Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Copy of my original ordination invitation.

Minutes before the ordination started. 

My First Mass

My mother and I after my First Mass wearing the vestment she made for me. I'll take the blame for the design. 

Celebrating twenty-five years in 1995. Seems like yesterday! 

I am so very grateful for the gift of God that keeps on giving. When I read down all that has happened to me in the last thirty-seven years, I am almost overcome with gratitude. I never could have imagined it when I started this journey.


Rev. J. Ronald Knott is a priest of the Archdiocese of  Louisville, "retired" now, he is the founding director of the Saint Meinrad School of Theology Institute for Priests and Presbyterates. Father Knott is the author of Intentional Presbyterates: Claiming Our Common Sense of Purpose, a book about preparing seminarians to enter presbyterates and about how priests can mentor them into their presbyterates after ordination, as well as From Seminarian to Diocesan Priest: Managing a Successful Transition; The Spiritual Leadership of a Parish Priest:  On Being Good and Good At It and Intentional Presbyterates: The Workbook. In late Spring, 2011, A Bishop and His Priests Together: Resources for Building More Intentional Presbyterates, was published. 
After graduating from the Saint Meinrad School of Theology with a Master of Divinity Degree, Father Knott was ordained for the Archdiocese of Louisville in 1970. After ordination, he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in the area of parish revitalization from McCormick (Presbyterian) Seminary in Chicago. He earned this degree while working in the “home mission” of his diocese. His major project paper was entitled “Strangers in Town: How One Roman Catholic Mission Church Dealt Assertively with its Environments (anti-Catholic hostility from the community and weak Catholic identity within the community).  Father Knott used this degree to establish two Catholic mission churches in an area where Catholics had never been, to revitalize an inner city cathedral in Louisville (the parish went from 110 members to well over 2100 members) by specializing in outreach to fallen-away Catholics and to the interfaith community of downtown Louisville. 

In his present work with presbyterates, Father Knott has conducted over 100 priest convocations, retreats and study days in the US, Canada, Ireland, Wales, England, The Bahamas, St. Vincent and the Grenadines,  Barbados and Saint Lucia. He has addressed United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Florida, the Antilles Bishops' Conference in Trinidad, the Canon Law Society of America in Pittsburg, the National Federation of Priest Councils of England and Wales, the National Federation of Priests Councils of Canada and The US National Federation of Priests Councils on his work with presbyterates. 

He has conducted over 75 Parish Missions, a work he continues in retirement. 

Father Knott has served his diocese as a home missionary, country pastor, cathedral rector, and vocation director.  Besides being the former director of the Institute for Priests and Presbyterates and a weekend campus minister at Bellarmine University in Louisville for seventeen years, he has been writing a weekly column for The Record for fifteen years.. He has published three collections of homilies and fourteen collections of his weekly columns. He has published articles in America, Church, Seminary Journal, The Priest, Origins and Pastoral Review. He served two terms on the J. Graham Brown Foundation Board. He was awarded The Louisville Forum's 1995 Fleur-de-lis Award for outstanding community service, the National Conference of Christians and Jews Award 2001 for inter-faith work in Louisville, the National Federation of Priest Council's Touchstone Award in 2008, St. Meinrad School of Theology's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2010. He received the Catholic Education Foundation’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015. Bellarmine University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2016.

Officially "retired," he continues many of the things mentioned above, but on a part-time basis. He recently founded the Catholic Second Wind Guild for retired priests, bishops and lay professionals to offer assistance to the church in the Caribbean missions where he volunteers.

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