Tuesday, January 26, 2016



During the afternoon of January 20, 2016, Bishop Jason Gordon of the Dioceses of Bridgetown (Barbados) and Kingstown (St.Vincent and the Grenadines) gave me a call with a casual sounding request. 
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We've known each other for about a year. He even stayed at my condo the last time he was visiting his seminarian at St. Meinrad Seminary  so I could take him to the airport early in the morning. I have stayed at his house in Barbados on my way to St. Vincent. and back, as I will again on February 17 and 24. We have had lots of e-mail contact since I started going down there. 
Here is what he said - cleverly sandwiched among other items on our to-do list to discuss. "Father Ronald, the new bishop is going to need a car! Would you see what you can do?"
I really like this man! His enthusiasm and faith are breath taking! His dedication is amazing! His optimism is contagious! 

After the call, I said to myself, "Who does he think I am? A miracle worker? Obviously, he does! Well, I am a Knott and I do believe in miracles, but I am not a miracle worker! However, Bishop Gordon believes in me and I believe in God, so I am going to do what I can even though this seems overwhelming." Together with some generous friends, I have already been part of a few minor miracles down there - and one major miracle - but this one is going to be a real test of my faith and determination.

As most of you know by now, since I retired, I have been volunteering in Bishop Gordon's diocese in the poor country of St. Vincent in the Grenadines. The people I have met are absolutely wonderful, but the needs of the church down there are many. Read about the country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Like Bishop Gordon, the new bishop is a native of Trinidad. Bishop-Elect Gerard County has been a missionary in Mexico for the last several years. He is a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (The Spiritans). Bishop County is taking on one of the poorer dioceses in the Caribbean. Around Christmas, Pope Francis split Bishop Jason Gordon's responsibility for two dioceses in two. Bishop Gordon will stay in Barbados and Bishop County will oversee St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The former arrangement made it very difficult for Bishop Gordon to focus fully on either diocese because they were in two different countries. Long term, the situation appeared untenable. Now each bishop will be able to give his individual diocese the attention it deserves. 
While I am down there on my upcoming third trip, Bishop County will be ordained bishop on February 20th. He will be wearing a new white bishop's mitre (pointed hat) and chasuable (vestment) that a friend of mine purchased through the R J MISSION PROJECTS fund that another friend and I set up for such purposes.  

Here's the situation! Bishop County needs a car with an automatic shift. Just as I would be, he is overwhelmed by the thought of driving a stick shift around his new diocese. I know I couldn't drive a stick shift down there even though I learned to drive on one! For that matter, I couldn't drive down there even with an automatic shift! Sitting in the front seat on the left side of the car as a passenger is scary enough for me! Down there, they drive on the left, the roads in many places are rough, narrow and winding compared to here, the street signs are confusing - even non-existent in some places- and there aren't many street lights outside downtown Kingstown. When I am down there, I need a driver. 
In meeting this need of the new bishop, Bishop Gordon has suggested a shuffle of some of the older cars between a few of the priests and getting a new car, with automatic shift, for Bishop County. The only problem is that they are "one car short in the fleet," as Bishop Gordon so casually put it. He is also very humorous in an understated kind of way.  
Even with a church discount on the steep import taxes, this miracle comes with a $45,000 price tag.




In the meantime, instead of just sitting around waiting, I guess I can start selling my blood, buying lottery tickets and lighting some candles! 
close up of blood extraction in lab Stock Photo - 4417876

If this miracle comes through, I am going to start going to church - even more so! 

Image result for need a miracle images

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