Thursday, March 24, 2022


rather than 

be sure to EXPAND the screens for better viewing

Monday, March 21, 2022


After a Volcano Eruption - Our "Star" is Rising From the Ashes

Our Lady Star of the Sea Church
Sandy Bay, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

In this small village of Sandy Bay, Catholics used the top floor of this building as their church, while Anglicans use the bottom floor as their church. 
This is only one of the small community churches that suffered damage, but one we spent a lot of time, effort and resources on a few years ago. When it was done, we were so very proud of what we had accomplished. Remembering the times I celebrated Mass there and stood on that balcony talking to people, it was personally heart-breaking to see how much damage had occurred to it. We are thrilled to see, now that the volcano is dormant again and COVID is subsiding, that they are progressing on making it "whole" again. 

 Below are two pictures of our finished renovation with  statues, ceiling fans, stations of the cross, new paint and floor finishing and beautiful used red chairs from our Cathedral in Louisville.  

Below is a picture of what most of the island of St. Vincent looked like as the ash was falling from the exploding volcano. It went on for weeks. 

Below is the collapsed roof of Our Lady Star of the Sea Church from the weight of 18" inches of volcanic ash landing on it. Notice how deep the volcanic ash is on the floor. Just to think that our beautiful red Cathedral chairs are crushed under the weight of that roof and ash! 

The statues at the front of the church and the terrazzo floor were spared. The chairs, altar furniture, ceiling fans and stations of the cross were a total loss. 

Below is a picture of the reconstruction going on now. Notice the new concrete pillars that will hold up the new roof. Rather than a nearly-flat roof like before, the new roof will be more "pitched" and able to shed volcanic ash as it falls if there were to be another eruption. 

 Even though I am no longer leading priest retreats all over the United States and Canada to make
money for the island missions, if you are moved to help with this renovation project I am sure that that little parish would be most appreciative. Even though I am no longer making trips down there, I can still forward deposits to their account with any help you might want to send them. 

 "Saint Bartholomew Church - SVG Mission Account" 

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

Most of us don't know how good we have it compared to the rest of the world!
Out of gratitude, I plan on personally sending them some more help. Join me if you can!  

Sunday, March 20, 2022


March 20, 2022
St. Frances of Rome 11:30 am - Bellarmine University 6:00 pm

Leave it for this year also. I shall cultivate it around it and fertilize it.
 It could bear fruit in the future.
Luke 13:9

Before I arrived at my little country parish of Holy Name of Mary in Calvary, Kentucky in 1980, I used to do campus ministry at Somerset Community College. I did that while I was in the “home missions” of our diocese during my first ten years of priesthood. During those years, I used to take college students on month-long backpacking trips all around Europe. I took five of those trips in all. Every year, we spent one of those weeks on retreat in Taize (France) where we camped out with 3,500 students each summer from all around the world.

I have stayed in contact with a few of the friends I met during those back-packing years, including a couple of students from Belgium, who later got married and had children. He became a forestry engineer for NATO which required that they live in several countries around the world, surveying forests.

On one of their trips to visit me, when they were living in Nicaragua, I was living in my own home down the street from where I now live. I had planted a small birch tree in the front yard, but like the fig tree in Jesus' parable today, it was not doing well. It was stunted from disease and the lack of some thing, but I did not know what! Being a forestry expert, my Belgian friend noticed my pathetic little birch tree, right away. I told him that I was thinking about digging it up and throwing it away because I was tired of messing with it! Using almost the same words as the gardener in today's parable, my tree-expert friend said to me, "Before you do that, let me go out and prune out the diseased parts, dig around it a bit and fertilize it. If it doesn't turn around in the next few months, then you should get rid of it." I moved from that house several years back, but I used to see it every time I would pass by it on my way to and from Bellarmine University back when I used to celebrate Mass regularly on Sunday nights. I am happy to report that that scrawny diseased bush of a tree has grown into a big beautiful tree that shades the whole front of the house! 

