Thursday, December 22, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day is only a few days away! Every year Fr. Larry sends out a Christmas message, we wanted to share an excerpt from his Christmas message:

 I know that for some of you, Christmas is a lonely and sad time, but it does not need to be. You need to know that you are never alone.  Jesus is closer to you than your breath; you just need to stop and recognize Him.  Take time on Christmas Day to hold the Christ child in your arms, and look at Him while He trusts you to hold Him, and experience the Love of the God of the Universe!  Christmas is the time when He proves He loves us by being one of us. Thank Him.

My best memory of Christmas was in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I was in my early teens, and my family was not very religious at all, but I decided to go to Midnight Mass by myself at our parish of St. Ambrose on the North Side.  I did not get there until 10 minutes to midnight, and, if you remember in those days, Midnight Mass was THE Mass of Christmas, and, of course, it was so full that there was no room in the Church.  So I squeezed in and stood the whole Mass at the door of the vestibule of the Church.  I remember that they started to sing Silent Night, and it was the first time that it hit me, that Jesus Christ was born for me!  This is what Christmas is about, that the God who the Universe cannot contain was born to save us from our sins, as we read in the first chapter of Matthew's Gospel.  He came to save YOU from your sins - Rejoice!

Please know that this Christmas season I am so very grateful for you and your love and support.  Know that I do pray for you every day and that this Christmas you will be remembered in all the Masses that I celebrate, especially this Christmas Midnight Mass.

We at The Reason for Our Hope Foundation wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May God bless you all in 2017!

-Caitlin Rydberg, Marketing/Operations Coordinator  

Friday, October 21, 2016

October/November 2016

Fall has finally come to Erie, Pa. The month of October brought in our 1:38 Women's Conference on October 1. We had four dynamic speakers: Leah Darrow, Mother Mary Assumpta Long, OP, Emily Jaminet, and Michelle Faehnle. Father Larry was the Master of Ceremonies and we celebrated Mass with the Bishop of the Diocese of Erie, Bishop Lawrence Persico. There was opportunity for Confessions as well. We were blessed with many in attendance. We are looking forward to the 22:32 Men's Conference on March 25, 2017 at the Warner Theatre! The three speakers for the Conference are Justin Fatica, founder of Hard as Nails Ministry; Guy Gruters, Vietnam Veteran, former POW; and Gary Zimak, speaker, author, and radio host. Visit the 22:32 Men's website for more information and to register!

Father Larry's speaking schedule took him to a Parish Mission at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Nashua, New Hampshire. In November he is traveling to the Marian Eucharistic Conference in Greenville, South Carolina and the Indiana Men's Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. For more information on these events and other upcoming events visit our website at or like us on Facebook.

Speaking of our website, the 22:32 Men had asked for Father's homilies to be set up for Bible Study. You can now listen to previous years homilies in anticipation for the upcoming Sunday's Gospel. We have taken the past nine years and split them up into the three cycles for your convenience. You can find this on our website using this link:

We receive many testimonies via email, Facebook message, and other platforms every day. Recently Father Larry invited everyone to record a short video (up to three minutes) telling the world why Jesus is YOUR reason for hope. We would like to share them on our website and social media platforms. Record it on your smart phone and email it to Please consider doing this, as you never know who your story will touch and inspire. 

As for St. Joseph/Bread of Life Community news, the Parish is in the midst of celebrating it's 150th Anniversary. Part of this celebration is having a speaker come in every first Thursday of the Month. In October Father Larry spoke about celebrating the church's past and planning for the church's future. On November 3rd Sonja Corbitt will be coming to speak about being a "Light in the Darkness." Her talk will start at 7 pm and is open to the public. For more on Sonja and the upcoming speakers visit the St. Joseph/Bread of Life website at

The Hope House Retreat Center is up and running for Overnight Retreats! We have our first one scheduled for November 10-12. In October we hosted a Confirmation retreat and look forward to a few more Confirmation Retreats in the upcoming months. To book a retreat give us a call at 814-455-7364.

Know of our prayers as we prepare for Fall to turn into Advent. We ask you for your prayers for the Foundation, Fr. Larry, and our ministry.

Caitlin Rydberg - Marketing/Operations Coordinator

P.S. You will see my name has changed!! :) The blog is a little late this month because I got married on October 8 to Tim Rydberg. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

September 2016

Hello everyone! We are a little later with our monthly blog post, due to September bringing a lot of new and exciting things for The Reason for Our Hope Foundation. Father Larry's schedule is off and running with a Parish Mission this week at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Wichita, Kansas. Next week he is doing a priest's retreat in Birmingham, Alabama. He rounds out the month with the Diocese of Indiana's Men's Conference on September 24th. The 2017 schedule is now up on the Foundation's website. You can find it at

The Hope House Retreat Center's bedrooms are fully furnished and we are excited to host overnight retreats starting in November. We are filling up our fall schedule, if you are looking to book a retreat please visit our website or call us at 814-455-7364 and we will be happy to answer any questions. You can also find us on Facebook.

