Spiritan News

The Passing of Fr. Albert McKnight, C.S.Sp.

BETHEL PARK, PA – April 18, 2016

Fr. Albert McKnight, C.S.Sp. of Bethel Park, a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, died peacefully April 17, 2016 at Marion Manor, Greentree PA. He was 88 years old.


Fr. McKnight receives an honorary Doctorate from Duquense University in 1993

Father McKnight was born August 18, 1927 in Brooklyn, NY. He professed his vows as a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit on August 15, 1947 at Holy Ghost Novitiate in Ridgefield, CT and was ordained to the Priesthood June 6, 1952 at St. Mary’s Seminary, Ferndale in Norwalk CT.

Father was first appointed to St. Paul Church in Lafayette, LA. He then served for many years in various parishes in Louisiana including Our Lady of Lourdes, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Martin de Porres and Holy Ghost Parish.  In 1969 he started and was president of the Southern Cooperative Development Fund.  He was passionate about serving the black community and served on many national financial philanthropic and human rights committees including being the Executive Director of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus.  He was a novice director in Texas for four years until he asked in 2005 to retire in Haiti to continue serving the poor.  In 2012, Father returned to the Spiritans’ retirement home in Casa Laval and was in residence at Our Lady of the Valley in Hemet until he came to Libermann Hall in Bethel Park in 2015. McKNIGHT_Albert-harley

Fr. McKnight wrote a well-known auto-biography titled “Whistling in the Wind” which detailed his work to spearhead the economic development of Afro-Americans in Louisiana along with a spiritual revival seen as the only true means to authentic liberation and real equality.

Fr. McKnight was preceded in death by his parents Albert and Althea Holmes McKnight and his sister, Mrs. Colleen McKnight. He is survived his brother Donald McKnight and sister, Brenda Hubbard and many nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Mass was held in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel at the Spiritan Center, 6230 Brush Run Road, Bethel Park on April 21, 2016 at 9:00 am.

There will be a Prayer and Eulogy Service at Holy Ghost Parish Life Hall in Opelousas, LA on Friday, May 27, 2016 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.  A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 11:00 am in Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Opelousas, LA.  Burial will take place at Assumption Cemetery in Carencro, LA.

In memory of Fr. McKnight donations may be made to the Spiritans designated for Haiti or for the educations of future Holy Spirit Fathers 6230 Brush Run Road, Bethel Park PA 15102.

Condolences can be sent to his brother Donald at 2909 Bluebonnet Ct. Antioch CA 94531.