• Share Your Memories, Prayers, or Thoughts

    Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, touched innumerable lives, working every moment to bring Christ to everyone whom he met. Share with us how Father Mike touched your life, share a prayer for his soul, or any other thoughts.

    Your submissions may be posted on our website or included in future print publications.


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  • Some of Your Submissions


    Rest in peace, Father Scanlan! I will never forget the time that I went knocking on the friary door on Franciscan’s campus in search of you to pray with. I was enduring an illness that was interfering so much with school that I almost had to leave mid-semester. Without hesitation, you prayed over me with such hope, peace, and love. The next day it was clear that I was healed, and I was able to finish off the semester of school. I am forever grateful for your warm, humble, giving heart and constant readiness to call upon the Lord with complete hope and trust in his power to heal and to change hearts. —Caitlin Welsh


    I met Father Michael at a charismatic convention at the Tacoma Dome in the early ’80s. His love for Jesus was contagious and continues to inspire me. His commitment to the Lord seemed to never falter. I only hope, by the grace of God, I can and will do the same! May the soul of faithful Father Michael rest in peace. —Julie Cemelich


    I watched Father Michael on EWTN, on Franciscan University Presents. I was truly drawn in by Father's gentle yet fiercely Roman Catholic attitude and talks. I am praying for Father Michael and for all of you. I will miss him on TV. As an OFS (secular Franciscan), I think of the TORs as family. Our fraternity, the St. Mary Frances of the Five Wounds Fraternity, will keep you in prayer too. Pax et Bonum! ——Laurie Wojculewicz


    Thank you, Father Mike, for that once in a lifetime dance. Thank you for sharing your business knowledge and advice, for praying over me and with me. You touched my life. —Julie Schalk


    In the 1980s, Sister Maria Walsh, CSJ, established the convent of St. Pius V Parish as Annunciation House, a household of religious sisters attending the University. Father Michael gave us a great blessing in accepting our little chapel as an extension of the Portiuncula, which allowed exposition when any of us were present. The first one there opened the tabernacle, which housed a cross-shaped monstrance, and the last one to leave closed it. It was truly the heart of our home, a strength and joy to all the members, and a joy to Father Mike, as well, on his visits to us. The household closed when the parish did and was occupied by offices of his beloved charismatic community of Steubenville. —Sister Marie Cunniffe


    Dear friends, I truly believe Father Scanlan to be a saint. I never met him personally, but I have had the privilege of hearing and seeing him through charismatic conferences when he was well enough to participate. I am part of an intercessory prayer group. We received a request to pray for a woman undergoing a 16 to 18 hour surgery to remove multiple tumors throughout several organs. Upon hearing of Father Scanlan’s passing I asked our group to pray to St. Andre Besette and Father Scanlan for their intercession on her behalf. The surgery went well...took only 15 hours. She was noted to be strong after such a long and complicated surgery and was asking for her phone! Truly astonishing. As I believe Father Scanlan to be a saint, I am wondering if someone has composed a prayer for his intercession. I would be grateful to have it. Thank you, and God bless you all. —Kathy Smith


    In the early ’80s we heard wonderful things about the University from a friend’s son who was a student. To this day, he remains impacted by Father Mike and his ministry. In 1997, I was surprised by grace and found myself there for two semesters, “post-grad-non-trad” as they say. There are many shining memories of the spiritual culture that Father Mike had led the campus to, but my first experience of it was unforgettable. Arriving for the 6:30 a.m. Mass, I was literally rooted to the spot at the sight of the pews absolutely full of students at that hour, the first morning after spring break. And that was before knowing the Port in the middle of the night. Rest in peace, Father Michael. You have surely received a joyful welcome and the reward of the faithful servant. You will remember us and, even as we grieve in joy, we will remember you. —Sister Michael Mugan


    I remember a letter in New Covenant magazine written by Father Scanlan. He wrote that we always make time for what matters to us. The time we make for prayer, the relationship with our God, will give us the answer to how important he is in our life. Through Father Scanlan’s teaching, we can see the truth about ourselves and reflect on it so that we can address things on our life and be transformed. Thank you, Father Scanlan, for your zealous spirit! May God’s eternal light shine upon you forever. Amen. From a 1970s college student in New Orleans residing now in Massachusetts, Maria Pujals de Fernandez


    He was truly living proof that one faithful soul can change the world! —Diane Robison


