Saturday, November 16, 2019




To Put It On Your Calendar


Holy Family Church 
3926 Poplar Level Road
Louisville, Kentucky 
December 24, 2019 
6:00 pm 

Last Year's Blue Christmas Mass

Thursday, November 14, 2019




Deacon Ancel Knights, Deacon Eardley Martin and Deacon Eustace Francis

I had the honor of offering them formation sessions twice. 

At the Pastoral Centre in Kingstown 

At Queen of the Universe Church in Layou with Fergal Redmond

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


Unfortunately, Santa is held up in Ireland waiting for a health clearance to return to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in time for Christmas. Say a prayer for him because he has work to do and the kids of Saint Vincent are anxiously awaiting his return. 

The kids will be scrubbed and dressed again this Christmas, after praying for Santa's return and thanking God for all their Christmas blessings.  

After Santa returns to the islands, he will "make his rounds" to the Saint Benedict Home for Children and the Diocesan Christmas Festival. 

In preparation for his return to the islands, I have been working very hard (like an obsessive-compulsive elf) to help him be prepared to give out presents to the kids when he gets back down there. Some wonderful support-elves have been stepping up to the plate to help me, thank God! 

So far, I have gathered some things 
like dark-skinned dolls, toy trucks and cars, plush animals, insulated lunch bags, @50 pounds of "on sale" Halloween candy, several cases of snack food for school lunches, school supplies and many other useful items. 

There are a lot of kids on the five inhabited islands. I try to cover the main island of Saint Vincent for Christmas and the four populated outer islands for Easter. I have already sent six large boxes for Christmas and I am working on four more. 

I have also picked up three more good used laptops for this coming summer's Kids Computer Camp and waiting for my elf-partner, Bill Kolodey, to pick up a couple more at the Black Friday sales.  

"The Elf-Central Sorting and Packing Station"
(my garage)


Dr. Paul Kelty brought me 40 bears this past Sunday. 
They will be a real hit with the little kids! 

Sister Nyra Anne, the Carmelite Sister who runs the orphange on Saint Vincent, sent a request for a "slide" to replace the broken one. The "house" is still intact, but the plastic slide itself is cracked and dangerous. 
I was not very sure I could find what she needed, but through the intercession of Saint Nicholas and from the photos she sent, I think I found a perfect match at WALMART for $99.00! 
I hope all those parents out there, who are looking for that "rare" requested toy, have the same luck! Ask Saint Nicholas to help?

Walmart Photo


I hope to have gathered a few more things, and the money to cover all this shipping, in the next couple of weeks so that I can have all the Christmas gifts down there before the Diocesan Christmas Festival on December 13th. Wish me luck! 


make your tax deductible check payable to:

Saint Bartholomew Church - SVG Mission Fund 

and send to me: 

Rev. Ronald Knott
1271 Parkway Gardens Court
Louisville, KY 40207

I'll be going down myself this March to offer a workshop for the priests, deacons and lay leaders. Bishop County and Fergal are scheduled to come up here for my 50th anniversary in May. Another group of volunteers is going down again this summer. 

Sunday, November 10, 2019




(An Old Testament Story From a Christian Perspective)

The seven holy Maccabee martyrs Abim, Antonius, Gurias, Eleazar, Eusebonus, Alimus and Marcellus, their mother Solomonia and their teacher Eleazar suffered in the year 166 before Christ under the impious Syrian king Antiochus IV Epiphanes. This foolish ruler loved pagan and Hellenistic customs, and held Jewish customs in contempt. He did everything possible to turn people from the Law of Moses and from their covenant with God. He desecrated the Temple of the Lord, placed a statue of the pagan god Zeus there, and forced the Jews to worship it. Many people abandoned the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but there were also those who continued to believe that the Savior would come.

A ninety-year-old elder, the scribe and teacher Eleazar, was brought to trial for his faithfulness to the Mosaic Law. He suffered tortures and died at Jerusalem.

The disciples of Saint Eleazar, the seven Maccabee brothers and their mother Solomonia, also displayed great courage. They were brought to trial in Antioch by King Antiochus Epiphanes. They fearlessly acknowledged themselves as followers of the True God, and refused to eat pig’s flesh, which was forbidden by the Law.

The eldest brother acted as spokesmen for the rest, saying that they preferred to die rather than break the Law. He was subjected to fierce tortures in sight of his brothers and their mother. His tongue was cut out, he was scalped, and his hands and feet were cut off. Then a cauldron and a large frying pan were heated, and the first brother was thrown into the frying pan, and he died.

The next five brothers were tortured one after the other. The seventh and youngest brother was the last one left alive. Antiochus suggested to Saint Solomonia to persuade the boy to obey him, so that her last son at least would be spared. Instead, the brave mother told him to imitate the courage of his brothers.

The child upbraided the king and was tortured even more cruelly than his brothers had been. After all her seven children had died, Saint Solomonia, stood over their bodies, raised up her hands in prayer to God and died.

The martyric death of the Maccabee brothers inspired Judas Maccabeus to lead a revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes. With God’s help, he gained the victory and then purified the Temple at Jerusalem. He also threw down the altars which the pagans had set up in the streets. All these events are related in the Second Book of Maccabees (Ch. 8-10).

