Thursday, November 28, 2019



We did not celebrate Thanksgiving Day when I was growing up - at least I don't remember it as family practice when I was a child. 

In the seminary, it was not much of a celebration either. My fondest memories of Thanksgiving Day did not start till I was assigned to the Cathedral of the Assumption. We started the practice of offering a special Thanksgiving Day Mass when I was pastor there. It was one of the best attended celebrations of the year....and it wasn't even one of the "Holy Days." It was a real "family celebration" that was focused on our gratitude to God by helping the poor with things like food, coats and hats. We even blessed loaves of bread for people to share at their family "thanksgiving meal" at home. 

As I have gotten older, I have realized that I don't need a special day for thanksgiving.  The older I get, the more grateful I am becoming. Feelings of gratitude are building as I age. It is so true that I decided to mention it on my new tombstone when I had it installed recently. Right across the top it says carved in granite:


Wednesday, November 27, 2019



Fergal, all of your many Kentucky friends wish you a very happy birthday today! We know you are still held up in Ireland, but we are praying for your good health and I look forward to seeing you back in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in March! 

Thanks for all that you do for so many! You are a real hero to all of us who live or do volunteer work down in the islands. 

He loves being Santa at the orphanage!

We share a lot in common, if you know what I mean!

Keeping a close eye on, and protecting, all our donations!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019




Below are some of the 12 heavy boxes of toys, candy, food items for kids' lunches, school supplies and various other useful items already sent down to the island missions of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. 

Just shipping the first 12 heavy boxes by air was quite expensive. They would never get there in time if we sent them by sea. That would take months. Because it is an island country, ground transportation is not available. 

We are still accepting donations, especially cash donations to help cover the cost of sending down five more boxes before Christmas. 
Included in this shipment are some "house warming" needs for the Redemptorist Priest and Brother who have just recently arrived as missionaries. 

The long box, above, is the sliding board replacement for the cracked and dangerous one at Saint Benedict Home for Children requested by Sister Nyra Anne (on the left) 

 New slide (see below). Thanks to Bob Owings for making the box for shipping. 

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

Sunday, November 24, 2019



Above him was an inscription that read,
“This is the King of the Jews.” The rulers
sneered at him. The soldiers jeered at him.
One of the criminals reviled him.
Luke  23:35-43

Surely, you have heard the expression “God’s ways are not our ways!” It means that God thinks differently from the way we human beings think and God does things differently from the way human beings do them.  We see the most dramatic example of just how differently God thinks in today’s feast of Christ the King.  Christ our King is presented to us, stripped and naked on a cross, dying in agony between two common criminals, spit running down his face, a sarcastic note nailed above his head, a “crown” of thorns mockingly hammered into the blood-matted hair of his head for all passers-by to laugh at!  Now that’s not exactly how we picture royalty! We are used to seeing kings powerful, pampered and pompous!  Our King is different, very different!  “He bore our infirmities.  He endured our sufferings.  He was pierced for our offenses. He was crushed for our sins. His chastisement made us whole. His stripes healed us.” Without doubt “God’s ways are not our ways!” God does not think the way we think!

However, this unusual “king” thing is only one example. God has always done this kind of stuff!  Centuries ago, when God began to prepare a people from whom he would send a savior, he chose Abraham and Sara, two childless senior citizens ready for the grave!  After choosing this people as "his" people, they end up enslaved in a foreign country.  Even when they are led out of slavery, God picks a man with a speech impediment to lead them. Even his messengers, the prophets, were, more often than not, hesitant, even whiny, sometimes. One had a dirty mouth. One tried to beg off as being too young and inexperienced. Another tried to run and had to be swallowed and spit out on the beach near Nineveh. Their most famous and beloved king, David, was a murderous bigamist!  Even when the birth of the Savior of the world came, he was born not from among the rich and educated, not at a state-of-the-arts birthing center with the best of doctors, but in a barn, to a teenager, pregnant before marriage, away from home, after riding for miles on donkey back for miles! It just keeps going and going!  Even before his birth, Mary predicted that God’s ways would not be our ways. “The rich are pulled from their thrones and the poor are lifted up from their manure heaps.” 

