Saturday, September 10, 2016


All Day Parish Mission With Mass
September 10, 2016

Proceeds Going To My Caribbean Mission Work

Preaching My Heart Out in Indiana to An Appreciative Gathering

Father Tom Clegg, Pastor

"Some of the Committee," with Tex and Bunky Very (from the left, second and third) who were my original and regular contacts in the process. I could not get the names of all those involved, but I want to thank them all - from food, to music, to liturgy to selling books and greeting people!
Thanks to all who worked to make it happen!

Mid-morning break between sessions. There were two in the morning and one in the afternoon with 4:00 pm Mass.

Lunch Break - One Shot

Lunch BreaK - Another Shot

Naples, Florida
Marion and Neighboring Counties, Kentucky

stay tuned

Thursday, September 8, 2016



On a recent visit to the Cathedral of the Assumption, I took the opportunity to take a few shots of some of the interior elements that brought back memories. There are little things that have not made the history books that I thought some people might like to know. 

Inside the altar, I placed the old tabernacle box and laid the key on top. Inside it is a collection of photos I took of the workers who actually did the work of restoring the cathedral. There is also a list of signatures of those who attended the last weekday Mass when we closed the Cathedral for renovation. There is a film, a collection of my cathedral homilies and other papers and mementos that people wanted to bring and place in the box.

This statue of Mary was in the Cathedral when it was built. See it in the old post card photo below. It was on the pillar on the right side on the altar on a sconce across from the big crucifix. Before that it was in the old St. Louis Cathedral. It was taken out in the renovation of the 1970s and given to a the Assumption Knights of Columbus Council near General Electric Appliance Park. Someone had painted it crudely in a garish blue. I asked the Council if we could have it back. They graciously agreed. It was restored to it original look.

One day, during the renovation, the phone rang and a lady told me that these two candelabra were in her basement. She told me that a former pastor had given them to her mother because they were in bad condition at the time. She had them electrified and they were coming apart in pieces. She said she wanted $20,000 each for them (no negotiation) and that I had till the following day to decide or they were going to an antique dealer. I immediately wrote her a check from parish funds and bought them back. The electric wires and bulbs were removed and they were restored to being candelabra. They have been in the Cathedral for  many years. See them in the old post card picture below, barely visible under the wall paintings behind the altar. 

I actually designed this pulpit, except for the red granite. In fact, I did the rough designs for the altar, pulpit, baptismal font and Holy Oil case.  After firing three national church designers, I submitted some drawing anonymously that I had an artist to draw up for me. When they were submitted to the committee, no one knew who came up with the ideas until after the committee said, "This is more like what we want!" The architect took my initial drawing and made them work, adding the red granite touch. The parish took up a special collection and donated the pulpit in my honor. The center round parts of the legs are from an old holy water font. (I kept the original drawings until a couple of years ago. I now regret not keeping them for the museum. I forget the name of the artist who took my rough sketches and drew them up for me.)

My original design of using the old baptismal font and have it overflow into a hexagon shape pool surrounded by parts of the old altar rail were taken and improved by the architect. He went with the use of red granite and having the water actually overflow between the red granite pool and marble communion rail and return in circulation. I had suggested using the gray marble of the pillars on the old font on the new font, altar and pulpit. I now think the red granite was a much better idea. 

It was my idea to save the brass top to the old baptismal font and use it as the top of a case for the Holy Oils.

The painting on the ceiling just above the big window was uncovered. Part of Mary's abdomen was missing as well as one of the angels on the bottom left holding up Mary's robes. The restoration company's artist filled in Mary's abdomen, but I gave him a photo of Ms. Christy Brown (she did more than anyone else to make sure the cathedral was renovated)  and asked him to paint her face on the missing angel which he did.

It was my idea, as well, to use the spire of the old high altar for the tabernacle. The two angels, on each side, were restored by my family in honor of my parents. "Jim" stands on the left and "Ethel" stands on the right.

Look at the walk-in pulpit on the the right on this old post card. Now look at the canopy over the pulpit. Now look at the white cross at the very top. Now look at the cross below.

That is the same cross. The white cross was all I could find of the old pulpit that had been removed many, many years ago -  probably when microphones came in to use. To preserve it, I had the old white paint removed and had Spalding Cabinet Shop in Calvary, Kentucky, put it on a new walnut pole so that we could use it as a processional cross. (That Spalding family is related to Bishop Martin John Spalding who preached from that old pulpit for all the years he was Bishop of Louisville. Bishop Spalding was born in Calvary, Kentucky, where I was pastor before coming to Louisville to be pastor of the Cathedral.) The processional cross is now displayed in the Undercroft of the Cathedral.

Cathedral of the Assumption as it is today.
I still look at it with deep amazement and great pride.
I pray for all those wonderful people who made it possible. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016



On my next mission trip down to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I would like to take a couple of used laptops for the religion teachers on the outer islands.

They have to be in very good condition because they have no place to take them to be repaired and they cannot afford to pay for repairs. If you, your office or your church is upgrading and would be willing to pass them on to a good home, please let me know.

I can take one or two on each trip without occurring taxes on imports. If I get more than two, I can take then down on future trips.

They thank you and I thank you.
Father Ronald Knott

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


$10,000 Evangelization Request Answered by Catholic Second Wind Guild


Sunday, September 4, 2016


"There Is No Gain Without Some Pain"
Rev. Ronald Knott
September 4, 2016

This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.
Luke 14:25-33

Six years ago, I was invited to go to Ireland to lead a retreat for the archbishop and priests of the Archdiocese of Tuam in the very western part of the country. It was not a vacation in any sense of the word. They were quite demoralized and I had to deliver eight conferences, lead a Penance Service and preach at several Masses.