Various Fathers of the Church preached sermons on the seven Maccabees, including Saint Cyprian of Carthage, Saint Ambrose of Milan, Saint Gregory Nazianzus and Saint John Chrysostom.


We are ready to die rather than transgress the

laws of our ancestors.   


Not too long ago I went to the grocery to get a few things. As I drove my cart up and down the isles, it hit me how many times the words “instant” and “disposable” are used. There was instant coffee, instant pudding and instant potatoes. There were disposable shavers, disposable diapers and even disposable needles in the pharmacy. There were even disposable trash bags to dispose of all of my disposable stuff!

It even occurred to me that the word “permanent” is gradually fading from our vocabulary. It seems that a “permanent” at the beauty parlor is not all that permanent! It may last a couple of months, at most, and then you will need another “permanent.”  Everybody knows that “guaranteed for life” really means it will last “a few years” at most!  “Long lasting” deoderant means you may make it home on a hot day before people start running from you!

I am not condemning these things. I use many of them and I find them convenient and time saving.  However, when we live in an “instant,” “disposable” and “throw-away” world, it is bound to have a downside. Many of us have grown up, used to getting what we want, right now, and if we don’t get it, we move on to the next thing!  I remember President Bush worrying aloud at the beginning of the war against terror, that we would even tire of that fight in a short amount of time.  It seems that we have a hard time sticking with anything for a long period of time, especially when it inconveniences us. As a result of all this, fewer and fewer of us have an appreciation of things that are truly permanent and lasting. This seems to be especially true when it comes to commitments, which have too often become as disposable as a used diaper!

This is certainly not true of the Jewish mother and her seven sons in our first reading today.  (Unfortunately, we read only a part of a longer story, but we read enough to get the gist of the story.) This mother and her seven sons chose to endure torture and death, rather than violate their ancient religious principles, in their case the law against eating pork!  When the first brother refused, the wicked king cut out his tongue, scalped him, cut off his hands and his feet, frying him alive in a huge skillet, right in front of his mother and brothers. The second brother endured the same tortures and died as his mother and brothers cheered him on!  When they approached the third brother, he stuck out his tongue and hands, before they even asked him. He too died in front of his mother and brothers. The fourth, fifth and sixth brother died in the same way.  Through all this, their mother encouraged them to die, rather than renege on their commitments to God.  When the wicked king came to the youngest, he tried to bribe him with a binding promise to shower him with money, gifts, friendship and a high office if he would abandon his ancestral religious principles. When this youngest son paid no attention to his offer, the wicked king appealed to the mother, urging her to advise the boy to save his life. She leaned over and whispered to her only son left and encouraged him to accept death, rather than violate his religious principles. He, too, resisted the king and was killed in an even more cruel way. Finally, after watching all seven of her sons massacred before her eyes, the mother was also killed!  

In the chapter before the one we read today, there is the story of the seven young men’s mentor, Eleazar, who had faced the same cruel fate. Eleazar was a very old Jewish man who was given the choice of eating pork against the teachings of his sacred faith or be killed.  He could have saved his life by “going along.” His friends even tried to help him devise a scheme where he would merely “appear” to eat pork. He made up his mind to remain loyal to the holy laws of God.

His reasons are worth quoting directly. “At our age it would be unbecoming to make such a pretense; many young men would think the ninety-year old Eleazar had gone over to an alien religion. Should I thus dissimulate for the sake of a brief moment of life, they would be led astray by me, while I bring shame and dishonor on my old age. Even if for the time being, I avoid the punishment of men, I shall never, whether alive or dead,  escape the hands of the Almighty. Therefore, by manfully giving up my life now, I will prove myself worthy of my old age, and I will leave to the young a noble example of how to die willingly and generously for the revered and holy laws.” (II Maccabees 6:24-28)
I love this story! I always have! In a world where people abandon their commitments at the drop of a hat, often going for the latest best offer, at the sight of even a slight inconvenience, this story calls us back to fidelity and reminds us that some things are worth dying for! This courageous Jewish woman and her seven brave sons stand in contrast to many of the values of our culture. They can still inspire us and teach us that there is another way to live besides self-serving expedience. There is the way of fidelity, even if it does hurt, because some things are worth dying for!

Actually, today’s first reading scares me. What would I really be able to do if my faith were seriously threatened? Would I be willing to go back to Guatemala and face certain death, like Father Stanley Rother of Oklahoma City did to become the Church’s first official US martyr? Would I be willing to stay on the Titanic and drown with the rest of the people, instead of getting in a boat when I could and go to safety, as the three priests on the Titanic did? Would I be willing to volunteer to die of starvation in place of a married man as the Polish priest Maximilian Kolbe did in a Nazi prison camp? Would I be able to face torture and death, rather than betray my religious principles, like Eleazar and the brave mother with her seven sons in our first reading?  I pray that I would, but I hope that I won’t have to find out just how cowardly I could be!

In conclusion, I have a question for you! What would you be willing to die for?