Serious priest taking it to the streets

Note that this priests says Mass for the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Missouri.  They’re apostolate is to pray for priests and bishops.  I hope they pray for me. They have wonderful discs of music.   Speaking of which, LENT is coming.  US HERE – UK HERE


Priest spends three years walking local streets

Sometimes, the stories the Rev. Lawrence Carney encounters are so amazing that even he admits they can be hard to believe.

17_01_21_Carney_Wichita_01“One day, I was walking on the sidewalk and this St. Joseph city truck pulled up to the curb and said ‘Father, do you remember me? You blessed me at the Haven House when I was homeless. I asked if you would pray for me to get a job,’” Carney says. “He said ‘Ever since that day, everything has changed.’”

The man had gotten a temporary job, Carney says, followed up by a part-time job, which became a full-time job and later a promotion.

“He said ‘Now I have benefits and I work 40 hours a week. I want to thank you for that blessing,’” Carney says. “I said ‘I don’t know if anyone is going to believe this. Can you send an email to me?’”

So the man did, logging another story, one of many that the priest says are now mounting in his third year in St. Joseph. Carney, an ordained Catholic priest originally from Wichita, Kansas, came to St. Joseph in early 2014 to walk the streets, praying the rosary and meeting people.

“The stories continue to multiply,” he says. “I start to see people over and over again. That’s where you can see that God is working on them. It’s very interesting what they have to say.”

During the afternoon six days a week, he walks from his current home at St. James Catholic Church, praying the rosary while he walks. He estimates he talks to 10 people a day, totaling between 2,000 and 5,000 different people in the last three years. He gives out rosary beads and miraculous medals, answers questions and prays with people if they approach him.

Almost every day, people come and they confess,” he says. “… People have a need to confess because there is so much sadness in the world. When we turn to God and allow him to rule our life, then we become happy. I want to give that to other people. When we give charity, it’s free. The more that we give, the more that we receive.”

Despite many positive stories, the work isn’t without challenges, Carney says. Missouri summers can be hot and humid, and not everyone he encounters is receptive or polite, he says.

“Sometimes the people make fun, but as someone was telling me, our Lord is pleased when we imitate him and people would make fun of him, too. What I do is I say a prayer for these people,” he says. “… I ask for Mary to save those graces because they rejected the grace of speaking kindly to a priest and that maybe someday they will have a change of heart and they can receive the grace of living for God.”

His ultimate goal is to have other men join him in the ministry to eventually form the Canons Regular of St. Martin of Tours in St. Joseph, a model of monastic life that blends contemplative and apostolic practices and dates back almost 1600 years, Carney says.  [Very cool.]

“Canons Regular are known for being on a spectrum between being completely contemplative like monks that go out in the country their whole life and being active, like diocesan priests who serve the parishes,” he says. “… We want to be in that mix, mostly contemplative, but sometimes coming out to the apostolate. We would be monks at home in our monastery and apostles abroad.”

Currently, prayer is the biggest need, Carney says.

“We are still in the stages where prayer is the main means to make this happen,” he says. “When we submit ourselves to God and to the reign of Christ the King and to the Blessed Virgin Mary as our queen as good subjects with a good prayer life, then these things will have their due course.”

In 2015, Carney was approached by an Arizona-based publisher about producing a book about his experiences. It will hopefully be published this year, he says. Carney also celebrates Mass daily with the nuns of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Gower, Missouri.

Although he prays as he walks, he encourages people to approach him as desired and is optimistic about the future in St. Joseph and wherever else he is needed, Carney says.

“At the end of our life, it’s important to look back and say ‘How did I serve God?’” he says. “Because if we gave him everything, we are going to be happy at that moment.”

I wonder if some “authority” or other will find a way to crush this good man.

Didn’t Pope Francis recently mock priests who used the saturno?


