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Coronavirus shapes decision to end public Mass in East Tennessee

Thursday at noon the Most Reverend Richard Stika celebrated mass on what is also his 11th anniversary as Bishop of Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Thursday at Sacred Heart Cathedral, parishioners gathered for the last Catholic mass for awhile. 

Bishop Richard Stika made the decision to end the sacred celebrations in East Tennessee. 

The cathedral in Knoxville holds about 1,350 people. Thursday, a couple hundred took part. 

The Bishop compared the situation to Good Friday, calling it a dark time before the joy of the resurrection at Easter. 

"Everybody has to do what they can do. So we do together what we cannot do by ourselves and we trust in Jesus," Bishop Stika said during his homily. 

Credit: Diocese of Knoxville
Noon mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral March 19, 2020

Although Catholic churches in East Tennessee will not offer mass for now, the church buildings will remain open for individual prayer and worship. Check their websites for hours. 

Link to noon mass Thursday March 19 at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

RELATED: Knoxville diocese says parishioners are not obligated to attend Sunday Mass for three weeks

RELATED: How Knoxville churches will observe Ash Wednesday

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