Saturday, May 11, 2013

Thou Art a Priest Forever

Fr. Scott Carroll, probably as a seminarian.  Source.

The Holy Mass and the Sacrifice of Calvary are one and the same.  At Mass, we are really at the foot of the Cross.  What the priest does at Mass is really done by Christ; and what Christ does is also really done by the priest.  Christ offers Himself; the priest offers himself.  The priest and the victim are one.  This identity of the priest and victim is shown in the traditional Mass, where each article of the priest's vestments is a symbol of the Passion, and the chalice is also clothed in vestments to match those of the priest.  The priesthood is about self-sacrifice.

Sometimes God is pleased physically to accept this sacrifice.

Deacon Scott Carroll, aged 45, was a seminarian for the Diocese of Toledo and was to have been ordained to the priesthood on June 22nd.  But the deacon had been battling cancer for some time, and during the week of May 6th, it became clear that the disease had taken a grave turn.  Confronted with these circumstances, Bishop Leonard Blair rose to the occasion.  To fulfill the desire of this son of his, and to ensure that he would not die without the indelible character of Holy Orders on his soul, Bishop Blair ordained Scott Carroll to the priesthood at his parents' home on Wednesday, May 8th, and assigned him as associate pastor of his home parish of St. Joseph in Maumee, Ohio.  

Now Father Carroll, failing in body, could unite his sufferings to Christ's on the cross in a new and greater way.  On Friday, May 10th, the new priest, alter Christus, offered Mass -- Christ offering Himself, Father Carroll offering himself.  He fell asleep after it was over, and opened his eyes on eternity.

How great is the goodness of God, to implant in this man the desire to be His priest; to sustain him in his sufferings; to bring him through cancer to the end of his priestly studies -- and then, in the last hours of his life, to lavish him with graces to strengthen him at the moment of death and increase his glory in heaven!  If He wills, God can give us everything in an instant.  Nor should we be surprised if it should turn out that Father Carroll was a man of constant and fervent prayer.  That his last acts on earth should be the reception of Holy Orders and the offering of Holy Mass was surely a reward for perseverance in prayer not only for himself but also for the consolation of his family and friends, who were privileged to be shown such evident proofs of God's love and mercy.

We should pray for the family and friends of Father Carroll, newly bereaved, and also for his soul, in case he still has some Purgatory time to serve -- it is a very bad habit we have fallen into of instantly canonizing the dear departed, and leaving them without the assistance of our intercession.  

Yet it seems more likely that it is Father Carroll, a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek, who is busy doing from heaven the work he intended to do on earth, interceding for his family and friends, and for us.



  1. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful, touching story! The Catholic Church here in Germany is suffering from a terrible lack of vocations. This often leads to 'reforms' of dioceses and parishes in a way that layperson take over the essential positions in parishes under the pretext of shartage of priests. But the true cause of this lack of priests over here is that priests are no longer valued and honored as what they are - an 'Alter Christus'- and that layperson are eager to undertake priestly tasks without ebing willing to also make the sacrifices coming with being a priest.

  2. Thank you for sharing. May Fr. Scott Carroll rest in Peace.

  3. Sad and joyous all at once. Thank you for sharing this with us. MVH

  4. Sad and joyful all at the same time--thank you for sharing this beautiful story. MVH