Again, in his ministry, we see that God’s ways are not our ways. Jesus was a layman, not a clergyman. He was kicked out of the synagogue, rejected and hounded by the religious establishment. His closest companions were a personnel department’s nightmare: a hated tax collector, a liar, two mama’s babies, an agnostic, a former terrorist, and a petty thief, to name a few!  His closest friends were a motley collection of the marginal type: prostitutes, lepers, the un-churched, women and children, and the dirt poor of every kind.  The gossip about him was that he “welcomed sinners and ate with them,” helping him earn the reputation of being a “glutton and drunkard.”  That’s certainly not what most people expect of God! But, “God’s ways are not our ways.”  Even his final “big entry” into Jerusalem was not in a gleaming chariot with white horses or on a golden throne carried by slaves. No, he enters on the back of a jackass as people chanted, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.”  

No wonder most people missed this king. They were looking in the wrong direction. They thought they knew how God would act. They thought he would act as they would act.  As one preacher put it years ago, “In the beginning, God created us in his own image and likeness and ever since we have been trying to create God in our image and likeness!” Instead of thinking as God thinks, we try to make God think the way we think. No wonder we experience God as absent, more than present, in our lives! We keep trying to make God reasonable, we keep looking for God among the rich, the beautiful, the self-righteous and the powerful!  No wonder Christianity is dead in countries where power, prestige and money are prized, but alive and well and growing in countries where the poor, the powerless and the suffering live. The latter understand how God thinks!  The former is still trying to get God to think as they think! The rich and powerful and beautiful and so-called smart people think they can do without God. The poor and powerless know that they need God!

One the most common ways we do not think as God thinks is when we think that God is absent when things go wrong and present only when things go right.  Looking back over my own life, I can say with confidence that it was during those times that God seemed most absent is when God was actually most active! I could not see it at the time, but it is crystal clear from hindsight! (1) As I look back over my life, especially over a painful childhood lived out in an atmosphere of almost daily psychological rage. It was very painful and I would not want to go through it again, but I have come to realize that God was certainly using it to prepare me for helping hundreds of others as a priest. I can say with certainty that that experience, and the triumph over it, has helped my effectiveness as a priest more than any other thing! (2) When I was sent to the home missions right after ordination, I certainly felt at the time that God seemed to have abandoned me. In reality, looking back, God was extremely active at that time in my life. God was preparing me for my life’s work as a preacher, as a "revitalizer" of parishes and as a person sensitive to religious prejudice. Looking back, I have realized over and over again, that that period of my life was preparing me for what I have been doing ever since!

On this Feast of Christ the King, a feast in honor of the king that is the reverse of how we think of kings, we are challenged to think differently about God. It’s message is simple: God’s ways are not our ways, it is precisely when we feel God most absent, is when God is most present! So I say to all of you who have things going on in your life that you don’t like, things that make you feel that God is absent, just wait! Trust God! I believe that you will someday realize that, even in times of loss and tragedy, God is very active.  Scriptures tell the story in a million ways: God’s ways are not our ways! Contrary to popular opinion, breakdown is a sure sign of a breakthrough, there is a crown on the other side of every cross, resurrection on the other side of death!   That heart attack may just wake you up to what’s really important! That relationship breakup may be the best thing that ever happened to you! That firing may just take you to the best job you ever had! That unexpected death may bring you closer to others!  Ugly ducklings today may just turn out to be swans tomorrow! Getting what you want may turn out to be your worst nightmare! That child that disappointed you most may just turn out to be the child that makes you most proud! That feeling of God being absent, may be the beginning of feeling closer to God than ever! Never underestimate the value of a so-called tragedy!  God’s ways are not our ways!