Race Relations: An Oak Ridge Experiment in Social Concern

The five week period from November 10th through December 8th marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Oak Ridge public forums on race relations, hosted by Saint Mary’s. The series of forums, called “An Experiment in Social Concern”, followed the Holy Week Uprising against the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. earlier that year in the western end of our …

Open House

Saint Mary Parish has spent this year celebrating our 75th anniversary, an anniversary our parish shares with Oak Ridge. For our final anniversary event, the parishioners of Saint Mary’s invite you to join us for an open House on November 5th at 6 pm. Participants will meet at our recently remodeled Social Hall (325 Vermont Ave.) for a brief presentation …

Monday’s Forum

A message from Father Shelton: Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I thank all of you who participated in our special forum on Bishop Stika’s pastoral letter and the horrors it addresses. The conversation was very honest, respectful and fruitful. There were some variations of perspective on the causes and solutions, variations mirroring those I’m seeing develop among priests and …

Pathways of Belief Returning

Our Pathways of Belief series is set to return this fall, but with an expanded program. The first Wednesday of each month is “Catholic Answers Night”, a time to discuss your questions about the beliefs, practices and current events of our Catholic Faith. The second Wednesday is “Book Night”, when we will discuss our book-of-the-month. The third Wednesday is “Open …

Email and Caller ID Scams

Please beware of fraudulent emails purporting to be from parish clergy or staff. If you have any questions or concerns about a suspicious email from the parish, please call the parish office. Official parish emails feature “@stmarysoakridge.org” in the originating address. Please also beware of caller ID “spoofing”. “Spoofing” occurs when a telephone caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to …

Saint Mary’s and Community Relations

Fellow Parishioners, Following all the masses on the weekend of April 14 & 15, there will be information sessions in the Board Room about St. Mary’s participation in the Alliance for Community Transformation-East Tennessee (ACT-East TN)/Strong United. Funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, ACT-East TN/Strong United is a multi-cultural, multi-racial multi-denominational group coming together to create community, transform …

Safety and Security

Dear Parishioners, I’ve received several questions from various parishioners about our security measures for Sunday Mass and other large parochial gatherings. A key safety and security feature of our church on Sundays is the vigilant presence of our ushers, four of whom (plus a ready substitute) should be trained and active at each Sunday Mass.  When ushers are clearly visible and observant before …

Disaster Relief

Given the overwhelming scale of devastation from Hurricane Harvey to the coastal and inland areas of Texas, there will be a second collection on September 9th and 10th to assist with disaster relief. This emergency collection will be used both to support the humanitarian and recovery efforts of Catholic Charities USA and to provide pastoral and rebuilding support to impacted dioceses …

Our Parish Revitalization Group Speaks

Our three-month-old Parish Revitalization Group, composed of the leaders of all the ministries, apostolates and sodalities of our parish, has produced its first set of proposals for review by the pastoral council. These proposals touch on everything from improving communications to developing young adult ministry. Some proposals are exciting, some are ambitious, some are revolutionary, and all are innovative in …

Celebrate Catholic Schools Week!

Since 1974, National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2017 is January 29 – February 4. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2017 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Schools typically observe the annual …

Pastor’s Notes

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Two of our long-time parishioners passed away last Saturday. Helen Hochanadel passed away around noon, and Mildred Hare passed away a few hours later. May Helen and Mildred rest in the peace of Christ, and may their families remain living memorials of these two souls. For American Catholics, Monday is designated a day of …