Friday, March 13, 2020



In light of the fact that his country now has its first confirmed caronavirus case, Bishop Gerard County has agreed that it would be wise to cancel the planned diocesan-wide gathering for my workshop - at least for the time being. 






 I feel a need to face my fear, to be careful and cautious and to go ahead. They are expecting me.  They have been planning this for a long time. There is simply too much to lose at this point for both of us if I were to back out now.

Sometimes there are things more important than personal convenience and safety. After all, a promise is a promise and a commitment is a commitment. Besides, one of the main topics of the workshop is the necessity of "following through." To be credible, one must practice what one preaches!


Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.

Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.

Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbors from helping one another.

Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.

Jesus Christ, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.

Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace.

Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace.

Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace.

Be with the leaders of all nations. Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks. May they know your peace, as they work together to achieve it on earth.

Whether we are home or abroad, surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few, Jesus Christ, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare. In place of our anxiety, give us your peace.

Jesus Christ, heal us.

America Magazine
March 02, 2020

On Saturday, March 14,  I fly down to the islands.
Louisville to Miami - Miami to Kingstown
On Saturday, March 21, I fly home. 
Kingstown to Miami - Miami to Louisville

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is way down off the South American coast. 

The New Argyle International Airport
Argyle, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines


The Radical Conversion of Heart, Mind and Habits Needed Within the Leaders of the Diocese of Kingstown to Build Diocesan Structures for Strengthening Intentional Evangelization and More Effective Spiritual Leadership 

Father J. Ronald Knott
Doctor of Ministry in Parish Revitalization

A Parish Revitalization Workshop for the Bishop, the Priests, the Deacons, the Sisters, the Brother and the Lay Ministers of the Diocese of Kingstown SVG

Bishop Gerard County, C.S.Sp.

An Older Photo of Some of the Diocesan Leaders 

The Deck of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre

Sister Nyra Anne, Sister Carmen and Some of the Kids and Staff of Saint Benedict's Home for Children

Sister Carmen and Her Second Grade Class at Saint Mary's School A Couple of Years Ago

A Weekday Noon Mass at the Cathedral of the Assumption

Below Are Only Three of Many Catholic Second Wind Guild Projects

Saint James Chapel in the Pastoral Centre Chapel

Renovated Mary, Star of the Sea, Church in Sandy Bay With Chairs From Our Louisville Cathedral, Stations of the Cross from the Louisville Ursuline Sisters and Crucifix from the Sisters of Providence in Indiana. 

A new van for the kids at St. Benedict Home for Children. Sister Nyra Anne accepts the keys.  Notice our logo on the van door - Catholic Second Wind Guild. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020



'Live a life worthy of your high calling!"
Ephesians 4:1

Virtue is a habit of the mind, the will and the heart, which allows us to achieve personal  excellence and effectiveness.  

Saint Thomas Aquinas taught that magnanimity is the habit of striving to do great things, the capacity to challenge ourselves in doing great things. Magnanimity is the thirst to lead a full and intense life. He gives himself over to it with passion and enthusiasm. "Magnanimity makes a man deem himself worthy of great things in consideration of the gifts he holds from God."

The person lacking in magnanimity suffers from a vice called “pusillanimity” which means “smallness of soul.” Whereas the magnanimous person seeks what is best, even if it is difficult, the pusillanimous person shies away from noble, arduous tasks because they will demand a lot out of him. He instead pursues the path of least resistance, opting for whatever is easier. 

The magnanimous Christian "expects everything of himself as if God did not exist and expects everything of God as if  he could do nothing on his own." He behaves like an adult on the natural plane and like a child on the supernatural plane. 


“Don’t settle for mediocrity. Take a chance. Take a risk. 
Find that passion. 
Know what you’re really worth.” 

Sunday, March 8, 2020



Jesus took Peter, James and John and led them up a high
mountain apart by themselves.
                                                 Mark 9:2

After being invited the first week of Lent to “go to the desert” to listen to God for direction, we are invited the second week of Lent to “go to the mountain” for a new perspective, a new way of looking at things in our lives! 

When Jesus came out of the desert he went into for forty days, the first thing he called for was a radical new perspective, a new outlook, a new way of thinking – a metanoia! On this, the second Sunday of Lent, Jesus invites us to "go to the mountaintop," a traditional place for achieving a new perspective on life. From a mountaintop you can see in all directions. Jesus invites us to go to the mountaintop because conversion of life, the real purpose of Lent, is impossible without a change of perspective, without a new way of seeing.

It is easy to “get stuck” in the way we think. As Brooks Atkinson put it, “The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view.”  Some of us go through life living out the old joke, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up!” Even scientists have trouble incorporating new information. The French Academy announced at one point, years ago, that it would not accept any further reports of meteorites, since it was clearly impossible for rocks to fall out of the sky. Shortly thereafter a shower of meteorites came close to breaking all the windows of the Academy. Lent is a time to take a long, loving look at reality!

Dr. Wayne Dyer teaches us that, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” This is certainly true in resolving soul-eating anger and resentment toward other people. What many people fail to realize is that there is always a “way out” when offending people refuse to apologize and own the hurt they have caused. What they fail to realize is that the hurt they caused can be healed and the problem resolved, not just with a change in the perpetrator, but with a new way of looking at the perpetrator by his victim. Lent is a time to change the way we look at others - even our enemies. 

