Saturday, March 30, 2019

ISLAND VOLUNTEER TRIP #12 - PART I


I'M ON MY WAY DOWN TODAY 
(SATURDAY)! 

I left Louisville at 7:00 AM 
I should be in Kingstown by 2:30 PM

(follow along this week - there will be several posts)








For the first time, I can fly all the way to Saint Vincent with only one stop in Miami. American Airlines now has a weekly Saturday flight in and out of Saint Vincent which makes the trip a whole lot less stressful.


I Can't Wait to See My Island Friends Again




Bishop County seeing me off at the airport at the end of my last visit.



Father Richard Paynter (on the right) and Daphne Paynter (on the left), former Anglicans, are married to each other. Father Richard is a Roman Catholic priest and Daphne is Bishop County's secretary.




A crowded Cathedral celebration in Kingstown SVG.



Some of the kids at Saint Benedict Home for Children with Carmelite Sisters Nyra Ann and Carmen.



Pastoral Centre Staff - Pam, housekeeper, and   Collitta, cook, in our newly renovated kitchen.



Some of the Caribbean dolls I give to the kids in the islands and people up here who help with my Parish Missions.



Fergal and Martin, volunteers from Ireland



Some of the kids from Bread of Life Home for Children



Parishioners of Mary, Star of the Sea, Church in Sandy Bay



Some of the kids at Saint Mary's School (Cathedral)



Most of the priests, Sisters and Lay Staff of the Diocese.



.....and many, many more!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE

Encouraging Words for Discouraged Catholics

Number One Completed at Saint Brigid Church in Vine Grove

Number Two Completed at Holy Family Church in Louisville


THE ATTENDANCE, 
THE SINGING
and 
THE GENEROSITY TO THE CARIBBEAN MISSIONS
WERE SIMPLY AMAZING



Special thanks to Deacon Pat Wright, Administrator of Holy Family Parish. He was so helpful with advertising and organization from start to finish. 


The gospel group REFLECTIONS were again wonderful. They can really get people to sing  which "makes" any Parish Mission shine! 










The crowd was enthusiastic and they sang their hearts out! 
The turn-out was so good the first night that we had a parking problem! 



Greeters - night two. 



Night two crowd was as big as night one! 



Deacon Pat Wright and I have worked together before. He was a deacon at the Cathedral when I was pastor there! He is a wonderful deacon! 



Doing my thing - night two!



Greeting people at the door on their way home - night two. 



The Mission Team

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

WARNING! I HAVE BEEN HIT BY A HACKER!

IF YOU GET A REQUEST FOR MONEY FROM ME FROM THIS WEBSITE THAT SOUNDS STRANGE OR UNUSUAL, DO NOT RESPOND! 

IT APPEARS THAT A HACKER HAS INVADED THIS WEBSITE LOOKING FOR MONEY! 

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, CALL ME! 

Father Ron Knott

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

I'VE BEEN INVITED BACK TO THE DIOCESE OF SAGINAW, MICHIGAN


A RETURN TRIP AFTER ELEVEN YEARS

ANNUAL PRIEST CONVOCATION
September 23 - 26, 2019

I was last there in mid-May, 2008, when Bishop Robert J. Carlson (now Archbishop of Saint Louis) was the bishop of the diocese. His successor,, Bishop Joseph Cistone, died of cancer this past October at age 69. They are waiting for a new bishop to be named by Pope Francis. The diocese has been through a lot this past year or two. I hope I can bring a little hope and comfort to the priests while I am there. 

                                                       

deceased 
Bishop Joseph Cistone
May he rest in Peace!


Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan


The funeral of Bishop Cistone in the Saginaw Cathedral. 


The Diocesan Pastoral Center in Saginaw where we met the last time.



Boyne Mountain Resort
Boyne Falls, Michigan

This is where we will be meeting. It is on the other side of the state from Saginaw. 
Since I will be there mid-September, it should something like this! I will be flying into  nearby Traverse City through Chicago. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

THIRSTY

 
Jesus said to her, 
"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; 
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; 
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
John 4:5-32
                          

The word "thirst" is central to today's readings, but what is "thirst?" Thirst is a conscious sensation that results in a desire to drink liquids, especially water. Although all normal humans experience thirst, science can offer no precise definition of this phenomenon. Thirst is often viewed by physiologists and physicians as a central nervous system mechanism that regulates the body's water and minerals. The significance of the thirst drive is emphasized by three facts: 50 to 70 percent of adult body weight is water, the average adult ingests and loses 2.5 liters of water each day, and body weight is regulated within 0.2 percent from one day to the next. Clearly, water is essential to life and the body responds in a manner that ensures survival.

