Fieldhouse packed for talk by two well-known Catholic speakers

Photo by Mary-Grace Byers

Donovan Roudabush
Staff Writer

Students and visitors packed the Finnegan Fieldhouse to capacity Wednesday, Oct. 13, for a talk on Scripture and growth in prayer given by a Franciscan University of Steubenville biblical scholar and a Catholic media personality.

The Rev. Mike Schmitz, a priest and media personality for Ascension Press and Newman Center Chaplain at the University of Minnesota, sat opposite author and theologian Scott Hahn, who has a doctorate in biblical theology. The two conducted a conversation on biblical literacy, prayer and the unique apostolates of each.

Those present were given the opportunity to write a question on paper before the session, which was read on stage during a Q&A session.

Students asked questions about “lectio divina,” a form of Scriptural reading and meditation, and how to select Scripture for daily reading.

Both Hahn and Schmitz said to develop discipline.

“My mom used to tell me, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,’” Hahn said. “God does not settle for lemons.”

Regarding his popular “The Bible in a Year” podcast, Schmitz said how surprised he was by the impact it has had on people.

“It was just me, my Bible and the Lord,” said Schmitz.

He shared one story that particularly stood out to him. A man told him that his terminally ill wife found joy in Schmitz’s podcast during the final months of her life.

St. Paul Center assistant Clement Harrold, who organized speakers for the event, said he was happy with the success of the talk.

“There were certainly some ups and downs,” he said. “We initially tried to get (Fr. Mike) a year ago, and it became too difficult with COVID. So we reached out to him again this year, and he was really gracious. It was great that it happened on October 13, (making a) great connection to Our Lady of Fatima.”

Senior Patrick Frazier said, “You can tell people really wanted to be there … It was a fantastic talk. It’s kind of incredible to have (someone like) Fr. Mike Schmitz on campus … There are not many (Catholic celebrities) that are as terrific as Fr. Mike.”

The event was hosted by the St. Paul Center of Biblical Theology.