Ask and you will receive. Matthew 7:7
It seems like I am spending a lot of time lately retiring from stuff. I officially retired from St. Meinrad Seminary two years ago. A couple of months ago, I officially retired from Bellarmine University.
You would think that would leave lots of time to learn how to play golf or something just as boring. Not true. I will continue writing for The Record for one more year, leading international priest retreats and filling in at the Cathedral of the Assumption as time permits.
All those things are hobbies. What is consuming more of my time is my volunteer work in the Caribbean countries of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Diocese of Kingstown) and Barbados (Diocese of Bridgetown). I have tickets for going down again in September and November and a lot of priest retreats sprinkled throughout the fall to raise needed funds.
A few months back, a story appeared in this publication about my new program for retired priests, bishops and lay professionals called Catholic Second Wind Guild. In the very first year, we have been able to buy two vans for parishes, purchase a motor boat for two young island priests to get to Mass, send seven youth to World Youth Day, buy recording equipment for Catholic TV evangelization throughout the Caribbean and pay for the new bishop’s car, among other things.
Father Tom Clark, retired priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville, is going down with me next Friday on my fifth trip. He will be the Catholic Second Wind Guild’s very first retired priest recruit. I will lead the annual priest retreat in Barbados in November. I hope to make a quick trip over to St. Vincent and take another retired priest, bishop or lay person with me.
The biggest need right now is getting the Pastoral Centre of the Diocese of Kingstown fixed up to receive adult professional volunteers. It has been neglected for so long because of a lack of funds that I don’t think many adults from the United States would feel comfortable and safe staying there.
I want to start with my new headquarters (bedroom/office and bathroom) and finish a new chapel in one of the rooms of the center. From there, I want to move quickly to the eight guest rooms, then the kitchen and finally the rest of the building. As we get the place fixed up a bit, volunteers will be able to tackle other island projects.
I have drawings of what I hope the areas will look like — simple, clean and workable. I have been able to amass a few thousand dollars for the project from doing retreats and parish missions myself and accepting gifts from some friends, but I have a long way to go. If you want to help, call me at 303-4571 before Sept. 23.
To read more from Father Knott, visit his blog: FatherKnott.com.
Father J. Ronald Knott