Friday, October 19, 2018

STILL ANOTHER HERO PRIEST

FRENCH PRIEST HAS HIS THROAT SLIT WHILE SAYING MASS

July 26, 2016

Jacques Hamel was a priest in the parish of Saint-√Čtienne-du-Rouvray. Hamel was murdered during the Normandy church attack by two Muslim men pledging allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant while he celebrated Mass in his church.


Father Jacques Hamel was killed by Islamic State inspired attackers on July 26 of 2016 while celebrating daily mass at a small parish church outside of Rouen, France.
On that day only a handful of parishioners were on hand for Mass. A year later, however, the anniversary mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Dominique Lebrun, attended by French President Emmanuel Macron, and broadcast throughout the country.
The martyrdom of Hamel sent shockwaves throughout France, Europe, and the world and its significance has been the subject of much debate. For some, the killing was further evidence of the threat of Islamic extremism in Europe. Others warned that efforts to promote Hamel as a martyred saint would only concede victory to extremists encouraging interreligious violence.
Pope Francis has emphasized the absurdity of such violence, reminding the world that killing in the name of God is satanic. Lebrun used the attack to plead with French citizens to practice forgiveness and reconciliation among neighbors of differing faiths.
Recently, I considered the external consequences of Hamel’s martyrdom, arguing that it should lead to a recovery of the practice of solidarity, which could revitalize the project of European integration. Today, I’d like to consider what his death might mean internally for those within the Catholic Church.
When Hamel was killed at the altar at age 85, he had spent 58 years of his life as a priest. He was ordained a priest just before the Second Vatican Council and was known primarily for his work as a local pastor.
While he had the option of retiring at age 75, he continued his priestly ministry with an indefatigable work ethic - only taking time away from his parish to visit his sisters.
I spent the better part of June in France, much of it talking to Catholic leaders, seminarians, and rectors. The subject of Hamel’s death was always among the first to come up and I was particularly curious how younger priests viewed the witness of this older martyr.
One young priest in Paris put it to me like this: “Hamel was an ordinary priest from a very different generation than mine. Too often we’ve tended to label priests of his era as more liberal, or even less Catholic, than the priests of my generation. His martyrdom now serves as a bridge and I think many of us in the younger generation now have a special devotion to him.”
The turbulent years following Vatican II presented undeniable changes and challenges for the priesthood and the universal Church. Different factions within the Church effectively took sides-be it in debates over liturgical matters or political engagement - and many of the results have been less than edifying. Such tribalism has persisted and is particularly evident in the Francis era where there has been no shortage of those willing to exploit these divisions within the Church.
The extraordinary response to Hamel’s martyrdom throughout France has been one of unity and an abiding belief that his sacrifice would yield a greater good for both the Church and the country. It was a moment in which differences between self-described “traditionalists” and “Vatican II” Catholics were put aside and as that young Parisian priest said to me, “we were reminded that we were primarily all Catholics first.”
Upon his death, another priest serving at the same parish as Hamel remarked, “He was very balanced when it came to the evolution of the church, not too traditional, but not too permissive either. He welcomed all the changes made by the pope. His open-mindedness made him someone who wasn’t afraid of change.” In other words, he loved his Church, loved his Pope, and was open to the Holy Spirit. He was simply, yet profoundly, Catholic.
The week following his killing, Islamic leaders throughout France encouraged Muslims to attend mass as a sign of solidarity.
One Catholic described to me the experience of a Muslim family sheepishly entering their small village church in Bordeaux: “After the Mass I approached the father and thanked him for his presence. I then introduced my children to his children and I hope it’s an experience that they will never forget. We hugged one another and vowed to remember each other’s family in prayer.”
This spirit of unity has been critical in healing a divided nation, but the lessons to be learned from Hamel’s martyrdom are not merely political. Here, we’ve been offered a blueprint from how those in both the pews and pulpit ought to model our lives and our Catholic witness.
It’s long been said that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. In this time of polarization and ecclesial divisions, we would do well to remember the life of Father Jacques Hamel so that his blood be not shed in vain.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

IT"S NOT TOO EARLY - GIFT IDEAS FOR THE MISSIONS





TIRED OF GIVING PRESENTS TO PEOPLE WHO ALREADY HAVE TOO MUCH?

I would like to offer some alternatives.  Take your pick. 
You can designate your help to a variety of causes.


"How wrong we would be to stop helping anyone because we cannot help everyone."
Charles Swindoll


IT TAKES TIME TO GATHER THINGS UP!
I have some toys I bought last January and February while they were on sale.  

