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Great story about chaplain of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles November 18, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, manhood, priests, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.

I don’t know how much pub this story has gotten in orthodox Catholic circles but it’s a good one.  A priest recently assigned as chaplain for the great order of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles in Missouri spends his time off walking around town in cassock and saturno, evangelizing souls he meets.  What great witness:54651d0500414.preview-300

Most afternoons, the Rev. Lawrence Carney can be found walking around St. Joseph. Dressed in black, carrying a crucifix and rosary, he can be hard to miss.

“The name of St. Joseph being one of the three of the Holy Family, a nun and I thought this would be a good town to allow me to walk around and pray,” the Rev. Carney says. “I think God has lots of ideas in mind for this idea of walking around and being a visible sign of the church, as kind of a missionary.”

The Rev. Carney moved to St. Joseph from Wichita, Kan., in January, where he had served as a pastor with the Diocese of Wichita.

“I was invited by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles to be their chaplain,” the Rev. Carney says. “From there, I asked if I could live in a city and pray the rosary around the town and meet people along the way. If they wanted to talk about God, I would help them.” [The prayers of holy nuns are so vital to the success of priestly apostolates.  The collapse in women’s religious life has wounded the Church more than we can know in this life.  I know one very holy priest who believes very strongly that every good priest requires what he calls “a little girl” or two praying in a convent somewhere for his sanctity and the success of his apostolate. I think he’s right.]

The Rev. Carney spends part of his day with the nuns of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Gower, Mo., saying Mass and praying. Afterward, he returns to St. Joseph to walk, pray and attend Mass at St. Patrick’s Church, where he is staying.…..

…….While he walks in St. Joseph, the Rev. Carney prays the rosary and talks to people he meets.

“A lot of time, people want me to pray for them, for their general intentions, sicknesses or conversion. And then I teach them how to pray,” he says. “They ask about God and Jesus and Mary.” [Wonderful evangelization right there]

54651d04a7580.preview-300He doesn’t have a set route, but he enjoys visiting the soup kitchen and listening to people. While he walks, he carries a crucifix in his right hand and a rosary in his left, an act he calls “fishing.”

“One guy came up to me and said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m fishing. The crucifix is my hook, my rosary is my line. Allow me to put the rosary around your neck.’ He allowed me, and I said, ‘You’ve just been caught by Jesus,’” the Rev. Carney says. [Corny, but cool]

Later, he saw the man again while walking. 

“A month later, I walked by, and there was like 20 kids and they all wanted to ask me, talk about questions of God. This young man just runs out of his house and says, ‘Father Carney, I want a rosary.’ I gave him a rosary. I blessed it and taught him how to pray it,” he says…….

……He wears a sacramental black robe, called a cassock, which represents the tunic the priests wore in the Old Testament. He also wears an Italian hat called a saturno, which means “half a Saturn.” It helps keep the sun out of his eyes and protect his face from sun damage.

“We stick to tradition. This hat was required by all clerics who lived in Rome. It was against the law not to wear one until several decades ago. It’s very fitting to the priesthood because it’s what we used to wear all the time,” he says.


————End Quote———–

There is quite a bit more at the link.  I think it fair to say that the coverage is quite positive.

So this is what comes of giving visible witness to our Faith through the wearing of clerical garb in public. I am always so pleased to see priests dressed as priests in public.  Of course, I strongly favor the cassock and other traditional wear as being most well ordered and most evocative of our Faith.  This priest’s experience seems to stress that being identifiable as a priest in public stirs people’s minds and imaginations and may have an impact beyond quantifying. I really endorse this kind of witness.

The walking is also brilliant, you can’t evangelize very well from a car, but on foot, the interactions are much more personal.  I really pray bishops give priests time in their schedules to perform these kinds of ad hoc apostolates, they may not have an immediately visible return but they could have enormous impact over time.  I’d say this kind of mission is of more benefit to souls than the myriad meetings priests seem to spend half or more of their time sitting in.  Or even less edifying activities.  I knew one priest who, from his constant talking about different TV shows including many daytime ones, obviously spent a great deal of time watching the tube.

May God support and protect Father Carney.





1. skeinster - November 18, 2014

Obviously a man in need of many, many plastic rosaries…
Great story- thanks for posting it!

2. maggycast - November 18, 2014

God bless this priest! This is exactly what we need…men formed in the faith with special sacramental graces going around evangelizing people. It’s how the apostles and saintly missionaries did it up until V2…why mess with something that works? Great story! God bless~

3. MFG - November 19, 2014

A great story. Among the many losses the Church suffered after World War II was the failure to place new Catholic parishes in downtown walkable areas. These places was wear the public encountered Catholicism from either walking by a parish, or encountering the priest in cassock walking along the sidewalk.

Instead the Church failed to recognize the dangers of suburban development posed to its daily evangelization effort and permitted parishes to be built on isolated suburban pods surrounded by parking lots. Now people drive by a church and barely notice it; and of course don’t see a priest because he drives everywhere now.

Glad to see this priest senses the importance of that daily sidewalk encounters and hopes to re-evangelize people. Hopefully this will be a trend. Lots of old downtowns and small towns are awaiting a Catholic renewal.

4. Frank B - November 19, 2014

Yes, this kind of witness can be very powerful. That is why one of the first things that anti-Catholic regimes do is to forbid the wearing of religious garb in public.

5. Baseballmom - November 19, 2014

Nice to read a positive story…. Thanks for posting!

6. KathiBee - November 19, 2014

Oh my goodness — thank you so much for posting this story! Fr. Carney is someone we have something of a familial connection to. I’ve wondered off & on what had happened with him since last summer when we were told of his situation – I knew he was no longer serving directly in the Wichita diocese, but knew he was still a priest in good standing.

Someone who knows him was visiting us last summer, and told us that he was on sabbatical (he had been ordained maybe 5 years or so). While the congregation liked him personally, he was essentially going “too traditional” from what I gathered (wearing a cassock, homilies on birth control, Latin, etc). Our visitor was hoping he was doing well & wondering where he went.

Ironically, while that person was visiting, I had just started reading Fr. Carota’s blog — and talk about serendipity. That day’s post had a picture of Fr. Carney! Fr. Carney was with Fr. Carota in Rome.

If you do a search on Fr. Carota’s blog for Fr.. Carney, you’ll get several hits. In the earliest blogpost hit (2/13), there is this bit, which confirms that what our guest said was correct:

“We are orthodox and have all suffered for preaching about modesty, not using birth control, and keeping the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass sacred. But through these discoveries, we would now consider ourselves more like Pope Pius XII priest.”

I am so happy for Fr. Carney in that he has found a place where he can be a traditional priest, serve a loving & welcoming “congregation”, can serve in a very public way as a priest, and is obviously touching & ministering to souls. Deo Gratias!!

Tantumblogo - November 19, 2014

Wow. I did not know his history. Shades of Fr. Rodriguez, too? Perhaps that’s another avenue for Fr. to look into?

7. Great news – Fr. Carota works a conversion using cassock power! | A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - November 19, 2014

[…] love this post from Fr. Carota. It ties in very well with the post I did yesterday concerning the cassock-wearing Fr. Carney and how he publicly evangelizes by walking around town […]

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