We are looking forward to October 1, when our 1:38 Women's Conference will be held. It will be at the historic Warner Theatre in downtown Erie, Pa. The event starts at 9 am with registration open at 8 am. We have four nationally known speakers Leah Darrow, Mother Mary Assumpta Long, OP, Michele Faehnle, and Emily Jaminet. Each woman will bring something for all age groups! Cost is $40, $20 for students. To register visit our website or call us at 814-455-7364. It is sure to be an exciting event!!! We hope you can join us.

Father Larry is pastor of St. Joseph Church/Bread of Life Community which just celebrated the 150th anniversary of its first Mass in 1866, and this year leads up to the 150th anniversary of the first Mass which was held on June 4, 1867.   St. Joseph Church also just celebrated its 10th Annual Oktoberfest weekend.  It is his Parish’s yearly event and it celebrates its German heritage.  If you purchased a ticket to win $25,000 at Oktoberfest, thank you so much!  The winner this year was Rudy Silvas.  

We hope everyone has a blessed Fall season and remember to pray for Fr. Larry and his Foundation. Know we are praying for you!

-Caitlin Ryan, Marketing/Operation Coordinator

Monday, August 1, 2016

August 2016

As the end of the summer approaches we find ourselves preparing for the busy season that is the Fall. In the summer Father Larry's speaking schedule slows down with only a few retreats in June and he was able to stay in Erie in July and August. He has a parish mission coming up from September 12-15 at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Wichita, KS and is heading to the Diocese of Gary Indiana's Men Conference on September 24. 

Fr. Larry's parish is having a big month in September. St. Joseph/Bread of Life Community is celebrating it's 150th birthday this year. There will be a big kick-off on Sunday, September 4th and celebrations will continue throughout the year. Also in September is the big Oktoberfest weekend September 9-11. As part of the weekend you can enter to win cash prizes, and the grand prize is $25,000. You can purchase tickets online at If you are in the Erie area plan on coming to St. Joseph/BOL the weekend of Oktoberfest to enjoy live music, German food and drinks, Wiener Dog races, and much more. 

This summer has been a busy one for the Hope House Retreat Center. We have hosted numerous day conferences and retreats, including a youth group core team retreat this month.We are currently taking reservations for Fall and our first overnight retreat is booked for November. The upstairs bathrooms are 90 percent done. We are waiting for the carpet to be installed and the furniture to be delivered for the bedrooms. Please continue to check our website: to find out our Grand Opening date. If interested in booking a retreat, please call: 814-455-7364 for more information. 

Coming up on October 1, 2016 is the 1:38 Women's Conference in Erie, PA. We are excited for our four nationally known speakers Leah Darrow, Mother Mary Assumpta Long, O.P., and Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet. Registration is open online at or by calling 814-455-7364. Cost is $40 and $25 for students. 

As always we ask for prayers for The Reason for Our Hope Foundation and Fr. Larry, and know that you are in ours. 

-Caitlin Ryan, Marketing/Operations Coordinator 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June/July 2016

We hope you had a blessed Memorial Day weekend! It's finally summer in Erie, Pa! The month of May had Father Larry traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a Theology on Tap. Next he headed to St. Francis Xavier in Medina, Ohio for a week long Parish Mission and to St. Paul, Minnesota for a Legatus meeting. He rounded out his May schedule with a few weddings at his home parish! 

His schedule for speaking in June is not much different than May. He will be heading to Syracuse on June 11th to a Father/Son Men's Day of Reflection with Justin Fatica of Hard as Nails Ministries. On June 14th he will be in Springfield, Massachusetts for a Legatus meeting, and he will  be heading to the Salt and Light Radio Banquet in Boise, Idaho on June 23rd. Remember that for more information on these events and future events head to our website  

Father Larry usually takes the month of July off from speaking and focuses fully on his parish. On the weekend of July 8-10 he will be the Spiritual Director for the Divine Mercy Encounter retreat that's held four times a year at his parish. 

The summer has brought some exciting and big news for the Foundation! The 1:38 Women's Conference that will be held on October 1 of this year recently announced their speakers for the day! They are former model and contestant on American's Next Top Model Leah Darrow; Mother Mary Assumpta Long, OP of the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist; and Catholic bloggers Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet. Registration is OPEN NOW! Please head to the website for more details about the speakers and how to register at 

The Hope House Retreat Center's website  is up and running. Please pass it along to anyone in your Parish or church group who conducts retreats or plans retreats for various ministries. We have hosted groups from third graders getting ready for their First Eucharist to RCIA groups and anyone in between! The upstairs renovations are coming along quickly with four bathrooms being near completed. We will be able to accept overnight retreats for this Fall. For more information go to our website or call us at 814-455-7364. We are currently accepting summer day conferences as well! New marketing material will be available this summer, so be on the look out for that. 

