One of Deacon Bob Crawford’s first childhood memories was receiving notice that his father was missing in action in World War II and presumed dead. After 17 months in a prisoner of war camp, Crawford said his father returned home and never complained.
“It was just always a love for country,” the 81-year-old said. “This is the America that I love. And it’s, frankly, being destroyed. We have thrown the door wide open for the devil and, and that’s what we’re seeing today. And it absolutely breaks my heart to see where we’re going.”
In December 2019, after suffering two heart attacks earlier that year — one that required his wife, Flo, a nurse, to resuscitate him — he formed a prayer group at St. Peter the Fisherman Church in Mountain Home to pray for the Church and the nation. He is asking Catholics to join the group, in person if they can or by taking time to pray for their intentions every Saturday morning. He said the main goal of the group is to make the family the center of Church and American life.
Crawford said the group prays the rosary each week then spends time sitting around talking.
“We meet every Saturday and have only missed one since December 2019,” he said. “There’s eight to 12 people every time, basically the same people that we started with. It’s like-minded people. It gives us a chance to talk and vent and laugh.”
Crawford, who was ordained in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, moved to Mountain Home in 2003 where he continued to serve as a deacon until his health prevented him from serving on the altar. Since then, he has written 12 books on the faith and formed the prayer group in hopes of pushing change.
He has a litany of issues he thinks the Church and nation could improve upon, including reverence at Mass, emphasis on the sacraments and the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, confession and teaching. He scoffed at societal issues affecting the world, including the devolution of the nuclear family, technological advances, the COVID-19 pandemic and gender identity.
Additionally, he prays for President Joe Biden and Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
“We have a president and the speaker of the house who vote pro-abortion, and they both claim to be Catholic,” he said. “You cannot be pro-abortion and be a practicing Catholic.”
“I truly believe that so many faithful Catholics and Americans feel lost now because of the pending loss of God and the country that we grew up in,” he said. “One reason that we meet and pray every Saturday is because of my fears. When I was growing up, we assumed virtually everybody was going to heaven. Now I think more people worldwide could go to hell, and, therefore, we need to be praying. We need to be praying and saving souls.”
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