PRIESTS ARE COOL! | Fr. Mike Schmitz edition.

This post is part of a monthly series called PRIESTS & NUNS ARE COOL! in which I interview a priest or a nun about his or her vocation — and about how adults who haven’t discerned a vocation yet can discover their own. This edition features Fr. Mike Schmitz, the chaplain for Newman Catholic Campus Ministries at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the Director of the Office of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth.

father mike

I almost met Fr. Mike Schmitz once. He was a keynote speaker where I was a chaperone: at a Steubenville ATL youth conference.

Our paths crossed but neither my schedule nor his provided the time for us to chat, which, let’s face it, was a bummer. But Fr. Mike and I have connected since, because the Internet.

Fr. Mike — a killer homilist (my words, not his) who aims to be a better man, priest, friend and relative, and to find new ways to share who Jesus Christ is and to help people encounter Him — is gracious to discuss his vocation for this series, and to tell us how an adult who doesn’t know his or hers yet might discover it:

Why I write what I write.

I sit tonight at a probably 10-foot long table alone, along a wall in Starbucks, because when I got here, it was the only available table near an outlet. I haven’t plugged my computer in yet, distracted so far by the patrons to my right.

A stepmother and adult stepdaughters. They sip seasonal beverages and discuss the family’s patriarch. Who they suspect is involved in infidelity. Who has been unfaithful before. Who isn’t happy.

“I can’t say I’m in it for the long haul,” stepmother warned. Stepdaughters understood. I understand, too.

This — a real life representation of relationships at nearly their worst (It could be still worse.) — hurts my heart. And my soul. And my head. This is why I write what I write.

I’ll chat with my friend Abby — the host of Spirit FM’s Big Big House morning show and MC for my Dec. 6 book launch party — about the virtue of chastity. Tune in!

Date: December 2, 2014
Time: 11:30 a.m. EST
Appearance: A Spirit FM Special
Outlet: Spirit FM
Location: Tampa, FL
Format: Radio

Win a copy of ‘Chastity Is For Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin’

Chastity_is_for_Lovers_3DYOU GUYS. It’s here. My debut book, Chastity Is For Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin — about practicing chastity in a culture that calls it crazy — is done, printed, en route to the people who pre-ordered it.

I’m pumped. My publisher is pumped. To prove it, we are giving a copy of Chastity is For Lovers to ten winners to be selected in two ways. Want one? Read on: