Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By

12/30/2008 (5 years ago)

The Deacons Bench (deacbench.blogspot.com/)

Deacon Knestout preached at the first Mass of his son, Father Barry Knestout, in 1989 at their home parish, St. Pius X in Bowie. Later, Father Barry Knestout would in turn preach at the first Mass of his brother, Father Mark Knestout, in 1998.

Highlights

By

The Deacons Bench (deacbench.blogspot.com/)

12/30/2008 (5 years ago)

Published in U.S.


WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Deacons Bench) - Wholly family: "Ordinary lives touched in a special way by God's grace". With the Feast of the Holy Family on Sunday, the Catholic Standard in Washington has a wonderful glimpse at how one family aspiring to holiness produced two priests -- one of whom is about to be ordained a bishop.

And their father? He was a deacon.

Read the remarkable story of Barry Knestout:

"Sometimes as a teen, new Washington Auxiliary Bishop Barry Knestout missed the Washington Redskins' games on Sundays, because his dad, Deacon Thomas Knestout, would "drag us along," bringing Barry and another brother with him as the deacon ministered at a state hospital serving people with mental and physical disabilities.

"As a teen and a kid, I didn't always appreciate the importance of that witness," said Bishop Knestout, who added that he does now.

"As I look back on that, I realize the tremendous gift that was shared in that work," said the new bishop, reflecting on the example of his father, who died in 1997.

Deacon Thomas Knestout worked as a cryptologist for the National Security Agency and served for many years as the director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate for the Archdiocese of Washington. Known for his resonant voice and happy demeanor, he was active in the Charismatic Renewal prayer movement for many years.

A New Jersey native, he met his future wife Caroline on a blind date, on a crabbing trip on the Delaware Bay. She later joked that the biggest crab she caught that day was her future husband. They were married for 43 years and had nine children.

In addition to raising her family, Caroline Knestout also worked over the years as a nurse and in prenatal care at Prince George's Hospital in Cheverly, and as a school nurse at Fox Hill Elementary School in Bowie.

Bishop Knestout described his mom as "the heart of our family," who emphasized the importance of attending Mass, praying together and sharing family meals. She also played a key role in family celebrations over the years as her children received the sacraments and reached milestones in their lives. "My mom has always been a very steady, pragmatic person," he said, noting she offered an example of "steady fidelity to family and friends." Her "care and love for us" was always present, the bishop said.

In an interview just before his son Barry was ordained to the priesthood in 1989, Deacon Knestout said that he and his wife were proud of all nine of their children. "They practice their faith - all of them. That gives us a great sense of accomplishment," he said. "We haven't given them wealth. We haven't built up a family empire. What we have given them is their faith... There's nothing of greater value we could have given them."

Deacon Knestout preached at the first Mass of his son, Father Barry Knestout, in 1989 at their home parish, St. Pius X in Bowie. Later, Father Barry Knestout would in turn preach at the first Mass of his brother, Father Mark Knestout, in 1998.

Over the years, Bishop Knestout has undertaken a variety of work for the archdiocese, each with its own challenges, from being a parish priest to serving as priest secretary to Cardinal James Hickey and then Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, to heading the archdiocesan Office of Youth Ministry, to his current work as moderator of the curia (chief of staff) and vicar of administration for the archdiocese. As his parents did, he tries to center his life around the Mass and around prayer, and he has remained close to his brothers and sisters.

The words and example of Bishop Knestout's parents still resonate, such as when his father once told him, "The mark of a man is not how well he does things he enjoys, but how well he does the things that are difficult, the challenges of life."

He remembers how his dad was a man devoted to his family and to his faith, and demonstrated "the willingness to sacrifice for a greater good, for the good of others."

Those lessons learned, during visits to a hospital, at their parish church and school and at the family dinner table, continue to shape the man who will become a new auxiliary bishop for Washington.

"I always saw our lives as very ordinary lives that have been touched in a special way by God's grace," he said."

---

The ever insightful, enjoyable and inspiring place for news about deacons, the Catholic Church, and various thoughts on the art of preaching by Deacon Greg Kandra. Used with permission.



