An Encouraging Word — Blessings from the past

I consider the days of old; the years long past I remember. Psalm 77:6

Fr. Ron Knott.2012-w
Fr. J. Ronald Knott

OK, it’s not my imagination. I don’t know what it’s about or why it is happening, but it has become an obvious pattern — people from the distant past have been making contact in recent weeks!

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking through Kroger when I ran into a man with whom I went to seminary high school. He was picking up something for another man who was also a seminarian back then, a man I have not seen for 51 years. He actually lives down the street from me. I invited them both to come over for coffee.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to represent St. Meinrad at the Knoxville deacon ordination of one of our seminarians. It became an occasion for meeting up with an old friend from my years as pastor of St. Peter Church in Monticello. I had not seen him for 23 years.

A couple of weeks before that, I was contacted by the former pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Somerset where I served from 1970-1975. Because my name came up in a Bible study group, the present pastor invited me to preach. I have not been in that church for 38 years.

Two weeks ago, I was contacted by a woman I used to know from my days at the Cathedral of the Assumption who now lives in Ohio. She wanted me to write to her son who was in prison. I have not seen her for 28 years.

A few days ago, I was contacted by a young man who wanted me to visit his mother, another former Cathedral parishioner who was dying of cancer. She had expressed a desire to have me visit her and do her funeral. I had not seen her in 30 years.

A few weeks back, I was contacted by a man who was a teenager when I served at St. Mildred Church in Somerset, my first assignment. He has had a troubled life and was facing many health problems, but he wanted to thank me for giving him a good experience of the church when he was young. I had not spoken to him for 37 years.

The weirdest of all was the day I was telling my implant dentist about a wedding I did in 1975 when the bride slipped and fell on me from behind, pushing me and a portable altar over a step. I had forgotten her name. During the telling of the story, my cell phone signaled an incoming text. I waited till I got outside to look at it. Believe it or not, it was that bride!

I don’t understand why so many people from the past surfaced so close together, but surely they serve to remind us of where we have been so that we can remember to be grateful for the good things that came to us through them. I am convinced that these people have blessed us along the way and have helped form us into the people we are today.

 Father J. Ronald Knott

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2 replies on “An Encouraging Word — Blessings from the past”
  1. says: Beverly McAuliffe

    Fr. Ron,
    I enjoyed so much reading your most so-close-together accounts of re-connecting with people from your past! From time to time, I run into former students, faculty members, friends I haven’t seen in many years and marvel at how fortunate I have been in my life to have met so many great people. No doubt, as a priest, you have made a positive impact on so many people with your ministry–and I am one of them!

    God bless you and your ministry to the people of God!

  2. says: Charla Perez

    I recently went through the same. It’s a part of God’s plan and you’ll know why soon. People who cross our path in life often times do again to bring things full circle.

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