP: Let’s get together…sort of! We will be having a “grab-and-go” First Weekend Fellowship this weekend (Aug. 8-9). There will be a table of goodies set up outside by the back door after Mass, so please partake before removing your mask and heading out to your car. We may not be close physically, but let’s remain close spiritually!

SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION: Fr. Richard will be hearing Confessions once again at the regular time (4:15 p.m. Saturdays before the 5 p.m. Vigil). For the health and safety of the priest and penitent, all Confessions will be outside (weather permitting). A portable Confession screen will be set up in the carport of the Administration building. Please wait at a safe and respectful distance (such as in your car or down the driveway) while others’ confessions are being heard.

COMMUNION PROCESS CHANGED: Fr. Richard will be distributing the Holy Eucharist during the Liturgy of the Eucharist as before.  Communicants will proceed to the altar and use hand sanitizer, extend their hands to receive the Eucharist, step aside to remove mask and place the host in your mouth, then place your face mask back on and return to your pew for the final blessing.  After Mass, please proceed to exit either the front of the sanctuary or the main church door.

THE WORD AMONG US: If following along during Mass (either at home or in person) has become difficult for you without our regular “Breaking Bread” missals that used to be in the pews, consider using the publication “The Word Among Us”! This publication is provided to the church, and it contains daily readings and meditations, as well as all the regular liturgical prayers. Stop by the office to pick up the July/August issue to use at home or take to Mass with you. (If you are unable to get to the office, contact Olivia Kuhens and she will get a copy to you.)

NEW SAFE ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM: The Diocese has implemented a new online program (CMG Connect Safe Haven) that all parish volunteers who come into contact with minors and/or vulnerable adults are required to complete. (This program takes the place of the Virtus curriculum used in the past.) An official description of the program can be found by clicking here. In summary:

  • Volunteers such as ushers, catechists, choir members, Scout leaders, youth group leaders, Eucharistic Ministers, collection counters, and those who visit the homebound must go through the program.
  • Volunteers must have a background check (completed by CMG Connect and re-done every five years). The parish will pay the fee of the background check. Note: A background check is not necessary if you have completed one in the past five years (since July 1, 2015). You will be notified by the diocese if you fall into this category.
  • The curriculum includes videos in both English and Spanish with accountability questions at the end of each segment. There is no required in-person training as before.
  • Those who have already been certified through VIRTUS and completed a background check within the past five years will only need to create an account on CMG Connect, enter the date of their background check (if you don’t know this, the office will get it for you), and watch the videos.
  • Individuals who have been VIRTUS trained and had a background check before 2015 will be required to create an account on CMG Connect, watch the videos, and submit for a new background check.
  • If you are ready to get started and are a volunteer who does NOT have financial responsibilities, click here for your instructions. If you are a volunteer WITH financial responsibilities (bookkeeper, business manager), click here for your instructions.

MEETING PROTOCOLS: Bishop Stika has issued new directives regarding meetings and gatherings on diocesan and parish property as federal, state, and local health authorities continue to monitor the Coronavirus pandemic. (Click here to read the Bishop’s full mandate.) Meeting details are as follows:

  • Meetings can include a maximum of 50 participants
  • Social distancing (6 feet) and masks are REQUIRED for all participants. Attendees may forgo masks if safe distancing of 12 feet is enforced.
  • Attendees must be screened before meetings begin
  • Attendance lists are required
  • Video conferencing and online streaming should be used whenever possible


COVID-19 RESPONSE: For the health and safety of Fr. Richard, Deacon Dan, and all those who choose to attend Mass in person, we will follow strict guidelines set by Bishop Stika (social distancing, use of masks, routes through building). Please know we will adhere to rules regarding seating, church capacity, and receiving Holy Communion.

***GENTLE REMINDER: The Bishop has extended dispensation from Mass indefinitely for all those who are ill, vulnerable, or uncomfortable with going to church. St. Therese and St. Joseph will continue to live stream Sunday Masses.


PRAY THE ROSARY: We will suspend recitation of the rosary before Mass until further notice, but consider praying the Rosary alone or with your family. It is needed now more than ever. On Mondays and Saturdays, we pray the Joyful Mysteries. Say the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesdays and Fridays. The Glorious Mysteries are prayed on Wednesdays and Sundays. And the Luminous Mysteries are prayed on Thursdays.