    He was just always smiling. This was so nice to see. Thank you, Father Scanlan, for working so hard to make Franciscan University a truly Catholic educational environment that we were all proud to attend. Ricordaci alla Madonna nel cielo! (Remember us to Our Lady in heaven!) —Mary Soltis Gabriele ’98


    I remember being very excited to be a new student at Franciscan University. As freshmen, we were invited to the J.C. Williams Center to individually meet Father Michael Scanlan, the University president, in 1988. I was impressed that the president would take the time to meet each one of us. I am ever grateful for my time at Franciscan. I am grateful for my Agape household sisters, for Father Sam Tiesi's Portiuncula, for the amazing sermons of the friars, for the Festivals of Praise, and for so much more that has become a solid foundation for my life. I am now a sister in the order of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, who lived on campus during my years at Franciscan. Thank you, Father Michael Scanlan, for pursuing the dream in which I was privileged to share. May you see our Lord, whose vessel of powerful grace you were, with great joy.  —Sister M. Immaculata (Stacey) Biskner           


    My thoughts and prayers go to Father Scanlan today. He once visited our small parish, St. Ann's Parish, in Whitesboro, New York. I will always be thankful for his visit to our small community. He truly left us with his much love of God and his knowledge. He will always be a part of my life. —Judith Mohr


    I met Father Scanlan back in the mid ’80s at a charismatic conference in Miami, Florida. I was a young exile from Esteli, Nicaragua (product of the civil war of 1978-1979). I was raised Catholic and went to Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School (C.N.S.R. in Spanish) from the third grade all the way to high school. It is still run by the nuns of the Sacred Heart of Jesus from Spain. The Franciscan spirituality was strongly embedded in my soul. Therefore, I became interested in attending Franciscan University of Steubenville, as he invited the youth at this conference I attended. In my small-town naivety, I wrote a letter to Father Scanlan (it was probably a handwritten letter), expressing my deep desire to continue my education in the charismatic Franciscan spirit. My English writing was very limited; it might have been full of errors. I candidly explained to him my limitations: immigrant from Nicaragua, lack of knowledge of the English language, exiled without financial resources, and lack of an established residency in the United States (asylum-pending status). To my great surprise, I received a personal response from him. He offered all his support to me. He had spoken with a Catholic family who was willing to receive me in their home. He offered me a job in the school cafeteria and asked me to volunteer in the summer to serve at the different conferences and/or retreats offered there at the time. Father Scanlan went a long way to make my dream come true. I was delighted. I screamed. I cried. However, when I shared with my parents what to me was the greatest news ever, they didn't approve. They said it was too good to be true. My parents were simply scared immigrants, afraid of something bad happening to their 20-year-old daughter. That was about 30 years ago. I can never forget him. I can never forget his gentleness, his generosity, his joyfulness. His disposition to help me (or to help any “little one”) to achieve an improbable dream revealed his humble heart, the heart of a servant. May our Lord Jesus Christ and our Holy Mother Mary bless his soul. Father Scanlan will always be remembered in my heart and in my prayers. With all my affection, Sara Torres, Miami, Florida


    A very much-loved priest of God. Just the other day I heard, silently echoing in my mind, “All is well” in the characteristic way Father Mike would say it as he walked into the sacristy. —Larry Wells


    I had two experiences happen to me, the first one in 2008 and the second one in 2009. I believe the first one was Election Day of 2008. Father Michael decided to lead praise and worship, and I was there. That, itself, was amazing, but it was afterwards that was even more so. A friend of mine knew I wanted to talk to him because I had listened to a talk of his, so she led me up there. For those who don’t know, I'm visually impaired. So my friend led me right up to Father, and I was about to open my mouth to talk to him because I realized I was right there. I didn't have time to say anything, because I think he thought I wanted him to pray over me. The next thing I knew, his hands were on me, and he was praying over me. Down I went with my cane, slain in the spirit. The only thing I thought was, “I hope I didn't hurt anyone with my cane.” Thank God my friend was right behind me, and she caught me so everything was fine. It was such an amazing experience. In 2009, it was around February, I went to the later Mass in the morning. I usually had to ask someone at random to help me get to Communion. Boy, was that always an adventure, because that was one of the most crowded Masses. I usually avoided it. Unbeknownst to me, Father Mike gave me Communion. In the back of my mind, I thought it was he, but I wasn't positive because the music was louder as I was closer to the front. It sounded like his voice but I wasn't 100 percent sure. I was leaving after Mass when I felt someone grab my shoulder. It was Father Mike! He paid attention to where I was sitting because he knew I couldn’t see well. He also knew he had to grab my shoulder so I could talk to him. He told me he felt like God wanted to bless me, and he wanted to take me to the grotto area to pray over me. Let me tell you something, it was very interesting being guided by him, because he was much older and I was afraid we were both going to fall, to be honest with you. We both made it safely, and it was such a blessing because, again, he prayed over me for healing and for God’s blessings. I felt like he singled me out, and it was so awesome. He was someone I always wanted to meet, but I never knew how it would happen. He found me, and I didn't have to do anything. God works things out in so many ways. —Christine Olivares


