KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — After spending one night in the hospital following a heart catheterization procedure, Bishop Richard F. Stika of Knoxville was released from Parkwest Medical Center early Dec. 6 and returned to the chancery for a brief visit.
“I feel good, and I am grateful for the prayers I received and the great care that was provided to me while I underwent this procedure,” Stika said. “I am ready for baseball season.”
Dr. Stephen L. Marietta, a Knoxville cardiologist, performed an angioplasty to clear a significant blockage — 99 percent — in an area of the heart at the location of a bypass operation 14 years ago, according to Stika.
Regarding post-operative instructions from his doctor, Stika displayed his usual sense of humor.
“The doctor told me to not lift anything heavy for a while, but I don’t think that will stop me from carrying my crozier, my pastoral staff,” he joked.
Stika was immediately resuming his normal schedule, including celebrating two Masses in Knoxville during Dec. 8-9 weekend and a Mass in Chattanooga Dec. 10.
He had canceled a mid-December trip to visit family in the Midwest so he could undergo the heart procedure.
On Nov. 27, the bishop announced the news via Twitter. “It is best that we found this issue now, rather than later,” he said. “It’s good to know that my guardian angels are always working out with me.”
Stika, 61, was appointed head of the Diocese of Knoxville in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI and is the diocese’s third bishop.