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Lorenzo Rosebaugh, RIP 1935–2009

This page will develop as memories of Lorenzo come in. Send material to, or add your thoughts in the comments, below.

Lorenzo is grave site is located in the Colonia San Ignacio, Zona 7, Mixco, Pictuers of Gravesite

Milwaukee news account of Rosebaugh’s death


Homily at Lorenzo’s Funeral in Guatemala

English translations to accounts written and broadcast in Guatemala on Lorenzo’s death

Losing a Prophet by Ronald Rolheiser OMI

Memorial Service for Lorenzo Rosebaugh OMI

Pictures from Lorenzo’s Funeral in Guatemala

Remember Fr. Larry Rosebaugh by Pat Rice

Homily by Fr. Alexis Luzi, Capuchin Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 2009

Radical Catholic priest murdered in Guatemala had St. Louis roots St. Louis Post Dispatch

Loss of Saint and Friend — Post from the Diary of a Worm for 05/19/09 by Bob Graf

Obituary in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 05/20/09

Latin American Herald Tribune 05/22/09

Translation of Guatemalan Press article on Lorenzo’s death


Mary Jo Burke — 20 May 2009, 12:37

I just heard about Larry’s death today from Rosann Mathias, and feel one of the bright lights in the world has gone out. I’ll try to post more on the Memorial Page once the shock is over. Can you post here when and where his memorial service will be? I now live in Illinois & hope to attend.

Mary Jo Burke (formerly of Casa Maria)
Nora, IL

Richard Flamer, Chiapas — 20 May 2009, 17:17

I got word yesterday about Larry’s death and have just sat around all day thinking of my visits with him mostly throughout Central America. In Nuevo Gualcho, El Salvador where Larry had accompanied refugees back to their new land, in Chichicastenango where Larry was involved with another “discussion” with his regional Bishop, at a small village whose name I cannot remember where Larry lived under 3 pieces of roofing that leaned against his little church.

Robert Cunnane — 21 May 2009, 10:54

Dear All-It’s hard to fathom the violent death of a person who lived the opposite. It was a gift just to know him. He sent me his book a few years ago; I gave it to a friend who didn’t know Larry and the person was knocked out by it. In the jewish tradition there are the just that keep the world moving — Larry was one. Much love to all. Bob Cunnane

(Editor’s note: Bob Cunnane is a member of the Milwaukee 14)

Jim Forest — 21 May 2009, 10:58

I came to know Fr Larry Rosebaugh in 1968 when we were part of a group of fourteen people, mainly Catholic priests or members of Catholic religious orders, who protested the war in Vietnam, and the involuntary conscription of young men into that war, by burning draft records that we had taken from offices of the Selective Service System in Milwaukee. None of us had any military obligation. Two of us, Doug Marvey and myself had served in the US Navy and been discharged. One of the group was a professor of economics teaching at the University of Notre Dame. Another was a Benedictine monk.Perhaps the most humble member of the group was Fr Larry Rosebaugh. I don’t know if in my entire life I have known adult as gentle and humble or more committed to serving the poor. Yesterday,at age 74, he was shot dead in Guatemala. Reports indicate he was shot by a “carjacker,” others think he may have been targeted for assassination. All we can say for certain is that he was killed yesterday and today is being buried.

Eternal memory!


Frank Blair — 21 May 2009, 12:13

Some of your knew him. Some of you did not. But you must be aware of the loss to many us who did. It came as a jolt to those of us who saw in Larry….absolute sainthood…whatever it may take to assign him to that upper echelon of caring for one’s fellowman.

He was shot twice by “masked gunmen” in out of the way Guatemala on Tuesday when he was an apparent victim of an attemped car-jacking. This must be the height of irony because these men were from the social class that Larry was devoted to elping….the poor, the downtrodden, the disecnfranchised…..even the riminal!

I knew Larry or Lorenzo, the name he adopted as being more akin to his life’s mission, through my contacts and work with the Milwaukee 14. The “14″ burned draft records in the downtown area and stood saying prayers, waiting to be arrested! After an illustrious trial they all went to prison for two years.

