The Story of Immaculate Conception Church
The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception
Catholics honor Mary because of the unique role she played in man's salvation by
giving birth to our Savior. The Catholic Church affirms that, in view of Mary's
calling to be the Mother of Christ and in virtue of his merits, Mary was conceived
without original sin and was filled with grace from the very beginning of her life.
This belief has been held to be true since the early centuries of Christianity, but
was only officially defined as a doctrine of the Church on December 8, 1854 by
Pope Pius IX. It is not then surprising that when a Catholic parish was established
in Knoxville in 1855 that the name Immaculate Conception was chosen for the
We wish to thank Mr. Laurence V. Gibney, author of The Church on Summit Hill for his tireless efforts to preserve the history of our parish. This brief history is based on his wonderful book.
Painting by Bartolome Esteban Murillo, 17th century, Villaneuva Art Gallery, Spain.