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(WBIR - Sevierville) One of America's most recognizable Catholic church members, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, stopped by East Tennessee this weekend to help commemorate 25 years of the Knoxville Diocese.

Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, was the keynote speaker at the Knoxville Diocese's Eucharistic Congress, held at the Sevierville Convention Center, which kicked off a yearlong celebration of the Diocese's 25th anniversary.

Cardinal Dolan said since the inception of the Knoxville Diocese, the number of practicing Catholics in East Tennessee has quadrupled. He eyed the future as well, predicting that the South is where you'll see the largest growth in numbers.

"It's a joy and an honor to be here for the 25th anniversary. I like being here historically. In New York, you get a good view of the country, and you meet everybody. The future of the Catholic Church is in the South and the West," Cardinal Dolan said.

He also said he loves the appreciation people here have for their church...and the energy and love they have for worshipping.