Tuesday, June 20, 2017


to the priests and deacons of the Diocese of Kingstown SVG

Dear Priests and Deacons of the Diocese of Kingstown,

About a year and a half ago, I led your priest retreat and presented to you my concept of a program for retired priests, bishops and lay professionals called the Catholic Second Wind Guild. I envisioned a chapter for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and a chapter in Barbados. Both chapters are up and going. Someday, I hope to open a third chapter in Alaska.

At that time, I tried to make the case for renovating the Pastoral Centre and even showed a video of what major areas might look like. Back then, you embraced both ideas enthusiastically. Since then, the CATHOLIC SECOND WIND GUILD, SVG CHAPTER, has been able to purchase two vans, a car for the bishop, secure a boat motor for Father Rex, send seven youth to World Youth Day, buy several new items for the Pastoral Centre kitchen, replace the dry-rotted floor and several windows in two rooms, provide toys for kids at Christmas, offer a small Christmas gift to the Sisters, support the Sisters May Day celebration, provide new bedroom furniture for the bishop and send a 40’ shipping container of medical supplies, chapel furnishings, laptop computers, office chairs and some laboratory equipment for one of the high schools.

We are well into building a new chapel, renovating a bedroom/bathroom area as a SECOND WIND headquarters and overhauling the upstairs kitchen, dining room and living room.  These should be finished soon. We have also raised the funds to air condition the meeting room downstairs.

In the shipping container, there are 15 laptop computers to be used at two computer camps for kids on St. Vincent and Union. These computer camps will be run by our latest professional volunteer, Beth Kolodey, the weeks of July 17 and 24. She will be assisted by Margaret and Makeda of St. Vincent and Father Rex of Union. I will be coming down as well to work on renovation issues while the kids camps are running. 

I am now focused on renovating the seven guest rooms which we hope to name after the seven parishes of the diocese. One is already sponsored with six more to go. After that, I hope to turn my attention to the downstairs meeting room and kitchen. Then I hope to focus on the office areas and front entry. Included in all this will be a new phone, intercom and wi-fi system.  

I do not keep a running account of the donations received, but Fergal informs me that to date we have exceeded three quarters of a million dollars - EC$ 788,876.00 to be exact.

My dream was to renovate the Pastoral Centre to make it even more workable as a diocesan centre, more comfortable as retreat house and more welcoming for adult professional volunteers.  We are getting there. According to plan, once finished and the volunteers have a comfortable place to stay and relax, I hope to invite them to begin to focus on projects that you identify in your parishes and your ministries.  My philosophy has been to focus on strengthening the institutions that can help the many, rather than focusing on projects that are private and personal and benefit individuals.
I hope you are pleased with the progress we have made so far. I realize that not everyone will be happy with every part of these projects, but I hope you will appreciate the hard work and time I have invested. My heart has been in the right place.
Give Bishop County any ideas you have for future projects. He will keep an ongoing “wish list” and continue to communicate his priorities to me as we go along.
I hope to see as many of you as possible during my visit July 17-26 and again September 16-20 after I finish the St. Lucia retreat.  Hopefully, we will be able to dedicate the new Saint James Chapel in the Pastoral Centre during that September visit.

With my prayers for Bishop County and all of you and with my support for the Diocese of Kingstown,

Father J. Ronald Knott
June 14, 2017


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