Rev Fr Benjamin John “Ben” Carrier

Rev Fr Benjamin John “Ben” Carrier

Chapman, Aroostook County, Maine, USA
Death 10 Nov 1982 (aged 54)
Yuma, Yuma County, Arizona, USA
Burial San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
Plot Calvary Section, Lot 158, Space 10
Memorial ID 58492704 · View Source
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From the wonderful book "Simply Benjamin" by ENID LANYON:

The week after Fr. Carrier's death, the Southern Cross, the diocesan newspaper, published the following article which served, in its way, as an obituary, It was titled:

"Absolom, Absolom, My Son"

Last week a man died. He did not die peacefully, although he was a man of peace. He did not die as good people should die, surrounded by love and loved ones. He did not die among friends although he had always surrounded himself with friends.

There was no one to pray with him as he died, although he was a priest. He died many miles from home, murdered and left like something of no worth, although he was a man who valued each person for himself and would give them no less than the value he knew they owned in God's sight.

He was a fool for Christ: a man who accepted and trusted where we, who are more prudent and wise in the ways of the world, would not. He would turn no one from his door or his table. He would judge no man. He was killed wantonly by people who themselves were recipients of his charity, in the senseless violence so characteristic of this age and society. But, of all of us, he was most prepared for death, because all of his adult life he had lived on borrowed time. His health had been so precarious that death was his familiar, always at his elbow, always in his thoughts, always qualifying his plans. He often joked that he had been blessed with ordination only because no one expected him to survive his first year of priesthood, and laughed, because after 23 years of ministry he was looking forward to celebrating his silver jubilee. We who loved him – and he was greatly loved – had hoped that when it came, death would be gentle and kind, taking him by the hand, like a friend. But Father Ben was not a cautious man. He took the scriptures very seriously, and so he lived dangerously, risking himself not wisely, not sensible, but in the only way he could. And in his imprudence, his foolishness, he shamed us in our comfortable self-protection.

So now we are left to mourn his passing, and experience again the universal wounding that is inflicted whenever evil works its destruction on the innocent and the good. But if we are to mourn him, let it be in a fitting way. Let us mourn him in sadness, not anger, for all that is not good in our world, and in love for what is.

Father Ben was not blind to the risk inherent in the way he lived, but he accepted it because he could see no other way to follow the Gospel warning, "Whatsoever you do to the least of these, you do to me," and in his relentless search for God, he took all who came his way into himself, and gave what he had without reserve.

In his physical frailty and stubborn commitment, he was completely vulnerable and well aware of it. But the image of the crucified Christ, in all his utterly defenseless love and self-giving, was always before his eyes, and bound him in ways we cautious ones could not fully understand.

So, if we are to mourn him, let it be in a fitting way. Let it be in a way that will draw us to greater vulnerability and less self-protectiveness. Let it be with greater generosity and acceptance. Let it be with understanding, or at least an effort towards it, of the tormented creatures whose injured morality gives no value to human life and no respect to goodness.

If we are to mourn Father Ben, let us do it in a way he would value, taking ourselves something of the burden he carried: that of bringing the presence of Christ to those who do not know him, and risking their rejection and abuse.

It is a heavy burden, and few of us could heft it with the same dogged self-immolation that he did. But we can all give a little more of ourselves, drop a few more defenses, mortgage a little more comfort and safety, to carry Christ's mission into the danger zones of unbelief.

If we are not brave enough to take up the challenge of martyrdom, of standing up for Christ in the marketplaces of our lives, perhaps we can draw strength from this small man, so weak in body and so invincible in faith, and achieve with him, in faith, what we cannot do alone.

It would be a fitting way to mourn a man of God and something of value to offer in exchange for a life so freely given.
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Fr. Benjamin J. Carrier
Sep 9,1928 - Nov 10,1982
"A Good Man"

  • Maintained by: Pat McArron
  • Originally Created by: Glenn Lee LaRocque
  • Added: 10 Sep 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 58492704
  • Glenn Lee LaRocque
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rev Fr Benjamin John “Ben” Carrier (9 Sep 1928–10 Nov 1982), Find a Grave Memorial no. 58492704, citing Holy Cross Cemetery, San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA ; Maintained by Pat McArron (contributor 47348594) .