They did have time to drive me around a bit and show me the countryside and a few small towns. It was picturesque enough, but what shocked me time and time again was the number of big half-built houses that had been left abandoned. They were simply everywhere! For the last several years Ireland had one of the fastest growing economies in Europe until a few of years ago - and now, like here, the housing bubble has burst big time!

Obviously, Jesus has witnessed similar situations in his day - men with big building projects who ran out of resources and had to face the scorn of onlookers, "Look at him! He began to build but did not have enough to finish his project! With wars and scarcity of resources being as they were back then, the landscape might have been littered with such unfinished projects.

The gospel tells us today that "great crowds" were traveling down the road with Jesus. They were new disciples, filled with enthusiasm, brimming with new hope and the promise of a kingdom to come was right there in their mind's eye.

Passing one of those unfinished towers on the side of the road, one that some man started out so enthusiastically to build, but had to abandoned because he did not have what it took to finish, became a show-and-tell for the group. Jesus turns to the crowds and says, "I know you want to be my disciples, I know you are excited about a new way of living, but I need to tell you something. It's not just about walking down the road together and listening to wonderful stories about the kingdom to come! To go all the way with me, to complete the walk, you will have to be ready to let go - sometimes to some of the attachments you hold most dear. If you don't, you will drop by the wayside, one by one, until only the strongest will be standing - and they will be few.

My fellow Catholics, I have baptized hundreds of beautiful babies, held by adoring parents and all wrapped up in antiques baptismal gowns. Their parents looked me right in the eye and "promised to raise them in the practice of the faith," but many of them never followed through. They probably intended to do it, but in reality they didn't have the internal resources or the personal faith to carry through on that commitment.

My fellow Catholics, I have witnessed the marriages of hundreds and hundreds of wonderful young couples, surrounded by their family and their friends, who will look dreamily into the eyes of their new spouses and promise, in front of God and two witnesses, to "be true to each in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, till death do they part." They no doubt, intended to do just that, but about 50% of the time one or both of them didn't have the internal resources or personal faith to carry through on those commitments.

The subject of today's homily comes at a critical time for those who will be going off to college or leaving home for the first time. Almost 90% of Americans believe in God, but only 38% of college students attend church once they are away from home. That rate drops to only 29% by graduation, the lowest rate of church attendance for any age group in the United States.

One of the great parts of being a college student, or just moving away from home, is a new-found personal freedom. Without Mom and Dad waking them up, prodding them to get dressed and get in the car, they have a personal choice to make. They have to decide whether they want to maintain their Catholic faith so that it can be the glue that holds their future sacramental marriages together and so that they can pass the Catholic on to their own children someday. The very word "tradition" means to "hand on." Many today, after centuries of their forefathers and foremothers "passing it on" to them, drop the ball in this generation. How sad! What they died to hold onto, we so casually let slide from our grip merely because we find it "inconvenient!"

To "hand on" the faith, we must be strong enough to be counter-cultural and able to stand up to our own lazy streaks and sometimes no doubt, the judgment of others. I am proud to say that I had the privilege of accompanying many young adults over the last 17 years when I was chaplain at Bellarmine University. I tried to help them not be one of those college students, about whom it is said, "He started out well in his first semester, but he did not have the inner resources to finish at graduation!"

Being a priest these days is also counter-cultural. Sometimes my vocation is ridiculed on TV, sometimes we are lumped into cruel pedophilia jokes and sometimes it gets tiresome trying to swim against the popular current. Most of the time, however, it is more than worth it. I am always amazed at how many appreciative and loving people support me with their faith.

I remind myself all the time that at my baptism, I was adopted by the church as a "child of God" and committed myself to always "walk as a child of the light." At my ordination, I believed it when I was told, "you are a priest forever." When I die, I do not want the words "former Catholic" and "former priest" used about me. I would hate to have people walk past my grave and say, "This man used to be a "catholic" and he used to be a "priest," but he did not have what it took to finish!"

It’s almost always easy to start something, but very difficult to finish. The newspapers and news reports tell us every day, all day, about people who cannot finish their commitments: neglected children, abandoned animals, unpaid debts, adulterous marriages, school drop-outs, absentee parents, unpaid child support and on and on.

Jesus is so right today when he spoke to his would-be followers. It is easy to commit to something, but hard to carry through. In my little book for seminarians leaving the seminary and enter priesthood, I begin with these words: “It’s one thing to pledge one’s life to a high purpose, but it’s another thing to carry through on that pledge.”

Weddings are easy, marriage is hard! Ordinations are easy, but priesthood is hard! Being baptized is easy, but living like a Christian day after day is hard! It’s easy to borrow money, but it’s hard to pay it back! It’s easy to have a baby, but hard to be a parent! It’s easy to brag, but hard to deliver! This is the truth about things, but every day the world keeps selling us the lie that we can have gain without pain and that there is a quick and easy way around honest work.

Meanwhile, human disasters are stacking up all around us, chaos is overtaking us and self-inflicted suffering is swamping us! What’s missing here? In a nutshell, I believe the decline of personal discipline – the ability to make a commitment and follow through on it – is our worst enemy as a culture. This, I believe, is what Jesus was teaching his would-be followers in today’s gospel – there is no gain without some pain, no matter how you cut the cake! It’s pay now or pay later!