Saturday, June 11, 2022


“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Matthew 19:14

This note is a "keeper." I received it from a child last Christmas. I kept it and pasted it into my journal. When I am a bit "down," I go back in my journal and look at it again. It lifts my spirits like nothing else!

This child is obviously telling "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God!" Surely, you agree??
HA! HA!  

Thursday, June 9, 2022


Rock away my troubles, rock away my cares
Oh, I found peace and comfort in that easy rockin' chair
I feel just as wealthy as a millionaire
When I get back to Dixie in that easy rockin' chair.

Everyone, your neighbors welcome on the mare
Just sittin', doin' nothin' and not too much of they're
Thumbin' through the good book, thinkin' of a prayer
I rock my way to heaven in that easy rockin' chair.

Rockin' free and easy, times are passin' by
And readin' the evenin' paper till I swat this pesty fly
There I go a dozin', guess it's in the air
I gotta do some dreamin' in that easy rockin' chair.

Rock away my troubles, rock away my cares
Oh, I found peace and comfort in that easy rockin' chair
I feel just as wealthy as a millionaire
When I get back to Dixie in that easy rockin' chair...

Eddie Arnold 

Taken at the Memphis Priest Retreat - Pickwick Landing State Park, Tennessee

Taken at the Scranton Priest Retreat - Skytop Lodge, Pocono Mountains, Pennsylania

The rocker my mother used to rock me to sleep in as a child in Rhodelia, Kentucky

We hope to have 20 rocking chairs on the porch of our new Saint Theresa Family Life Center in Rhodelia for people to sit in and pray, or just to talk, when it is finished by October 15, 2022

It's not too late to  donate to our rocking chair project in honor of a special someone from St. Theresa (or anywhere) - a Sister of Charity teacher, a lay teacher, a Sister, Brother or priest who came from the parish, a former pastor, a parent or grandparent, a parishioner, a neighbor, any relative or friend. Once all of the porch rocking chairs are paid for, any surplus will go to the rectory restoration fund. We hope to put a couple more rocking chairs in the renovated rectory that we hope to use for visiting clergy and for a retreat house.   

or whatever amount you wish to give

St. Theresa Family Life Center
9245 Rhodelia Road
Payneville, KY 40157


Rev. Ronald Knott
Payable to: St. Theresa Family Life Center
1271 Parkway Gardens Court
Louisville, Ky 40217




Tuesday, June 7, 2022


More Information About Our Beloved Saint-To-Be

His mother (Martha Jane), a slave, was baptized and raised a Catholic in my home parish of St. Theresa of Avila in Rhodelia, Kentucky, was taken by her "owner" to Missouri at age 17 where she married and gave birth to Augustus and eventually escaped Missouri to the free-state of Illinois. Because no US seminary would accept him because he was black, Augustus was educated and ordained in Rome, served in Quincy and Chicago, Illinois,  and finally died in Chicago. 

Father Augustus Tolton probably would not have been a Catholic, much less a priest, without his Catholic mother's fidelity and courage. His mother probably would not have been a Catholic without the faith of the Catholic community of St. Theresa in Rhodelia that passed it on to her. His grandmother, Matilda (Martha Jane's mother), is buried in our old St. Theresa Cemetery.  

As long as I am into it, let me say this! After reading about Martha Jane's heroic life and all that she went through for her son, I think his mother should be canonized as well! She was certainly one tough, courageous, determined and faithful Catholic woman! I am reminded of a wonderful old story that I posted at the time of my ordination anniversary that is not too different from Martha Jane's story. 

Pope Pius X (1835-1914) was a very humble man who had a saintly mother, Margarita Sanson. Because they were so poor, she worked as a washer woman and a school janitor to earn enough money so that he could go to the seminary. (In those days, the family had to pay for the seminarian’s education.) When he was installed as Pope, his mother was present, and as was the custom, she kissed his large papal ring. She then presented her tiny hand with her wedding ring and said, “Now you kiss my ring—for without it, you never would have received yours!” St. Pius also said, “Every vocation to the priesthood comes from the heart of God, but it passes through the heart of a mother”


A new window in the Cathedral of the Diocese of Jefferson City,  Missouri, depicts the baptism in Missouri, the ordination in Rome  and the First Mass of Father Augustus Tolton. 

