Seven things to know about March for Life speaker Father Mike Schmitz

Kate Olivera   By Kate Olivera for CNA


Father Mike Schmitz / Courtesy of Ascension

Denver Newsroom, Jan 21, 2022 / 06:00 am (CNA).

Tens of thousands of pro-life advocates are expected to gather at the National Mall in Washington later today for the annual March for Life. The march will kick off with a noon rally featuring speakers including the host of the “Bible in a Year” podcast, Fr. Mike Schmitz. Here are seven things to know about the priest:

1. Schmitz was raised Catholic. He is one of six kids. But his faith was not a priority in his life until he had what he described as an encounter with Christ in Confession at the age of 15. “That really affected me such that I said to myself, ‘This is real.’,” Schmitz said in an interview with Legatus magazine. “There was an interior recognition that I need this, I need Jesus. It led me down the road to asking God what He wants.”

2. He was ordained a priest in 2003 for the Diocese of Duluth. He is Director of Youth Ministry for the diocese, and chaplain at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He has said his favorite part about being a priest is celebrating the sacraments. “I love offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,” he said in a Q&A with the Newman Center where he is chaplain. “I love preaching. I love hearing confessions. There is nothing that I know of that can compare with getting to be a part of someone’s Great Story, the story that God is calling His children to live.”

3. He left a relationship to enter the seminary. Schmitz shares his vocation story in a 2021 episode of his podcast.

4. He gained national attention through a video series he started in 2015 with Ascension Press. The videos have covered topics including forgiveness, the saints, and relationships. He continues to produce those videos today.

5. He is perhaps best known for hosting The Bible in a Year podcast. The podcast jumped to the top of Apple Podcasts charts within hours of publishing its first episode on Jan. 1, 2021, surpassing secular podcasts produced by organizations including The New York Times and National Public Radio. In 2021, it hit 142 million downloads, and 3.3 billion minutes of listening worldwide.

6. Though The Bible in a Year is complete, Schmitz will be involved in an upcoming virtual retreat for the community that grew around the podcast. The three-day retreat will take place Feb. 18-20. Schmitz is also in the early stages of developing a catechism-in-a-year podcast.

7. Schmitz has long been a staunch pro-life advocate. The priest has said someone cannot be both Catholic and pro-abortion. “Abortion is one of the “deal breaker” issues,” he wrote in a 2014 Q&A. “If my conscience leads me to the place where I think it is okay for a person to be able to murder another innocent person, then I’m not Catholic. By that point, I’ve left the Church. No one is “kicking me out”; I’ve already left.”

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  1. I am pro life but I’m also pro Pope Francis and feel someone attacking the Holy Father is not acting as a good Catholic any more than someone who is pro abortion. I have seen some of Father’s interviews that lead me not to want to follow his videos as it seems he is attacking the Holy Father, Christ’s Chosen Shepherd of His Church. Does he attack the pope?

    • Elizabeth, I have not seen that episode in which you say Fr Schmitz is supposed to have attacked the Pope. If he did, then I too would be disappointed. Pope Francis is a true and faithful Catholic.

  2. I have never seen Father attack the Pope. But unless you live under a rock you must be aware this current Pope is controversial, due to statements and actions of his own making .With all the sin and problems in the world, he recently went out of his way to attack those conducting the Latin Mass, for example. With so many having fallen away from the church I would have thought that having Catholic go to MASS at all, Latin or not, would be a great thing. ( I do not attend the Latin Mass by the way). I have seen many of Father Schmitz’s videos on Youtube and have never seen the slightest indication he was doing anything but providing instruction on matters of Catholic ritual and belief in a positive way.

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