Friday, May 27, 2016



1. I might be in western Canada, but this presbyterate, like so many dioceses back home, is very internationalized. There are priests from the Philippines, Uganda, Nigeria, Trinidad, United States, India and England. 

2. These priests and this bishop do an incredible amount of driving. The bishop is known for driving six hours to confirm one young person. He had to make a run back to Kelowna for a ground breaking for a new school and then come back to the retreat. That was another six hour drive. That means that he drove twelve hours to be at this retreat. Several priests had to drive eight and nine hours to get to the retreat and back home. Hours and hours on the road is normal for getting to and from meetings and ministering to various parishes. 

3. Two of the scariest rides I have ever had in a car have been with the bishops of Kamloops and Nelson when I have been up here for retreats. It is "white knuckle" all the way. They drive fast - and I mean fast! In every turn it feels like we are about to flip over! I am glad I have not been up here when there has been ice and snow on the roads. As we speed along, I keep thinking about possible headlines back home, "Local priest and Canadian bishop die in a fiery car crash. Their car has never been found on the side of the mountain. The search continues." 

The third scariest ride in a car was down in the island of St. Vincent. It's not the speed down there, it's the crookedness and condition of the roads. Sitting on the left side of the car down there also adds to the scariness of the ride. Sitting on the left feels a whole lot like you are driving a car with no steering wheel or brake pedal. 

The fourth scariest ride in a car was being driven around Ireland by a priest who texted while driving, barely dodging animals in the road and having hedges raking across the side mirror as he, too, sped through the countryside on the left side of the road. 

4. There are several First Nation (we call them Native American) parishes and communities to be served. As you drive along, you can't help realizing that all this expanse of land used to be theirs. 

5. When priests do go home to visit families, many of them have to fly half way around the world to get there and half way around the world to get back.  They are making a great sacrifice for the Church. 

6. The priests up here know more about American politics than many people back home. I actually had to ask a Ugandan priest to help me recall the name of one of my US Senators! 

7. Enjoying the fraternity of priests from all over the world is an experience that I cannot describe. It is one of the greatest blessing of the last several years of my priesthood. I don't need to travel to experience the world. It keeps coming to my door. I am privileged and honored to be able to do this ministry of leading priest retreats and convocations in so many places. It has indeed been, and continues to be, a blessing. I feel so fortunate. 

8. I pray that God will give me the health to do this for several more years because the invitations keep coming. I am now booking in 2018. I got two more invitations to lead priest retreats this week. At this point it is all about health. 

9. Besides these great experiences, the money I make from doing this work is funneled to my volunteer work down in the islands of the Caribbean - yet another fascinating adventure and marvelous opportunity to experience another part of our wonderful, universal Catholic Church. Sometimes, when I think about where I came from, I am simply overcome with wonder and amazement. 

10. As wonderful as these experiences are, I look forward to being home again to rest up for a week before heading down to the Diocese of Memphis, Tennessee. After Memphis, I will get to spend about six weeks at home before heading out again for a busy fall season of more priest retreats and parish missions in the United States, Canada and Barbados.  

One good thing that makes the trip home a little easier - I can go through United States Customs in Calgary before I leave Canada instead of going through it in Chicago or Denver. 
If all the connections go well, I should be home by 11:30 pm tonight. 


Lot's of glitches getting home, but made it by 1:45 am. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Filipino Fraternity is a Good Thing

A bunch of Filipino priests got together to have a farewell party for one of the group. He is returning to the Philippines but hopes to come back soon. 

A couple of other nationalities were invited as well. 

I was honored to be invited even though I had no idea what I was eating. Like all Filipino food, in general, it was delicious. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Third Day of the Diocese of Nelson Priest Retreat

A Tour of the Retreat House Surroundings

We had morning prayer, evening prayer and Mass each day in the retreat house chapel. I was invited to preach Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, as well as at the Reconciliation Service on Wednesday evening. 

A view of the front entrance.

For large groups of pilgrims, they have an outdoor amphitheatre. 

A view of the hills of this "high desert country." 

Brother Dominic is always in the kitchen preparing meals. 

Brother Ferdinand is always looking forward to making sure the next meal is ready. 

Brother Joshua, also a valuable asset to his community, does his part to serve the guests.

Father Patrick is the capable superior of the community.

The sun sets over the retreat house. 

The smokers porch. I wonder if that tobacco was grown in Kentucky? 

Sign on the door of my suite in the retreat house - a bedroom, a bathroom and a little room to meet with people. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Rev. J. Ronald Knott

Our retreat began last night with an opening conference.
"The Leadership of Priests in the Universal Call to Holiness"


We had a morning conference. 
"A Spirituality for Diocesan Priests and Those Who Work With Them" 

We had an evening conference.
"The Radical Communitarian Dimension of Ordained Ministry"

Future Conferences will be:
"The Great Scandal of Presbyteral Polarization" 
"What Can Individual Priests Do to Build Presbyteral Unity/" 

Center Section 

Right Hand Section

Left Hand Section

Retired Bishop Eugene Cooney came from his retirement home in Calgary to attend the retreat with his former presbyterate. Here he is looking quite dapper in his stripped vest. He is quite the gentleman. 

The Retreat Leader in Action

Another view of the presenter and his Power Point presentation. 

Monday, May 23, 2016



No wonder I was confused when I was planning this priest convocation. The Diocese of Nelson has its chancery and bishop's house in Kelowna and its cathedral in Nelson - miles apart,  Nelson is more historic, but Kelowna is more convenient. 

Bishop John Corriveau, OFM Cap. picked me up personally at the airport in Kelowna, took me to his home for the night, cooked us a nice dinner, invited me to morning Mass, took me out to breakfast and drove me to the retreat center in Cache Creek, a three hour drive from Kelowna.

Bishop John in his kitchen fixing us seafood pasta and salad. 

Bishop John on the left, Father Ron Deckant, OMI, in the center and myself on the left concelebrating morning mass at St. John Gardnier Church next door to the chancery and in front of the bishop's house. 

Catholic Chancery of the Diocese of Nelson in Kelowna.

Below are photos of the well preserved early mission buildings in the area next door to the chancery building.

It is interesting to note that Father Pandosy started his missionary work in British Columbia about the time the Cathedral of the Assumption was finished in my Diocese of Louisville, in Kentucky, in 1852. 

A very determined looking Father Pandosy is memorialize in bronze in the middle of his mission headquarters. 

The main house for the missionaries. 

The little chapel on the mission headquarter grounds.

Below are shots from the car of the area between Kelowna and Cache Creek where we are holding the priest retreat.

In some places there are miles and miles of landscape in this part of Canada with no human footprints to speak of - just rolling hills, winding rivers an big blue skies. Without the roads and an occasional power line, you can see it its pristine beauty as the First Nations saw it hundreds of years ago. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Cache Creek, British Columbia

A typical farm scene from this part of British Columbia. 

Nelson is down in the right hand corner - above the Washington-Idaho border.  
I will be flying into Kelowna, British Columbia, a little northwest of Nelson. 


                                                   Bishop John Corriveau, OFM Cap.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine

Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine and Centre
Cache Creek

Brother Dominic, Father Patrick, Brother Joshua and Brother Ferdinand
This Filipino Community, Servants of the Risen Christ,  runs the Shrine and Centre for the neighboring Diocese of Kamloops. I was there last year for the Kamloops priest retreat. I look forward to seeing my young Filipino friends from last year. 

Louisville, Denver, Calgary, Kelowna (United Airlines and Air Canada)

Kelowna, Calgary, Chicago, Louisville (Air Canada and United Airlines)