    Father Michael, you have brought me closer to God. I will never forget you. May your soul now rest in peace with Jesus. —Nancy Davis


    I would not have met my wife and have the five beautiful children that we do but for Father Scanlan. I believe that he is and will be declared a saint (with a capital “S”). I would encourage Father Sean and those involved to reevaluate the plans for the new cathedral-type church planned for the campus. One of the side altars should be a shrine to Father Scanlan and house his body. It will be a place for pilgrimage and be a fitting resting place for him once he is officially declared a saint. —David Born


    I am so blessed to have known Father Mike, even from afar. I first heard of Franciscan University through the youth retreats and was able to watch young people from my parish in Colorado blossom from that experience. Now I am proudly a "Frannie" mom, as my daughter and son-in-law are alumni of Franciscan. What a beautiful home he created there in Steubenville, where young people journey for both a higher education and a deeper, true understanding of our Catholic faith. I felt blessed every time I visited the University and feel grateful that I can still attend the adult conferences to enrich my own faith. Thank you for your faith and vision, Father Mike! —Clara Meier


    I never had the pleasure of meeting Father Scanlan in person, but I was an avid viewer of his television show on EWTN. I felt that I always came away with renewed formation whenever I listened to the dialogue and discussions back and forth with his team. I know that Scott Hahn has taken his place, but did not realize Father was so ill at this time. I shall remember him always in my prayers. Thank you for this information. —Pat Crotty Palmer, OFS


    I knew Father Mike as friend, pastor, teacher, and brother in covenant community. And today, at his memorial Mass, it impressed me how different my life would have been had I never met him, had he not said yes to God’s call to lead a renewal at Franciscan University. Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, preached at that Mass and stated that most of us would not be here today had it not been for Father Mike’s yes to God’s will. My family and I moved to Steubenville over 30 years ago in order to join the charismatic covenant community that he led for many years. Two of our three children attended the University and met their spouses there. My wife and I worked at the University until we recently retired. All three of our children grew up in the faith here, and eventually all met their spouses here, too. We now have 10 grandchildren as a result of those blessed marriages. I was profoundly moved in gratitude today at that memorial Mass, to God for his goodness to my family and me and in thanksgiving for Father Mike and all that happened to my family and me because one man said yes to God’s will in his life! —Joseph Loizzo


    I am honored and humbled to have known such an incredible, holy, insightful, “mover and shaker” man! I believe the 1980s were some of the best years at the University, as all the changes Father Mike made were in full swing with on-fire staff and students. It was a privilege to attend. Honestly, he made it Disneyland for Catholics! We learned the truth in our classes and witnessed it outside with every faculty member and friar who walked the campus. The feeling of family having beautiful discussions, prayer times, sisterhood and brotherhood in households, and hours of honest to goodness “good, clean fun” set us up with a concrete way of Catholic life to be lived after graduation. He did that! (Well, the Holy Spirit spoke, and he took action!) Those years and that foundation that I received from the College/University he created will be almost as dear to me as he is for the rest of my life! —Angie Piccirilli


    My daughter asked me this week if I had a picture of Father Mike to show her. I turned to look around and realized his picture (handing me my diploma) has been on my nightstand for over 20 years. Father Mike has always been a role model to follow. He was always the example of what a truly complete man acted like. He was very spiritual, joyful, intellectual, and very human. He was a holy man. —Carla Pierson