Larry Rosebaugh would spend more time in prison and be beaten for his aid to the poor. In Recife, Brazil in the 1970s he was “picked up” and jailed because he set up a make-shift breadline to serve the needs of the hungry. He was always at the scene of trouble such as the former School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Ga. where “officers” of Latin American countries were trained to put-down the poverty[stricken campesinos at home who only wanted justice from the wealthy land-owners.

When my wife died in 1984, Larry wrote me a letter from his prison cell in La Tuna, Texas. I have it still inside his book which covers his holy works. It is remarkable reading called “To Wisdom Through Failure: a Journey of Compassion, Resistance and Hope.”

That was Larry! He resisted the establishment and all its false promises but he had compassion and hope in the face of injustice.

We’ll continue the fight, in your name, Larry.


Pat Haggarty — 21 May 2009, 12:33

Father Larry Rosebaugh was a Modern Saint. He spent his entire life
helping others either through his ministry or his political work.
When he was in Milwaukee you could see him working one day with the
homeless and addicted, and the next day counseling a “lost soul”. He
embodied the Christian principles of voluntary poverty, helping the
helpless, and doing whatever was needed to bring peace to our world.
He will be missed.

Steve Clemens — 21 May 2009, 17:14

Losing a Mentor and Friend, Fr. Larry Rosebaugh, OMI

Fr. Larry was a gentle person, one with few possessions or needs. I remember his joy at being moved to solitary confinement at the Potter County Jail in Amarillo, TX one week after our arrest for praying at the assembly plant for all U.S. nuclear weapons (Pantex) in 1981. When we saw each other at the arraignment, he beamed and said, “They gave me my own little prayer cell”.

What I didn’t know at the time was that Larry had joined the other five of us because someone else who had planned on taking part of this witness against nuclear weapons was sick so Larry decided to take his place. Prior to the six of us being booked into that jail, we were held together in a cell while the FBI attempted to interrogate us. It was at that point that Larry told us about his imprisonment and torture in Brazil while serving the poor under the inspiration of Dom Helder Camera. After describing what he went through there, I knew I could survive this, my first long-term stretch in the slammer.

Because we were locked in different cellblocks for all but the first week together, I didn’t get to spend much time with Larry – but what time we shared was precious. I learned about his previous experience in prison as the result of his participation in burning Vietnam-era draft files as part of the Milwaukee 14. But what really made an impression on me was his statement on why he scaled the 12’ fence at Pantex that cold February morning in 1981. He said when he worked with the “street people” in Recife, those young, homeless kids had no idea what an atomic bomb was –or what it was capable of doing to its victims. Larry said, “I don’t know too much about these bombs myself, but I know enough that I have to speak out on their behalf.”

It had been less than a year since Archbishop Oscar Romero had been martyred in El Salvador but Larry must have picked up the mantle that dropped when Romero fell about being “a voice for the voiceless”. Larry tried to tell the jury at our trial about his experiences in the slums of Recife and why it propelled him to go to the Pantex plant but Judge Robinson cut him off and stated it was irrelevant to our “crime” of trespass. Larry was sentenced to a year in prison for praying for peace at the “wrong” place. But while still in the county jail, before being transferred to federal prison, the local Catholic bishop came to pay this renegade priest a visit. It was after Bishop Leroy Matthiessen visited Larry in jail that he made his own act of conscience and courage: the bishop publicly asked all those of conscience to stop working for that bomb factory. And what a firestorm that caused!

If Fr. Larry and the other 5 of us had tried to devise an action to compel the local Texas bishop to denounce nuclear weapons, I’m sure our efforts would have failed. But Larry did a simple act of faith and conscience and, as a result, his “sowing of the seed bore much fruit”. Because the newspaper mentioned in the story that a Catholic priest was among the 6 arrested and held in the jail, one of the Pantex workers had a crisis of conscience. Why would a priest be willing to go to prison to protest at the place where he worked? When that worker talked to the bishop, the bishop had to find out for himself.

I joined Fr. Larry once again a couple of years later when he, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, and Linda Ventimiglia came to Koinonia Partners and told us about their intended campaign at Ft. Benning where Salvadoran troops were being trained. (This was just prior to the School of the Americas being moved there.) They invited some of us who were vigiling by the base gate every Thursday to join them in what turned out to be their final action in a very busy week. Several of us joined the 3 of them and we planted our crosses on the Base Commander’s front lawn before we were arrested and hauled off. My last time seeing Larry was at their trial in 1983.

