It has become a national story. The Diocese of Toledo has, in fact, received many phone calls — from all over the country — of prayerful support. People are calling to express their prayers regarding the death of Fr. Scott Carroll. Fr. Carroll was scheduled to be ordained a priest with his classmates on June 22, 2013; but it became clear, as he struggled against cancer, that an earlier ordination would be prudent. On Wednesday, May 8, Bishop Blair ordained Scott in his family’s home in Maumee. He celebrated Mass on Friday morning (with help), then died a couple of hours later. He had been a priest for 40 hours, assigned as an Associate Pastor to his home parish of St. Joseph. I attended his funeral at the Cathedral this past Tuesday.
A tragedy? Yes. Fr. Carroll was denied the opportunities that make priesthood so special: celebrating the Sacraments, preaching the Word of the Lord on a regular basis, entering peoples’ lives during signifi- cant and insignificant moments. He spent seven years of formal formation for this priestly ministry at St. Meinrad Seminary. From having spent some time with Scott, I think he would have excelled, and would have been filled with joy. It just doesn’t seem fair.
But as we’ve all experienced, sometimes, our plans for ourselves are not God’s plans for us. Fr. Carroll’s priestly ministry will not be lived out in any parishes in northwest Ohio; no, his priestly ministry is destined to be much bigger than that. His priesthood will be lived out, always and forever, in the Kingdom of God. Before entering the seminary, Scott worked for 18 years as a middle school teacher and coach. Seems to me that his teaching career continues. After being a priest here for only 40 hours, he will teach us priests on Earth the value of not only preaching Jesus, but of walking with him — whether it’s for 40 days or for 40 years. Fr. Carroll, pray for us!
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