Prayer Need: New Knoxville Bishop suffers heart attack

Flu symptoms lead to diabetic crisis

Bishop Stika
Bishop Stika


Knoxville Bishop Richard F. Stika went into a diabetic crisis and suffered a mild heart attack after picking up a flu-like illness in Florida, according to the Diocese of Knoxville.

Deacon Sean Smith said Stika was visiting an ill friend in Florida when he picked up severe flu-like symptoms. Smith said the friend is a retired bishop there.

The stomach flu symptoms brought about dehydration, which prompted a ‘diabetic crisis,’ which led to the heart attack.

Smith said doctors have thoroughly examined the bishop’s heart and found it to be in great shape. Smith also said he’s in contact hourly with the bishop’s doctors.

Stika could be able to leave the hospital in as short a time as four days, depending on his recovery.


Stika was hospitalized following a “sudden illness” this weekend while he was out of town, the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville said in a news release late Sunday night.

The bishop was in stable condition at that point, and was “responsive and doing well,” according to diocese spokeswoman Mary Weaver.

Bishop Stika’s illness was brought on by a chronic medical condition, Weaver said. She did not elaborate then about the nature of the bishop’s symptoms.

Father Ragan Schriver of Catholic Charities told 10 News Bishop Stika suffers from diabetes, but he did not know if that played a role in the sudden illness.

“The Diocese of Knoxville is asking all of the faithful to join together in prayer for their new shepherd,” Weaver said.

Bishop Stika was ordained in March. He is the diocese’s third bishop.

More on Bishop Stika here


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