I’m grateful for his life and witness. Rest in Peace, my friend and brother.

Rich Marron, Laramie, Wyoming — 21 May 2009, 18:16

I had the privilege of being Lorenzo’s roommate as we attended the School For Spiritual Directors, Pecos Benedictine Monastery, in Pecos New Mexico for 4 weeks in early 2003 and the follow-up session, another 2 weeks in spring of 2004. He touched my heart as VERY few persons ever have. I was able to see him a few times after that and kept in touch by email.

Never in my 62 years have I ever met a person more truly deserving of the title “saint” (or less likely to ever be canonized as such by the institutional “church:). A mutual friend told me that he had said this to his adult Sunday School gathering:

I’ve met Jesus in person. I’ve walked with, talked with him and prayed with him. I’ve even drank beer and smoked cigars with him, He is using the name “Lorenzo” these days.

In a class assignment during our spiritual direction school, Lorenzo and I were paired with the task of writing obituary notices for ourselves and our partner. This is verbatim of what HE wrote for his own obituary. I could add much of my own. But this is what HE wanted it to say:

“Today we sit in great Joy of heart and soul feeling the Spirit of Lorenzo dancing through the skies, dancing up the universe as he passes the Angels on their Harleys on their way to meet Jesus in the Sturgis of tomorrow. Great the heavens roar as we all do implore Mary to join in on her Honda Shadow to the Paradise Inn.”

I LOVE YOU, brother Lorenzo.

Mary Jo Burke — 21 May 2009, 18:21

When Larry was in prison the first time, he found out that the Muslim prisoners were not allowed to say the daily prayers required by their faith, or to wear any religious symbols of it. His daily job was working in the garden, but one day he decided he would no longer cooperate with a prison system that would not let prisoners practice their faith. So he lay down his hoe, refused to work, and ended up in solitary for 8 months.

Larry always said no to injustice, and yes to everyone’s human dignity.

Jim Koneazny — 21 May 2009, 22:30

I’m so pleased that you are planning a Memorial. I talked with Br. Jerry Schroeder about a memorial service at St Ben’s. Larry always came to Ben’s for Mass, so I thought this would be a good venue. Jerry, the pastor agreed with me and would welcome anyone who wants to be a part of the memorial.

I would be pleased to help in the planning.

Jim Koneazny - 4424051

annmcevoyhealy — 22 May 2009, 03:40

I am deeply sorry for the news of Fr Larrys death, unjust and and untimly. I knew of Larry when working in in the movement in Milwaukee in the late 60′s and live in Dublin, Ireland.
He gave his entire life to serve those in need and lived a life of unselfessness, may he rest in peace.
Ann McEvoy Healy

Kerry Grant — 22 May 2009, 11:46

I was a student at Marquette University in 1968. My life changed in an amazing way as I became aware of Casa Maria and the Milwaukee 14. My greatest education of that school year was attending the trial of the 14 . I quit school a year later in St. Louis and was part of a group who started a Catholic Worker house. I wonder if Larry/Lorenzo’s murderous will feel regret if they learn about the man they killed.

MEMORIAL MASS Fr. Maurice Lange, OMI — 22 May 2009, 11:58

Hi everyone,

There will be a Memorial Mass for Lorenzo on Saturday, May 30th at 9:30 AM in Belleville, Illinois (near St. Louis, MO). This will be at the chapel of the Apartment Community of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. All are welcome.

Robert Pokorney — 22 May 2009, 14:54

I first met Larry Rosebaugh in the fall of 1965 as a freshman at Duluth Cathedral (now Marshall) high school. Larry was a rookie religion teacher. He was a gentle soul then as now and I took full advantage, pushing him to the limit with disobedience and smart-ass attitude. But the remarkable persona that was Larry Rosebaugh eventually won me over. (It also helped that Larry was an accomplished boxer and I knew he could floor my smart ass any time he wanted.)

