Saturday, December 30, 2017


All you generous donors, rejoice with me! 


It feels like a miracle!
I feared they might have been stolen! 
Even though they are late, I could not be happier! 

These nine boxes of toys, candy and clothes have been sitting in the Amerijet warehouse in Miami since November 7. The reason? Before releasing them, Amerijet was waiting for us to fill out a SLI form that we knew nothing about. We have shipped things down several times before, but we knew nothing about this form and no one told us about it. The form is called the Shippers Letter of Instruction.

Yesterday morning, at wits end about this toy situation, I decided to send Ameijet an e-mail personally, instead of relying on the agent who was supposedly representing us. We got the information we needed, and with help from Fergal who is still in Ireland, they got the form they needed at the end of the day yesterday. Thank God for the internet! Now the toys have been released to finally be flown on to St. Vincent. The kids at the two orphanages may get their toys, candy and clothes in time for Epiphany. 

In the meantime, parish parties on the various islands have started. St. Vincent and Mayreau have had theirs already. Bequia, Canouan and Union will all have theirs before the end of the year.  We simply helped fund the general parish parties on these five islands with food and locally-bought simple toys, but the toys we sent down are specific to specific kids in the two orphanages on St. Vincent. Here are a just a few of the gifts on their way.


Below are some photos from the parish party on the island of Mayreau. 

Father Rex, pastor, and some of his fans with ice cream treats. 

There will be a posting of other Christmas party pictures as they come in, so stayed tuned! 

should have known it was going to turn out OK when I saw this rainbow (above the little jut of land almost in the middle of the picture) from the deck right before I left to come home! There may even be two! 

Friday, December 29, 2017


God has given me cause to laugh.
Genesis 21:6

Television never gets it right. Priests always seem to come off these days as pious, angry or creepy. There are many very fine priests in this country who serve their people selflessly. Many are pastoring multiple parishes. Sadly, there are no made-for TV “specials” about them and their work.

In the last 16 years, I have had the opportunity to listen to hundreds and hundreds of these priests from every part of this country - and six more besides! Most of our time was spent discussing very serious issues facing us priests, but we did seem to make room for a good time. In fact, we could even laugh at ourselves.

In that vein, a few years back I started thinking about some possible new “priest shows.” It has been a while so I thought I'd re-run it. Here goes!

I LOVE LOOSEY: An outrageous comedy about two liberal young priests in the 1960s ministering in a bi-lingual southern California parish. There’s nothing they won’t change.

LAW AND ORDER: A dull and tedious police series about young “neo-con” priests on a mission to “save” the church.

FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN: Liberal and conservative priests take each other on in no-holds-barred, hand-to-hand combat. Screaming parishioners back their favorite priests and often enter the ring themselves to avenge dirty tactics.

ELIM-A-PRIEST: In an alternative to traditional Personnel Boards, parishes bid on new pastors after going out to eat with them a few times. Various priests with serious personality defects and obnoxious personal habits are “weeded out” while one single “Perfect Pastor” is hired at the conclusion of each show.

FATHER EMERIL: A cooking show featuring various “rectory cuisines” for the stressed out and overworked, twinned and clustered, parish priest. Heavy on Crock Pot, Seal-A-Meal and George Forman Grill recipes from his new cookbook, “Cooking After Your By-Pass Surgery.”

EXTREME FATHER MAKE-OVER: This new show is a wildly popular weekly series where pot-bellied, unkempt priests are nominated by their parishioners for lipo-suction, tummy tucks, Bo-Tox, unwanted hair removal and wardrobe updates. Parishioners shriek in approval when “Father-What-A-Waist” is turned into “Father-What-A-Waste.

NEO-ARCHEOLOGY: Teams of young priests dig through rectory attics and parish sacristies in search of perfectly preserved birettas, copes, cassocks, fiddle-back vestments and other “precious artifacts” of the pre-Vatican II Church, rescuing them “before its too late.”

HOME ALONE: This latest “reality show” features various priests living alone in big empty rectories on Friday and Saturday nights while playing Solitaire and “voting themselves off the island” for entertainment. Boring!

LITTLE RECTORY ON THE PRAIRIE: The Vatican, in a secret experiment, assigns a married priest to live in one of the secluded parishes of some unnamed Minnesota diocese. After giving birth to an obnoxiously sweet daughter, Laura, and almost starving to death on a priest’s salary, the Vatican decides to cancel the experiment and declares the idea of married priests “unworkable.”

GOLDEN BOYS: Four retired priests move into a condo together in some unnamed Florida diocese. This has to be one of the dullest shows to ever be put on TV! There is nothing funny about it!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017



Tammy and Greg Coats

2017 "Employee and Friends Christmas Party" 

5204 Preston Hwy, Louisville, KY 40213

If you are in the market for a used car or truck, here are the people to see!
I bought my last three vehicles there! 
If they don't have what you want on the lot, they will find it! 
Tell them Father Knott sent you! 

