Fr. Larry Carew

The following is an excerpt taken from an article submitted by Fr. Larry Carew from Danbury, CT entitled "Of Trials, Toledo, Tiffin and Turn-arounds", published in the Diocesan Liaisons Newsletter, Dec. 2000.

Fr. Larry was scheduled to be at the Theological Symposium 2000 Liaisons Gather
and at the same time called to speak at the Upper-Mid-West Serra Club Conference
(an organization committed to praying for and encouraging priestly and religious vocations) in Toledo. As it turns out he ended up in Toledo for the Serra Club and paired with a priest-theologian whose topic was “a New Springtime for Christianity" which centered on the Fathers (Patristic) age of the Church. Father Larry's talk was "The Sometimes Winding Road to the Priesthood." He said, "somewhere between the twenty feet separating my seat from the speaker's podium, my topic got lost. I just knew that now it was my turn to speak about the New Springtime! "

Fr. Larry recounted that in January 2000 at a meeting of representatives of the five streams of the catholic charismatic renewal in Dallas, "I was especially touched by two visions given to, and shared by the National Service Committee member, Aggie Neck. First, she saw a high, thick wall. There was a breach in it, however, and all that was needed to get inside the place surrounded by the wall was the will to exert oneself a little bit to climb over those few stones remaining in the breach .

She then saw a church building. Its imposing front door had been padlocked shut. But the door hinges had rusted, and so the door was breaking loose from those hinges and swinging open. As she spoke, I felt the Lord was giving me an interpretation of those visions: We Charismatics have struggled for many years to bring Renewal to the heart of the Church. We’ve come up against many stone walls and locked doors. The resistance to our message has been seemingly widespread and so very many seem stubbornly closed off to us. So many of us are in danger of succumbing to despair, as a result, and of buying into an image that others have of us, namely that we are doomed to be permanently relegated to being viewed as a fringe group that is tolerated, but whose message will never be accepted by the Church at large.

Through these visions the Lord is saying: 'I haven't given up. When I show you the breaches, step up and climb through. When the door starts to swing open, give it a push and step inside!"
As Father Larry looked out at 400 or so people in front of him, most of them non-charismatic Catholics, he knew that he had been given precisely the kind of opportunity foreshadowed by that vision and the challenge it represents. Father spoke to them about Tertio Millenio Adveniente and Pope John Paul's summons of three years preparation for the Great Jubilee. He spoke of the joys that are able to come into the life of a priest who knows that he has been called to minister in the full power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts He longs to bestow on us. He told them of the wonderful conversions and amazing healings that he had seen people receive in just a few months, as I’d reached out to them in reliance upon the Spirit's presence and power. He said, "I told them that I thought that it was just the beginning; and that the Great Jubilee was a doorway leading into what is planned to be a wonderful new springtime for Christianity."

Between the lines, father told them that when the word gets out about what Jesus is longing to do; when priests come to believe in truly surrendering to the Holy Spirit, the way they did in the Acts of the Apostles, in the very first springtime, then candidates for the priesthood will start lining up and signing up. A holy jealousy will seize their hearts and convince them that a wonderful opportunity and a glorious privilege is there for the taking.

Father Larry said their response was wonderfully enthusiastic. One of the members of the Serra Club spoke to Father a month later; "for many, if not most, that talk proved to be the highlight of their weekend conference."

"Brothers and Sister, keep your eyes peeled for unexpected breaches and rusty hinges!"

From the Diocese of Marquette Michigan, U.P. Catholic Charismatic Newsletter (Spring 2001 )