I missed this item early today– but be kind, I was at Mass.

Thanks to the reader who sent this story.

Monsignor Richard Stika, formerly Vicar for Priests in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, and until today Pastor of Annunziata parish, has been named by Pope Benedict XVI as the new Bishop of Knoxville, Tennessee. He will be consecrated and installed Bishop on the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 2009.

Congratulations to soon-to-be-Bishop Stika and the Diocese of Knoxville.

More information at Whispers here. Below is the USCCB story:


WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI named Msgr. Richard F. Stika, 51, pastor of the Church of the Annunziata, in Ladue, Missouri, as Bishop of Knoxville, Tennessee.

The appointment was announced in Washington, January 12, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop-elect Stika succeeds Bishop Joseph Kurtz who headed the Knoxville Diocese before he was named Archbishop of Louisville in June 2007.

Richard Stika was born July 4, 1957, in St. Louis. He graduated from Bishop DuBourg High School and the University of St. Louis, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business. He then earned a Master of Arts degree in philosophy from Cardinal Glennon College and Master of Divinity degree in theology from Kenrick Seminary, in St. Louis.

He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of St. Louis on December 14, 1985.
Assignments after ordination included Associate Pastor, Mary Queen of Peace Parish, Webster Groves, Missouri, 1986-1991; Spiritual Director of the Catholic Youth Organization and Associate Director of Vocations; 1991-1994; Associate Pastor, St. Paul Parish, Fenton, Missouri, 1991-1992; Associate Pastor, Cathedral Parish, St. Louis, 1992-1994; Archdiocesan Chancellor, 1994-2004; Secretary to Archbishop Justin Rigali and Master of Ceremonies, 1994-1997; Vicar General and Vicar for Religious, 1997-2004; Member of the College of Consultors, 1997-2009; Coordinator of the Papal Visit to the Archdiocese, 1998-1999; Vicar for Priests, 2002-2005; and Pastor, Church of the Annunziata, Ladue, and Episcopal Vicar for Child and Youth Protection, 2004-2009.

The Knoxville Diocese includes 14,242 square miles. The total population of the diocese is estimated at 2,265,548 people, with 58,528, or three percent, of them Catholic.