John Hastreiter at Leaflet said that if people can’t afford to get a saturno, they can get part of one, pay part of the cost along with other people.  Many hands make lighter loads.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Be The Maquis, Fr. Z KUDOS, GO TO CONFESSION, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Scott Woltze says:

    We need a thousand more priests like him. Laymen should also get out and be present on the streets. St. Paul Street Evangelization is a great national organization, active in most metropolitan areas. Here in Portland, OR a few of us have been walking (three years, myself) in a short tunic with the Vendee/Iesus Caritas cross. We’ve had dozens of amazing encounters with all kinds of people. We walk with the encouragement and blessing of Archbishop Sample, long may he reign!

  2. Scott Woltze says:

    Is there a link describing the Canons Regular? I’d be happy to donate if he’s set anything up.

  3. Absit invidia says:

    Not just a good priest . . . but a good man.

  4. kiwiinamerica says:


  5. danielinnola says:

    God bless this Priest! And all Priests. I will pray for him daily, that god will grant him an increase of grace. As for those who make fun of him, or those in authority over him who may seek to crush him, i call on them to heed the words of Gamaliel the Pharisee when he addressed the Sanheidren, concerning the first Christians.
    “But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.”
    Acts 5:39 AV

  6. John Grammaticus says:

    perhaps he could pray for me as I’ve just been made redundant

  7. Rich says:

    One cannot say he is not a “shepherd with the smell of the sheep”.

  8. Joseph-Mary says:

    We certainly must pray extra hard for priests as reports are coming regularly now of persecution of very faithful ones. There is no recourse to Rome at present. Fr. Phillips, that wonderful priest of Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, is being removed. I have been to that wonderful parish with the Anglican Use Mass and it is so beautifully reverent and holy. The school he established is stellar. That parish was brought into the Church by St. John Paul II. Yes, it is true that Atonement is not like the Catholic lite parishes also seen in that city. Very true; which is why many of the parishioners either drive or move across town to go there. I would not be surprised if Fr. Phillips has not been the point of envy from others for many years. He has done nothing wrong, notes the archbishop….being holy and orthodox is enough sometimes.

  9. Dutchman says:

    This made my evening. God bless him.

  10. kbf says:

    @JohnGrammaticus: I’ve found myself in similar straights. I contract, and on one occasion I was in a not greatly paid job, it came to an end suddenly with no reserve in the business account to keep paying myself, and I prayed the rosary – hard. I also added prayers for all of the priests I know/have known who have influenced my life (including Fr Z!). the day I left that job the phone rang…. with an offer.

    Pray for priests. I found it’s like turbo-charging your rosary!

  11. Aquinas Gal says:

    I recently heard this story from a man at a parish who is in the RCIA. He was not going to any church at all, never baptized. One day he went on a hike in some rugged mountain area with his adult son. He stopped to rest a bit while his son went higher. Meanwhile a man came by, stopped to talk and chat with the guy resting. This other hiker gave him some hiking tips, offered him some food and water, etc. After making sure the older man was OK, he said, “I’m a Catholic priest; can I give you a blessing?” The man agreed and said “after that blessing I had some sort of spiritual experience like I never had before.” Back home he went to the local parish and will become Catholic soon. The power of the priest’s blessing!

  12. Tom says:


    Solemn nonsense! (Not.)

  13. Mary Jane says:

    Last week my 4 year old son asked, “Mom do you remember when God smiled at me?”

    I was surprised, but I have sometimes suspected that very small children see things we adults do not. Of course wanting to know more I said, “God? God smiled at you? Where did this happen?”

    He said, “At mass.”

    I said, “Wow, He smiled at you?!” Son replied, “Yes, He smiled at me then He walked away.”

    Hmm…I thought. I asked, “Do you mean Father_____?” (The Pastor at our parish)

    He said. “Yup.” :)

    The impression a priest in a cassock has – on children and adults alike – is an impressive one!

  14. Semper Gumby says:

    This is great. God bless Fr. Carney. Mary Jane: Great story.

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