Saturday, June 24, 2017



The shipping container crew has much to celebrate. We were able to send a 40' shipping container of medical supplies, high school science lab equipment, chapel furnishing, 60 upholstered stacking. 15 office chairs, 15 laptop computers and various other useful items to the SVG missions.

The container is on its way (somewhere between the Port of Savannah and the Port of Kingstown) and we just got news that the government has waived 100% of the import taxes on all of it and it could arrive July 4, almost two weeks ahead of schedule.

Gordon D. Strauss, M.D., Catherine Newton, M.D., Tim Tomes, Karen Crooks, myself and Paul Bluel. 


Thursday, June 22, 2017


designer - Tim Schoenbachler, Louisville, Kentucky



Artist sketch of entry to CATHOLIC SECOND WIND HEADQUARTERS (my rooms).

Old junky looking entrance.

Halfway there!

Almost done. CATHOLIC SECOND WIND GUILD logo to the left of the door and shutters for the windows to go! An amazing transformation.


Newly renovated bedroom/office taking shape.

Actual work in progress.

Looking into newly renovated room in progress. The dry-rotted floor had to be replaced. It will be carpeted. Replacement windows were installed.

More work in progress.

Artist sketch of new headquarters/bedroom.

Actual work in progress.

Old closet area and old door to room.

New closet area with new door to room.



New shower in - old tub out!

New tile being installed in the renovated bathroom.

Actual work in progress.


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


Sunday, June 18, 2017


Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life. The one who feeds on me
will have life because of me. 
John 6: 51-58
The Eucharist! The Lord’s Supper! The Blessed Sacrament, Holy Communion! The Breaking of Bread! The Mass! Throughout our 2,000 year history, we have used several words to describe what we do here today. One of my favorites words for the Eucharist is that old fashioned word “viaticum.” “Viaticum” was what we called the Eucharistic Bread when we gave it to those who were moments away from death. It was their last Holy Communion. The word “viaticum” means “nourishment you take with you when you set out on a trip.” The fact of the matter is, we are invited to receive “viaticum” every Sunday, the first day of every week, as “bread for the journey and strength for the trip” to help us during the week ahead. This is not just any bread: when we eat this bread Jesus invites us to “feed on” his very flesh and blood. We go forward each week, then, with God’s power under our belts! Two other words closely associated with this meal make it even more life-giving and soul-strengthening. The word “parish” means a way station for pilgrims. Like one of those stagecoach stops in the old western movies, a “parish” is where spiritual pilgrims stop to refresh themselves before continuing on their trip. The word “companions” comes from the Latin words for “bread” and “with.” So “companions” are “people you eat bread with.” So, what are we here for? We are here as spiritual pilgrims on a journey to the Lord. Our “parishes,” are fueling stations where we receive “viaticum,” bread for the journey - places to be encouraged by our “companions,” other spiritual pilgrims with whom we share this Bread of Life. 

One of my favorite parables is the parable of the wedding feast where Jesus teaches us that “the good and bad alike” are invited to come and “dine with him.” This parable, and others like it, have always raised the question about who is worthy to receive the Eucharist: even more, what is the purpose of the Eucharist? Is the Eucharist a reward for good behavior or the medicine sinners need to be healed? It is the church’s duty to protect the Eucharist from desecration, heresy and triviality. The church has done it’s job well over the centuries, but in a zealous attempt to protect the Eucharist, has it not ended up sometimes keeping it out of the very hands of those for whom it was most intended, those who most need it? 

There may be another way to look at the Eucharist: not simply as a reward for good behavior, but more so as powerful medicine for the sick of soul. Jesus told stories like the parable I mentioned because he was under attack from religious leaders for welcoming sinners and eating with them! Jesus believed that by welcoming them and being with them, they would more likely be motivated and strengthened to let go of their sins and be transformed. Even Judas was invited to the last supper! He was not only invited, he was invited to sit in the place of honor. It was to Judas that Jesus gave the “choice morsel,” traditionally given by the host to the most honored guest!

Early Christianity preserved the idea of the Eucharist being medicine for sinners, placing the marginal and the wounded in the center of their communities in order to give them greatest care. As time went by, probably because of doctrinal and discipline concerns, the idea of “worthy and unworthy” crept in. Over time, feeling unworthy, people stopped going to communion, for all practical purposes, with Eucharistic adoration taking precedence over the reception of communion. It got so bad that the church had to finally mandate communion once a year. It was known as your “Easter duty” and it is still in effect today. 

My own thinking in this matter has been affected greatly by 47 years of pastoral experience, especially by something that happened to me one day here at the Cathedral where we had a major outreach to disaffected Catholics. I was distributing communion. Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw a woman who had come to see me the day before. She was divorced from an abusive husband and had remarried. She did not believe in divorce, but had successfully rebuilt her life. Even though she longed for the Eucharist, she had not received it since her divorce. She was crying. In front of me was a line of people, many of whom were validly married in the church. Some of them were coming toward me, looking around, winking and waving at friends, obviously not very conscious of what they were doing or how important it was! I don’t challenge the teaching of the church on the permanence of marriage, but I kept saying to myself: “we’ve got this “who’s worthy” thing all wrong! That woman needs this more than anybody in this line!” 

This sacrament is cheapened, I believe, not so much by giving it to sinners who recognize their need for healing, but by giving it to unconscious people who care little about it, people who are not prepared to receive it, people who do not recognize the presence of the Lord. St. Paul put it this way to the church at Corinth, “Everyone is to recollect himself before eating this bread and drinking this cup, because a person who eats and drinks without recognizing the Body is eating and drinking his own condemnation.”