Saturday, February 5, 2022


St. Theresa Church 
Rhodelia, Kentucky 

St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi Church 
Payneville. Kentucky 

The outside is mostly done - minus a final bit of painting over that bluish primer. This past week, the asbestos, lead paint and old window removal started and was progressing quite well the day this 1-27-22 photo was taken. It should be finished in a few days. Once it passes inspection, we will be ready to begin the installation of the new windows and doors. Meanwhile, the architect is working hard on the interior drawings and bid documents for the new geo-thermal/solar-panel HVAC system, plumbing system and electrical system. After that, we can move to painting, flooring, light fixtures, appliance installation and window treatments. Finally, we can install the furniture, the porch rockers and the historic photo gallery. So far, if things continue to go well, we are on schedule to meet our re-dedication deadline of October 15, 2022 - the Feast of Saint Theresa of Avila. 

Since we say that "we believe in the communion of saints," I have invited our people to ask the many parish "saints" buried in our three cemeteries to help us with this project while believing, in the words of St. Theresa herself, that "God helps those who set out to do great things for His sake."  

Our fund-raising is going well, but we are not there yet. If you can help us out, let me know. I'll be happy to receive your gift, see that it is deposited in the Saint Theresa Family Life Center account and make sure a "thank you" card is sent to you! Come on and help us show the world that even small historic country parishes can do amazing things like this even these days! Let's prove to the whole Archdiocese of Louisville that miracles can happen even in small country towns. 

You know you want to help us out, so come on and say that prayer and write your check! To show our appreciation, we'll invite you to the rededication and give you a tour of the new Saint Theresa Family Life Center in October when we celebrate the Feast of Saint Theresa of Avila.  

Saint Theresa of Avila, pray for us! 
Saint Mary Magdalen of Pazzi, pray for us! 
Venerable Augustus Tolton, pray for us!  

Make checks payable to St. Theresa Church and send to:
Rev. Ronald Knott
1271 Parkway Gardens Court #106
Louisville, KY 40217 / 502-303-4571

Tuesday, February 1, 2022



There Are Plenty Of Them, If We Care To Look For Them

Sunday, January 30, 2022


 When the people heard (Jesus say) this, they were filled with fury. 
They rose up, drove him out of town and led him to the brow of the hill...
to hurl him down headlong.
Luke 4

Preaching can be hazardous to your health and this story should make every preacher shake in his boots. I tremble every time I read it. I learned a long time ago that, when you preach, the safest approach is to tell people what they want to hear. You can, like Jesus, be run out of town on a rail if you cross the line and tell people what they don’t want to hear. I learned a long time ago, as well, that people who tell you what you want to hear are not necessarily your friends and people who tell you what you don't want to hear are not necessarily your enemies.

What went wrong in the pulpit that day that turned the people of his hometown against Jesus? We learned in last week's gospel text that Jesus had gone back home to Nazareth where he had been reared. On arriving at the local synagogue, he was asked to do the reading and give the homily. The first part of the homily went well. In fact, it says that “people spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.”

As he continued to preach, all of a sudden things turned ugly. What ticked the congregation off so quickly? Well, you have to remember that Jews in those days taught that God’s love was exclusive to Jews alone.  Gentiles, or non-Jews, were merely fuel for the fires of hell. In his homily, Jesus challenged that long-held belief by citing two examples from their own history. Jesus pointed out that in the days of the great prophet, Elijah, there were many hungry Jewish widows during a great famine, but God sent Elijah, not to them, but to a Gentile widow of Zerephath.  Jesus also pointed out that in the days of the great prophet Elisha, there were many Jewish lepers, but God sent Elisha to cleanse none of them, but only a Gentile leper from Syria. In today's text, Jesus is telling them that God’s love is not restricted to Jews, but includes everyone. This was heresy and they didn't want to hear any more of it, so they dragged him out of the pulpit, to a cliff outside town, intending to throw him over. He escaped by the skin of his teeth and "got the hell out of Dodge" so to speak. 

I have been there and done that! When I was first ordained, I was regularly pointed out, in print and on the radio, as an example of the “unsaved” by fundamentalist preachers in southern Kentucky during my ten year stint down there. Here is Louisville, I was attacked on multiple fronts in an awful “white paper” that circulated through our city by an anonymous group of fundamentalist Catholics when I was pastor of the Cathedral. As a result, I even had a knife pulled on me in the Cathedral over a homily during those years for reaching out to the divorced, gays and lesbians, minorities and fallen-away Catholics. The mistake I made, at least in their books, was to get up in the pulpit and tell them that God loved them too.  One man walked up and down the side walk at the Cathedral with a big sign that said “Welcome to the Church of Satan.” They wanted these people excluded, condemned, shunned and banished from any hint of God’s love.

I have been open to, and lucky enough to experience, a variety of religions in the last 52 years. During the summer, while I was still in the seminary and right before I was ordained a Deacon, I worked for the United Church of Christ as a Campground Minister in Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. After ordination, I graduated from a Presbyterian Seminary in Chicago with  Doctor of Ministry degree in Parish Revitalization. I have helped start two interfaith organizations, one at Somerset Community College and one at our Cathedral here in Louisville. I was friends with several Protestant ministers when I was a “home missionary” down in the Bible Belt. A few of those religions liked to talk about exclusion. They liked to talk about who’s in and who’s in God’s eyes, who will be saved and who will be damned, who is deserving of God’s love and who is not. Others of those religions talked about inclusion. They liked to talk about other religions with respect, embracement, incorporation, admission and assimilation.  

What is it about people who have a such a burning desire to dig holes for other people? This need to exclude others must be a cheap way of feeling superior and special, as if there was a shortage of love when it comes to God. This is not the view of Jesus. Jesus teaches us in the parables that God’s loves is universal and inclusive. The parables of the Prodigal Son, the Vineyard Workers, the Wedding Feast and the Lost Sheep have always given me personal encouragement and a clear vision for ministry. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the Father loves both his sons: the one who left home and got down with the pigs, as well as the one who stayed home and did all the right things. In the parable of the Vineyard Workers all got a full days pay, not matter how much or how little they worked. In the parable of the Wedding Feast, the good and bad alike are invited to the feast. In the parable of the Lost Sheep, the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine good sheep and goes off looking for the one who got lost. Inspired by that message, every week for 15 years, I wrote a column in The Record called An Encouraging Word where I looked for goodness to affirm, rather than sins to condemn. After I retired from my column in The Record, I have continued An Encouraging Word in my blog at  

Friends, at our baptisms, we were commissioned “ambassadors of Christ,” committed to carry his message of universal love to a world where people are constantly being put down, discriminated against and even hated in the name of God for looking different, believing differently and behaving differently. As baptized people who are loved, gifted and connected, we are especially included in the boundless love of God. As baptized people, we are called, not only to believe it, but to teach it by the way we live and treat others. 

I am not just a “catholic” by birth. I am a “catholic” by choice. “Catholic” means “universal” and “inclusive.” For that reason, I am “catholic” and proud of it. As a “catholic,” I do not hope to be among the “few in number who will be saved,” as one of the critics of Jesus put it! I pray that we all make it: Catholics, Baptists, Jews, Methodists, Moslems, agnostics, atheists and everything in between! In one of the Eucharistic Prayers, at least in the old version, we prayed that “In the new world where the fullness of your Peace will be revealed, gather people of every race, language and way of life, to share in the one eternal banquet with Jesus Christ our Lord.”