Known as the “walking priest,” Father Carney brought his message of street evangelization to Sts. Peter and Paul Church in the north central Iowa town of West Bend in early July. Armed with a rosary in one hand and a large crucifix in the other, the tall priest in a black cassock and wide-brimmed clerical hat known as a “saturno” shares the Gospel with anyone who approaches.
“Three years ago, I was approached by a non-Catholic family who insisted their home was possessed by demons; the children were saying they saw red eyes in the house,” he said. “They asked me to pray for them and I did.”
When he later saw the family, Father Carney asked about the house. “‘Oh, Father, after you prayed and left, the devils left,’ the mother reported,” he said. “After one year of instruction, they were received into the church and one of the sons is discerning a vocation to the priesthood.”
Meanwhile, Father Carney “walks the walk and talks the talk” to about 10 people a day, about 2,000 to 5,000 folks in the last four years. “The best part of the walking is I get to contemplate God,” he said. “I pray the rosary, get some exercise, look at nature and someone might talk to me and then, I share my contemplation with them.”