Saturday, February 4, 2017



Father Ronald Knott, Event Speaker, Richard Lechleiter, President of Catholic Education Foundation, Julie Baum, Senior Director of CEF, Father Troy Overton, Pastor of St. Edward Church.

“Catholic Education: Forming People Who Are Good and Good at It.”

Rev. Ronald Knott
February 4, 2017

“I am the good shepherd.”
John 10

I was born and raised in St. Theresa Parish, down in Meade County. I attended St. Theresa Academy for the first and second grade until it closed and became St. Theresa School. One of my earliest childhood memories during those years is the scene of my pastor, Father Felix J. Johnson, walking through the parish cemetery, dressed in coveralls and carrying a bucket of feed in each hand, to feed the sheep that grazed among the tombstones.  He wasn’t trying to be romantic, he was just doing what needed to be done to save money in a country parish that did not have a lot of money to waste. The cemetery needed mowing and mutton was served at the parish picnic every August. Looking back, you would have to admit that he was rather ingenious.

The word “pastor” is the Latin word for a “shepherd.” Father Johnson was not only a “shepherd” in the literal sense, he was our “shepherd” in the spiritual sense.  Just as he fed and protected his flock of sheep, he fed and protected us as his parishioners for many, many years. He could be tough. He put up with no religious nonsense from his flock, but people loved and respected him nonetheless. I always think of him when I read the passages about Jesus, the “good shepherd.”

Not only was he a “morally good shepherd,” he was also a "competent shepherd" - a master carpenter, bricklayer, draftsman and “water-witch.” He was called on by parishioners for help in designing buildings and to find the best places to drill for water wells. As a master carpenter and bricklayer, he was the main carpenter for the rectory, convent, parish hall and school - laying most of the brick himself. As our “pastor,” he was “good” and “good at it.”

I doubt seriously that many of you will see your kids going into the “shepherd” business after graduating from St. Edward School. If that were to come true you are probably hoping your child will get a scholarship to the “grazing school” offered by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture or you might find yourself asking the pastor to call the Vocation Director of the Archdiocese to get your son an application to the seminary.  Since most of the students here will be going into other professions, what bits of wisdom can be gleaned from the Scripture text about the “good shepherd” for you to pass on to these kids? What message could possibly be relevant for those who will be graduating someday with degrees in business, nursing, liberal arts and education?

                                 “I am the good shepherd.”

There are two words in Greek for “good,” “agathos” and kalos.”  “Agathos” means “good,” as in a “morally good” person.  That is not the Greek word used here. It is the other word for “good,” “kalos” as in “good at” something. Jesus was not just a “good person, he “good at shepherding.” In short, he was “good” and “good at it.”

It occurred to me that these two Greek words for “good,” “agathos” and “kalos” are the two qualities that we all need. I believe they are also the two qualities that a good Catholic education has to offer.  No matter what profession we follow or vocation we answer, like the Good Shepherd, we need to be “good” and “good at it,” not one or the other, but both together. We need to be moral people who are also competent.

We must be “agathos,” good people, authentic human beings, aware of who we are, in control of ourselves, aware of our place in the human family and committed to our own spiritual and personal growth. Those of us who follow Christ must hunger and thirst for the holiness of Jesus, himself, not in some obnoxious, pious, religious-fanatic way, but in a whole human person kind of way.

It is not enough just to be “agathos,” just to be a “good person,” we must also be “good at what we do.”  As a priest, I am hopefully committed to being a good person, but I must also commit to developing my skills at preaching, celebrating the sacraments and leading faith communities. Like the Good Shepherd, I cannot be merely personally “good,” I must also be “good at” what a priest does. 

Those of you who are married must know that you cannot be a “good couple” without both you being individually good people. Even then, you must not just be individually good, you must be good at partnering and good at parenting.

If you become teachers or nurses, you must be more than “good,” you must be “good at” teaching and “good at nursing.” Whatever your profession or vocation, to be really successful, you must dedicate yourselves to “being good” and “being good at what you do.”  Forming that balance in the young is what Catholic education should be all about – not just one or the other, but both at the same time!

My friends, no matter how professionally competent we are, we must also be good people at our core. No matter how good of a person we are at our core, we must also be competent at what we do. This is what a whole person, a holy person, an integrated person, a fully human person is all about. Catholic education tries to do that! It tries to turn out good people who are competent at what they do!

A truly “Catholic” school is where talented and diverse young people develop the intellectual, moral and professional competencies to lead, to serve and to create a life worth living – with the ability to make a decent living in the process. Yes, we are called to model our lives on the Good Shepherd who was both  “agathos” and “kalos,” “good” and “good at it!”   


Thursday, February 2, 2017



I Don't Have a Photo of All of Them

Patricia Kirchdorfer

Fergal Redmond

Jim Patterson II

"Pat" Pattersoon

Phyllis Drury

Gary Marvin

Tom and Rea Clark

Tim Schoenbachler

Dr. Cecilia Anzures and Jeff Antle

Tim Tomes

Fr. Tom Clark

Jim (and Kelly) Thaler

Christy Brown

Paul Bluel

Joe Stoltz

Bishop Jason Gordon - Bridgetown, Barbados

Bishop Gerard County - Kingstown, SVG

Dr. Glenn and Joan Blincoe

Martin Folan

The Greg Coats Clan

Teresa Campbell

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Bishop Gerard Maximin County CSSp

Bishop County's ordination card

Bishop County's Coat of Arms

Bishop County seated on his Bishop's Chair at his ordination.

Bishop County in the new set of vestments that we bought for him.

Bishop County at Mass with his priests and deacons

Bishop County (far right) with the Bishops of the Antilles Episcopal Conference

Bishop County (far left) with His Priests and Deacons

Bishop County Celebrating Mass During Priest and Deacon Retreat

Bishop County blessing his new car

Bishop County at lunch with some of his priests and deacons

Bishop County (second back on the right) on the bus going to the Vatican Embassy in Trinidad.

Bishop County (far left) relaxing with some fellow bishops of the Caribbean

Sunday, January 29, 2017



When I was planning my retirement, there was one thing I was absolutely sure about. I did not want to spend my last years indulging myself.  I wanted my last years to be years of simple living and amazing generosity of time, talent and resources.

I have been living on my part of the Diocesan Retirement Fund and Social Security. In my free time, I have been making money for mission projects in the Caribbean by traveling all over the United States and Canada leading priest retreats and convocations, as well as leading Parish Missions in Kentucky and Florida.

In my retirement, I started a blog (AN ENCOURAGING WORD)  and an organization (CATHOLIC SECOND WIND GUILD).

I want to encourage, inform, connect and involve interested people in creative and unique ministry opportunities by sharing with them what I am doing, by sharing with them what others are doing and by sharing with them what we could do together.

I have been absolutely amazed by the response of people's generosity. We have done so much together in a relatively short amount of time. We are also seeing more and more people joining us in our work in a part of the world that struggles with the basics.

I learned it in the home missions as a young priest - the more generous you are to others, the more generous others are to you!
The more you give, the more you have to give!
It's that simple!
It's the paradox of generosity.

Once in a while, myself and my supporters ask ourselves, "Can I really afford to do this?" The answer always comes back, "Can I really afford not to do this?"
More blessings going out means more blessings coming in!

Jesus was right, "It is in giving that you receive!"