I don't think I have ever been really, really thirsty for a drink of water - at least for long - and certainly not like those crazy people on Naked and Afraid stuck in some jungle in Central America or those poor people who live in the desert areas of Africa. Like most of you born and raised in this country, I have been lucky enough, my whole life, to always have had access to clean water. As Americans, our thirst is of a different kind. Our thirst is for things like meaning. emotional connection and relief from pain. Today, I want to talk about the word "thirst."

On the first Sunday of Lent, Jesus invited us to conversion of life by going to the desert. The desert is a place devoid of distractions, a place to gain insight. On the second Sunday of Lent, Jesus invited us to go up the mountain with him. Mountains are places where you can go to gain perspective, to get the big picture. From a mountaintop you can see into the distance – where you’ve been and where you are headed. On the third Sunday of Lent, Jesus invites us to go to the well, a place one goes to quench one’s thirst. 

In many ways, people today are thirsty, restless and looking for meaning. The Prophet Haggai, about 520 years before Christ, described our culture quite well when he wrote, “You have sown much, but have brought in little; you have eaten, but have not been satisfied; you have drunk, but not been exhilarated; have clothed yourselves, but not been warmed; and you have earned wages for a bag with holes in it.” We “have it all” one hand and yet we are still not satisfied on the other. We are “cravers for more!”

It has been suggested that our consumer culture has spawned a new climate of thirstiness and restlessness. The experts call it ‘churn,’ using the word to describe our short attention span and our ‘what’s next’ attitude. This restlessness is seen in a consuming lust for endless distractions and amusements. This restlessness is being fed, some believe, by the overstimulation and excessive exposure to violent movies, fast-paced videos, computers and cell-phones, loud hard-wired music and over-scheduling. All these together exacerbate agitation, restlessness and hyperactivity. 

What the world seems to be craving right now is what Jesus called “rest for one’s soul.” He said on one occasion, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jesus offers “rest” to those who are “worn out” in their search for “meaning.” 

In this gospel, we meet a wonderful woman who is an example of all that! Jesus meets this woman at a well. She is tired - tired to the bone. She is physically tired - tired of being thirsty and having to constantly draw water and carry it long distances. She lived a half mile away and the well was over 100 feet deep. She was emotionally tired - tired of trying to find satisfying relationships in her life. She had been “looking for love in all the wrong places,” as the country song goes. She had been married five times. She was tired of being discriminated against by others. Jews hated Samaritans like her and women in general were considered socially inferior. She was spiritually tired – tired of a burdensome religion that was not really satisfying. At the well, she meets Jesus and pours out her heart to him and he, in turn, gives her “living water” and “rest for her soul.”

Fellow seekers, all of us are like this woman in some degree. We all have a void in our lives that we try to fill. Some of us strive frantically our whole lives to fill that void by gaining material things, gaining stature, gaining status, gaining fame, finding the perfect relationship and much more. The fact of the matter is we will never fill that void with “things or stuff” because that void was put there for a specific purpose. We have a built-in missing piece – given to us by God himself. 

What is the purpose of that void? What is that missing piece? It is the place where God belongs! Only God can fill that hole. Saint Augustine of Hippo described it best when he said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you!”

It’s as if we all running around with a hole in our souls that we are desperately trying to fill. The truth of the matter is that only God can fill it, and yet we try our best to fill it with unsatisfying distractions and amusements, objects and things. Lent is a time to stop by the “well” for “living waters” and find “rest” in God. 

The best meditation for this gospel could be Francis Thompson’s “The Hound of Heaven.” “I fled Him, down the nights and down the days; I fled Him, down the arches of the years; I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways of my own mind; and in the midst of tears I hid from Him…”

I have always loved the words of Celie in the movie “The Color Purple.” Celie feels a hole in her life. She is more than a bit aggravated by the feeling of God’s absence in her life – what she refers to as God “just sitting up there glorifying in being deef.” She speaks for many people today when she says, “It ain’t easy trying to do without God. Even if you know he ain’t there trying to do without him is a strain.” Those who experience the strain of trying to “do without God” will no doubt feel a hole in their souls, a hunger and thirst that nothing seems to satisfy. Lent is time to re-connect with God after ‘trying to do without him.” 

Jesus has taken us to the desert, to the mountain and to the well so that he might lead us to conversion of life, a life that is full and satisfying. Celie was right. “Tryin’ to do without God is a strain!” It’s a lot like trying to go without water!