The death of Bob Carty on September 21 led to several thoughts.
First, a life well lived, a committed passionate life on behalf of what the Bible calls the anawim, the little ones.
Skilled in many ways, personality and wit , written word and the audioword as well as with guitar, Bobby use his abundant talents on behalf of the kingdom of God. He lived for peace and justice.
His solidarity work on behalf of Chilean exiles and his reports from Latin America on public radio were respected by all.
A gifted documentarian on the radio waves with the CBC , Bob won all the awards there were to win always holding up the forgotten in a privileged place.
But when I think of Bob it struck a chord of sadness. All the lost years of Youth Ministry in the Toronto diocese after the clueless hierarchy ditched the Youth Corps where Bob got his start in the late 60s. As the old folk song said, Wasn’t That a Time.
Tommy McKillop hired people like Bob to take the energy of Vatican ll into the world and transform it. What a formidable group, lay and priest, on fire for justice inserted into the body politic as agents of change. Youth ministering to youth. What an original idea—and what great results. Those years were the halcyon days of gospel vitality in the Toronto diocese.
Naturally they were under-appreciated by hierarchs and dead heads but loved by the youth they came in contact with,What was there not to love?
The John Paul ll brigade literally threw away a miracle. Youth Corps of which Carty was a dynamic member was allowed to wither on the vine, to be replaced by what? Nada, niente, zip. McKillop was never understood by his fellow priests and like the prophets of old was treated very shabbily. Carty went on to do great things with his life.
Gracias for a sterling life, sadness for the lost opportunities to evangelize youth.