Monday, December 25, 2017


“If It Isn’t Messy, It Isn’t real”

Traditionally, the Church asks us to read the genealogy of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew - "so and so begat so and so" for a whole page. Even the deacon avoided it and took the short cut. The Church is certainly wiser than I am, but I still don't like it! I want to hear the traditional Christmas story from Luke's gospel. To me, not to do that is like serving pizza on Thanksgiving! What I want on Christmas is the traditional Christmas story from Luke. I want singing angels, smelly shepherds and a dirty manger! Please don't report me to the Pope, but on the other hand, what the heck! Go ahead! He probably agrees with me anyway! 

She wrapped him in swaddling clothes 
and laid him in a manger.
Luke 2:7

I have a saying, “If it isn’t messy, it isn’t real.” If you listen to the Christmas story closely, you will soon realize that it is one of the messiest stories you can imagine. This story isn’t cute or sweet. It was more like one disaster after another. There is the pregnant, unmarried Mary and her soon-to-be husband, Joseph. About the time this birth was to take place, Joseph and Mary were required to take an eighty-mile long donkey ride to register for the census - to the backwater village of Bethlehem. Away from home, Mary goes into labor with no place to give birth, but a barn and no place to lay her baby, but in an animal’s feed box. The only people to rejoice with this young couple were a bunch of smelly shepherds. Shepherds were despised by religious people of those days, not only because they were considered “low life,” but also because they were the “unchurched” of those days. From what we read, the birth of our Savior was a disaster on all fronts, one of the messiest stories imaginable.

If Mary and Joseph had been at home, all their Jewish neighbors and friends would have gathered outside the home to await the birth with musical instruments. When they would have announced, “It’s a boy!” they would have struck up the band. Luke, knowing that this was not just another Jewish boy’s birth, but the birth of God’s son, has a multitude of singing angels from heaven wrap their wings around this pathetic scene to welcome this long-awaited birth. The bottom line of this messy story, Jesus deliberately identified himself with the “little people,” “humble circumstances” and the messiness of this world.

Luke, who brings us the Christmas story that we are all familiar with, is a champion of the “underdog.” The heroes of his stories are mostly the “losers” and “marginal people” of society: women, children, foreigners, the sick, the unchurched and the poor. The Christmas story simply reflects his theology that Christ came for all people, including people the connected of this world never imagined and God’s love will not be restricted to the few, no matter what the church or state says.

When Jesus grew up, the statement that the circumstances of his birth made, was spelled out in detail by his preaching and actions. He “welcomed sinners and ate with them.” The lost sheep was sought out. The prodigal son was welcomed home. The good and bad alike are invited to his wedding feast. His workers all received a full day’s pay, no matter when they started working.

One of the best compliments I ever got as a pastor, was one I got one Christmas when I was pastoring this Cathedral Parish. A man told me that the congregation at the Cathedral in my time reminded him of the “Island of Misfits Toys” from the “Rudolf, the Red-nosed Reindeer” Christmas special. The “Island of Misfits Toys” was, of course, that special island where broken toys could go to be repaired so that they, too, could be part of Christmas. As most of you know, we specialized in welcoming marginal and fallen-away Catholics back to the Church. I never felt more like a true pastor than I did in those days. I never felt that I was acting more like Jesus, living the message of Christmas, than I did in those days.

Even though the Christmas message is over 2,000 years old, it seems that the world still doesn’t get it! Because reality is messy, there are some people in the world, and even in the Church, who react to all the messiness of life, not by embracing it, but by running from it. Religions seem to be all going back into their corners and making enemies of each other yet again, a sort of a “God loves me and not you” approach. Jews, Moslems and Christians cannot get along! Even some scared Catholics are trying once again to take back all that openness we were famous for just a few years ago! Instead of tearing down fences, they are committed to rebuilding the walls!

Regardless of what people do or believe, I am convinced more than ever this Christmas that the bottom line of this annual celebration is the unbelievable love God has for all people, yes all people. That’s why smelly shepherds, young refugees, curious foreigners and various “nobodies” have major parts to play in this great story!

Sunday, December 24, 2017


It's Christmas Eve 2017! 
I'm 73, almost 74, years old! 
I've been retired for three years!
I take a few pills!
I like to stay up, but I hate to get up! 
I have no spouse or children! 
I live alone!
Christmas has become simpler every year! 
 I didn't put up a tree! 


I am very happy!
I feel great!  
I have my health! 
I have few regrets!
I feel supported and loved by my siblings!
I have a variety of very faithful friends! 
I am proud of my accomplishments! 
I thrive on living alone in my own space!
I love my volunteer work in the island missions!
In short, I feel my cup is running over! 

A grateful heart attracts miracles? Bring them on! 

I believe in miracles! Miracles are possible in our lives, but miracles are different from magic! Magic is about sitting around wishing somebody else would make things happen to make us all better. Magic is waiting for a fairy godmother to come and wave her magic wand over us and we don’t have to do anything. For a miracle to happen, like the blind Bartimeus in Scripture, we have to get up, throw away the security blankets that we have wrapped ourselves in and be clear about what we want and be willing to go for it! We have to override the naysayer in our own heads and the naysayers who line the roads of our lives. Wishing and magic waits for others to fix us. Really wanting something makes us take action. God is willing to help those who are willing to do something - anything - to help themselves. God is willing to grant miracles to those who get up, step forward and open their minds, hearts and hands - no matter how old they are!