Announcements and Church News

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  • A Rosary will be prayed after all Masses this weekend. We will gather at the statue of the Blessed Mother.

Beginning October 28, each Sunday at 12:45pm, we will pray a Bilingual Rosary with our parishioners from our English and Spanish Masses. This is an opportunity for our bilingual community to join in solidarity through the prayers that we share in common. All are invited.

  • Christ Post, husband of Mayra and father of Niko and Ariana, was in a serious accident on October 19. Chris is improving, thanks be to God, but the recovery will be long. The family greatly appreciates the continued prayers of our parish community.
  • Barbara DeGaetano, wife of Deacon Gaspar, passed away on Thursday afternoon, October 11. Fr. Blatchford was at the bedside and prayed the last rites, including the Litany of the Dying. She died during the Litany of the Saints. May she rest in peace.
Upcoming Liturgy and Confession Notices:
  • On Sunday, October 28, at 5pm we invite you to join us for our next fourth Sunday Missa Cantata, a chanted Latin Mass in the ancient form of the Roman rite, accompanied by the singing of our Gloria Dei Schola and our Jubilate Deo Youth Schola. This Mass will celebrate the Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the ancient calendar. (The nursery will not be staffed for the Missa Cantata. Also, we will not be having a potluck after this Mass.)
  • Please pray for all priests of the diocese as they go on retreat the week of October 22-25. Our priests will able to offer the 7am Low Mass on Mon., Oct. 22 and the Fri., Oct. 26 7am and Noon Masses. A deacon will offer a Communion Service at our other Mass times this week.
  • ALL SAINTS MASSES, PARADE, and RECEPTION Thurs., Nov. 1, is the Solemnity of All Saints, and a holy day of obligation. We will have a sung noon Mass and a 6:30pm sung bilingual Mass, followed by a parade of saints to All Saints Academy, where we will have a reception everyone, with candy for the children.
  • ALL SOULS DAY and ADORATION - On, Fri. Nov. 2, we will have All Souls Day Masses at the Basilica at 7am and noon, and at Mt. Olivet Cemetery at 5pm. First Friday Adoration will be in the Rectory Chapel from 12:30-5:30pm. All-night Adoration will be in Varallo Parish Hall from 9pm–7am, hosted by our Hispanic community.
  • On the weekend of Nov. 3-4, because we will only have one priest in town, we will only be able to offer confessions at 5pm Saturday and 11am Sunday.

  • In accord with Bishop Stika, on Fridays at 7am and noon, the Basilica will offer the Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the reparation of sins against the Church. Mass will conclude with the recitation of an Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by the assembly. This will be the Mass offered every Friday, except when it is superseded by a feast day.
Coming Soon... Next weekend at all our Masses we will be launching the myParish cell phone app to help you stay connected with the Basilica throughout the week, and give you quick access to daily readings, prayers, homilies, parish staff, bulletins, calendar, and much more. If you're eager to check it out before Mass, visit on your phone or go to your phone's app store to download it. You can also send a text message to the number 88202 with the word app to receive a link to download the app.

Help Needed for our Hispanic Families

We are working on bringing a representative from the Tennessee Immigration and Refugee Rights Coalition for a meeting at the Basilica to discuss ways we can help our fellow Hispanic parishioners who do not have the legal status that we enjoy, and live in fear of deportation. After the recent government raid in Grainger County, St. Patrick’s in Morristown partnered with this Coalition to provide refuge, child care, and other emergency assistance to many families who were displaced. We hope to be able to come together at the Basilica to respond effectively if something like this were to happen here. If you would like to be a part of a rapid response team help our immigrant community, please give us your name and contact information so that we can keep you involved in the discussion. A signup sheet is at the Hispanic ministry table by the kitchen, or you can contact the parish office. And please pray for our immigrant community.

As Bishop Stika has said, our response to this crisis “isn’t about politics or personal agendas. It’s about being the face, hands, feet, and heart of Jesus— at all times and to all people.”


The Basilica began a sanctuary renovation on July 23, and we expect it to be completed by December. While the church is being renovated, we will continue to offer Masses and confessions at our regular times.

Masses are being celebrated in Varallo Parish Hall. The main entry to the vestibule is closed, but four entrances are available. See entry map.

Confessions are offered in the Rectory. (Use the front gate entry facing East 8th Street).

Adoration on First Fridays is in the rectory from 12:30-5:30pm. It will continue from 9pm-7am Saturday in Varallo Parish Hall.

See Fr. Carter's pastoral letter on the logistics of using Varallo Parish Hall as a temporary sanctuary location.

