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Old 01-12-2009, 12:28 PM   #1
MoSkeeter0311
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Monsignor Richard F. Stika Named Bishop-Elect of Knoxville

Monsignor Richard F. Stika Pope Benedict XVI announced in Rome on January 12 that the Reverend Monsignor Richard F. Stika, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and pastor of Church of the Annunziata in Ladue, has been named Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee, which was vacated by Bishop Joseph E. Kurtz, former bishop of Knoxville, who was installed as Archbishop of Louisville in August 2007.

Monsignor Stika will be ordained to the episcopacy on March 19, 2009, in a ceremony at the Knoxville Convention Center, and will subsequently begin his service there. Justin Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will be the consecrating bishop, assisted by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and Bishop Robert Shaheen, Bishop of the Diocese of Our Lady of Lebanon. Monsignor Stika will be the third bishop of the Tennessee diocese.

Of the appointment, Bishop Robert J. Hermann, archdiocesan administrator, said, "The Archdiocese of St. Louis is deeply honored to have one of its distinguished priests selected by our Holy Father for the office of Bishop. While I am very sorry to lose his immediate collaboration here, I am most confident that he will fulfill the weighty responsibilities of his new office in the Church with great distinction. I assure him of my prayers and of the prayers of the faithful of the archdiocese as he prepares to take up his new mission in the Church. May God grant him many happy years as a true shepherd of His flock in the Diocese of Knoxville."

The complete text of Bishop Hermann's statement on Monsignor Stika's appointment follows:


Today, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has named the Reverend Monsignor Richard F. Stika, priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, pastor of Church of the Annunziata in Ladue, and director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection, to the office of Bishop of Knoxville. The Archdiocese of St. Louis is deeply honored to have one of its distinguished priests selected by our Holy Father for the office of Bishop.

As Administrator of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Bishop-elect Stika. I also congratulate the faithful of the Diocese of Knoxville, who are blessed to receive Bishop-elect Stika as bishop. Bishop-elect Stika is known for his many gifts of leadership. He served as vicar general (1997-2004) and chancellor (1994-2004) in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and secretary to Cardinal Justin Rigali (1994-1997). Bishop-elect Stika has also given distinguished service as the primary coordinator of the visit of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to St. Louis in 1999. Most recently, he has served in an outstanding way as director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection and as pastor of the Church of the Annunziata in Ladue.
While I am very sorry to lose his immediate collaboration here, I am most confident that he will fulfill the weighty responsibilities of his new office in the Church with great distinction.

Bishop-elect Stika will be missed very much by his brother priests here and all the faithful of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. I assure him of my prayers and of the prayers of the faithful of the archdiocese as he prepares to take up his new mission in the Church. May God grant him many happy years as a true shepherd of His flock in the Diocese of Knoxville.
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