Thursday, April 29, 2021



I have led well over 160 priest retreats and convocations in nine countries in the last 17 years, even after turning down invitations to Singapore, Tonga, Nigeria and India because of their distances. I had to cancel three invitations to Canada just last year because of COVID. After missing a whole year, I thought that my days of long-distance travels, especially to lead priest retreats, were over. Just when I had adjusted to that thought, I got an invitation to lead another priest convocation May 16 - May 20, 2022 for the Bishop and @100 priests of the Diocese of Honolulu, Hawaii.  I was told that the convocation would be held at the Turtle Bay Resort on the north shore of Oahu. 

I had turned them down a few years ago because of a scheduling conflict, but they are back again and really hoping I can come this time. I was recommended by one of their priests who had attended my convocation in the Archdiocese of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada, a few years ago. 

Since it is more than a year away, I told them I would give them a tentative "yes" that I would confirm or cancel by October of this year. On one hand, who knows what traveling will be like by next year? Who knows what condition I will be in by next year? On the  other hand, who would turn down such an offer - all expenses paid and a nice speakers stipend to boot? It certainly has given me something to consider between now and October! 

I have a lot of thinking to do.......and you think you have problems!  Retirement can bring on a lot  of stresses! I am sure I can probably find a way to handle this one too! Besides, it presents me with another opportunity to raise a little more money for my charities! 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021


Born at Home
Delivered and Baptized by My Country Midwife Grandmother
April 28, 1944






St. Theresa of Avila


Lord, You know better than I myself

that I am growing older and will someday be old.

Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking

I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.


Release me from craving to

straighten out everybody’s affairs.

Make me thoughtful, but not moody;

helpful but not bossy.


With my vast store of wisdom,

it seems a pity not to use it all;

but You know, Lord,

that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details;

give me wings to get to the point.


Seal my lips on my aches and pains;

they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them

is becoming sweeter as the years go by.


I dare not ask for improved memory,

but for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness

when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.


Keep me reasonably sweet, for a sour old person

is one of the crowning works of the devil.

Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places

and talents in unexpected people;

and give, O Lord, the grace to tell them so. Amen.


Thank you, Karen, Dylan, Jordan, Melissa and Tim for the surprise!


Tuesday, April 27, 2021




Besides all the heavy ash deposits causing roofs to collapse, polluting the water supply and killing the vegetation and animals (food supply), I just heard that hot lava is now coming out of the volcano! 20,000 have been evacuated off the island and thousands more are living with relatives or living in homeless shelters, including the orphans of Saint Benedict Home for Children. All this is happening in a COVID epidemic! 
When I feel like complaining about something, I stop and try to remember that I only have "aggravations," while the poor people of Saint Vincent have real "problems." 

The "Georgetown" mentioned in this video is the home of the orphanage, Saint Benedict Home for Children, Saint Benedict Church and Ligouri House where a Redemptorist priest and Brother live. 
North of Georgetown is Sandy Bay where Our Lady Star of the Sea Church that we renovated with red chairs from our Cathedral in Louisville, new fans, statues and a large crucifix and Stations of the Cross from the Ursuline Sisters and Providence Sisters were completely crushed under the weight of a collapsing roof. 

Even though I decided to "officially" end my trips down to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines back in January because of COVID, I did not foresee a major volcano eruption coming. Even though I dissolved my CATHOLIC SECOND WIND GUILD at that time, I am still in contact with Bishop County and several of his staff on a regular basis. 
The needs are many and the problems will be long-term, but if anyone is moved to help I want you to know that I can still deposit checks made out to SAINT BARTHOLOMEW CHURCH - SVG MISSION FUND into their account if they are sent to me.

Rev. Ronald Knott
1271 Parkway Gardens Court
Louisville, KY 40217    

With the help of our local SUPPLIES OVER SEAS organization who salvage surplus 
medical supplies and the help of some funds I still have in my R.J. MISSION PROJECTS
account, I was able to pack 6 boxes (312 pounds) of "toiletries" for my friends down in Saint Vincent who are suffering from the ongoing effects of the still erupting volcano. Bishop County and his staff suggested that these items were most needed at this time: bar soap, shampoo, tooth brushes and paste, razors, hair brushes and combs, toilet paper, deodorant, Kleenex, wipes and bandages.  Simple things like washing your hair and taking a bath can be a huge problem when everything is covered with layers of volcanic ash and the water supply has been compromised.
I was hoping to send them today, but I was told by the people of AMERIJET that they have yet to resume flights down to that island country because of volcanic ash. I was told to hold the boxes for a few more days and to contact them again to see if they had clearance.   

Sunday, April 25, 2021



“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away and the wolf catches and scatters them.

John 10:11-18

This Sunday is known as “Good Shepherd Sunday” or “World Day of Prayer for Vocations.” Normally, you are used to having priests stand here and preach at you about what you sheep need to do or quit doing. Today, I am going to take the focus off the sheep and put it on the shepherds: what we shepherds need to do or quit doing! Second, you are used to hearing today about the need for more priests. I am going to talk to you about the need for better priests. I have been a priest myself for over 50 years, I have been a Vocation Director, I have taught in the seminary and I have spoken for a week at a time to thousands of bishops and priests in nine countries. I have an advanced degree in Parish Revitalization. I have listened to hundreds and hundreds of “fallen away Catholics.” I know the turf of which I speak so brace yourselves and buckle your seatbelts!