IT TAKES TIME TO BUNDLE THINGS UP! 
I have some more special requests to fulfill. 

IT TAKES TIME TO SHIP THINGS DOWN! 
I would like to send most of the items no later than  November 15,  if possible. 







Santa (fellow volunteer Fergal from Ireland) and Carmelite Sister Nyra Anne, Administrator of the Saint Benedict Home for Children.



Scrubbed and combed and ready for last year's Diocesan Christmas Party! 
It doesn't hurt to pray and be grateful! 




One of several severely handicapped and abandoned children in Sister Nyra Anne's care whom we try to help! 



One of the beautiful kids in the Saint Benedict Home for Children (Princeton is his name).  There are needs for everything from diapers to food to basic health care. 



OTHER POSSIBILITIES 




We will operate our second summer Computer Camp for Kids this coming summer. We are looking for five more usable laptops. There is a need for snacks and some transportation. 



Louisvillian, Beth Kolodey, Camp Director and Teacher, will return this coming summer with two more Louisvillians, hopefully, to assist her, Tim and Karen. This is truly life-changing for some kids who are learning to access a world of information beyond the islands.  



Badly Needed Phone and Security System 

I have been doing priest retreats and parish missions, inviting my friends to join me,  to upgrade the Pastoral Centre (Bishops home, Catholic Chancery, Retreat House, Diocesan meeting rooms seven retreat rooms and my headquarters). We want to upgrade this building to be able to attract more adult professional volunteers. We are almost there with the renovation.
One of the last major needs is a new phone and security system. I hope to have it paid for by this Christmas. 


Mary, Star of the Sea Church


This is Mary, Star of the Sea Church in Sandy Bay, one of the poorest areas of the diocese. I have been collecting used church furniture and furnishings to try to make it a little more inviting for church services. Below is the artist sketch of what we propose to do. 

It is expensive to get even used furniture down there. 
You can underwrite all, or part, of the total expenses of $17,000.00. 

Besides the used furniture (chairs, Mary and Joseph statues, a crucifix, an altar and Stations of the Cross), we hope to ship down some used paperback hymnals, add some ceiling fans and give it a new paint job. 

JUST THINK, YOU CAN UNDERWRITE A WHOLE CHURCH RENOVATION FOR JUST $17,000.00!

If you do the whole thing, we will make sure a plaque and photo of your family will hang in the back to remind the people to pray for you! 

This could be a project for a large extended family? Maybe in memory of their parents or deceased family members? 


Saint Mary's School


The Catholic School system on Saint Vincent is very effective on a shoe string. 
You can sponsor a child in need for only $250.00 a year tuition. 
You can choose a child being raised by a grandparent.
You can choose a child being raised by a single parent.
You can choose a child selected by Sister Carmen, Sister Martha or Sister Jacinta.



Other Needs for the Two Homes for Children


This is only one of the sweet little children being raised in one of the two orphanages.  Her name is Kayla. 



Here's another! Her name is Kelsee. 

You can help sponsor some of their basic needs for $150.00 a year.  




EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE MONEY TO GIVE, 
YOU CAN ROUND UP SOME
 FREEBIES!

I had a USED BALL POINT PEN DRIVE a few months back, before school started. To my complete surprise, I ended up with almost 3,000 pens. The drive continues. Maybe everyone in your family could be invited to gather up used ball point pens and bring them to your Family Christmas gathering? 

I just brought home from Canada about 100 pens left on the table after our Study Days ended. 
I also brought back a 10 pound bag of mints left in small jars  on the tables. 
The candy mints will go in my Christ candy shipment to the orphans. 

Since I travel a lot, I take my own shampoo but I come home with many of those small bottles of hotel shampoos, conditioners and body lotions. These are very useful in many places down in SVG. Recntly, I sent down a huge bag of about 75 shampoos, 75 conditioners and 75 body lotions to be shared by the orphans, the nuns and the Pastoral Centre staff. 


FREEBIES. WE LOVE FREEBIES
If you get into collecting, and get your friends and family to help collect for you, there is no telling how many "freebies" you can gather up: pens, candies, toiletries, usuable ipads, useable iphones, usable laptops, new toothbrushes and small toothpastes (the dentist always gives you some) and even small desk calendars. 
Freebies are everywhere if you keep an eye out for those who can use them. 


It costs money to send things down to the islands. I can always use money to help defray shipping costs. 
I take things to Forward Air out near the Louisville airport They are flown to Amerijet in the Miami airport and them flown on to Kingstown in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. 



