Friday, February 28, 2020

Lent 2020

Hello everyone! We have decided to bring the blog back after a few years hiatus. We are going to keep it up to date with ongoing events and news from The Reason for Our Hope Foundation. We hope that you share it with your family and friends!

As always Lent is Fr. Larry’s busiest time for speaking. He is the Master of Ceremonies for the Seventh Annual 22:32 Men’s Conference held tomorrow at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Erie, Pennsylvania. The event is sponsored by The Reason For Our Hope Foundation. We are looking forward to spending the day with over 500 men. Our speakers are nationally known and inspirational; they are Chris Padgett, Fr. Michael Denk, and Ralph Martin. We will also have mass with our Bishop, Lawrence Persico. We look forward to this event every year.

On Monday March 2, Fr. Larry is traveling to Riverton, New Jersey to do a four-day Parish Mission at Sacred Heart Parish. The event starts at 7:00 PM every night and ends at 9:00 PM. After Riverton, he travels to the Tenth Annual Catholic Men’s Fellowship of the Carolinas in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event is on Saturday March 7. Father will continue down South for a Parish Mission in Pinecrest, Florida at St. Louis Catholic Church, starting on Monday, March 9 from 7:00-9:00 PM eve.

He will round out the month of March at his home Parish, St. Joseph Church/Bread of Life Community (Erie, Pennsylvania) for the St. Joseph Feast Day Triduum. It is a big event at his parish. He will then be the Master of Ceremonies at the Sixth Annual 1:38 Women’s Conference at Our Lady of Peace Parish on March 28, in Erie, Pennsylvania. We have three wonderful speakers: Caralyn Collar, Sr. Regina Marie Gorman, OCD, and Alyssa Bormes. The Foundation sponsors this event and we are looking forward to spending the day with over 700 women and our Bishop. If you are in the area and are interested in learning more, please visit: We would love to see you there.

At The Reason For Our Hope Foundation we are celebrating two big milestones. One is Fr. Larry’s Podbean Podcast: has over a MILLION downloads. We started using the platform On June 24, 2018 with the Sunday Mass homily; in September of 2019 we started uploading the 7:00 am Daily Mass homily. The homilies have been downloaded in over 50 countries and are also on our website: .
We also launching our very own app this month, through MyParishApp. To get access to premium Foundation and other Catholic content text “HOPE” to 88202 to download the app from your store. If your parish is already using MyParishApp search for Fr. Larry or Hope after opening. You can also go to or search for “MyParish” in your app store. It can be found in both Apple App Store and Google Play.

I want to end this post with some words from Fr. Larry regarding Lent:
“What are you doing for Lent? Every year you hear the same thing from me – do more than give up pop or candy! For Lent to be really effective, you need to both deny yourself and make yourself do something extra! When it comes to denying oneself, you can give up things like candy, dessert, TV, or something else that you really love, but make it something that is going to help you grow in holiness. This means that if you struggle with overeating, then food is a good thing to give up. You can decide to fast on bread and water on Fridays of Lent or on Wednesdays and Fridays, as the old tradition called for. If your struggle is with Lust, then the TV or the computer is a great thing to give up, because it will help you to avoid things that could tempt you. If you are prone to gossip, then why not decide to give up unnecessary talking for Lent? Ask Jesus what HE wants you to give up this Lent. Spend some quality time with Him so you do what HE wants and not what you want!”

As always, we ask you for your prayers and know that you are in all of ours.

~Caitlin Rydberg

Thursday, December 14, 2017

December 2017 and A Christmas Message from Fr. Larry

We are wrapping up a busy year at The Reason for Our Hope Foundation. In December Fr. Larry stays in Erie and focuses on his parish: St. Joseph Church/Bread of Life Community. He will pick up speaking engagements again come January. He will be heading to Chicago to speak on January 3 at the Focus Conference. Then he heads to California on Jan. 12-13 for the 20th Annual Marian Eucharistic Conference in Paso Robles. On Jan. 18th he heads to San Diego for the Legatus meeting. His first Parish Mission is February 5-8 at St. Theodore in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The Hope House Retreat Center has been doing well. We hosted Confirmation Retreats, Private Priest Retreats, Days of Reflection, and the Erie Diocese Seminarians. Our January schedule is booked for every weekend but one with Confirmation Retreats and a college group weekend retreat. We are looking forward to more Confirmation and RCIA retreats as Lent approaches in February.

