Tag: Steubenville

A Student Remembers Fr. Michael Scanlan

 

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Fr. Michael Scanlan at a FIRE Rally.

President Emeritus of the Franciscan University of Steubenville Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, passed away on Jan. 7, 2017. According to the university, “His leadership as president transformed Franciscan University from a struggling regional college into a world-renowned leader in Catholic higher education and helped to inspire a restoration of faithful Catholic education in the United States and the world.” Father Scanlan played an influential role in the lives of Sister Ann Shields, Ralph Martin, and Peter Herbeck. He also helped lead FIRE Rallies around the world and served on the Renewal Ministries’ Board of Trustees.

The video of the Memorial Mass for Father Michael Scanlan at the Franciscan University of Steubenville is now available online. You can watch it by clicking here.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon him. And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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By Sean Breeden

“We know the Way. The Way is Jesus. We just don’t know what we’re doing tomorrow!” When I was a senior at Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2009, Father Michael Scanlan preached this simple message at a daily mass. The words are almost comical at face value, and yet in them I found deep peace and consolation that I didn’t need to have my entire life planned out the day after graduation, because Christ was by my side on the journey. This was one of many little moments Father Michael led me to a deeper encounter with Jesus. What struck me the most about him was the passion and sincerity with which he preached. He was the kind of preacher who could make you laugh in one moment, and in the next pierce your heart with deep conviction. After hearing him, you knew that Jesus was real, that He loved you, and that there was no greater joy than to lay down your life to follow Him. Read more here.

Peter Herbeck Honors Fr. Michael Scanlan

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(L-R) Fr. Michael Scanlan, Sr. Ann Shields, Ralph Martin, and Peter Herbeck did three FIRE Rallies in Slovakia in 1995.

President Emeritus of the Franciscan University of Steubenville Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, passed away Jan. 7. According to the university, “His leadership as president transformed Franciscan University from a struggling regional college into a world-renowned leader in Catholic higher education and helped to inspire a restoration of faithful Catholic education in the United States and the world.” Fr. Scanlan played an influential role in the lives of Sr. Ann Shields, Ralph Martin, and Peter Herbeck. He also helped lead FIRE Rallies around the world and served on Renewal Ministries’ Board of Trustees. Below, Peter pays tribute to Fr. Scanlan.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon him. And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

***

I will always be grateful for the encouragement and inspiration I received from Fr. Michael. At an important turning point in my life and ministry, he invited me to join the FIRE Team after Fr. John Bertolucci retired. That led to some great quality time with Fr. Michael over the years, all of which was a gift. I remember well our trips to Eastern Europe and Africa, and how the Lord used Fr. Michael powerfully in both words and deeds. He was faithful and fearless in preaching the Word of God, and had great expectation that God would confirm his preaching with signs and wonders, and He did! I remember one woman who was deaf was healed—her hearing was restored as Fr. Michael prayed for her.

I am grateful to be able to join my voice with the chorus of witnesses who are paying tribute and offering prayers for this great priest, leader, brother, and friend. May perpetual light shine upon him.

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Peter Herbeck, Ralph Martin, and Fr. Michael Scanlan celebrate the twentieth anniversary of “The Choices We Face” in 2004.

Ralph Martin Recalls Fr. Scanlan’s Support

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Fr. Michael Scanlan and Ralph Martin on the set of “The Choices We Face.”

President Emeritus of the Franciscan University of Steubenville Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, passed away Jan. 7. According to the university, “His leadership as president transformed Franciscan University from a struggling regional college into a world-renowned leader in Catholic higher education and helped to inspire a restoration of faithful Catholic education in the United States and the world.” Fr. Scanlan played an influential role in the lives of Ralph Martin, Sr. Ann Shields, and Peter Herbeck. He also helped lead FIRE Rallies around the world and served on Renewal Ministries’ Board of Trustees. Below, Ralph pays tribute to Fr. Scanlan. His testimony also can be found here and is mentioned in this National Catholic Register article about Fr. Scanlan’s life.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon him. And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

***

By Ralph Martin

I’ve known Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, since the ‘70s and served side by side with him in the Charismatic Renewal, in the worldwide FIRE rallies, in his work at renewing Franciscan University, as a member of Franciscan University’s Board of Trustees for twelve years, and as a visiting professor in the summer.

Father Scanlan embodied and contributed to, in a significant way, a response to and an advocacy of the “new Pentecost” and the “new evangelization.” He embodied and advocated for the necessity of including both the contemplative and charismatic dimensions of the Spirit’s work in any balanced response to the call for authentic renewal.

