Founding pastor Father Chris Michelson
celebrates the inaugural liturgies July 1 for the diocese's newest parish.
...The founding pastor of the last parish created within Knox County, Father Chris Michelson, is also the first shepherd of the diocese's newest parish.His
opening remarks to parishioners, who will someday have their own church on the 32-acre site of the St. Albert rectory, reminded them of one truth that holds no matter where they celebrate Mass.
"I think the Lord would say that in all spaces, not just necessarily a traditional church building, he
welcomes us.Wherever we are, whether it's in our homes or here at St. Mary's Hospital North, we are always in God's presence."Father Michelson was the first pastor of All Saints in West Knoxville when it was established in 1994.
The assembly includes Father Michelson's
parents, Carlyle (in sport coat, front row, left) and Margaret Michelson, St. Albert Deacon Mike Eiffe (right) assisted at the Mass. Photo by Dan McWilliams
..."We've been so excited and gratified that God has worked in this area to allow us to build a new parish and to work for Father Chris, the expert parish builder in the diocese,at least that's my opinion."
"Everything is done," said Father Michelson
St. Albert's first Saturday vigil Mass was celebrated July 7, and daily Masses began July 9.Mass times for the new parish are 5 p.m. Saturday; 9 and 11 a.m. Sunday; 9 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday; and 7 a.m. Wednesday.
The downstairs chapel in the parish rectory has seating for about 140 and includes chairs with kneelers.
"It's a nice setting, and I think it will be a very suitable worship spot," said Father Michelson
Contact St. Albert the Great Parish
at 865-689-7011 or email@example.com.
said that "you sense the energy of the people and their excitement" at a parish's first Mass.He
learned at least one important lesson about starting a parish from his All Saints
"Do one thing at a time.Do it well, then move on to the next thing."
Meetings will be held after St. Albert's Sunday Masses for those who want to learn more about various aspects of parish life.Each meeting will focus on a single topic, such as sacramental preparation or religious education, said Father Michelson
spoke with parishioners after the first liturgy, Father Michelson
heard remarks such as "I haven't been to church in years, and it's time to start over," he