9/8/18

The Call to Prayer - Fr. Bob Bedard

Fr. Jake Randall was a servant of God, a servant of the people, a
Fr. John Randall & Fr. Bob Bedard
man of the Church, a leader in the Charismatic Renewal, a champion of the Holy Spirit, an example and inspiration for all.  May God fully welcome him into the Kingdom and may he continue to love and serve God and us from heaven!
The Call to Prayer
by Fr. Bob Bedard, CC
This is an introduction that Fr. Bob gave of Fr. Jake Randall
who recently went to enjoy his eternal reward with the Lord. We
reprint it here in honour of Fr. Jake, a close friend of Fr. Bob and
the Companions of the Cross.

I’ve know Fr. Jake Randall for 25 years or so. When I received,
back in March of 1975, that peculiar grace; that profound and
very powerful grace which we’ve learned to call the Baptism in
the Holy Spirit, my whole life changed. My life was turned upside
down. It was like a revolution in my mind had taken place. All of
my theological underpinnings had to be revised and renewed and
many of them changed. I knew that this was something that not
only I needed, but everybody needed. Certainly, I believed it was
something every priest needed.

I was living with a group of priests at the time, teaching high school.
I tried to explain it to them. But to my surprise and my chagrin,
they didn’t seem to know what I was talking about. They didn’t
seem to understand what I was saying. I was really disconcerted
with the whole matter. Then I received notice of a conference in
Steubenville, Ohio for priests who were involved or mixed up in
what was being called the Charismatic Renewal. I said, “That’s for
me! I’ve got to talk to some
priests
. I’ve got to find some
priests
that will understand what I’m saying.”
So I went. There was a group of four people on the panel who gave
all the talks and did the teachings. Three men were from religious
communities and one was a diocesan priest from Providence, Rhode
Island, Fr. John Randall. They were all excellent, but it was this
Randall fellow that caught my eye; caught my ear. I’m not sure why,
but he seemed to be able to cut to the quick. He seemed to have keen
insights and a practical understanding of the deep mysteries of God,
or at least many of them. He had a way of explaining things. He was
very prayerful, obviously, and I thought, “Wow, wouldn’t it be won-
derful if I could just meet him and talk to him for a few minutes.” I
didn’t get a chance. He was always surrounded by others.

It was the whole thing about prayer that struck me most during
my time at this conference. That was the thing that I sadly lacked
when I received that grace of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And
that was the one thing that I asked for, the gift of prayer. I didn’t
know if there was such a gift, but if there was, I wanted it. So I
asked for it, and I received it.

I began to pray with great eagerness. To do something I hadn’t
been able to do at all, for years. It was very, very striking. I
couldn’t wait to pray. I couldn’t wait. And I was actually praying
20 minutes a day. I felt like a hero. Imagine giving God 20 whole
minutes every single day! I was doing it at night, of course, be-
cause I was a night person. I would sneak it in before the 11:30 pm
Global Sports round-up. And I’d shut off the light at midnight. Get
up at 8:00am and carry on with my day.

So, when I was in Steubenville, one morning I was sitting in the
back row as I always like to do. I was tipping my chair back and
there was a big fellow next to me, by the name of Bob Conlin from
Arizona and Fr. Randall was talking about prayer.
In the middle of his talk, he said, “Of course, for a priest, an hour
a day is the minimum.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I asked Conlin,
“What did he say?”
“An hour a day.”
“An hour a day?”
“An hour a day.”
Whoa! I just about fell off my chair. But before I left Steubenville,
I determined that I would do precisely that. And I knew that in or-
der to do it, I would have to become a morning person. I, the night
person would have to become a morning person. So I did. I would
go to bed at 10:00 pm, and get up at 6:00 am. And I’ve been basi-
cally doing that ever since. And it has been the main strength that
the Lord has used to guide me through. You know how important
it is. We talk about it all the time here. We just beleaguer you with
this notion of personal prayer time every day.

The Lord has been so good to me that I’ve gotten to know Fr. Jake
very, very well. We’ve become close friends, and we’ve visited
back and forth, and we’ve spoken in each others’ places. And he
is just a marvelous guy. He became my idol in the priesthood, and
he still is. He’s a great priest. He’s got profound insights. He’s
very prophetic, and has got a marvellous sense of humour. A little
accent there that you might have a little difficulty getting past,
but he will tell you he’s very happy to be here in ‘Canada’ and
this opportunity to speak to the Companions of the Cross. So it is
with great, great honour and pleasure that I introduce to you
Fr. Jake Randall

1 comment:

Ed Sousa, Sr. said...

Fr. Randall was a servant of God, a servant of the people, a
man of the Church, a leader in the Charismatic Renewal,
a champion of the Holy Spirit, an example and inspiration for all. May God fully welcome him into the Kingdom and may he continue to love and serve God and us from heaven!