Parish Staff


Father Brent Shelton, St. Mary's Pastor - Phone: (865) 482-2875 Ext. 1


Father Pontian Kiyimba, A.J. - Associate Pastor Phone: (865) 482-2875 Ext. 2 parochialvicar@


Deacon Gary Sega, Pastoral Associate - Phone: (865) 482-2875 deacon1@


Deacon John DeClue, Pastoral Associate - Phone: (865) 482-2875 Ext. 9

Father Shelton grew up in East Texas. He is a graduate of Conception Seminary College (BA 1996), Saint Meinrad School of Theology (MA 1999, MDiv 2001), and the joint Pastoral Leadership Institute of Mundelein Seminary and Northwestern University (CPL 2017).  Bishop Kurtz of Knoxville ordained Father Shelton to the Order of Deacons in 2000 and to the Order of Presbyters in 2001.  Father Shelton has been pastor of Saint Mary Parish since 2015.

Father Pontian Kiyimba, A.J.

I was born in Uganda. I’m a religious and missionary priest belonging to the order of the Apostles of Jesus.

After high school (minor seminary) in Uganda I went to Kenya and joined the Apostles of Jesus scholasticate; an institute affiliated to the Urbaniana university in Rome for philosophy and Theology. I went to Tanzania for Novitiate.

I was ordained to the priesthood in Uganda on August 6 2005. After ordination I worked in Kenya in the minor seminary and at the Apostles of Jesus generalate(headquarters)

I’ve been working in the diocese of Knoxville since November 1, 2012.

Deacon Gary has been serving at Saint Mary Parish since his ordination in June 2007. He ministers to new adult Catholics, assists at daily Mass and other liturgies, helps with Baptismal classes and assists those seeking annulments.

Deacon John was ordained in 2016 and has served at Saint Mary Parish since his ordination. His responsibilities include marriage preparation and enrichment, serving as Chaplain for the St. Vincent de Paul, serving on Divine Liturgy Committee, and assisting at Masses in English and Spanish including nursing homes, and visiting the sick.


Deacon Joe Armento - In Memoriam 1940-2017 Ordination: June 9th, 2007


Cyndi Panter, Director of Religious Education - Phone: (865) 482-2875 Ext. 3


Kathy Mesmer, Parish Director of Liturgical Music Phone: (865) 482-2875 Ext. 7


George Golightly, Facilities Supervisor - Phone: (865) 482-2875                               (865) 361-2702    facilities@

Deacon Joe was ordained in June 2007, he served first at Our Lady of Fatima in Alcoa, TN. He was transferred back to Saint Mary Parish in Oak Ridge, his home parish since 1962, in March 2010. His primary duties included assisting in the Liturgy and ministry to the sick and infirm.

Cyndi has been a parish member since 1994. She joined the office staff in 2001. Cyndi has been married to her husband John for many years, and they have been blessed to raise their two amazing children Zach and Meghan at Saint Mary Parish and look forward to the same with their precious granddaughter, Hope.

Kathy Mesmer has been an active member of the Saint Mary Parish music ministry since the early 2000’s. She currently serves as the Director of Liturgical Music and coordinates choirs, cantors and musicians for all parish masses and events. Kathy resides in Oak Ridge with her husband and three children.

George Golightly has a degree in engineering from the University of Portland (run by the Congregation of the Holy Cross).  George worked at several nuclear power plants and ALCOA before coming to Saint Mary Parish.


Karen Wilkins-Butz - Lay Pastoral Associate Phone: (865) 482-2875 pastoralassociate@


John Proteau - Parish Bookkeeper - Phone: (865) 482-2875 Ext. 4 bookkeeper@


Assistant Bookkeeper - Phone: (865) 482-2875 bookkeeperassist@

Omar Carmona, Director of Youth Ministry - Phone: (865) 482-2875 Ext.6    youth@

Karen Wilkins-Butz has been a familiar face at St. Mary’s for 35 years. Her background in art and special education gave her experiences useful for the many years she volunteered in the parish religious education program.  As the Director of Religious Education, she was privileged to work with many dedicated volunteer teachers, children, youth, and parents. After receiving a MS in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in 2008, she assumed the additional role of Pastoral Associate.

Retired as Director of Religious Education in 2015, she continues as Pastoral Associate and also volunteers in the parish office.

She enjoys traveling to different countries with husband Todd, as well as spending vacation time with their three adult children and three grandchildren.

John Proteau is the Parish Bookkeeper.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University.   He has worked in management for over 30 years during his time in the South East and South West Florida.

John has been a parishioner at Saint Mary Parish since 2012.

He is married to Lisa, with two children and four grandchildren.

Yet to be determined


Communications  Phone: (865) 482-2875


Diane Wright -  Parish Secretary Phone: (865) 482-2875 officesecretary@

Pedro Palacios - Director of Hispanic Ministry - ministeriohispano@

Laura Palacios - School Administrative Assistant - adminassist@

Has been determined

Diane was born in Upstate New York and has lived in several different states as well as Saudi Arabia and Trinidad. She has traveled extensively throughout the world.  Diane moved to Oak Ridge in 1984 when she joined the St. Mary’s Parish family.  She is married to Tony Wright and together they have 4 children and 4 grandchildren.  She graduated from the University of Tennessee and has worked in the field of aging for over 30 years.  She has facilitated caregiver support groups in the area including the group at St. Mary’s Parish.   Diane failed retirement, and currently is working at St. Mary’s as the Parish Secretary.


Sister Marie Blanchette, O.P. - School Principal - Phone (865) 483-9700 principal@

Allison Hatton - Director of Admissions Phone: (865) 483-9700 admissions@

   - Director of Development Phone: (865) 483-9700 development@

Tiffany Scragg - School Office Manager - Phone: (865) 483-9700 tscragg@

Sr. Marie Blanchette, O.P. has been a Dominican Sister for 30+ years. She taught for 17 years in 5 states and in British Columbia. She has been an administrator for 17 years. She is in her seventh year at St. Mary’s. Her biological sister, Sr. Matthew Marie, taught at St. Mary’s from 1991 – 1998.

Allison Hatton may be new to Admissions at St.Mary’s, but she has almost a decade of previous admissions experience! Her first calling is that of Mother to her three boys, who all attend St. Mary’s, and a wife to her supportive husband. She also has the enormous blessing to being a teaching assistant in the P-3 classroom. Allison is an optimistic person who truly values her connections with God and the people around her. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her family and dog, baking, and enjoying the outdoors!

Under development

Tiffany has been at St. Mary's since 2015. Prior to her position here, she worked at Father Ryan High School, in Nashville, TN for four years, where she managed tuition assistance and helped manage the main office. She feels very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work for Catholic schools, and assist families with their financial ability to send their children. Tiffany and her husband, Chris, live in Farragut, TN.

Denise Miller - Safe Environment Coordinator SEC@

Denise Miller was initiated into the church at St. Mary’s Parish in April of 1990.  She and her husband Dennis were founding members of All Saints Parish in 1994 and attended there until they returned to St. Mary’s in 2003.  Their 3 children, James, Sarah, & Mary are all graduates of St. Mary’s School and Denise worked as a full-time teacher there for four years.  Denise currently serves as a substitute teacher at the school and is the Safe Environment Coordinator for the Parish.