    January 12 will forever be etched in my memories. It was January 12, 2006, when I first met Father Mike. Having gone through my own “dark night” at the time, I walked Father Mike back to the old friary after Mass at the urge of my mother. I don't remember what we talked about, but when we approached the door, I turned toward him to say goodbye. Instead, through the Holy Spirit, I found myself asking him to be my spiritual director. He laughed and smiled. “Call my secretary on Monday to set up an appointment,” he replied. Tomorrow, January 12, 2017, we will meet again at his funeral Mass, only to say goodbye. Happy 11 years of friendship, Father Mike. Until we meet again. I love you. —DeEtta Bertucci


    I shudder to think who I would be, the Holy Mother I may never have taken as my own, all the people I never would have called friend-sister-brother, the saints I never would have come to know, the True Presence I might not have come to love and depend upon, and the truths I never would have learned, known, and lived, without the yes of Father Michael Scanlan. Thanks be to God! —Mary (Jones ’99) Collins


    Thank you, Father Mike! I am so indebted to you personally and grateful for all you have done for Franciscan University as a whole. You have positively impacted generations of students who will “go out and preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth.” I'll never forget your sermon on the surfer. I was that person always riding the wave and when it came crashing down, my whole life goal was to get back up on the high of the wave—until I came to Franciscan and was directly and indirectly influenced by you. May your soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. Prayer of St. Gertrude to release 1,000 souls from Purgatory: Eternal Father, I offer you the most precious blood of thy divine Son Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home, and within my family. Amen. —Rich Scanlon


    I was blessed to attend some of the youth conferences beginning, I believe, in 1976 where I was impressed by Father Mike. I later had the opportunity to meet him and eventually attend the then-College of Steubenville. After graduation, we remained in the area for approximately 12 years, and all during that time I was inspired by this man. Not just his holiness, but his personal touch. He always knew your name and said hello and took the time to make you feel loved. I remember him being one of the friars who congratulated me after Tammy and I got engaged. My immediate thought was, how did he even know?, then I went straight to feeling very humbled that he cared enough to even say something. To say he touched a lot of lives doesn’t really put into perspective the lives he really did touch. The world is a better place, and my life is better than it could have been, because of the impact Father Mike made on it. Rest in his glorious peace, Father Mike, and thank you. —David Laza


    The witness to Father Mike's faith is the vibrancy of this campus at Franciscan University and the many students who are living lives of holiness all over the world. Everyone—keep going! —Jack Schmitt


    Each encounter with Father Mike was an encounter with Christ. I had sat down for lunch on a Friday, feeling lousy due to being on crutches for an ankle sprain. He urged me to attend the healing service that night in Christ the King Chapel. Needless to say, I left carrying my crutches. Father Mike listened to the Holy Spirit and brought Christ to so many. Thank you, Father Mike, for believing and inspiring us. May you rest in peace. —Jennifer (Sullivan '96) Lafleur


    Before coming to Steubenville, I read Let the Fire Fall and experienced the power of the baptism of the Holy Spirit! This truly inspired me, brought me to a powerful conversion, and led me to Franciscan University! Here I was overwhelmed by Father Mike’s vision. His incredible presence on campus, in the chapel, in the confessional, and in the dorm room, this spiritual father to many shared his vision to the student body at all times. To see your hero on daily basis, someone you read about and who inspired your faith life, was indeed amazing. We as a whole understood our individual mission and calling to this place and the mission given to us all to become part of renewing the Church and, of course, renewing society. I am in tears for losing a spiritual giant who heard my confessions and propelled me to truly be transformed by the Holy Spirit. Rest in peace, Father Mike! —Luciano Coson


    I remember Father Mike in the charismatic renewal, not so much Steubie U as we called it in the early days (1961-1964). He was especially gifted in the charismatic gift of word of knowledge. —Paul Madigan


    What a wonderful man and priest Father Michael Scanlan was. He prayed over my wife and me for a child when we were having difficulty conceiving. Daniel turns 27 in a month. We will always remember Father Mike’s part in our miracle. Fondly, Peter and Kelly Dunn, Manchester, New Hampshire


    President Father Michael Scanlan, who held the office at the beginning of my time as an undergraduate at Franciscan University, was very energetic and involved with our student life. It helped that he lived among us. He could have hid in the friary after work to get away from us, mostly teens and twenty-somethings, but no, he was very immersed and involved with us. He cared about our lives, attending our concerts, going to our gatherings, and just “being there.” One of my memories of Father Mike was the time he swam "under" me at an open swim at Belleview Pool.
    —Matthew Falcon