Comments


More U.S.

The Marriage Meme of Francis: What Did the Pope Just Say about Marriage and Family? Watch

Image of Pope Francis presiding at a marriage Liturgy at St Peters.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis embraces the unchangeable truth about marriage as solely between one man and one woman, intended for life, open to life and formative of family as the sole Meme - using the word properly.  That is why you will not read much about the crystal ... continue reading


What is 'vape?' The Oxford Dictionary proclaims it the new word for 2014 Watch

Image of Even while media outlets, health organizations and scientific studies continue to debate the benefits and pitfalls of e-cigarettes,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What does the word "vape" mean? Before anyone jumps to negative conclusions and think that it means something untoward - rest assured: vape is both a noun and verb, according to the Oxford Dictionary. They've gone as far as to proclaim vape as their new word of ... continue reading


Meet the doll that's flipping the world upside down! Watch

Image of Lammily, is a new doll that is proportioned just like the average American 19-year old woman.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A simple art project by a graphic designer has become the most coveted toy for the 2014 Christmas season following its November 19 release. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nickolay Lamm made a doll he named Lammily, who is what Barbie would look like if she was ... continue reading


The Bloody Battle of Tarawa in 20 extraordinary photos Watch

Image of U.S. Marines advance while under fire from Japanese defensive positions.

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Battle of Tarawa was one of the bloodiest and costliest battles to the U.S. in WWII in terms of men lost per time spent in combat. During the 76 hour battle from November 20-23, 1943, on that small Pacific Island, about 1,700 U.S. personnel were killed, and ... continue reading


What's the biggest danger to America? It's not nukes and it isn't terrorism Watch

Image of China is well known to have an extensive cyberwarfare program, and often utilizes civilian hackers as well as its own military personnel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The head of the National Security Agency revealed to a Congressional panel that China and "probably one or two other" countries have the ability to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructures through cyberwarfare. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Massive collection of Catholic artifacts leave Italy for the first time in 700 years: Their destination? The Big Apple! Watch

Image of For the first time in 700 years, artifacts of St. Francis of Assisi will be removed from Italy. They will be put on display in New York during November, December and January.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An exhibit of medieval manuscripts and papal documents that have close ties with St. Francis of Assisi will be held at the United Nations in New York from November 17 to the 28. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The exhibition is titled "Friar Francis: Traces, ... continue reading


Obama gives amnesty while bracing for next 'surge' of illegals in 2015 Watch

Image of Children in holding facilities during 2014, a year where the surge of illegal children occurred.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While President Obama has revealed his plans to shield about five million illegal immigrants from deportation, he has federal agencies getting ready for another mass surge of illegal immigrants during the spring of 2015. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As ... continue reading


Obama declares all out war on Republicans over immigration reform Watch

Image of President Obama is expected to give a speech on November 20, outlining his plans to execute immigration reform via executive action.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Even after warnings from sitting and incoming House and Senate Republicans that unilateral action on immigration reform from President Barack Obama would not be tolerated, the president has gone ahead and outlined a plan to relax the rules and regulations of U.S. ... continue reading


Another black eye for Democrats: Obamacare architect makes off with $6 million in taxpayer money Watch

Image of New videos released in November show that the architect behind the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, holds nothing but contempt for the American people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The architect of the fiasco that has been the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Jonathan Gruber, was paid about $6 million in taxpayer money between 2009 and 2014. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is about 24 times what an average, full-time American worker would ... continue reading


See the list of MOST FREE countries in the world, the results will surprise you! Watch

Image of Land of the Free no more, Americans report a significant decline in personal freedom under the Obama administration.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

America is supposed to be the land of the free, so Americans themselves might be surprised to see that the United States actually ranks fairly low on the index of personal freedom when compared to other nations. Instead of occupying the number 1 spot, the USA has ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 14:1-3, 4-5
1 Next in my vision I saw Mount Zion, and standing on ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:1-4
1 Looking up, he saw rich people putting their ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 24th, 2014 Image

St. Andrew Dung Lac
November 24: Through the missionary efforts of various religious families ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter