Sunday, June 2, 2013

"God is good and the light is bright!"

Fr. Charles J. Canterna
photo by Clarence B.Garrett, 1978
from "Street Priest" by Dan Rodricks
in Marylanders of the Century

Father Chuck Canterna shares Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s beliefs of equality, non-violence and a deep faith in God with all his heart. To Father Chuck, who is a prison chaplain, everyone is equal in God’s eyes, even the worse (sic) criminals. He rejects violence in favor of love. His faith in God is the basis that helps him love everyone equally and to live non-violently, even in the most violent of places.
--Keegan Knox's submission, finalist in Baltimore's Champions of Courage

“I plant the seeds, God does the watering.” “The first three I approach might reject me,” says Chuck. “And then the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, the seventh, the eighth, the ninth. But then the 10th—that guy might be open to God, open to the Spirit. He might respond. I might be able to get him to go inside himself and find meaning and purpose to his life, and maybe a light comes on and the guy finds the Spirit. I’m just there to help him connect to the Spirit."
--"Street priest" by Dan Rodricks, Marylanders of the Century


  1. Yey to Father Chuck for his current influence in my life now, and foremost to Christ who does the watering.

  2. I have met Father Chuck only once, and spoke to him on the phone once, and find he has had a very profound impact on me. He is a dynamic and energetic man, and his love for Jesus shines clearly through everything he says and does. There is no disconnect between his faith and how he lives his life. It seems clear to me that Christ has chosen, and groomed, him to touch the lives of many, and to help many of us along the path of our own faith journeys. It was my experience that he met me at the point of the path where I was, and at the end of my time talking and praying with him I felt notably closer to Christ and miles further along the way.