Discover the Diocese of Knoxville

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Knoxville (LatinDioecesis Knoxvillensis) is a Roman Catholic diocese in Tennessee. It was founded on May 27, 1988 from the eastern counties of the Diocese of Nashville. This diocese covers most of East Tennessee; in addition to thesee city of Knoxville, it includes Chattanooga and Johnson City. The Mother Church isSacred Heart Cathedral, located on Northshore Drive in Knoxville. The two oldest churches are Saints Peter and Paul Basilica Parish of Chattanooga and Immaculate ConceptionParish of Knoxville, both founded in 1852.

As of 2007, there were an estimated 52,000 Catholics within the diocese, which covers approximately 14,000 square miles (36,000 km2).


The following is a list of Bishops who served the Diocese of Knoxville, along with their dates of service:


With a population of 60,000 Catholics, the diocese makes up about 2 percent of East Tennessee’s total population. The diocese is currently home to 47 parishes and four missions. These parishes are served by 54 diocesan priests, 16 religious priests, 8 extern priests, 24 deacons, 10 brothers, and 33sisters. Eleven religious institutes are represented in the diocese.

Perpetual adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament is available at many of the parishes and Masses are offered in a wide array of languages. This is chosen so that the spiritual needs of all parishioners are met. These languages include English, Spanish, Vietnamese, American Sign Language, and Latin.

With the influx of large numbers of Hispanic Catholics looking for work, the diocese faces many new challenges. If the estimates are correct and there are about 50,000 new Hispanic immigrants in the area, their number nearly doubles the area’s current official Catholic population. The clergy and laity of the diocese are working to welcome these new neighbors.


High schools

Elementary schools


While the Catholic Church has been a part of life in East Tennessee for over 166 years, the Diocese of Knoxville was founded in 1988. Before the creation, the area was part of the Diocese of Nashville.

Because of his role in the creation of the Diocese, Nashville’s Bishop James Daniel Niedergeses, was known as the “Grandfather of the Diocese of Knoxville"


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