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Foot soldier: how a priest turned his afternoon walks into a ministry

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 01/22/17

Great story from Missouri:

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


“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.”

Check out the rest.

It occurs to me that he wouldn’t have most of these encounters if he didn’t wear the collar and look so obviously like a Catholic priest.

Sometimes an important means of evangelization isn’t just what we say or do, but what we wear. What others see in us, and how they see us, matters.

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