An Encouraging Word – Imagine, believe, achieve

Father J. Ronald Knott

Father J. Ronald Knott

Believe that you will receive it and it will be yours. Mark 11:24

“Amazement” means “overwhelming surprise or astonishment.” That’s exactly how I have been feeling, especially about the last 20 years of my life.
As pastor of the Cathedral of the Assumption, I witnessed the evolution of an incredible new “golden age.”

For years, I had asked the congregation, “Who said we only get one golden age? Let’s create a new golden age in our time!”

We did just that. When I left, I remember following my own advice by telling myself that I would not spend the rest of my life looking back at “what had just happened,” but rather looking forward to “what more could happen.”

I then went to St. Meinrad Seminary with another bright idea — to build an ongoing formation program for the purpose of strengthening individual priests and whole diocesan presbyterates.

That idea attracted a $2 million grant from the Lilly Foundation that allowed me to become the founding director of the present Institute for Priests and Presbyterates.

Even though I retired from that job after 10 years, I am still doing the work of strengthening the unity of priests with their bishops through retreats and convocations.

During the years at St. Meinrad and those that followed, I have conducted workshops in well over 100 dioceses in 10 countries. I have presented my material to hundreds of seminarians, thousands of priests, more than 200 archbishops and bishops and at least a dozen cardinals.

I also addressed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Florida and the Antilles Bishops Conference in Trinidad.

Even though I am both retired from all that, while continuing some of it at the same time, what I have been asking myself is this: “Who said you can’t have yet another ‘golden age?’ ”

My idea of developing a program for retired priests, bishops and professional lay people who would like to use their gifts and talents in service to the church is finally coming together.

The organization is called the Catholic Second Wind Guild and has two chapters — one in the Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the other in the Caribbean nation of Barbados.

My headquarters is located in the Pastoral Center of the Diocese of Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I have already made seven trips and we have completed several programs and projects with more in process.

I have no extraordinary powers. You can accomplish your own versions. It is all about intentional belief in possibilities that attracts God’s help.

W.H. Murray, a Scottish writer and mountaineer said: “Concerning all acts of initiative, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.”

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