WASHINGTON, D.C. — Bishop Richard F. Stika of Knoxville, Tennessee, has canceled a mid-December trip to visit family in the Midwest because he will instead be undergoing a heart procedure, the diocese said in a Nov. 26 media advisory.
The diocese said in the statement that he expects to be celebrating Masses again before Christmas.
On Nov. 27, the bishop announced the news via Twitter while also saying that it was time for him to lose 50 pounds by July 4. The advisory said the procedure is to put in place a stent.
“Heart procedure in the next weeks!” he tweeted.
The diocese said a stress test during a checkup “revealed the need for further medical attention” and the procedure is scheduled for Dec. 13.
“It is best that we found this issue now, rather than later,” the bishop said. “It’s good to know that my guardian angels are always working out with me.”
The bishop said in the advisory that he expects to be hospitalized one night and after the procedure “doctors will determine the best course of action.”
Stika, 61, was appointed head of the Diocese of Knoxville in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI and is the diocese’s third bishop. Various local news reports say he has faced heart issues in the past, including bypass surgery and a minor heart attack in 2009.
“During the time of continued evaluation, and as the date of the procedure approaches, I request that you please pray (for) me, for my doctors and for my quick recovery,” he said.