I’m sure the Duluth Catholic Diocese authorities had no idea what they were getting when Larry and two other Oblates ended up at Duluth Cathedral High. While our student council was gathering petitions in the hallways supporting the Vietnam War and no one felt very connected to the Civil Rights battles in the south, Larry was condemning the war outright and speaking openly with us about the connection between social justice and action. Remarkable stuff for our Catholic high school in Duluth, MN, 1965.

I ended up getting pretty close with Larry for a few years and we worked together organizing car washes and concerts to raise money for southern voting rights. Later in high school, after the Diocese crumbled to criticism of the activist Oblates and tossed them out, I spent some time visiting Larry in Chicago during the 68 Democratic convention riots, where he housed me in the poorest possible neighborhood, just so I would know what it was like.

As years passed I lost track of Larry while I raised a family, succeeded, failed and reinvented myself a few times over. But I have never lost track of the impression Larry has made on my life. As a fallen-away Catholic, I am bored, jaded and more than a little bit annoyed by the prosperity gospelers and assorted Pharisees masquerading as Christians. I’m not a believer, but Larry Rosebaugh walked the walk and actually deserves the title of Christian. He also deserves the title of Man among Men.

Robert Pokorney -

Art Laffin — 22 May 2009, 20:57

Remembering Fr. Larry Rosebaugh by Art Laffin

Like so many others who knew and loved Fr. Larry Rosebaugh, my heart is heavy with grief as I try to cope with the news of his sudden violent death. We live in a world where every person is a potential victim of violence. This time, a saintly brother who gave his life in service to the destitute poor and marginalized of Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, the streets of Chicago and New York City, and who was imprisoned for burning draft files in the Milwaukee 14 action as well as for other acts of peacemaking, has now been added to the litany of the murdered. While all of us who knew and loved Larry try to bear the pain of his shocking death, I know Larry, being such a Christ-like man of compassion and love, would want us to reach out and pray for the one who killed him. Hopefuly, an investigation will be conducted to find out who was responsible for Larry’s death.

I met Larry sometime before he did his 1981 witness at the Pantex nuclear weapons assembly plant in Amarillo, Texas, for which he was given a one year prison sentence. I was deeply moved by his humility, steadfast commitment to the Gospel and his sense of humor. Several years later, while he was serving an eighteen month prison sentence for his prophetic witness with Fr. Roy Bourgeois and Linda Vintimiglia of playing Archbishop Romero’s final sermon on a loudspeaker from a grove of trees to Salvadoran soldiers training at Fort Benning, Georgia, I began corresponding with him. I was so moved by his action that I asked him to write an article about his witness for the Swords into Plowshares book I was co-editing. He wrote a stunning piece titled “Journey to Fort Benning.” But it wasn’t until I was actually arrested with him and spent time with him in jail that I really got to know him.

On February 18, 1985, the day before the Silo Pruning Hooks were to go on trial for disarming a Minuteman missile silo, Larry and I were arrested at the same silo where the plowshares group had acted three months earlier. About 150 people gathered for a prayer vigil outside the silo, which was controlled by Whiteman Air Force Base, and actually located on a farm in Lafayette County, Missouri. At the end of the vigil, which included an exorcism of the silo, I felt moved by the Spirit to continue our prayerful witness for disarmament by going over the barbed wire and praying right at the silo. I turned to Larry and asked him to join me and, without hesitating he said he would. As we tried to climb over a small fence to make our way to the silo, we were apprehended by county police. Upon seeing us cross the fence, three others were also moved to go over the fence. Larry, Pat Mulvihill and I were held in two local jails over the next ten days. To be in greater solidarity with our friends on trial—Helen Woodson, Fr. Carl Kabat, Fr. Paul Kabat, and Larry Cloud Morgan (WhiteFeather), Larry and I decided to undertake a water fast. (The Silo Pruning Hooks were ultimately convicted and were given 8 to 18 years prison sentences). After ten days we were then brought to court and tried. Amazingly, we were given time served and then released.

One brief story about the fast. On day five or six of the fast, I woke up when the guards called out for breakfast. I didn’t leave my cell because I was refusing food. However, I noticed Larry take his food-tray. He then proceded to give it to one of the biggest guys on our block and sit across from him at the table watching him eat. It was truly a sight to behold! I later asked Larry why he did this. He simply told me: “I like to watch people eat!”

