Father David Knott, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1873-1952)

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Born on October 28, 1873 at Osage Mission, Kansas, which was later known as St. Paul, he was the son of John Knott and Mary Carrico. He was named Aloysius Ignatius in honor of the Jesuits who were at Osage Mission. Aloysius was educated in the local little red school house. On August 14, 1892 the Jesuits left the Osage Mission and on February 11, 1894 the Passionists arrived. For a time Aloysius was less interested in his Catholic faith. He stopped reading pious books, went to dances, and attended Protestant services. But then grace made its way to his life and he turned towards Catholicism. His brother became a Trappist at Gethsemani, Kentucky and his sister entered the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky.

On August 29, 1895 Aloysius entered the Passionists and went to the Passionist Preparatory Seminary at St. Mary’s Dunkirk, New York. In September 1896 he entered the Passionist novitiate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received the name David when he took his vows on October 25, 1897. He was a student in St. Paul of the Cross Province. He was one and one half years in Cincinnati and then was transferred to West Hoboken. At that time a request was made for students to volunteer to minister as Passionists in Argentina which had been given to the North American province. David Knott was one of five students assigned. He did not volunteer as did the other four. He was chosen. His director Father Wilfred Avery was key in his support of this decision.

The Passionist missionaries left New York for Argentina in the fall of 1899. The superior was Father Edward Tuohy. C.P. This move was a more complete move than the traditional rotation from one monastery to another. Such a transfer was life altering. Argentina at that time was possessed by anti-clericalism and danger was real. But they began to adjust to their new environment slowly. Some who went in the first group did find it difficult and returned to the United States. David Knott remained and was ordained at December 17, 1904

His priesthood was service to the Irish immigrants to whom the Passionists were sent to minister. Father Knott was a parish priest at large and lived in an isolated district with an elderly caretaker. From there he would make rounds, say Mass, hear confessions, baptize and perform marriages. Each tour to the Irish immigrants lasted about six weeks. This was his normal schedule. He was also Superior and Master of Novices. Still most of the time was maintaining his travels. He did become good friends with Father John Mary Macklin, C.P. who served as the Argentine provincial. After twenty-five years ordained and thirty-one years in Argentina his health began to fail and he obtained permission to come home to the United States

When he returned back to the United States he found it difficult. Culture shock set in. The tempo of life in the United States was too fast. Phones, reservations, trains, and the routine of normal monastic life instead of solitude proved to be a real cross. He even thought he might take the novitiate over again. Common recreation was a challenge because he did not know the root of the conversations. Fathers Callaghee and Avery who knew him in his early years did prove helpful but still the greater part of the transition was more than he could adapt to.

While public preaching was difficult, he proved to be a good confessor to the novices and also served as Director of Sacred Eloquence. In the greater Louisville area he proved a grace in the confessional to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky. In fact his great aunt Teresa Carrico was one of the founders! Finally his health began to fail and he spent the last four years of his life in the infirmary. He died on his birthday.