|First Public Mass in Union County-2011|
|First English Mass in Grainger County 2011|
|Spanish Mass Social at Agricultural Center- Sept. 2011|
Obviously, the largest amount of activity this year has been Catholic Nurture. Prior to my arrival, I received a list of Catholics who attended interest meetings and a list of those who receive the Tennessee Catholic Newspaper. Thus we invited those in Union County to attend a meeting at the Senior Citizens Center for two information meetings in August. Our first public Mass was a" bring your own chair" Mass under our Carport on September 7, 2011. The first Sunday Mass was held October 2, 2011 at Miller's Chapel United Methodist Church. The first Mass in our rental building under the name of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Mission was All Saint's Day, November 1st. Our first Spanish Mass was for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12, 2011.
|Planners of the first Spanish Mass in Maynardville - 2011|
The beginnings in Grainger County were different. Once a month Saturday evening Masses in Spanish were already being celebrated at the Agricultural Center with the priests from St. Patrick's in Morristown conducting them. I took over the responsibility on the last Saturday in August. In September we had a huge gathering for the feast of St. Michael the Archangel with 108 in attendance. On November 6 was the first Sunday Mass in Spanish in our new building with only about 30 people in attendance. The English Speaking community gathered in the American Legion for our first meeting in September with 34 in attendance. We struggled finding meeting space and physical location in the months of September and October. In October, Rutledge Methodist Church opened its door for our planning sessions. We managed to offer our first English Mass on the last Saturday of October with 11 people in attendance. These were our humble beginnings at Blessed John Paul II Catholic Mission.
|First Guadalupe Festival in Rutledge--2011|
|Scout Sunday - 2012 at BTC|
This Saturday a group of men will begin remodeling the expansion unit. Yes, we are now renting the storage unit between the office and worship space, so there will be room for socials, additional classroom space and counseling area. God is doing something amazing here. The Holy Spirit is alive and moving.
In Grainger, we have had a fantastic year. Our Saturday evening English Mass continues to grow even through we remain small. We have gone from an average of 18 people to 30. On Thursday evenings for our midweek service, we averaged during the school year about 30. We had 18 children make first communion in June and 24 youth and adults to be confirmed in September. We have formed a mission advisory team and mission resource team (similar to parish and financial councils). Adoration is available every Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. We have regular socials. We held an under the tent Bible School. Last week 38 people attended the English Mass and 89 the Mass in Spanish. So we continue to grow under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
|First Communicants at JP II - June 2012|
|First Communicants at BTC- May 2012(plus one)|
|Bible School at BTC- August 2012|
|Let the Holy Spirit Flow|
Who could have predicted such a beautiful start to these two missions a year ago? I am humbled and blessed to be a part of God's gracious work among such wonderful people. Together with Br. Craig and Br. Joe we are excited for year two!!