About Me

I am a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky. Ordained May 16, 1970, I have served as a home missionary, college teacher, campus minister, pastor, cathedral rector, traveling evangelist, homiletics instructor, archdiocesan vocation director, founding director of the Saint Meinrad Seminary Institute for Priests and Presbyterates and a weekly columnist for 15 years.

I have given major addresses at national conventions on church renovation, parish revitalization, homiletics, presbyteral unity and vocations. I have presented more than 80 parish missions and retreats and led more than 150 presbyteral convocations around the US and nine countries abroad.

I have a Master of Divinity degree from Saint Meinrad School of Theology in Indiana and a Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Presbyterian Seminary in Chicago. I have authored several books for clergy and published several collections of my homilies and fifteen volumes of my For the Record book series. A few of my books for clergy are available in Spanish, Vietnamese and Swahili.

In my retirement, besides the things listed above, I had been volunteering in the Diocese of Kingstown in the island country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and serving as the founder of the Catholic Second Wind Guild (a volunteer organization for retired priests and lay people wanting to volunteer their time, expertise, connections in the Caribbean missions). After six years and twelve trips, I recently ended that organization due to COVID and travel restriction. With a major volcano eruption, it has become obvious that I need to make a wise and timely decision to find a cause closer to home. Long distance travels seem to be a “thing of the past” at least for the foreseeable future.

In April of 2021, I decided to focus my attention on my home parish of Saint Theresa of Avila an hour away from where I now live. I have the dream of turning my old grade school building, Saint Theresa School which was closed in 1993, into a new Saint Theresa Family Life Center to serve the whole area.  My third cousin, Father Bob Ray, another priest from the same parish, is partnering with me by founding the Saint Theresa Heritage Partners, an alumni organization of the parish and school, to support this effort. I will lead the remodeling project of the Saint Theresa Family Life Center. Click on St. Theresa Heritage Partners and St. Theresa Family Life Center in the menu bar for more information.  


Reverend J. Ronald Knott

Born: Rhodelia, Kentucky on April 28, 1944

Attended: St. Theresa Academy, later called St. Theresa School, later called Cross Roads School in Meade County. (1950-1958)

St. Thomas Seminary, Louisville, Ky. 1958-1964

St. Meinrad Seminary, St. Meinrad, Indiana, 1964-1970 BA, M. Div.

McCormick Presbyterian Seminary, Chicago, Illinois 1979-1981 (DOCTOR OF MINISTRY in Parish Revitalization)

Ordained Priest: May 16, 1970

Pastoral Assignments:

A Christian Ministry in the National Parks (Crater Lake) sponsored by United Church of Christ

St. John Vianney (deacon) 1969

Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital (deacon) 1970

St. Mildred (Somerset) 1970-1975

St. Peter (Monticello) and Good Shepherd (Whitley City) (pastor) 1975-1980

Holy Name of Mary (Lebanon) (pastor) 1980-1983

Cathedral of the Assumption (pastor) 1983 – 1997

Vocation Director, Archdiocese of Louisville 1998-2003

Director of Catholic Worship, Bellarmine University, 1999-August 2016

Founding Director, Institute for Priests and Presbyterates, Saint Meinrad School of Theology, 2004-2013

Officially Retired in the Archdiocese of Louisville, 2014

Other Assignments:

Archdiocesan Board of Consultors

Priest Senate (4 terms)

Vice-President (Emeritus), Cathedral Heritage Foundation (now Center for Interfaith Relations))

Part-time Instructor, Homiletics, Saint Meinrad School of Theology, 1997

Conducted 75 Parish Missions in the US and over 150 priest assemblies, retreats and study days in United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Wales, The Bahamas, St. Lucia, Trinidad and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Weekly columnist for THE RECORD 2002-2017

In retirement, he has continued with some of his previous work, but added volunteer work in the foreign missions of St. Vincent and the Grenadines 2015-2020, Little Sisters of the Poor (Louisville) presently.

Founder: Saint Theresa Heritage Partners 2021

Publications: (Some translated into Spanish, one in Swahili)

Author, An Encouraging Word, Crossroad Press, NY, 1995 (Homilies)

Author, One Heart At A Time, Sophronismos Press, 1999 (Homilies)

Author, Sunday Nights, Sophronismos Press, 2000 (Homilies)

Author, For the Record I (2003), For the Record II, (2004), For the Record III (2005), For the Record IV (2006) For the Record V (2007) For the Record VI (2008), For the Record VII (2009), For the Record VIII (2010), For the Record IX (2011), For the Record X (2012), For the Record XI (2013), For the Record XII (2014), For the Record XIII (2015), For the Record XIV (2016), For the Record XV (2017) (All published by Sophronismos Press) 

Author, Intentional Presbyterates, Sophronismos Press, (2004)

Author, Intentional Presbyterates (The Workbook) Sophronismos Press (2007)

Author, From Seminarian to Diocesan Priest: Managing the Transition, Sophronismos Press,

Author, The Spiritual Leadership of a Parish Priest, 2007

Author, Diocesan Priests in the Archdiocese of Louisville, 2001

Co-Author, Religious Communities in the Archdiocese of Louisville, 2002

Author, A Bishop and His Priests Together, 2011

Author, Affirming Goodness: A Collection of Memorable Articles From Twelve Years of Encouraging Words

Author, The Character of a Pastor In Exercising Authority, 2013

Author, Personal Growth Plan: A Handbook for Priests, 2013

Co-Author, Daily Bread: A Handbook for Priests Learning to Cook for Themselves, 2013

Author, A Passion For Personal Excellence, 2015

Author, The Lord is Close to the Brokenhearted, 2015

Author, Our Journey of Lent, 2018

Author, Between Courage and Cowardice: Choosing to Do Hard Things For Your Own Good, 2018

Author, I Just Had to Laugh, 2018

Author, While Keeping My Distance: Random Reflections During a Pandemic, 2020


Blogger: An Encouraging Word (2015 - )

Awards: Louisville Forum’s Fleur de Lis Award, 1995; National Conference of Christian and Jews Award, 2003; NFPC Touchstone Award, 2008; St. Meinrad's Distinguished Alumnus, 2010. Honorary Doctorate Bellarmine University 2016

Boards: A trustee of the J. Graham Brown Foundation, Louisville, Ky. Two terms till 2014.