I last saw Larry several years ago in Washington, D.C. where he was completing his book To Wisdom Through Failure: A journey of Compassion, Resistance and Hope. He spontaeously appeared at the front door of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker and we proceeded to go for a walk. We were able to catch up about all that he had been doing and he was very interested to know how I was.

I will always remember Larry as a person of tremendous humility, compassion, courage and an abiding faith and hope in Christ’s cross and resurrection.

Larry Rosebaugh, friend of the poor, nonviolent resister, and peacemaker of Jesus—PRESENTE!

(Art Laffin is a member of the Catholic Worker in Washington, D.C.)

Janet Shartle — 23 May 2009, 07:54

God bless dear Father Larry Rosebaugh, a light in the darkness.

On my first visit to the Catholic Worker in 1981, I met him. He was waiting in line for the soup meal, and I was doing my best to serve. Though he looked very much like the rest of the men, I did notice a certain grace and peacefulness emanating from the face with the long brillo beard. Later that evening, as he prepared to say Mass in the kitchen at St. Joseph House, I was told that he was in fact a priest, and was living at that time in the Men’s Shelter down the street. I assumed then that these kind of miracles happened frequently at St. Joseph House, and perhaps they do. Yet I feel very blessed by my brief encounter with this sincere and holy man. As the years have passed, I have never forgotten him. I was able to read his autobiography a few years back, and felt so touched by his willingness to share his own “failures” on the way to wisdom. Not all saints ride bicycles, and few are crowned
King at their prom.

I will pray for his help in life, and rejoice that he’s with God face to face, now. Rise in glory! Father Larry, and thank you for your life of love and witness.

Terri Cranmer — 23 May 2009, 11:10

Fr. Lorenzo was a great inspiration to me at the beginning of my ministry in Guatemala. His stories of the people of the Ixcan region ignited in my heart, that flame that still burns deeply for the people there.When I was in Guatemala in April,I had the chance to speak with him. His last words to me were “Tell Jim (my husband) that I am looking forward to smoking a cigar with him soon!”
I am sure that all of us who knew Lorenzo have a “Fr. Lorenzo story”. Mine goes somewhat like this. For several years I cooked for the ecological retreats at the Oblate novitiate in Gofrey, IL.The last night of the two week long retreat was always a special night, candles, wine and a somewhat elegant vegetarian dinner, if I must say so myself! This one particular year Lorenzo showed up at the end of the dinner, turned out the lights,turned up the music and began dancing on the chairs. What a beautiful sight to see such a free-spirited, gentle man allowing the Spirit to move him without inhibition. This is how I chose to remember Lorenzo, a beautiful man who danced in and out of my life.

Sr. Laetitia Bordes, sh — 25 May 2009, 10:59

I consider the time spent with Larry Rosebaugh, living in community and ministering with him in Estanzuelas, El Salvador, as the greatest grace of my life. He taught me, by his example, what it means to live the gospel in a radical way. I always said that if St. Francis were alive today, he would be Larry Rosebaugh. As I think of his horrible death, I also realize that it was perhaps fitting that Larry, who always identified with the street people should die in the way so many of them do, victims of violent crimes.
St. Larry, pray for us!

Bob Bossie — 25 May 2009, 11:21

I first met Larry in 1980 at the Pentagon where we chained ourselves together with several others to block the employee entrance. Larry and I spent some time in jail together for this. A few years later we spent several months preparing, with others, for an action at Wurthsmith AFB in Michigan, home of the first squadron of B-52s armed with first-strike, cruise missiles. Surprisingly, rather than the year imprisonment we envisioned, the five of us only received Ban & Bar letters.

My life continued to intersect with Larry’s through the years for actions, prayer and a variety of other events. Most recently, in 2006 I helped organize activities in Chicago for Larry’s promotion of his memoirs, including an hour interview on our radio show. I plan on reposting that show on our web site ( next week.

On the occasion of Larry’s death,I started to reread his memoirs. As so many others have said so well, he was an amazing person. Larry’s life will continue to influence many, especially my own.