John Lubbock reminds us that “What we see depends mainly on what we look for!” Oscar Wilde put it humorously when he said, “The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist sees the hole.”   The truth of the matter is that the more attention you shine on a particular subject, the more evidence of it will grow. Shine attention on obstacles or possibilities and they will multiply lavishly. Shine attention on possibilities and opportunities, the more they will grow. Lent is a time to change the way we look at the world - seeing possibilities, not just obstacles.

Possibly the most important change we need to make this Lent in our perspective is the way we view ourselves.  No one has said it better than Marianne Williamson. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” Lent is a time to get a new perspective on ourselves. Lent is a time to see ourselves and the world through God’s eyes!   

Because of this “transfiguration” gospel, they are called “peak experiences” – those intense religious experiences that many of us have been lucky enough to have at least once in our lives. In fact, I believe that this is the main thing that keeps many people in organized religion - at least one “peak experience.” On the other hand, it is also the main reason some people claim to be agnostic - the absence of even one “peak experience.”  

“Peak experiences” cannot be staged or created. They are simply moments of grace – spontaneous gifts from God. We can go to places where “peak experiences” have happened to other people, even places where we have personally experienced them before, but that does not mean we will have another one. They are simply unpredictable and unannounced gifts from God. 

“Peak experiences” can happen at some of the most surprising times and in some of the most unlikely places. Oddly enough, for example, during the sexual abuse storm that began in 2002 a significant number of journalists, who had been assigned to report on the crisis in various locales, ended up converting to Catholicism.  They had a “religious experience,” a “peak experience” even in the midst of that pain and sin!  Others have had these “peak experiences” during the death process of a loved one or even their own process of dying. I witnessed my mother going through one of these “peak experiences” as she was dying of cancer back in 1976.

“Peak experiences” happen most often during retreats and other religious events. For instance, many seminarians were so moved by meeting Pope John Paul II that they came back to the Church, after having been gone since childhood, and even decided that they may have a call to the priesthood. Many teenagers have their first “peak experience” during their senior retreat or an alternative spring break in places like Guatemala. Many married couples have had life changing “peak experiences” during Marriage Encounter weekends. Other Catholics have discovered a new burst of faith during a Cursillo weekend, a trip to Medjugore or Lourdes, even meeting someone with the stature of Mother Teresa.

How "peak experiences" happen, why they happen and when they happen cannot be predicted, staged or even understood. They all seem to be glimpses into another level of existence or little previews of coming wonderful events that God gives some people who need a reason to hang on! Those of us who have experienced them know how mind-blowing and life changing they can be! To those who cannot say they have ever had such an experience, I would say “it ain’t over till it’s over” and “your time may be right around the corner” at some unexpected and unpredictable time.

These “peak experiences” have several things in common. (1) You have to be open to them. The “transfiguration” that we read about today, happened during one of hundreds of little retreats that Jesus arranged for his disciples! Regular contact with God through prayer does not guarantee one of these experiences, but makes them more likely to happen. Your mind must be open and you must remain in a receiving frame of mind.

There is always a temptation to want to freeze the experience, repeat the experience and make the experience permanent. This is what Peter was up to in the reading today. “Lord, it is so wonderful to be here. Why don’t we erect some tents and just stay up here forever?” Jesus tells Peter that the experience was only meant to be something to sustain the group during the painful days ahead. He tells Peter that they will have to go back down the mountain and go back into real life for a while. One of the things that Cursillo, Marriage Encounter, Medjugore, senior retreat, Lourdes and other similar experiences have it common is the desire that many have to repeat those experiences or to “be in them” full time. They are never meant to be permanent. They are only glimpses into glory. God wants us to go back to our ordinary lives, with that precious moment in the back of our minds to sustain us.             

Lastly, “peak experiences” are meant to help is “see connections” to see the connection between where we come from, where we are now and where we are destined. This is what the conversation that Jesus had with the saints - Moses and Elijah - was all about. This conversation helped Jesus realize that he was the one they saw coming in the future so many years before. They helped Jesus understand where God was taking him in the days ahead – to glory on the other side of his suffering and death. Just so, our “peak experiences” remind us that there is something wonderful in the invisible world that awaits us on the other side of this life.

May you have your own “peak experience!” May God give you a “glimpse of glory!”  May you get a “sneak preview” of the world to come! May that “peak experience” sustain you in the sometimes tediousness of worldly existence and help you keep your eye on the prize!

With all the problems going on in the Church today, others ask me and I ask myself over and over again “Why stay?” The reason I stay is that I have been blessed to have had several “peak experiences” and “glimpses of glory” in my life time. It is these intense experiences that sustain me during the ordinary moments, periods of spiritual dryness and intense discouragement. As I think about all the scandal that has beset the Church in my lifetime, I am not worried or overcome with discouragement. To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, who built his famous speech around this gospel, “I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead, but it doesn’t matter with me now because I have been to the mountaintop. God has allowed me to go up to the mountain and I’ve looked over and I have seen the promised land. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!”

My friends, I am here to stay, I remain hopeful and I am committed to being faithful to the end, not because I am out of touch with the serious problems facing our Church, but because God has given me a couple of small glimpses of glory, like he did the disciples in today’s gospel. I hold on because of those “peak experiences.”