Some unexpected news at Mass at SS Peter and Paul this past week. Fr. Larson made this announcement:
At this time I need to make an important and difficult announcement. For over a year I have been experiencing great difficulties in trying to live out the vocation of a priest. Certain aspects of my ministry have proven more difficult than I anticipated, and it has also become clear that I made a mistake in ignoring difficulties that I faced in seminary in dealing with lonliness and isolation. I have done much to try to deal with these struggles as seriously and thoroughly as I can.
I have spoken about them in depth with my most trusted friends from seminary. For qauite some time Bishop Sartain and Fr. Milota have been working with me as I have dealt with this. My spiritual director has been of tremendous assistance to me throughout this whole process. I spent five days on retreat last fall in an effort to sort through the questions I had about my vocation. I have spent significant amounts of time in thought, prayer and conversatio nseeking to discern God’s will for my life, and as a result of all of thes I have come to doubt that the life I am living now, as a priest, is the best way for me to serve God.
As a result of all fo this I have made the decision to leave Sts. Peter and Paul Parish. I am considering different options when it comes to the direction fo my life. As one step in this process on Monday I will be leaving to spend some period of time on retreat at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver, Colorado. Currently there are no plans in place for me to return to active ministry after this retreat. Because of recent scandals in the church I do feel to state clearly and plainly that I am not leaving as a result of any scandalous behavior or because of any inappropriate relationship.
I am extremely grateful for the support, friendship adn encouragement that so many of you here at Sts. Peter adn Paul have given me over the last three years. In particular I would like to thank the Sts. Peter and Paul parish school families for their tremendous support. I know that this unexpected announcement undoubtedly raises many questions in peoples’ minds. I wish that i did have the opportunity to discuss this witih all of you in greater detail. I wish I could discuss every vocational difficulty I have faced adn every sense of God’s guidance that I have experienced. Unfortunately it is just not possible to do so in this short amount of time.
It is certanily my desire to keep the parish informed in regards to what is going on in my life. Following my retreat some sort of announcement will be made to the parish concerning where things are at for me at that point. Mail sent to the parish in my name wil lbe forwarded to me. Because of the retreat I will be making it will likely be several weeks before I am able to start really responding to any emails or letters that I receive. Please keep me in your prayers. You will be in mine as well.
Fr. Ryan Larson