Portrait of a Bishop . . . and Friend

Portrait of a Bishop . . . and Friend

I am honored to have my work in the new Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Knoxville.  Maybe it's just a photograph but it was important to me that I capture a friend's spirit in his portrait.

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Visiting Cor Jesu

Visiting Cor Jesu

A few scenes from a visit I took to Cor Jesu, the monastery in East Tennessee for the Handmaids of the Precious Blood.  This is an order of cloistered nuns who spend their days praying for Catholic priests.

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"There was an eerie orange hue to the sky . . ."

"There was an eerie orange hue to the sky . . ."

My photos of the Reed Family of Gatlinburg that were used in East Tennessee Catholic, with a link to the article.  It is a good lesson in gratitude and knowing what is important when disaster strikes.

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Building a Cathedral

Building a Cathedral

The Diocese of Knoxville is building a new cathedral, Sacred Heart, under the leadership of Bishop Richard Stika and with the help of Merit Construction in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Recently, Bishop Stika went up some 100' to inscribe his episcopal motto on the beam of the cathedral's dome.  The workers of Merit Construction gave him great respect for this, but they deserve their own respect, too.

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The payoff is in the giving

Bishop Richard Stika gets newscaster Kris Farley of WATE-6 TV to lose her composure.

I received good news today from Catholic Charities of East Tennessee - my donation of photographic services at their annual dinner helped to raise $107,347 for the evening!  Wonderful!

Keynote speaker, local radio personality Hallerin Hilton Hill, delivered a powerful message of being your brother's keeper.

Good times during the pre-dinner cocktail hour.

This money means that Catholic Charities can assist thousands of persons across East Tennessee - regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, creed, or religion - in meeting their needs.  I am especially honored to know that I assisted in raising funds for Columbus Home, their program for children who have been abused or neglected.  We are approaching April, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  That cause is dear to me: I hate seeing the vulnerable being abused and sadly children are all too often the victims.  I was fortunate to have two loving parents who raised us in a good home, but who also imparted on us the importance of giving back.

Kris Farley interviews Judge Tim Irwin on his program within the Children's Emergency Shelter during the event.

The audience is appreciative during the presentations.

In the Catholic faith, we often hear that stewardship is supported by our time, talents, and treasures.  For whatever reason, God gave me the ability to create an image with a camera.  The least I can do is to use it to serve His people.  I support Catholic Charities and I hope this blog post can get their message out there.  I invite you to visit their website to learn more about their work to bring charity to our area. 

I am always happy to run into my friend, Justin Cardinal Rigali, at any diocesan event.

Faces of the Passion

The Virgin Mary

I belong to a church located in the city, where our parish makeup is more diverse from other Catholic parishes in Knoxville.  Our Hispanic community at Holy Ghost is a vibrant one, and one of their traditions is to re-enact the Stations of the Cross every Good Friday, following Jesus' route to His Crucifixion.

I went earlier than normal to do some portraits of those appearing in the re-enactment.  My Spanish is limited but I was able to convey what I wanted them to do for my camera.  Fortunately, there is an alley behind the old church next door, Holy Resurrection, that provides some good stone texture to fit the mood.

And yes, the mood is dark.  The story is, after all, one of death, as well as triumph over it.  In the Bible Belt where Catholicism is a minority denomination, many do not understand our devotion to the Passion.  But the fact remains - there is no Resurrection without it.

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

And many thanks to the Hispanic community for humoring me in this project.  I will be printing these for them.  We had to do this quickly but they remained gracious throughout.


Roman centurion

Simon of Cyrene

St. John the Apostle

St. Veronica


St. Mary Magdalene


Here are the remaining images.  Click on any thumbnail to see a larger image.

If you want to see my images from the re-enactment, I invite you to visit Holy Ghost's Facebook page and view the album here.

ETC Cover Story: "Sharing the bread of Life"

I cherish my association with East Tennessee Catholic and its editor, Bill Brewer.  It allows me to see a unique side of humanity when he asks me to accompany him on a story for the journal.

Recently, we went to Claiborne county to visit the Claiborne Hunger Ministry.  You know, indulge me in a little political discourse here - recently, a presidential candidate said that if elected, she would work to put coal miners out of business.  The coal industry in Appalachia has already been severely hit and I would like her to come here and see the need of people, people who want to work but, unfortunately, cannot get $600,000/year positions with Wall Street firms like the candidate's daughter.  Maybe it would help put things in perspective for said candidate.

Ah, but let me go back to praising famous men - and one woman, Marie Noe.  At 88, she runs this ministry that makes sure the locals do not go hungry, especially the children.  This has been her work for the past 20 years.  I urge you to go and read her story.

My picture of her graces the March edition of East Tennessee Catholic.  As a member of the faith, I am challenged to find Jesus in the people around me.  With Marie, that is all too easy.

Here are some other images from our visit (click on any image to view in a larger size).

I love my Church

One of the joys of my life is that I am able to use my photography for the good of the Diocese of Knoxville.  And I was pleased to see this compilation of images from our past year, including my own.

I admit, I am an unabashed Catholic - I'm not always a happy Catholic, but I am always happy to be Catholic.  I am what they call a "cradle Catholic," meaning I was born to a family who had me baptized into the faith before I was even a month old and sent me to Catholic schools.  I do the same for my kids.

I moved to East Tennessee in June 2011 and became a member of the Diocese of Knoxville.  In short time, I was allowed the opportunity to provide my skills in building His kingdom here in East Tennessee and I am grateful.  

After all, I am grateful to God for His gifts, including letting me know what to do when I pick up a camera.  So it is only right I give that back to His people.  We Catholics are called to give our time, talents, and treasures for charity, and such that it extends beyond the walls of the church to all peoples.  

Bulldog Pride

When the stakes are high, you have to be there.

My son is an 8th grader at St. Joseph School in Knoxville.  While he does not play basketball, he and our family have a lot of pride in our teams, the Bulldogs and the Lady Bulldogs.

And what a year it has been for them.  Both teams advanced to the semi-finals, the Lady Bulldogs going up against Concord Christian School while the Bulldogs fought Webb School.  And both won.

It was on to the championships games, then.  The girls faced off against the Episcopal School of Knoxville and the boys stared down the Knoxville Ambassadors, a team comprised of home school kids.  And . . .

Victory for both!  Congratulations to the St. Joseph School Lady Bulldogs and the Bulldogs, the Knoxville Independent School League champions for varsity basketball!

I am happy to have been there to capture these images for the parents.  All too often, a parent's memories of their child's sports is related to pictures taken from the stands and a posed shot afterwards.  The action happens fast, so they don't get to see the grit, the struggle, and the determination on their kids' faces.  And they should - because for a middle school child, this is their fight, their triumph.  This is their moment that will come back when they are watching their own children or grandchildren compete, or dance, or play, or act.

Preserve that history for them.