Paul Larry S. is a dedicated man who dedicated some time of his own to impart part of his Living Legacies onto us. This local skilled nursing facility resident spoke about watching his community torn at racial seams, learning to live within God’s light, and after reflecting on his many stories, this recounting still inspires him today…
“My name is Paul Larry S., but I prefer to go by Father Larry.
I was ordained a Priest May 31st, 1980 and began my careers in Roman Catholicism. As I was growing up I had great influences in my life as to why I wanted to become an Ordained Priest. It all started with my family, my father’s oldest brother Edward (ordained in 1926) and my father’s twin brother Paul (ordained in 1944). You can say my father also looked up to his family too, I was named after my Grandfather Paul and Uncle Paul; which is why many people call me by my middle name Larry.”
How young were you when you began associating with Catholicism?
“As a child, I attended Devine Child in Dearborn, MI. I started as an altar boy in 4th grade serving Mass beside my Priest. After grade school, my education continued onto high school where I enrolled in Cardinal Mooney Latin School in Detroit MI. I was in the high school Seminary. During this time I remember the riot that took place in 1967, it was a series of violent encounters between residents and the city’s police and considered one of Detroit’s largest movements. Luckily the seminary was not heavily damaged besides our statue. Someone had thrown black paint on it; The Rector of seminary had several students including myself paint the remaining white part of the statue black.
“After high school, I attended the University of Detroit. I earned a bachelor’s degree in Arts in Philosophy. I continued my education and earned my master’s degree in Religious Studies. After 4 years, I majored in Seminary at St. John’s in Plymouth MI where I was Ordained. I remember feeling happy as I reached my Goal in a profession. Like my Uncle Father Paul always said: ‘once you learn the ropes, it all becomes natural’.”
What is your most memorable moment while being ordained?
“Well, the strangest experience I had was when I was at St. Peter and Paul in Detroit (west side), happened one evening while I was watching the front door. This gentleman walks up to the door and says Father, I need your help. The man drove me in his van and took us to his house where his parents were both drunk. I told him to call the police and offered my Parish for assistance in ensuring his safety. Unfortunately, I am unable to tell details of many things I remember, in the ministry you do not tell specifics of the situations. But years later, I ran into the same gentleman who said “Thanks, Father.”
I have been at several Parishes. Today I am still active and still perform as a priest. I am active on various Social Medias and apart of many groups. I hope one day in the future when I am healed I can perform Mass at Medilodge of Farmington and other places.”