But one of the most moving experiences I’ve ever had in my life happened because of Father Mike. In 1980, I gave a series of lectures called A Crisis of Truth, which addressed a number of serious issues in the life of the Church. The subtitle of the book by the same title was: The attack on faith, morality, and mission in the Catholic Church. It dealt with a number of controversial issues in the Church. Not having much in the way of theology credentials at that time, it was a bold thing to do. And then one day, I received a call from Father Mike. “Ralph, I’ve been listening to your talks on A Crisis of Truth, and I just had to pull my car over and give you a call right away. The Lord has told me to stand with you, side by side with you, and travel with you and support you in this really important message. I have the credentials that you don’t have, and I want to use them to endorse what you are doing and protect you from the counterattack that will come.”

I received this call with an overwhelming sense of love and gratitude, that the Lord would help me in this way, and that someone like Father Mike would literally stand side by side with me for years as we traveled all over the world giving this message.

This was one of the most deeply moving experiences of my life and one for which I am forever grateful. I look forward very much, God willing, to our heavenly reunion!

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Fr. Scanlan and Ralph Martin are both pictured on this Fire Rally advertisement.

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The following reflection was written by Fr. Michael Scanlan for Renewal Ministries’ twenty-fifth anniversary newsletter:

I am driving to the Pittsburgh airport and listening in the car to Ralph’s talk on The Crisis of Truth. I am so deeply moved by his message that I stop in my journey and call Ralph to tell him that I have decided to stand with him and for him—to support him in every way I can, so that this word is given to God’s people. Ralph accepts my offer and we begin to travel together. I introduce Ralph and after his talk, I follow with a commentary on pastoral application and problems, usually directed especially to priests.

I remember being in Toronto for The Crisis of Truth. The sponsors were a citywide grouping of clergy, including prominent Catholic, Protestant, and Pentecostal clergymen. Speaking in the largest Anglican cathedral in Canada, we were introduced and welcomed by an Anglican bishop, the head of the Assembly of God Church in Canada, the diocesan liaison for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and a variety of other clergymen representing a true cross section of Canadian church life. I felt led to conclude our talks with an altar call, and literally hundreds of those present came forward to ask for prayer for various needs. It was a moving opportunity to be in contact with the needs of God’s people, and we were the last ones to leave the cathedral that night, in the midst of an early snowstorm.

Our first FIRE (Faith, Intercession, Repentance, and Evangelism) rally was held at the Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey on the eve of Pentecost. Ralph, Fr. John Bertolucci, Fr. Jim Ferry, Sr. Ann Shields and I shared the Ministry of the Word together. Over 13,000 people attended the rally and we felt that God’s word was truly spoken and the response of the people was inspiring.

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Ralph and Fr. Scanlan conduct the first Fire Rally in Lithuania for 1,000 people.

Sr. Ann Recalls Day with Mother Teresa

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Background Image Credit

In 1976, I had the privilege of being invited by Father Michael Scanlan to come to the now Franciscan University of Steubenville to help build, strengthen, and secure a living faith environment on campus. As part of that process, Father Michael invited Mother Teresa of Calcutta to be the commencement speaker at graduation in 1979. Father asked me if I would be willing to be her hostess for the day. It proved to be a life-changing day for me.

As I took Mother to and from the Pittsburgh Airport and accompanied her to various events, meals, etc., we had remarkable periods of time just to be together as we waited for events to begin. Over cups of tea we shared, I was struck by her humility, her other-centeredness, her love for the poor, and her total “given-ness” to the ministry God had asked of her.

At one point, I asked her: “What is it like for you when you speak at banquets and other fundraising events and see our wealth and our waste?” She smiled and very softly answered, “Sometimes when I see those huge platters of meat being passed down the tables, I think of “my children” scrambling under a table for a single grain of dropped rice.” She paused, and then waved her hand back and forth in front of her eyes and said, “But Jesus has told us never to judge, so I do not judge.”

Later that day, her commencement address was based on the “old” Baltimore Catechism question, “Who made you and why did God make you?” The answer is, “God made us to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him in the next.” Her whole speech was based on that question and that answer. It was a short commencement speech, but it was powerful in its impact. I know, for certain, of one student’s life being totally turned around by her address—and it was a conversion that lasted!

During one of the last conversations we had that day, as I prepared to take her to the airport, we shared this interchange: I said, “Mother, I deeply admire you and the work you are doing. I feel that what I am doing is so small in comparison.” At that moment, she “grabbed” both of my upper arms and actually shook me for a moment, and then she said this: “Sister, I am doing what you cannot do; you are doing what I cannot do. Together, we are the Body of Christ!” The top of her head came just to my shoulders, but I will never forget the look in her eyes as she fixed her gaze on me.

Never, from that time, did I ever question what God was asking of me; never, since that time, have I ever wished, not even for a moment, to be doing something else. May God be praised, Who raises up living saints (sometimes with a capital “S”)—people whose lives are so given to Christ, they become real channels of God’s grace. May St. Teresa of Calcutta’s witness inspire each of us to love Christ and to follow Him wherever He leads!