Remember you are in our prayers, so please keep us in yours. Have a blessed summer. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May 2016

Ah finally Spring. Here in Erie it is still a little gloomy and chilly, but at least we don't have snow. April came and went with Father Larry going to Florida for a Faith and Ale Catholic Men's Apostolate. From there he went to Ohio for a Men's Conference. Then he had the OneFaith Experience in St. Louis, Missouri. It was a great event with five other Catholic speakers and a concert by Matt Maher and the Thirsting. It aired live on EWTN and was a fantastic day for those who went or tuned in. At the end of the month he went to the Sister Elise Annual Benefit Dinner at Holy Angels Academy in Louisville, Kentucky.

May started off with a Theology on Tap on May 2nd in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Moving on from there Father will be heading to a Parish Mission on May 9th-May 12th at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Medina, Ohio, On May 19th he will be flying to the Midwest for a Legatus Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We encourage you to head to the Foundation's website for more information on these events and others:

On the home front we have very exciting news for the Hope House Retreat Center! Our website is finally up and running: we encourage you to check back often as exciting things are always happening at the Hope House Retreat Center. If you are interested in booking a retreat or for more information please contact us at 814-455-7364. We are looking forward to getting the upstairs renovated and complete for overnight retreats in the upcoming months. You can like the Hope House on Facebook: as well. We recently hosted a First Eucharist Retreat as well as weekly Life in the Spirit meetings. We continue to book retreats and are suggesting you call us now to set aside your retreat date.

A quick reminder Father Larry is on EWTN on Thursday's from 3-4 pm on Open Line, a call in radio show where he will answer your questions on the new evangelization. Head over to for more information.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. We hope you all feel Our Blessed Mother's embrace throughout the month of May. As always we ask for prayers for Father Larry, the Foundation, and the ministry as a whole. Know that you are in ours.

~Caitlin Ryan, Marketing/Operations Coordinator

Friday, April 1, 2016

April 2016

Happy Easter! Here at the Foundation we are wrapping up our busy Lenten season and are enjoying the spurts of good weather in Erie. We are excited because a lot of awesome things are happening this Spring!

First off, The Hope House Retreat Center had a busy March and things aren't slowing down in April. We are hosting Life in the Spirit on Thursday evenings this month. We also just booked a First Eucharist retreat for the third graders at St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Union City, Pa. We are thrilled to announce plans are underway for the second floor bedrooms and bathrooms! We are looking forward to being able to offer overnight retreats in the near future. As for the website, we are filming our virtual tour this Monday. After that it's one last look over and we will be ready to launch! Remember you can find us on Facebook for the time being.

Speaking of Facebook, if you haven't started following Fr. Larry on the social media site here's your chance. It's a great opportunity to stay up to date on where Fr. Larry will be speaking, as well as getting his daily Bible quotes and pictures.

Fr. Larry's schedule this month has him traveling to Fort Myers, Florida for a Faith & Ale Men's Apostolate Conference on April 7th. Following that he will be Cleveland, Ohio for the Men's Conference on the 9th. He will be traveling to Washington DC for a talk on April 12th. On April 23rd he will be at the OneFaith Experience in St. Louis, Missouri. It will truly be an experience of a lifetime with six internally known Catholic speakers and a concert with Matt Maher and The Thirsting! Finally on April 29th he will be in Louisville, Kentucky for a speaking engagement. For more information on these events or any other ones please check out our website at As always we ask for prayers for these events and for Fr. Larry's traveling.

Fr. Larry hosts EWTN's Open Line every Thursday on EWTN Satellite Radio from 3-4 pm EST. You can head to the link here for more information. To hear past radio shows you can find them on our website or on EWTN's website.

We also ask for prayers of thanksgiving for Fr. Larry's 27th Anniversary of Priesthood coming up on April 21!

Last month we held our 22:32 Men's Conference which was attended by almost 600 men. The day was blessed with three amazing speakers, Deacon Ralph Poyo, Matt Birk, and Tim Staples. The men who attended left with a better understanding of God's grace and how to apply it to their everyday life. For more information on the 22:32 movement check out their website at We also have a women's group called the 1:38 Women. Our conference is coming up on October 1, 2016. Check out their website at where we will be making a major announcement by the middle of this month regarding our speakers!

We hope you have a blessed Divine Mercy Sunday this weekend! For those in the Erie area St. Joseph/ Bread of Life is hosting a special celebration with the chaplet, adoration, and confession beginning at 3 pm. There is also a Divine Mercy Encounter weekend this month April 15-17. For more information on this retreat check out

As always we ask for your prayers and know that you're in ours.

-Caitlin Ryan, Marketing/Operations Coordinator for The Reason for Our Hope Foundation