Father Larry Goulding Dead at 81
CINCINNATI—Father Larry Goulding, 81, a native of Chicago, Ill., and a Glenmary Home Missioner for 53 years, died Nov. 12 in Cincinnati, Ohio, after a long illness. Father Goulding was ordained in 1962. He served as pastor of missions in Georgia, Mississippi and Kentucky in addition to working in Glenmary's development/promotion office (1964-69).
"Father Goulding was a blue-collar guy from Chicago who had the Glenmary DNA," said Father Chet Artysiewicz, Glenmary's president. "He spent his years as a Glenmarian working to establish the Church in home mission counties and reaching out to the least among us in rural areas, using his abundant creativity to meet their needs." Father Artysiewicz added that Father Goulding's wonderful, colorful personality served him well. His comments could "reduce me and his fellow Glenmarians to tearful laughter."
After serving two years in the Marines as an artillery sergeant in the Korean War, Larry Goulding inquired in 1957 about becoming a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago. He was told by a diocesan priest that the archdiocese didn't need more priests at that time. Perhaps, the priest told him, he might want to think about the small missionary society in Cincinnati that was working to bring the Church to the South. "It looked like they could use a little help," Father Goulding recalled three years ago. "It seemed like an adventurist kind of thing to me because there were so few Catholics in the South."
As a Glenmarian, he would spend the next 53 years immersing himself in the adventure, focusing his efforts on drawing people closer to the Church and to Christ. He began his ministry as a missionary priest by spending a pastoral year in North Carolina before serving as associate pastor of Glenmary's mission in Norton, Va., from 1963 to 1964.
Twenty-three of his years of priesthood were spent serving missions in Georgia, beginning in 1969 when he received his first pastorate to Glenmary's missions in Sylvania and Millen. "I got there (Sylvania) in the middle of the night," he said in 2008, "and just sat in the car and wondered what was ahead of me."
"Doing whatever needed to be done" turned out to be the answer to that question, including writing, directing, and designing and building scenery for annual Nativity plays, which became constants in all his mission assignments. He wrote at least nine plays, some of which had as many as 27 speaking parts to ensure everyone could be involved and have a line to say.
He left Georgia in 1976 when he was appointed pastor of missions in Amory and Fulton, Miss. It was here that he became involved with a summer camp program begun by Glenmary for underprivileged children living in northeast Mississippi. Eventually he became director of the program and saw it grow and become integrated.
Today Glenmary Father Tim Murphy serves as the camp director. Each June, he and a staff of volunteers welcome two groups of underprivileged children for two weeks at Camp Glenmary, as well as two groups of Catholic campers for two weeks at Catholic Camp in an effort to help children connect with peers who share their faith in this highly Protestant area.
In 1984, Father Goulding moved on to lead Glenmary missions in Morehead, Owingsville and West Liberty, Ky. In addition to pastoring the three mission communities, he also served as chaplain to both the Newman Center at Morehead State University and St. Claire Regional Medical Center. As hospital chaplain, he used his master's degree in psychology to minister to those in the hospital's psychiatric ward.
He returned to Georgia in 1990 as pastor of missions in Claxton, Pembroke and Glennville—but not before spending several months learning Spanish so he could better minister to the growing Hispanic population in the area. His philosophy of doing whatever needed to be done meant learning a new language at age 60!
In 1998, he began his last pastoral assignment at Glenmary's missions in Waynesboro and Louisville, Ga.
In 2006, Father Goulding moved to Grayson, Ky., where he served as sacramental minister for missions in Grayson and Vanceburg. In 2011 he retired from active ministry and moved to Glenmary's Headquarters in Cincinnati.
In 2008, on the occasion of his golden jubilee as a Glenmarian, he summed up his vocation this way: "It's been a good way to spend 50 years! I have no regrets. There are some things I've missed, but I don't regret not having them."
Father Goulding is survived by a sister, Patricia O'Connell of Los Gatos, Calif., nieces, nephews, and fellow missioners and friends.
- Visitation will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 16, from 4:30 p.m. until the wake service at 7 p.m. in Our Lady of the Fields Chapel, 4119 Glenmary Trace, Fairfield, Ohio.
- Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m., at St. Matthias Church, 1050 West Kemper Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio. Burial will follow immediately at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Cincinnati.
Memorials may be sent to Glenmary Home Missioners, P.O. Box 465618, Cincinnati, OH 45246.