Bob Bossie

Donna (Boyle) Taylor — 26 May 2009, 16:18

I was an undergraduate at Marquette University when I knew Fr. Larry through Casa Maria, the Catholic Worker house. I worked at the grocery store for a few hours of extra work a week. I knew Fr. Larry served the poor and when he came in, I always gave him his food. I never did this for any other customer. I thank God for his beautiful life. What an inspiration! What a joy to read all of your comments!

Paul Mayer — 26 May 2009, 17:45

I am deeply grieved and heavy of heart at the sad news of the murder of ourbeloved Fr. Larry Rosebaugh..I
had the privilege of working with him & and getting to know him when Iserved as one of the coordinators of the
Milwaukee Defense Committee. In a peace movement where egos are never absent (including my own) , Larry’s simple, humble spirit was always a refreshing source of joy. He simply was not burdened by that affliction and just was a real priest and servant of the people, especially the poor. I always appreciated his complete acceptance of my checkered path as a married priest. May he rest in peace & may his spirit continue to inspire us. We shall not see his like soon again

Mary Lou Pedersen — 27 May 2009, 16:43

Here is the link to Bob Bossie’s interview with Larry when Larry was on his book tour back in 2006
(You may have to type the address into your browser)

Wilfred Mvula -Cameroun — 29 May 2009, 15:58

He was really a holy man i feel grieved and sad,thank God i had a privilege of living and eating with Fr Larry in our novitiate Godfrey,his simplicity and humility inspires me.
may his soul rest in peace;once again the world has lost a good man.

Dave Robinson and Pax Christi USA — 29 May 2009, 21:29

It is with great sadness that Pax Christi USA learned of the death of Fr. Larry Rosebaugh last week. Larry’s death was a shock to us, even as his life and his witness were a shock to the system which he repeatedly challenged as he proclaimed the gospel of peace and justice.

Dave Robinson, Executive Director of Pax Christi USA, when reached last week in Japan with news of Larry’s death, said: “Larry had so many connections to the various facets of our movement. His influence and his courage inspired many of us to either take up or continue on in this work—whether it was protesting nuclear weapons, the SOA, challenging the wars of our time and so on. Larry’s life was a blessing for our movement and his witness will be missed.”

Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace wrote eloquently in NCR about Larry, including sharing Larry’s connection with Bishop Leroy Matthiesen, a long-time Pax Christi USA bishop who was named the 2009 Teacher of Peace.

“As the ‘80s dawned, Larry’s resistance took on new dimensions. In 1981, he protested at the Pantex nuclear weapons facility in Amarillo, Texas, and for that spent a year in prison. There he received a visit from Bishop Leroy Matthiesen — 2009’s winner of the Pax Christi Teacher of Peace award — and shortly afterwards the bishop called upon all Catholics who work on nuclear weapons to quit their jobs. He would raise funds, he promised, to support families as they searched for employment elsewhere.”

John also wrote of Larry’s influence in the early days of resistance to the SOA:

“In 1983, Larry joined Fr. Roy Bourgeois and another friend on the grounds of Fort Benning, Ga., where Salvadoran death squads were being trained. Late one night, the trio scaled a tree with a speaker and blasted an audiotape of Archbishop Romero’s last sermon, which called upon all soldiers to disobey orders to kill. It was a voice the soldiers well knew. Lights went on in the barracks in an instant, and guards scoured the wooded area in search of Romero’s voice from on high. For this bit of audacity, Larry did eighteen months.”

In honor of Fr. Larry Rosebaugh, PRESENTE!

Hector kalaluka, omi, Cameroun — 01 June 2009, 16:47

Nous devrons faire tout pour le Christ! Le Père Larry nous en montre comment nous devrons aimer les autres en tant que l’humanité crée par Diue et pour Dieu!

We walk the miles towards heaven but we never know where these miles lead us. Larry once killed by men but served by his GOD. When I met Larry in USA, i never knew that his life would end this way, eating, drinking and working together made our lives meaningful. Today Larry is NOMORE but his spirit continues to dwell amid us! Larry together we live. ONE LARRY! ONE LIFE! AND ONE PEACE!Live forever in Heaven. R.I.P

Bridget Murphy — 03 June 2009, 22:30

Fr. Lorenzo, a man of God, a man of peace, a man of the poor, a man of integrity remained true to his beliefs right to the end. Fr. Lorenzo was a gentle person, one with few possessions or needs. He was grounded in faith in Jesus and practiced and lived what he believed.

