This post is part personal walk, and part spotlight. Fr. Larry Richards is a huge part of both my own story and the New Catholic Renaissance. Feel free to skip ahead if personal isn’t your thing. For me, my endorsement is very personal.
First, a personal story
Not so many years ago, I was a pew-warmer. I darkened the church door, and I’m not even sure it was for “fire insurance”. But let me back up for a minute.
Finding myself un-anchored from the church for the first time in my life, and from even weekly mass attendance, it was my loving wife (though we weren’t yet married) that turned things around. In a volatile period of my life it was she that identified what wasn’t working. Dozens of self-help books, even counseling, and certainly selfish behavior.
My beloved sent me back to mass. Not a Catholic herself, she knew that it would be important for me to get back to my faith, and indeed knew years earlier that we should be getting married in the church.
So there I sat, seeking – yet going through the motions. I remember vividly sitting there and praying “Lord, harden not my heart”. I wanted it all: an encounter with the Lord, a renewal of faith, and the understanding and ownership I never had growing up (thorough no fault of my parents).
Enter Father Larry Richards
In answering my prayer, God sent me Catholic Radio. Huh? You’ve got to be kidding me. When I used to see the bumper stickers, I would roll my eyes. Now, I’m hooked.
As I began to tune in to Catholic radio, Fr. Larry was one of the two first “celebrity priests” I heard. Entertaining and humorous, he touched my heart and my mind both – as he does for so many that are familiar with his work. He has a way of making you look at yourself under a microscope – and he doesn’t pull any punches – but he does it without the “fire and brimstone sermon”. His talks aren’t a sermon at all, but a call to open your heart, and surrender fully to God.
Imagine my surprise, that Fr. Larry would be coming to my town in just another month or so! He’s always an engaging speaker – that’s one thing he promises, “you’ll never be bored”. It was a life changing conference for me put on by the local apostolate: Absolute Catholic.
That conference brought me to further encounters too, Eucharistic Adoration, a weekend retreat, and even regular confession.
Fr. Larry’s Work
Father Larry can be found easiest at The Reason For Our Hope Foundation, which he founded in 2004 to help answer the call of of 1 Peter 3:15 “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks for a reason for your hope”
He’s a parish priest in the Diocese of Erie Pennsylvania, a best selling author, radio and TV personality, and well worth your time – especially because he doesn’t make it all about him.
Here’s a sample from his book (and talk) Be A Man – Becoming the Man God Created You to Be! which is the same theme he had for the conference I attended.