In a first for the Diocese of Knoxville, Bishop Richard F. Stika will ordain four priests during an ordination mass at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Knoxville, including Colin Blatchford of Chattanooga.
Seminarians Colin Blatchford, Tony Budnick, Julian Cardona and Adam Kane will take their vows for the priesthood after completing six years of theological training. They will then celebrate their first masses (Mass of Thanksgiving) on Sunday.
The four men, who are now deacons in the Catholic Church until their ordination as priests, have diverse backgrounds. Mr. Blatchford, 30, was born in Bloomington, Ind., and grew up in Chattanooga. He graduated from Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. Mr. Budnick, 42, is originally from Grand Rapids, Mich., and moved to East Tennessee in 1997. He formerly worked as a sports producer for a television station before enrolling in the seminary. He graduated from Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis. Mr. Cardona, 33, is originally from Pereira, Columbia. He now lives in Knoxville and graduated from St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Ind. Mr. Kane, 31, is originally from Lynchburg, Tenn. He converted to Catholicism as a young adult and is a graduate of St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology.
Their addition increases to more than 80 the total number of priests in the diocese who are serving at 47 parishes, four missions, 10 schools and three university campuses throughout East Tennessee. In its 25-year history, the Diocese of Knoxville has had 46 priests ordained, including Deacons Blatchford, Budnick, Cardona and Kane.