Episode 138, Fr. Lawrence Carney: Spreading Devotion and Drawing Souls to Christ as Chaplain of Sr. Wilhelmina’s Benedictines



Father Lawrence Carney was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Wichita in 2007. In 2014, he was appointed Chaplain for the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. Their foundress, Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster, passed away in 2019, and in the spring of 2023 her body was exhumed, revealing it to be incorrupt. 

In today’s podcast, we delve into Sister Wilhelmina's life and Father's efforts to promote devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus.

Sr. Wilhelmina’s Remarkable Legacy

Sister Wilhelmina grew up in a devoutly Catholic home, realizing from a young age her calling to become a religious sister. She joined the Order of Oblate Sisters of Providence, a congregation of Black Catholic sisters in Baltimore, Maryland. After teaching in a school for 50 years as a member of the order, she felt a lessening of adherence to the order's rules, prompting her to establish a new order called the Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles. 

Sister Wilhelmina, with a goal of unity, was humble and prayed to follow God's will, embodying childlike spirituality and unwavering belief in God's Providence. Her being found incorrupt has brought a great deal of attention to her order and cause, drawing many visitors to her burial site. 

Chaplaincy and Spiritual Leadership

Father Carney, having previously studied orders of Black Americans in the Church, was later approached by Sister Wilhelmina to become the chaplain for the order. With his bishop's approval, he accepted the role. Father continues as chaplain today, celebrating daily Mass for the sisters, administering confessions, and providing spiritual direction. 

The League of St. Martin

Since assuming his role as chaplain, Father established the League of St. Martin, a pious association of the faithful dedicated to praying for reverence, reparation, and reversion, primarily through joining the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face and Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. The Confraternity of the Holy Face, established by Pope Pius XIII, includes a Holy Face medal featuring Jesus on the front and the Eucharist on the back. Fr. Carney continues to direct the League today. Additional information on the League of St. Martin can be found at martinians.org


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