The electrical work updating our infrastructure continues. The new hardwood floors are being installed in the sanctuary, and the heart pine floors in the nave will soon be refinished. We have chosen the stone for the altar top of the main altar that will be consecrated by the Bishop. We are going with a locally quarried stone that will be a full 3-inch-thick slab instead of smaller pieces made to look like a full slab. Our intention is to also inlay the original altar stone from 1890 into our new altar. Please continue to pray for our workers and volunteers as our project progresses. 

We need people in the parish to PRAY - for the people who are volunteering, for the material suppliers, for the laborers and craftsmen and all their families - specifically that no one is injured or hurt during the project, and these prayers, novenas - any and every kind of offering - can be set aside for the project's successful completion to greater glory of God, for the good of this parish and the good of His Holy Church.


The Women's Ministries meeting that was planned for Saturday, October 20th, at the Camp House from 9-10am has been CANCELLED.

Women's MinistriesAutumn Blessings Morning Retreat: Ladies, what are the Blessings in your life? In this beautiful season, let us gather for a morning of reflection and rejuvenation. Saturday, November 3rd from 8:30am to Noon in the Rectory. Please RSVP to Nikki Pacitti at (423)718-2843 or

St. Benedict is known as the Father of Western (European) Monasticism. But his spirituality of prayer and work is valid for even the layman who lives in the world. Our new chapter of lay oblates of St. Benedict focuses on applying the Rule of St. Benedict to our lives, learning to pray the Scriptures through lectio divina and offering the Liturgy of the Hours in praise of God. We are now meeting on the third Sunday of each month from 5-6:30pm. The next meeting will be on Oct. 21. Meetings will be held in Varallo Parish Hall while the church is under renovation. To find out more, please call the parish office or contact Daniel Sharkey at 877-3239.

The Catholic Motherhood ministry has begun studying Scott Hahn’s book: The First Society: The Sacrament of Matrimony and the Restoration of the Social Order, which can be ordered on The next meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 13th from 10-11:30am in Varallo Parish Hall. All mothers are welcome and a nursery will be available. 

Also, Catholic Motherhood ministry is offering a new study for moms of all ages, entitled, “Momnipotent," facilitated by Sandy Pricer, on the last Tuesday of each month. The next study will be on October 30th from 7-9:30pm, in the St. Dominic Religious Education building. Please bring a snack and/or drink to share if you are able. Contact Rachel Wesson with any questions or to be added to the Catholic Motherhood Group email list.

A monthly Evening of Recollection is offered at the Basilica. The evenings, normally led by a Basilica priest, include Adoration, confessions, a meditation on the writings of St. Josemaria Escrivá, and spiritual fellowship. Evenings are from 7-9pm and and are being held in the Rectory Chapel during the renovation. Due to Fr. Carter's travels, there will be no Evenings of Recollection in October. The next evenings will be November 7 for men and November 14 for women. Contact Dan and Nancy Fisher or the parish office for more information.

Our Book Club began discussing a new book, St. Thomas Aquinas: 'The Dumb Ox', by G. K. Chesterton, on Wednesday, September 19. The book is available on as well as other booksellers. We continue to meet in Varallo Parish Hall at 7:40am on Wednesdays. All are welcome! For more information, please call the parish office.

Natural Family Planning Classes! - We now have a Couple-to-Couple League NFP teaching couple at the Basilica! See our Marriage page under Sacraments to find out about upcoming NFP class opportunities.

Note:  Our Spanish language class that had been meeting on Wednesdays from 5pm to 6:30pm in the Religious Education building has been canceled.
We have begun American Heritage Girls and TrailLife USA troops at the Basilica this fall, a scouting program for children ages 5-17 that coincides with our values as Catholic Christians. For more information, contact Sherry Ohotnicky at More information may also be found at and
Fr. Blatchford and his classmate, Fr. Adam Kane will lead a pilgrimage to the Holy Land from February 18th-27th, 2019. Come and celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Priestly Ordination with Fr. Blatchford as he walks the footsteps of our Lord and his disciples through the Holy Land. The price is $4400 based on double occupancy. For further questions, call the parish office.
NEW "We Give Electronically" Cards for the Offertory
Many people these days manage their money online and have expressed a desire to tithe online, and so we have a link on our website for people who choose to give this way. People have also expressed interest in participating in the weekly collection, and so we have produced a card in the pew with an image of the Three Wise Men bringing their gifts to the Christ child. On the back it states, “We Give Electronically.” This card is placed in the pew so we may put it into the collection basket to remind us that our online offerings are a gift to God and an essential part of our commitment to His Church,
If you suffer from Celiac disease or another severe gluten allergy, a chalice of the Precious Blood is going to be prepared at each weekend Mass. Indicate this need to the priest celebrant at Communion time, and he will administer the Sacrament to you. For weekday Masses, please make the request to the deacon or sacristan before Mass so that the chalice may be prepared.


