A new life for the old St. Theresa/Cross Roads School


“Charity may not always begin at home, but why can’t it end up there?” With these words, Father Ronald Knott (formerly of Rhodelia and St. Theresa/Cross Roads School) recently presented his idea of transforming the old, now-closed, St. Theresa/Cross Roads School into a new Family Life Center to serve that whole community and its surroundings: Catholics and people of other faith traditions living in the area.

Since his retirement in 2015, Father Knott has been volunteering in three poor Caribbean countries. To support his volunteer work in the Caribbean and other worthy charities over the last twenty years, he has given over 160 religious retreats and workshops to groups all over the United States and Canada, as well as England, Ireland and Wales. Because of COVID, a destructive volcano eruption and restrictions on travel, he has had to suspend his charity work down there and other far-off places.

However, as Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another one opens.” He has donated his time and charitable efforts in many, many places over the last 51 years as a priest, but he now feels that it is “time for my charity to come back home.” He had saved a portion of the funds he has earned for this new project back in his home community.

Father Knott has partnered with fellow priest, Father Robert Ray (formerly of Mooleyville and St. Theresa/ Cross Roads School). Father Ray will head up the foundation of a new alumni organization of St. Theresa Church and its old schools, starting with St. Theresa Academy in 1868, morphing into St. Theresa School in 1952 and morphing again into Cross Roads School in 1956 when it became a Meade County public school. Cross Roads School finally closed in 1993. Since then, the old school building, which is now owned by St. Theresa Church, has sat empty since its closing.

The new “alumni and friends” organization, which will be called the Saint Theresa Heritage Partners, will support this new effort. Any interested person is invited to join and receive its newsletters. Father Knott will serve as the Project Design Director for the renovation project, the Saint Theresa Family Life Center. The parish will operate the programs housed and welcomed in the renovated spaces.

Phase One of the renovation work on the old school building, the outside, actually began on June 26. Phase One could be finished by mid-August. Planning for the inside renovation. Phase Two, has already started.

Anyone interested in seeing the progress or hearing more about the new “alumni and friends” organization is invited to attend the annual St. Theresa Homecoming Picnic on August 14. Dinner will be served starting at 3:00 pm with an auction at 6:30 pm. There will be an information booth there staffed by Father Knott, Father Ray and volunteers who can answer questions about the upcoming plans and how people might get involved. All are welcome!

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