When I met Fr. Lorenzo in Guatemala for the first time I was not sure of how to respond to him. I thought to myself, “no way is this man a priest.” Here he was with a long white scruffy beard, and wearing clothing that may have come from a second hand clothing store. I was certainly in for a reality check!” Then I remembered the old adage, “don’t judge a book by its cover.”

During my stay, I had the opportunity of reading his biography, “ To Wisdom through Failure.” My first impressions of him had gone out the door and into the wind. I now realized that this man had clothed himself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

I watched him as he left the confines of his home early in the morning either on foot or on bike to travel through the city to visit the homeless or to visit HIV patients in the hospital. A fearless man!!

Like all of you, I was shocked to learn of his death. Yes, Fr. Lorenzo’s death is a tragedy and a great loss for the people of Guatemala. Fr. Lorenzo was a light to all of us and his light is not distinguished but continues to burn through us and through the people he served. His commitment to God and to the oppressed marked his whole life. He was an amazingly unselfish person, someone for whom his relationship with God and his love of poor people were fundamental to his whole identity.

The best we can do is remember Fr. Lorenzo as he lived, bringing life, love and joy to the oppressed and above all else try to live as he did. “Through bread and wine, the Lord gives us His body and blood. If we receive them well, we are that which we receive; we become what we eat. That is the call of God to us.” (Sermon CCXX V11;PL#38,1099,/ workbook for lectors and Gospel readers, Canadian Edition,page217)

I thank God for all that Fr. Lorenzo was and I thank God for giving me the opportunity to have known him.
Yours in Christ,
Bridget Murphy
Labrador, NL Canada

Jane Hoffman — 05 June 2009, 02:15

I met Larry while doing research on Milwuakee 14. Although he was busy in missionary work, he took the time to write me a 28 page letter of his experience burning draft cards. I am making a copy for Bob and Fred and hopefully they can pass it on to the others in that initial group. Larry was totally cool and emodied the Catholic Church in the sense he was able to meet the contempoary needs of his parish.

John Hagedorn — 10 June 2009, 21:07

Larry to me was always what a Christian should be: a follower of the way of Jesus, gentle yet strong, devout yet open; loving yet passionately committed to social justice. Larry’s life and the violent way it ended are strong arguments for our renewed dedication to peace and justice.

Amy Debacker Murphy — 24 June 2009, 18:26

Amy DeBacker Murphy Fr. Larry was my second cousin. I was honored to meet him only once when I was 15 years old. It was judt after his 2 years in jail due to burning draft files. As you can image, he was a hero in my eyes!
All my life our family has talked of cousin Fr. Larry. His wonderful work with the poor, his escapades etc. He was a wonderful man who didn’t just talk, he did. He is in a much better place now but will be greatly missed here on earth.

Leonard Baenen — 24 June 2009, 21:57

Lorenzo was stunning. He stunned me the first time I met him back in 1955,
we were college freshmen and he was, even then, a man whose Spirit could not
be confined, bound or dampened. He studied hard and long in the seminary,
studied subjects that sometimes made no sense whatsoever (“Ok, everybody,
take out your Greek textbooks and turn to the chapter on interviewing…”).
All of us who were in class with him knew he was a special and saintly man, and we knew it more firmly with each passing day and year. He was contagious, spiritually contagious. He had tried out with the St. Louis Cardinals, the team liked him, but he decided to pursue his studies toward the
priesthood. His laugh was contagious and his Spirit awesome. Like his
idol and hero, he was “a man among men”. May he rest in peace and thank
God for him and his life. It was a privilege to know and be with him. I can hear him laughing and praying now. Just listen, he’s here. Leonard Baenen,

Sue Knapp - Fox River Grove, IL — 16 July 2009, 21:38

Father Larry was my cousin. Our fathers were brothers. We din’t have a close family and I lost track of him. Last January I found an e-mail address for Larry and we were in touch. This made me so happy. I also found out about his book through the internet (because you all know he wouldn’t have told me about it himself). I loved the book. The one thing I am am so grateful for is that I had the chance to tell him that I was very proud of him. We were to get together when he got back to St. Louis. I was going to bring my family down from the Chicago area to meet him.
The thing that makes me even more sad is that we (my brother and sister and I) didn’t find out about his death until we read an article in the Chicago New World in the middle of June.
I can’t figure out how to reach the superiors of OMI. What I want to know is WHERE IS HE BURIED and will someone put a stone on his grave. I would love to pay for this if it would be appropriate, but I don’t know who to contact.
I could watch for an answer in this site.

