Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March 2017

Lent starts today and we hope you have a wonderful and spiritual journey as we prepare for Easter. Lent is Fr. Larry's busiest time of the year, between being a Pastor in a parish and his speaking schedule. This month Father is heading to Green Bay, Wisconsin for a Men's Conference on March 4th. The following week March 6th-10th he is leading a Parish Mission at Assumption Church in Jacksonville, Florida. On March 11th he flies to Grand Rapids, Michigan for a Men's Conference. On March 14th he has a speaking engagement at St. Jude the Apostle Parish in Erie, Pennsylvania. March 17-19 his parish celebrates the Triduum of St. Joseph. March 20th he heads out to St. Clement in Metarie, Louisiana for a four day Parish Mission. 

On March 25th he will be the Master of Ceremonies at the 22:32 Men's Conference here in Erie, Pennsylvania. This year our speakers are Justin Fatica, Erie native and founder of Hard as Nails Ministries based out of Syracuse, NY. Captain Guy Gruters, a motivational speaker and POW in North Vietnam, who lives in Ohio. Our third speaker is Gary Zimak, author and founder of the Apostolate called "Following the Truth." All three speakers are internationally known and have a message for all ages. The day also includes Confession, Mass with Bishop Perisco of the Erie Diocese, time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and a great opportunity for fellowship with like-minded men. The cost is $40 and that includes lunch. We have discounted prices for students and deals for Fathers bringing their high school sons. For more information or to register head to the 22:32 Men's website:

The Hope House Retreat Center is hosting two retreats this month, an RCIA retreat for a local parish and an overnight retreat for teenage boys who attend a local Catholic High School. In April we are hosting our first Self-Directed Women's Retreat. It will be held the weekend of April 28-30. For more information or if you are interested in hearing about any upcoming retreats please give us a call at 814-455-7364. 

In a past blog we mentioned that Fr. Larry recorded a series of 22 talks called "Knowing Jesus and His Church." Be on the look out for it as we are expected to start selling the DVD's and CD's on our website and over the phone this month. Be sure to check our Facebook page for the exact selling date. We also have started a new project called "The Reason for My Hope." Every week we post a video of someone from around the country sharing their reason for their hope. We ask that it's 2 to 3 minutes long and it can be recorded on a phone, iPad, etc. If you would like to participate please email your video to 

As always we ask during this time of Lent that you pray for Fr. Larry and the Foundation. Please know that we pray for you. 

-Caitlin Rydberg, Marketing/Operations Coordinator 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

February 2017

Winter is in full blast here in Erie. At The Reason for Our Hope Foundation we have been just as busy as the snow outside. In January we completed editing the 22 CD/DVD Knowing Jesus and His Church series. They are in the production stage, so keep a look out for them on our website We hope to be able to start selling them later this month. Also in January Father started his 2017 speaking schedule. His travels took him to a Men's Conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan and the Legatus Annual Conference in Naples, Florida.

His schedule in February is as follows: February 3 he travels to Cleveland, Ohio to talk to the seminarians at Borremeo Seminary. After that he is speaking at a Men's Conference in Owensboro, Kentucky on February 11. On February 18th he is heading to Toronto, Canada for a Men's Conference. Then on February 20-23 he is speaking at the first Parish Mission of the year in Wichita, Kansas. For more information on these events and more upcoming please head to our website.

The Hope House Retreat Center has had a busy winter with three retreats in January. We hosted the 1:38 Women's planning committee, a Confirmation class, and the seminarians for the Erie Diocese. This month we are hosting the Intercollegiate Gathering for the Erie Diocese. Remember to check out our website or give a call at 814-455-7364 to book your retreat. 

If you follow us on Facebook you may notice that every week we are posting a new Hope of the Week Video. We are asking everyone to record their Hope of the Week. It doesn't need to be fancy or long, no more than two minutes. You can record it on your phone, tablet, or laptop and send it to us at We post them every Tuesday!

We are taking registrations for our 22:32 Men's Conference on March 25 at the Warner Theatre in Erie. This year's speakers are:  Guy Gruters, Captain in the USAF, Captain for Eastern Air Lines, POW in North Vietman from 1967-1973 and an author; Justin Fatica, Erie native who founded Hard as Nails Ministry out of Syracuse, New York; and Gary Zimak, Founder of the Apostolate called "Following the Truth." These three speakers have something to offer for all ages. For more information or to register call us at 814-455-7364 or head to  

As always know of our prayers for you and we ask you for yours. 

God Bless. 

~Caitlin Rydberg, Marketing/Operation Coordinator 

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.