What Jesus wants us to know today is that we are the fig tree and Jesus is the gardener in today's parable. Many of us, at some point in our lives, are like that poor unproductive fig tree. We may feel that others have given up on us and we may even feel like giving up on ourselves. Even though we may feel that way, and feel treated that way, we need to know that Jesus never gives up on us! With Jesus, as long as we are alive, there is always hope for the growth and change that leads to a productive life, no matter how hopeless we feel or how poorly we are viewed. Jesus is that gardener sent by God to help us all grow into a full and abundant life.

This parable is resonates with me! During most of my childhood, I felt like that scrawny little fig tree. I was told growing up that I would never amount to anything. My own pastor told me that I would never make it, when I left for the seminary at age 14. Even during my second year of seminary, at age 15, the rector of the seminary, like the owner of the fig tree in today's parable, called me "a hopeless case," saying that he intended to send me home. Like the gardener in the parable, I pleaded with him for a second chance. If it were not for my own resolve and the encouragement of a hand full of other people - people who worked with me to cultivate my gifts and talents - I probably would have given up on myself. I may not have realized how powerful God's grace can be! I tremble to think where I might be today if I had not asked for that second chance and there had not been a few people around to believe in me!

Fellow believers! No matter how you feel about yourselves at this point in your life, no matter how low other's perspectives are of you, it does not have to be that way - unless of course you accept their low opinion of you and that of others around you! Your future has not been decided yet! It's not too late to begin a process of taking an active role in your own growth and development. Be your own life coach, if you have to! As far as other people go, Eleanor Roosevelt was right, when she said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." What people say to you and about you mean nothing - unless, of course, you start believing them! Decide today to be one of those people George Bernard Shaw called "a force of nature." "Be a force of nature," he said, "not a selfish, feverish little clod of grievances and ailment, complaining that the world will not get together and make you happy." If you show up to work on yourself, God will show up to help you! You actually have more potential than even you, yourself, believe! Sometimes our fear of success holds us back even more than our fear of failure. We both crave and fear becoming our best selves! We simply must stand up to that fear and stare it down! 

Along that same line, let me share one of my favorite quotes by Marianne Williamson. I believe, it carries much of the same message as today's parable. "Our deepest fear," she says, "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." Sometimes, I think some of us fear success even more than failure. That's why they they do everything they can to sabotage their own growth.

Every time I drive past my old house and see that big, beautiful tree that used to be a stunted bush, the one I almost dug up and threw away, I think of my own progress. I thank God every day that I did not believe those who did not believe in me. I thank God every day for people like you who have been so good to me! I thank God every day that he gave me the grace to believe in myself and the people around me who did believe in me! I also want the world to know that just because I am 78, I am not finished with myself! Yes, I have pride in how far I have come, but I also have faith in how far I can still go! I do not want to rot like old cabbage, but like fine wine I want to get better with age. Most of that, as I have already learned, is up to me!

Jesus said, "I have come to bring you life - life to the full." Lent is about "tending to our gardens" so that, by working with God, our lives will produce "abundant fruit." I can remember reading Candide by Voltaire when I was in college. One quote from the ending has always stuck with me. It said, "We must cultivate our own garden." By that he meant, in the words of the memorable Latin idiom "Nemo dat quod non habet!" - "If you ain't got it, you can't give it!" Goethe said it this way, “Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.” 

This is how you cultivate the garden of your mind. Seed and sow good thoughts and ideas into your mind. Once they are there, tend to those thoughts. Nurture them. Fuel them with positive references. In time, they will blossom spectacularly, and you will be a better person as a result and you will be a better member of your community. 

Fellow believers! This is my prayer for you today - that you would believe in amazing possibilities for yourself! My prayer is that you would be your own gardener - that you would take responsibility for your own life by standing up to your own cowardice and addictions and by resolving to do hard things for your own good. God wants you to have the fullest life possible - with enough left over to share. God wants to help you be your best self. All he wants is your cooperation!