Knoxville bishop suffers mild heart attack
Bishop Richard F. Stika
Bishop Richard F. Stika

.- Catholics in the Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee are praying for their new bishop after he suffered a mild heart attack while on a trip this past weekend.

According to Deacon Sean Smith, chancellor of the Diocese of Knoxville, Bishop Richard F. Stika, was paying a visit to a friend who is sick in Florida. Things took a turn for the worse when the bishop "became ill with severe flu-like symptoms, which precipitated a diabetic crisis," Smith said.

The "diabetic crisis" caused Bishop Stika to suffer a mild heart attack, but after doctors conducted a thorough examination, they found his heart to be "in great shape."

"He had a very good night and is stable and responding well to his treatment. He is looking forward to returning home to Knoxville," said Deacon Smith in a statement from the Diocese of Knoxville.

Deacon Smith said that he will continue to provide updates on the bishop's condition and asked Catholics to "give thanks for this encouraging information and pray for his continued recovery."

Bishop Stika chosen by Pope Benedict XVI to be the third Bishop of Knoxville this past January and was consecrated a bishop on March 19, 2009.

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