    Father Michael was like a father to me. His presence helped me feel safe after having some run-ins with various religious prior to my study at Franciscan University. He would stop and chat with me while on his way back to the Holy Spirit Monastery from a day’s work in the administration building. I was tending to the flowers on the campus. It was a joy to watch him play tennis with Father Sam. It was always a blessing to attend the campus Mass and hear his homilies. He prayed over me and the other nursing students for our future service as nurses, and I am still active. After a Sunday Mass, he joined some African sisters and me for a meal at Pizza Hut. When my dad passed away right after my graduation from Franciscan University, he wrote me a personal letter of condolence. In March 2000, while touring the Holy Land with him, Father Michael summoned some of the other pilgrims and Sister Ann Shields to pray over me, as I had just finished 16 months of cancer treatment. A few years later he came out to visit with alumni in Colorado. He commented he had just finished skiing down another black diamond run! Father Michael will forever be in my heart. —Karen Getzel


    May our loving Father take you straight home to heaven in his loving arms! XOXO.
    —Maureen Nicholson


    I worked with Father Scanlan for over a year. He was a wonderful man. He never once pushed the Catholic religion on me, for I’m not Catholic. Getting to know this man was a true blessing. He always had a smile on his face, even if he was in pain. He always tried to make others happy. I know when I was in a low spot he would notice something was wrong, and he would get my mind off of it. He knew how to make YOU smile. He was always so loving. He never judged you or held your past against you. He knew you could always better yourself, even if you didn't believe it. This man will be truly missed and forever loved. —Felicia Nash


    I spent two years at Franciscan University (85-87), obtaining a degree in mental health. I was a member of Hearts of Fire Household. I remember Father Mike, with a broken collarbone, winning a game of table tennis! A great man, and table tennis player, whom I will miss! I know he prays for us all. —Frank Tavella


    A truly great soul has now entered into heaven. I am forever grateful to God for providing me with the opportunity to attend Franciscan University of Steubenville. Father Mike was a true inspiration to me while I was pursuing my nursing degree. Because of his teachings, he inspired me, and so many, to live the way, the truth, and the life of Christ. Father Mike truly embodied the teachings of St. Francis and his ministry. My prayer is that we can all reflect upon the prayer of St. Francis and be reminded of the beautiful memories and ministry of Father Mike. Rest in peace, Father Mike. Lord, make me a channel of your peace, that where there is hatred, I may bring love. Where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness. Where there is discord, I may bring harmony. Where there is error, I may bring truth. Where there is doubt, I may bring faith. Where there is despair, I may bring hope. Where there are shadows, I may bring light. And where there is sadness, I may bring Joy. Lord, grant that I may comfort, rather than to be comforted; that I may understand, rather than to be understood; that I may love, rather than to be loved. For it is by forgetting self, that one finds it. It is by forgiving, that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to eternal life. —Gretchen Gauck-Dubes


    Father Mike was a wonderful man. It was a privilege and honor to care for such a man. We had many engaging conversations about our Lord Jesus. I have been inspired by Father to become a minister in my own church. —Gregory Dick


    Thank you, Father Mike. January 7, 2017, the day our Father called you home, a day prepared for you for all eternity. Thank you, Father Mike, for directing souls and for your priesthood that personified God the Father’s love, Thank you, Father Mike, that you loved to pray in dialogue with Jesus. You prayed with us and for us. You were always there. Thank you, Father Mike, for your gaze upon the Trinity, relationship of love. Their motto, one you also valued, with each person in relationship, As a father and a friend, thank you, Father Mike, for making time for me and all who came to you at times to share our joys, other times our aching hearts, or our troubled souls. Thank you, Father Mike, for your joyful presence, a reflection of your love for Christ. Thank you, Father Mike, as president or chancellor you made time for all, in imitation of our Lord, without a hurried stride, Thank you, Father Mike, for your open heart, so our Lord bestowed on you an attentive heart, with ears that heard the heart. Thank you, Father Mike, for God’s wisdom in your counsel that pointed us to Christ. “Grow in virtue” was your motto, taking Mary’s hand. As the day grew near, did you recall the day that you were conceived? The day he blew his life in you, when he whispered tender words to you: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.... Come back to me.” Your response was “yes.” And so you lived your life. Thank you, Father Mike, for your return to him, that once again you rest in his divine embrace. We pray for you, and pray for us that each day we, too, say “yes” to our Father’s call. Thank you, Father Mike, and now we say goodbye until we meet again....thus to celebrate! —Olga Dankoski