Please take the time to fill out this quick survey put together in consultation with the Parish Pastoral Council so that we can better plan for the future here at Sts. Peter and Paul.

The tabulated results of our recent "Town-hall Meeting" have been posted and can be viewed by clicking this link: Town Hall Meeting Results

We are in need of donations for altar flowers. Please consider being a supporter of the Basilica's apostolate of beauty.  Maybe you want to honor a family member, a birthday, or an anniversary! Contact the parish office for details.

Incense for Upcoming Weekends and Holy Days

We normally use incense at our principal Sunday Masses at 11:30am (English) and 1:30pm (Spanish). On holy days we expand our use of incense. Over the next few weeks we have several feasts and solemnities to celebrate!

June 29-July 1: Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul:  incense at Friday noon, Sunday 9:00, 11:30, & 1pm

July 7-8 and beyond:  Ordinary Time:  incense at 11:30 and 1:30 only

See our article, The Use of Incense in the Mass, for more information.

Liturgical Ministry Appeal
If you are not yet involved in one of our liturgical ministries - Altar Guild,  Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Lectors, Sacred Music, Sacristans, and Ushers/Greeters/Announcers - please consider the call to serve.  Download our Liturgical Ministry Form or pick one up in the vestibule and turn it in to the parish office.

Highlights of the Liturgical Year

Potluck reception to follow in Varallo Parish Hall
Nursery will be available

Admission is FREE. Donations to support sacred music concerts at the Basilica will be accepted.

Click here for flyer

Corpus Christi Procession - June 3 at 1pm

Sunday, June 3 is the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. We will celebrate First Holy Communion at our 11:30 Mass and our 1:30 Spanish Mass. We will have Adoration after the 11:30 Mass, followed by our 5th annual Corpus Christi procession from the Basilica through the surrounding streets at 1pm. All are invited to join in this traditional expression of our faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Here is a video highlighting scenes from last year's procession.

Find out more about our Corpus Christi procession and why we do this.

Words of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque: “I demand that the First Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi be set apart for a special feast to honor My Heart; that, on this day, reparation be made to It with special solemnity, that the faithful receive Holy Communion in reparation for the indignities which It has received on the altars; and I promise that My Heart will expand to pour out in abundance the treasures of Divine love on those who render It this honor.” Read more about the history of the feast and the devotion to the Sacred Heart here.

The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is Friday, June 8. We will have Masses at 7am and noon, and the choir is coming together for our noon sung Mass. There is also an opportunity for plenary indulgence for those who publicly recite an Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on this holy day.
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR ORGAN - We have reached our goal!

Thank you to all who have helped us raise $35,000 to install two ranks we need to complete the organ: the trompettes and clarinet, a total of 122 custom made pipes! Our organ will already be down for maintenance after the sanctuary renovation, and adding the pipes at this time will save us money and additional downtime in the future. Your response to this special call for help has been tremendous and is greatly appreciated!  

REGISTER HERE FOR OUR 2018-19 PROGRAMS that began on Sunday, September 9 -
Religious Education Classes for Age 3 - Grade 12 10:15-11:15am Sundays in the St. Dominic Building
Middle School and High School Youth Group 6:30-8:30pm Sundays at All Saints Academy
RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) 10:15-11:15am Sundays at All Saints Academy

Join in welcoming RCIA candidates and catechumens. Donations of sweet or savory breakfast items are needed. Please contact Danielle Jones to contribute, Your help in providing hospitality during Sunday morning classes is appreciated.

Sign Up to Pray Rosary for RCIA
Our parish is praying for those in RCIA by sending the RCIA Rosary to a different home each week. Sign up at the table in front of the elevator entry into Varallo Parish Hall.

First Annual Basilica Christmas Pageant

Sat., Dec. 29, 2018 at 6:30 pm in Varallo Parish Hall

Cast List for "The First Christmas"

Thank you to all are talented young parishioners who auditioned!

Rehearsal schedule (revised 10/1)


In order to ensure a safe environment for our children, and in accord with state and diocesan policy, our nursery policy is that we have two adults in the nursery at all times, effective immediately. One of them is our paid staff member, but we are in need of volunteers to be the second person. The second person must be VIRTUS-trained and commit to being present. A sign-up sheet is in the nursery. There is also a donation box in the nursery to defray the $45 cost of keeping it staffed each Sunday. If we do not have your commitment, we will no longer be able to offer nursery services.

VIRTUS Training - Parents and other adults who would like to participate in our youth programs are required to be certified under the VIRTUS program. Deacon Gaspar will be offering a VIRTUS class at the Basilica on Tuesday, December 4, from 5:30 – 8:30pm. You can register for this or any of the upcoming VIRTUS sessions at (click here and select the Knoxville Diocese).