Mary Lou Pedersen — 17 July 2009, 19:00

Dear Sue,
Contact Fr. Maes…he will be able to put you in touch with someone to help you re; headstone for Larry’s grave. Larry was buried in Guatemala.
Mary Lou Pedersen

Fr. Allen Maes, OMI
Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
442 S. DeMazenod Dr., Belleville, IL 62223
Phone: 618–394–6985
Fax: 618–394–6987

John Kearney — 19 July 2009, 13:48

In my 83 years on this earth I have been impressed with many people and many books but none has ever impressed me more deeply than Larry Rosebaugh’s autobiography To Wisdom Through Failure: A Journey of Compassion Resistance and Hope.

An Oblate of Mary Immaculate priest who spent years in prisons in Wisconsin, The federal system of the United States and Brazil his remarkable journey from a middle class St. Louis family to martyrdom in Guatemala is remarkable in a display of integrity and courage. His life as a peace activist with the Catholic Worker, his life on the streets of Recife, Brazil, his ability to see sanctity in the lives of prostitutes and thieves are all remarkable.

When I first heard that he had been killed in Guatemala earlier this summer I decided to read his autobiography. I asked my friend, Augie Aleie of the Centuries and Sleuths bookstore to get the book for me. He discovered he couldn’t easily and suggested I order it directly from the publisher, EPICA at 1470 Irving Street NW, Washington, DC 20010. I did so and in due time received a copy of the book. After reading it I wanted to share it. I am passing on to you an urgent request that any who have a passion should order copies of this remarkable work. I would appreciate your comments.

John Kearney

Jean Harris — 27 July 2009, 16:58

I did know Lorenzo…but my brothers, Richard and Br. Jim Marron did…and it was suggested that I browse through this
memorial site. WOW, what a man…as one of you said “a man among men”. It is my loss that I had not met this very caring and loving man of God.

Jack Hereford — 09 September 2009, 16:27

Larry Rosebaugh spent a quiet evening with a scruffy bunch of Catholic Workers in the spring 0f 2009. Sitting on boxes and stones in the back yard of CK House in Saint Louis, he was as interested in our insignificant lives as we were in his heroic journey. An unforgettable encounter with a gentle, humble, holy man.

Sue Knapp - Fox River Grove, IL — 12 November 2009, 21:50

Sue Knapp again…Larry’s cousin. Does anyone know exactly where Larry is buried? I am the family genealogist and would love a photo of his grave and the location. As I read all the tributes to Larry, again I am so proud to be his cousin.

Brittney White — 20 January 2010, 13:09

I am a missionary in Guatemala with the Oblates and had the privledge of knowing and working with Fr.Larry in Barcenas at the HIV Hospicio among other sites. He is a Saint- my personal mentor - may his soul rest in peace with all the angels, saints and in the loving hands of our Creator.

chema — 12 July 2010, 23:20

yo tube el gusto de conocerlo .a padre lorenzo un gran ejemplo por todo su a poyo que los brindo en la comunidad nuevo gualcho nueva granada el salavdor.siempre esta en nuestra mente simpre.hoy que no esta los llena de tristeza nuestros corazones..en nombre de nuevo gualcho y de toda la poblacion le brindamos el centido pesame a su querida familia..descase en paz.padre iglasia de nuevo gualcho lleva su nombre ..capilla san lorenzo….thank’s..chema…de gualcho//

Ed McCartan — 15 January 2011, 20:45

I knew Larry when I worked at Marquette U. as a Carmelite priest in our house of formation there. His gentle commitment to the Gospel impressed the college students who came to know him. I ran into Larry later when visiting the Catholic Workers in NYC. He was a real example of Christian compassion for the poor. His spirit lives on. Presente!


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