The Foundation family grew as Caitlin and her husband welcomed a little girl in August, Aumia Rose.

The 22:32 Men and 1:38 Women have changed things up this year. Both Conferences will be held in the Spring of 2018. The Men will have their conference on March 3 and the Women on April 21. Both Conferences will be held at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Erie, Pa. For more information visit and Registration is now open for both conferences.

As always, with Christmas approaching we would like to include an excerpt from Fr. Larry's Christmas message:

Blessed Advent and Christmas Season!  I just love this season, for it is a time of joy, giving, and family!  

First, this is a time of great joy.  Everyone seems to be a little more joyful this time of the year.  We get caught up into the Spirit of God who is always giving and lifting us up.  When we really get into the Spirit of Christmas, the True Spirit of Christmas, we realize that we are rejoicing in the God who would not leave us alone, but keeps reaching out to us - even when we do not want Him to - He loves us so much!  One of the secrets of joy is realizing just how much we are indeed loved by the God of the Universe.  This is what is to give us joy this season and all days – we are loved! So, getting into the Christmas Spirit is not just about going out and buying lots of presents - it is about receiving the greatest present – God’s love!

After we have received the gift of God’s love, this gift is one that cannot be kept - we need to give it away!  The more we give the gift of God’s love, the more we receive it.  The presents we buy are to be symbols of God’s love and ours.  So, when you are buying gifts this season, always keep in mind that these gifts are symbols.  Symbols of love!  So please, do not get lost in the buying; get lost in the loving!

Finally, this season is about family.  It is one of the few times every year that my whole family gets together and, though, sometimes this can get a little tense, what a great gift it is just to be together and to know that this is what is most important in our lives – our family.  These are the people who know us and love us despite everything else. This has been especially true for me as we have dealt with my mother’s sickness, and I thank all of you so much for your prayers for her healing! 

Fr. Stan Fortuna, a priest of the Friars of the Renewal, says the word family means -- F-A-M-I-L-Y:  “Forget - About - Me - I - Love - You!” Let us really try to live this during this special season.  This is not just your family at home, but everyone in your everyday life! We belong to each other, and we need to support and love one another and invite others to become part of our family! 
​So, I want to wish everyone a very Blessed Advent and Christmas Season.  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

~Caitlin Rydberg, the Marketing/Operations Coordinator

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June and July 2017

Happy summer everyone! The Reason for Our Hope Foundation has been quite busy since the last blog post. Fr. Larry conducted many Parish Missions and Conferences during Lent and Easter. His travels took him to Ottawa and Ajax, Ontario, Canada; Chicago, Illinois; Hamilton, New Jersey; and Texas City, Texas. He was home in Erie to celebrate Easter and Holy Week. Travel plans are slowing down for the summer. He is heading to Atlanta, Georgia for the Atlanta Eucharistic Conference on June 17. For more information on that or any upcoming events and for his radio show schedule check out our website at 

This weekend is the 150th Anniversary for Fr. Larry's parish St. Joseph Church/Bread of Life Community. The celebrate kicks off on Friday with Evening Prayer. Saturday there will be Mass with the Bishop of Erie, followed by a dinner and dance for those who reserved seats. Then on Sunday there will be a Holy Hour of Mercy for the Parish. 

Speaking of the parish, Fr. Larry's homilies are now available to be sent to your email every Sunday. The link to subscribe is Once you subscribe you will be notified when the homily is uploaded. From there you can listen to it and past homilies through Ambassador. It is free of charge. 

The 22 CD/DVD set "Knowing Jesus and His Church" is available for purchase and download. You can purchase them over the phone at 814-455-7364 or online as a set or individually at These talks are a great teaching tool for those entering the church through RCIA, those who want to learn more about a certain topic, and for those who teach high school Religious Ed. Each talk is about an hour long.

The Hope House Retreat Center is constantly being updated! Currently we are working on the landscape, getting the porch ready for the summer, and adding some new features as well. This summer we are hosting priests for their private retreats. As well as already taking reservations for the Fall and Winter. This past spring was full of Confirmation retreats, end of year retreats for Religious Ed, and RCIA retreats.  

As always we ask for your prayers for the Foundation and Fr. Larry. We hope you enjoy your summer. 

~Caitlin Rydberg, Marketing/Operations Coordinator

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.