Sunday, June 5, 2022


St. Mary Magadalen of Pazzi in Payneville, Kentucky
8:30 am

“Jesus came and stood in their midst and
said to them, “Peace be with you!” Jesus
said to them again, "Peace be with you!"
John 20:19-23

Today is Pentecost Sunday. My "First Mass" fell on Pentecost Sunday 52 years ago. When I was about to be ordained back in 1970, anxiety was very much on my mind. The church was undergoing a great upheaval and priests were beginning to leave in significant numbers. I asked myself many times, in that year leading up to ordination, “How am I going to keep my cool and calm in a fast-changing church and in a world becoming more unglued? How will I be able to stay focused on my work when one problem after another is going to be hurled in my face from both inside and outside the church? How will I be able to calm others when it’s possible that I will be torn up all the time myself?”

I have spent most of my life as a priest searching for an inmost calm that no storm can shake. When I discovered, and admitted to myself, that I cannot control what happens “out there,” I knew I needed to find a way to control what happens “in here.” As one spiritual teacher said, “It is easier to put on slippers than it is to carpet the world.” (It’s easier to change myself than everybody else!) I knew I was going to need, and certainly wanted to have, that peace that only a close relationship with Jesus could give me, that peace that he offers us twice in today’s gospel.

“Jesus came and stood in their midst and
said to them, “Peace be with you!” Jesus
said to them again, “Peace be with you!”

I spent most of my young adult life looking for that inner peace that would remain rock solid no matter what! I am, happy to say that I have found it! Sometimes I panic and forget, but I always come back to it sooner or later. Once I discovered that a peaceful center is available to me, I know that I can always find my way back to it even when I drift away or forget it sometimes.

How can one have that peace of mind and heart in the midst of chaos That Jesus mentioned twice today? A relationship of trust with Jesus is what brings you that peace. If you truly believe that you are loved by God without condition, if you truly believe that God is on your side and holds no grudges, if you truly believe that in the end things are going to turn out OK because God has promised us so, then a great peace will come over you.! You will know that no matter how bad things get sometimes, no matter how much you end up having to handle, no matter how great your losses are, you will know in your heart of hearts that you are in good hands because you are in God’s hands. When you know these things to be true, a comforting peace will stand guard over your heart and mind!

Once I began to live in the knowledge that, in spite of it all, things will ultimately be OK, I began to realize that many of my life’s greatest blessings have come out of what long ago seemed like an unbearable disaster.  Looking back at the times in my life when God seemed absent, at the times when I was overwhelmed with anxiety, worry and panic, in hindsight I can see that the hand of God was actually bringing me to where I needed to go and teaching me what I needed to learn. Most of the things I have most worried about actually never happened! Statistics even tell us that fully 90% of the things we worry about never happen! Most of my imagined tragedies were actually followed by some of the great blessings! It has happened too many times to dismiss it as a fluke.  

I went through one of those anxious periods as I was going into retirement. The plans I had worked on for three years fell apart in three days. It may not be connected, but I ended up in the hospital a couple of days later with a blood clot in my left leg. I was grieving the loss of some of the things I expected to happen. If things had worked out the way I planned, I would have gotten on an airplane for a trip to France, not knowing about the blood clot, and probably would have died on that plane either on the way over or on the way back! I recovered from the clot, thank God, but as it turned out God spared me from what I thought I wanted (a trip to France) and gave me something even better (my life) !

For me, this seems to be the way it always happens - a big breakdown before a big break through! I look back now and I am happy that my original plans for retirement did not work out because something much better happened. I made twelve missionary trips to the Caribbean islands! Even when those trips ended, because of COVID and a volcano eruption, I found myself again with another wonderful opportunity. It’s was like “when that door closed another door opened.” That was when my idea of turning the old Cross Roads School into a new St. Theresa Family Life Center for St. Theresa and St. Mary’s came to me one night when I was worried about what to do next and trying to go to sleep! Now, I am at peace about not going to the island missions any more.  Now I get to go to Rhodelia more often instead!

Peace, my friends, is not a time when there are no problems. Peace is a calm state of mind in the midst of problems and in spite of problems. Peace is a trusting state of mind that comes from a close relationship with Jesus whose name is Emmanuel, meaning “God with us.”

Brothers and sisters, we have very little control over what is going to happen, so let us finish each day and be done with it! Let us do our best and let go of it. Let us not anticipate trouble or worry about what might never happen.  Our fretting anxiety has no power to affect tomorrow, but it can certainly ruin today.  Let us thank God for how far we have come and trust God with how far we can go.  This peace of mind was Jesus’ last gift to us before he left this earth.  

Let me end with one of my very favorite prayers by St. Francis DeSales. 

“Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

Friends, we will never be problem free, but we 

don't have to go around wringing our hands with 

useless anxiety and needless worry!