One of the most serious problems facing Catholicism today is the quality of its spiritual leadership in the face of deteriorating communal values and religious practice. It is no longer good enough for us priests to simply be priests as a noun, we have to be able to priest as a verb By that I mean we can never be satisfied with simply being designated spiritual leaders, we must strive with God's grace, to become real spiritual leaders. A fancy title just doesn’t cut the cake anymore! We simply have to be more of who we say we are!

I define "spiritual leadership" as the ability to influence people - through invitation, persuasion, example and the skillful use of the Church's rituals - to move from where they are to where God wants them to be. 

We surely know today that organized religion has lost its power to impose unquestioned rules on the behavior of its members. This turn of events frustrates many priests, leaving them with a propensity to blame the laity for their lack of faith and the culture for its "secularism" and "moral relativity" in increasingly shrill denouncements.

No amount of ranting and raving, however, about how we ought to be listened to will fix this. The fact of the matter is, that in a society where "a consumer" is a primary self-definition, we religious leaders have to not only know what the truth is and believe it ourselves, we also have to be able to sell that truth to others. We have to be able to convince people to see it, accept it and live it. We need to be more than "right." We need to be "convincing" as well. 

What is needed are priests who are capable of telling people about the love of God in language that no longer sounds hackneyed and archaic, but in convincing language that resonates with authority and conviction. It is not good enough for us shepherds to believe that "grass is good" and "water is necessary," we have to be able find it and to lead our people to it - sometimes in a barren spiritual landscape.  We shepherds need to be what John Paul II called "incarnations of the Good Shepherd's love."

When I was a young boy, I remember going to the circus once. The details are fuzzy, but I do remember one clown in particular. He pulled a banana out of his pocket and peeled in ever so ceremoniously. When he had pulled back the peeling completely, he took the banana and threw it away and began to eat the peeling.

Even though I thought that was funny as a child, I did not understand till much later why it was so funny. It was actually a commentary on human nature. It seems that we shepherds are forever focusing on the container rather than the treasure it holds - to paraphrase St. Paul a bit! 

Surely, most of us already know that organized religion has lost its power to impose unquestioned rules on the behavior of its members. No amount of ranting and raving from us about how we ought to be listened to, and no amount of new editions of the rulebooks, will fix this. Such fits are simply counter-productive, and the church is up to its ears in new rulebooks already. We must get better at our ability to influence people to move from where they are to where God wants them to be!   

Instead of blaming ourselves for our lack of skills of persuasion, and a lack of dynamism in the Church’s own pastoral structures for evangelization in changing the cultural climate, we persist in our propensity to blame the laity for their lack of faith and the culture for its “secularism” and “moral relativism.”  We might just need to shut up and put up!

Instead of blaming others, the better approach might just be for us to start owning the fact that the real problem may be our own styles, mistakes and inability to influence others - though invitation, persuasion, personal example and the skillful use of the Church's rituals. Pope Benedict has said on a couple of occasions that, even for him, it was easier to define the truth than it is to persuade people to accept it and live it out. Instead of looking around for a solution, maybe we should look within. Designated spiritual leaders need to become real spiritual leaders. In a society in which being a consumer is a primary self-definition, the priest and deacon must be good and good at it. Today he has to know how to hustle, to be innovative, to be a self-starter, to spark imagination, to sell, to move from a vision to the details of execution. The People of God already know that God wants them to become holy. The problem is that many of them don’t know how to become holy and many of us don't know how to lead them to it!  But that’s our job - to help you to exercise faithfully and fully your call to holiness in your own vocations.   

In this area, the Church has a problem – a problem that has become abundantly clear to me as a former pastor, multiple times, and from teaching in a seminary. Seminaries and even deacon formation programs have always done a good job with personal spiritual formation, but they are still not doing such a great job forming priests-to-be and deacons-to-be in the skills of being effective spiritual leaders of communities. Graduates leave the seminary and deacon formation programs having been the recipients of personal spiritual formation, but without much training in how to lead the spiritual formation of a community. This problem is being exacerbated by the fact that newly ordained priests are becoming pastors of multiple parishes immediately after ordination and deacons are being given greater leadership roles within parishes.  It is not enough, according to our mission and ministry, for a parish priest tor deacon to be personally holy; he also needs to have the skills to lead others to holiness. It is not good enough for us to be champions of the "truth," we must have the ability to lead others to the "truth." As I used to my deacon class every year, their goal is not just to be sure that the golden light of holiness shines from their rectories. Their goal is to be sure that the golden light of holiness shines from every home in their parishes! Instead of wasting time trying to convince people how holy we are, we need to be able to show our people how holy they are!  

Last of all, priests my age and older have, no doubt, already discovered the sobering fact that handing over the administrative duties of the parish to others does not mean that all of a sudden we are possessed with extraordinary spiritual leadership skills. It is much easier to balance a budget and build a parish hall than it is to inspire a congregation to move to a deeper level of discipleship!  

Let's don't just pray for more shepherds, let's pray for shepherds that are more effective