I pay my own travel expenses, typically $1200.00 per trip. I give all the money I make from priest retreats in Canada and the US to my work in the the Caribbean Missions. If you want to sponsor one of my trips, I will have more to give the missions. 



Some of the orphans enjoying some of the snacks I sent down in September - in this case oatmeal pies. I buy a lot of snacks by the case at the local DOLLAR TREE. Besides cookies, crackers and candy, a big hit are cases of tuna fish and Vienna Sausages.

a case of OREO cookies - $24.00
a case of crackers - $12.00
a case of tuna - $24.00
a case of Vienna sausages - $24.00 
a case of grape jelly - $12.00
a case of peanut butter - $12.00

*DOES NOT INCLUDE SHIPPING TO S.V.G.



SPECIAL REQUESTS FROM BISHOP COUNTY


FOR SAINT JAMES CHAPEL IN THE PASTORAL CENTRE

- a small chapel size Blessed Sacrament monstrance
- a hanging sanctuary lamp






MAKE CHECKS OUT TO:

Saint Bartholomew Church - SVG Mission Fund

SEND THEM TO ME:

Rev. Ronald Knott
1271 Parkway Gardens Court
#106
Louisville, Kentucky 40217

FOR QUESTIONS, CALL ME:

1-502-303-4571


Sunday, October 14, 2018

HAPPY 200th ANNIVERSARY, MY BELOVED SAINT THERESA PARISH


A FABULOUS DAY OF SWEET MEMORIES 


That's me, at twelve years old, looking up toward Saint Theresa Church in 1956. Father Bob Ray (we called him "Bud" in those days) and I used to roam the neighborhood on Sunday afternoons to entertain ourselves.  He owned the camera and took the picture.  I could not imagine then this day sixty-two years later!  Simply amazed - forever grateful! 

The historic Saint Theresa Academy where I spent my first and second grades 1950-1951 (front corner, bottom floor). 
No running water and no indoor plumbing! 

To think, Saint Theresa Academy, where I went to first and second grade, was also a boarding school at one time for Louisville orphans as well. 

Reviewing the plans for the new Saint Theresa School. 

Bibbed overalls were almost a school uniform for us mostly farm boys in my early years. 


Long-time pastor. Fr. Felix J. Johnson. He was pastor when I was born and pastor when I went to the seminary. He was a master builder - of the new parish hall, new school, new convent, new cemetery and new rectory. He told me, when I left for the seminary that I would "not make it till Christmas." I am going to be buried next to him so that I can remind him for all eternity that I "did make it!" Ha! 

My First Communion

My Confirmation


My First Mass


History

St. Theresa Church in Rhodelia is the oldest Catholic church in Meade County, where Catholic settlers began arriving in the late 1700s. Traveling missionaries said Mass in the pioneers’ log homes (called stations). The first recorded visit was in 1805.
Devoted Catholics built a log church called St. Theresa in 1818 on the banks of the Ohio River in Breckinridge County. Local baptismal records start in 1824. The congregation relocated in 1826 to a more central site in Meade County, closer to most parishioners’ homes. There, they constructed a second log church, recalled by a large wooden cross in the “old cemetery.” Many baptisms, first communions, and confirmations are recorded from Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget’s visit in 1827. St. Theresa’s congregation was the largest in Meade and Hardin counties when Father Charles Ignatius Coomes was assigned to these missions in 1830. Here he located his headquarters, becoming the first resident pastor.
Parishioners supplied materials and labor, constructing the present church under the direction of William Kelly, architect of the Cathedral of the Assumption. In use by summer 1857, it was dedicated June 16, 1861 by Bishop Martin John Spalding. The parish added the “new cemetery,” a parish hall, the present rectory, and a new school in the twentieth century.
St. Theresa Academy opened as a boarding and day school in 1866. The Sisters of Loretto, the first teachers, were succeeded in 1870 by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Though the Meade County Board of Education took it over in the 1950s, the Sisters of Charity continued teaching at the school until it closed in 1993. By that time, St. Theresa had educated children for more than 125 years.
Today, the parishioners of St. Theresa, numbering about 500, share much common history and, like their ancestors, a strong sense of ownership for their parish.


Archbishop Joseph Kurtz 



Some of the congregation. Overflow with TV screen in the parish hall. 


Some of the parish priests, present pastor, former pastor, deacon, Sisters who came from the parish or served the parish or their representatives. 


A reception was held immediately after the Mass in the Meade-Breck Center