Saturday, October 14, 2017


My first years to imagine priesthood.

My only week as a pious seminarian.

My seminary years as a heavy drinker.

Oh no! Where did this photo come from?
I didn't want people to see me getting dressed for ordination!

My "hairy" years in the "home missions."

My "back to the seminary to get even" years. 


In my pre-nursing home wheelchair. 

Yes, it's coming, but I am still hoping an exception will be made in my case! 

Mostly, I look back in amazement and laugh!

Thursday, October 12, 2017


On Monday morning, October 9, I flew from Louisville to Chicago and on tp Pittsburgh on United Airlines. 
I was picked up at the Pittsburgh Airport and taken to the Bishop Connare Center by a driver for the Regency Limousine Service for the hour and a half trip. Got there in just enough time to change my clothes and give my first presentation to the permanent deacon candidates.

Father Jonathan Wisneski
Organizer of the Priest Convocation and related speaking events. 

The first night I stayed at the Bishop Connare Center (which was the old minor seminary)..

The first evening I was asked to the deacon candidates and their wives. 

The next morning, before going on to the priest convocation  at the Chestnut Ridge Golf Resort, 
I spoke to the retired priests who live in the Bishop Connare Center. 


"The Powerful Spiritual Leadership of a Unified Presbyterate"
Priests Working Together as a Team With the Bishop

About 100 priests are in attendance.

Three Filipino priests who know the two Filipino priests down in St. Vincent and the Grenadines where I volunteer. It is indeed a small world! 

More Filipino priests. I jokingly call them the "Filipino Mafia of Greensburg." 

Archbishop Kurtz taught a couple of the priests at this convocation when he taught in the seminary before becoming a bishop. 

Praying together.

Eating together.

Standing with some of the young Filipino priests serving in the Diocese of Greensburg.

Sts. Simon and Jude

Hanging out with the priests of Greensburg around the fire. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017



Priest Convocation 
Rev. Ronald Knott, Presenter

October 9-12, 2017 

Bishop Edward C. Malesic

Downtown Greensburg

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Homily for October 8, 2017

"Reasons to Keep Your Cool" 

Have no anxiety at all. Let the peace that God
gives, guard your hearts and minds.
Philippians 4

He’s got to be kidding! No anxiety at all? With a war on ISIS still going on, a political minefield in Washington, a stand-off with North Korea, hurricanes one after the other, the funeral of my brother-in-law’s brother who died of an aneurism, two friends battling aggressive cancers and God-knows-what else, how can Saint Paul’s words possibly fit those of us living in today’s Church and world? How can we possibly remain anxiety-free in the middle of all these situations?

“Anxiety” is a state of intense, often disabling apprehension, uncertainty, and fear caused by the anticipation of something threatening. It is often not so much about what is happening or even what has happened, but about what might happen.

  Have no anxiety at all. Let the peace that God 
gives, guard your hearts and mind.

My dear mother comes to mind when I think of anxiety. It seems that she always had a thin stream of anxiety trickling through her veins. Even though she has been dead for forty-one years now, I can still see her in my minds eye picking at her lower lip, a nervous habit that always accompanied intense moments of anxiety. I can still remember one time when we laughed at her for being so anxious. She snapped back, “Well, somebody around here needs to worry!” Looking back, she had a lot to be anxious about: seven kids, a demanding husband and breast cancer, to name only a few! 

When I was about to be ordained, anxiety was very much on my mind. The church was undergoing a great upheaval and priests were beginning to leave in significant numbers. I asked myself many times, in that year leading up to ordination, “How am I going to keep my cool in a fast-changing church and in a world coming unglued? How will I be able to stay focused when one problem after another is going to be hurled into my face from both inside and outside the church? How will I be able to calm others when I seem to be torn up all the time myself?”

I have spent my life as a priest searching for an inmost calm that no storm can shake. When I discovered and admitted to myself that I cannot control what happens out there, I knew I must find a way to control my reaction to what happens out there. As one spiritual teacher said, “It is easier to put on slippers than it is to carpet the world.” I knew I was going to need, and certainly wanted to have, the peace that only a close relationship with Jesus could give me, that peace that Saint Paul invites us to embrace in our second reading today.

Have no anxiety at all. Let the peace that God
Gives, guard your hearts and minds.

I have spent most of my young adult life looking for an inmost calm that no storm could shake, an inner peace that would remain rock solid no matter what! I am, happy to say that I have found it. Sometimes I panic and forget, but I always come back to it sooner or later. Once I discovered that a peaceful center is available to me, I know I can always come back to it.

How can one have that peace? A close relationship with Jesus brings that peace. If you truly believe that you are loved without condition, that God is on your side and holds no grudges, that in the end things are going to turn out OK because God has promised us so, then a great peace will come over you. You will know that no matter how bad things get sometimes, no matter how much you have to handle, no matter how great your losses, you will know in your heart of hearts that you are in good hands because you are in God’s hands. When you know these things to be true, a great peace begins to stand guard over your heart and mind! That is what St. Paul is talking about today when he tells us to “let the peace that God gives guard you hearts and minds.”

Once I began to live in the knowledge that, in spite of it all, things will ultimately be OK, I began to realize that many of my life’s greatest blessings have come out of what long ago seemed like an unbearable disaster.  Looking back at the times in my life when God seemed absent, at the times when I was overwhelmed with anxiety, worry and panic, in hindsight I can see that the hand of God was actually bringing me to where I needed to go and teaching me what I needed to learn. Most of the things I have most worried about never happened! Statistics even tell us that fully 90% of the things we worry about never happen! Most of my imagined tragedies have actually contained great blessings! It has happened too many times to dismiss as a fluke.  

I went through one of those anxious periods again as I was going into retirement. The plans I had worked on for three years fell apart in three days. It may not be connected, but I ended up in the hospital a couple of days later with a blood clot in my left leg. I was grieving the loss of some of the things I expected to happen. If things had gone as I had planned, I would have gotten on an airplane for France, without knowing about the clot, and probably died on the way over or on the way home. I have recovered from the clot, but as it turned out that that upheaval was clearing the way for something even better. Today I am glad that God spared me from what I thought I wanted. 

For me, this seems to be the way it always happens - a big breakdown before a big break through! I look back now and I am happy that my original plans did not work out because something much better has happened - my missionary work in the islands! Trip eight is coming up in December! I can't wait!

Peace, however, is not a time when there are no problems. Peace is a calm state of mind in the midst of problems and in spite of problems. Peace is a trusting state of mind that comes from a close relationship with Jesus whose name is Emmanuel, meaning “God with us.”

Brothers and sisters, we cannot control most of what is going to happen, so let us finish each day and be done with it. Let us do our best and let go of it. Let us not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen.  Our fretting anxiety has no power to affect tomorrow, but it can certainly ruin today.  Let us thank God for how far we have come and trust God with how far we can go.  This peace of mind is Jesus’ last gift to us. 

Let me end with one of my very favorite prayers by St. Francis DeSales. 

“Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations."

Friends, we will never be problem free, but we can be free of anxiety and needless worry!