September 1, 2023 | Your Stories
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Fr. Larry McBride is the pastor of St. Martin Parish in Rome, Ky. COURTESY OF NICOLE GRAY

Fr. Larry McBride serves as testament to the power of answering one’s calling


When a new priest is assigned to a parish, one of the questions that the parishioners wonder about, or which they ask their friends or neighbors, is: “What is the new priest like?” That is a fair question and is quite rightly asked.

Fr. Larry McBride grew up in a very strong Catholic family. His educational journey began at Union County and then college at Kentucky Wesleyan College. Attending a Methodist school had challenges. He was often asked if he was Christian and if he was saved. He gave broad answers, but he didn’t fully understand how to answer at that time. It was during this time of introspection that Fr. Larry talked with a friend of his that had recently entered the seminary, and his joy and fulfillment in serving as a priest were evident in every word he spoke. Inspired by his friend and the possibility of a higher purpose, Fr. Larry began to contemplate the notion that he, too, had options beyond his accounting path.

Embracing the courage to heed the call, Fr. Larry made the life-altering decision to leave behind his accounting career and embark on a new path as a seminarian at St. Pius Seminary in 1980. While the transition was not without its challenges and uncertainties, Fr. Larry was resolute in his belief that there was a great need for more priests in the community. He continued his journey into priesthood at Saint Meinrad Seminary where he graduated in 1987.

A man of deep faith and compassion, Fr. Larry finds solace and inspiration in several aspects of his Catholic faith, which have fostered a strong bond with both his parish community and his relationship with Christ. Life as a priest can be a fulfilling and enriching journey, but for Fr. Larry, there’s more to it than just his pastoral duties. Fr. Larry embraces his passions, immersing himself in a diverse range of hobbies that bring joy and excitement to his life. A passionate traveler, he believes that the world is a treasure trove of diverse cultures. Fr. Larry’s globetrotting adventures have opened his heart and mind to the beauty of humanity and creation.

Nature’s wonders hold an irresistible allure for Fr. Larry, and visiting national parks is high on his bucket list. Amid his many endeavors, Fr. Larry finds solace in the simple pleasure of collecting stamps. A true advocate of lifelong learning, Fr. Larry’s voracious appetite for reading enriches his mind and soul. Reading not only keeps him intellectually engaged but also fosters empathy and compassion, helping him better serve his congregation.

Fr. Larry’s inspiring journey from future accountant to priest serves as a testament to the power of answering one’s calling and embracing the path less traveled. His passion for serving others has left an indelible mark on the lives of many, proving that when one heeds the call of the heart, incredible possibilities await.

Nicole Gray is the director of communications at St. Martin Parish in Rome, Ky.

Originally printed in the September 2023 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

Current Issue

Publisher |  Bishop William F. Medley
Editor |  Elizabeth Wong Barnstead
Contributors |  Riley Greif, Rachel Hall
Layout |  Rachel Hall
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