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Friar Lawrence Eberhardt

Everywhere he served, Friar Lawrence Eberhardt OFM Conv. made everyone feel welcome with his wonderful smile and twinkling eyes, both having their source in his great heart. He was a great talker, but had an equal gift for listening to people with complete attention.
Br. Larry died on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. He was born Richard Ronald Eberhardt on July 8, 1935, in Massillon, Ohio, to Richard and Hilda (Bettsnyder) Eberhardt. He was predeceased by his parents and by his brother Lawrence and is survived by his sister Sherry Eberhardt. He professed Simple Vows as a Conventual Franciscan Friar on Feb. 3, 1956, and Solemn Vows on Feb. 3, 1959.
Br. Larry spent most of his life ministering within the Province of Our Lady of Consolation and with his fellow Friars. He began in the office of Assumption Seminary in Chaska, Minnesota, and later served on the team that founded Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center in Prior Lake, Minnesota. After a term as a formation director in St. Paul, Minnesota, he moved to Carey, Ohio, where he managed the gift shop at the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation for 12 years. In 1987, with no prior training, he took on the task of establishing the Province Archives.
But whether in the gift shop in Carey or the Archives at Mount St. Francis, Br. Larry’s priority was making people feel welcome – talking and listening. “I have never known anyone who could talk as much as Br. Larry could, yet also one who could listen as much,” said Fr. Jim Kent OFM Conv. “He really engaged people with his great heart, and they were attracted to him.”
“Br. Larry had a deep, abiding faith in God which was unquestioning,” said Fr. Christian Moore OFM Conv. “He prayed for many people every day, and stayed in contact with most of them. He loved his own family and the Friars of the Province. All of them were constantly on his mind.”
Visitation for Br. Larry will be held at Incarnation Catholic Church in Louisville, Kentucky, Friday Dec. 29, with a Memorial Mass following. There will be a Wake in the Chapel at Mount St. Francis on Thursday, Jan. 4. The Funeral Mass will be in the Chapel at noon on Jan. 5 with interment following in the Friars’ cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made to the Province of Our Lady of Consolation, 103 St. Francis Boulevard, Mount St. Francis, Ind., 47146.

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