    Godspeed, Michael! He walked and talked among men. Yet it was Christ in him who changed people. And now it’s the people’s turn to live holy unto God. For now Father Michael has found his eternal home. —Lynne Raisley


    A few weeks ago I received a very clear, distinct spiritual light regarding Father Mike in relation to St. Francis. St. Francis received a call to rebuild the Church. He started locally with a church that was in ruins in Assisi. Father Mike took a college on the verge of collapse and indeed rebuilt it from ruins. From that small town of Assisi, St. Francis rebuilt the entire Church and changed the world. There is no doubt that what Father Mike built, with the grace of God, is rebuilding the American Church and the entire world. The powerful force of good and the work of the Holy Spirit that comes forth from Franciscan University are changing the world. Father Michael Scanlan is a modern-day St. Francis. Their lives are somewhat of a parallel in this sense. I’m grateful we had the opportunity to witness it and experience the rebuilding of our own hearts through this faithful servant of God. Father Mike’s fruitfulness is just beginning. Come, Holy Spirit! Let the Fire Fall! —Mark Hartfiel


    Father Michael saved my life and my soul. He is the most wonderful man I have ever known. RIP, dear father. —Linda McAfee


    More than 30 years ago, I attended a youth conference with one daughter and three nieces. In those days, housing was outdoors in large tents—one for the women and one for the men. All the talks/events were also in a very large tent to accommodate everyone. That Saturday we heard there was a possible tornado heading directly for Steubenville. Saturday night, as we all gathered in that large tent, the rain and wind increased to the point that the huge center post started to sway. I could see Father Scanlan huddle with the team on the front stage, and then Father Scanlan asked everyone to kneel as he said a prayer to take control of the elements in the name of Jesus. We all prayed in the Spirit and witnessed a miracle. Within two to three minutes, the wind died down and the pouring rain became a whimper. That was the first time I had “seen” the power in using the name of Jesus, and I will never forget Father Scanlan’s boldness in leading us in that prayer. —Kathy Lynch


    I attended Signs and Wonders in Baltimore in 1985, sponsored by John Wimber and the Vineyard Church. Father Mike was there, along with many attendees from Catholic covenant communities along the northern east coast. I had badly sprained my ankle the previous week and had to use crutches at the conference. A call was made late the first night for folks with ankle problems, and Father Mike got up and was prayed with alongside me. Pastor Wimber looked down from the stage at Father Mike and said, “I know who YOU ARE.” Father Mike smiled, although his ankle was giving him grief that night. As he (and I) were prayed for by the team, Father Mike began laughing so hard he sounded like a chicken. I marveled at just how relaxed he was under the unction of the Holy Spirit. Great man, and I received my calling to become a deacon two years later at, you guessed it, a youth conference at the University Of Steubenville. Praise you, Jesus, for Father Mike. —Deacon Ron Gurr


    Sometimes we encounter living saints and don’t realize it. Other times, we’re struck by such a powerful experience of God’s tender love that we can’t help but realize it. Such was the life of Father Michael Scanlan. Much like a farmer that tills soil, Father Mike plowed through this world leaving no soul untouched in the wake of his incredible, holy, humble, faithful, and determined spirit. I feel so privileged to have known him and, at the same time, I feel a certain responsibility BECAUSE I knew him... “to whom much has been given, much is expected.” May I live a life of faithful obedience because God has shown me how it’s done through the example of this holy man. Though there is a void on earth now, heaven is rejoicing! Enjoy your welcome home, Father! —Mary Milko


    Praise and thanksgiving for the life of Father Mike. I will always remember the week of the FIRE rally in Rome, March 1995, with 365 of us for a whole week. He reviewed the first 10 chapters of my autobiography, grieved with me over the loss of my husband and later our handicapped daughter Teresa. Encouraged by wandering hermit lifestyle and always welcomed me at Franciscan. First vote for canonization for Father Mike. RIP.     —Doris Muir


    Met my husband while at Steubenville from 1973 to 1977. Married him in 1984 and began our seven year prayer journey for children. While doing a sit-in in front of an abortion clinic in Youngstown, Ohio, I was jailed with Bishop Albert Ottenwiller, Father Scanlan, and my widowed mother of 11 children. Father Scanlan prayed over me, and six weeks later I was pregnant. He indeed had the gift of healing. We later called ourselves the Youngstown 47. The best retreat of a lifetime, many stories of healing. Saw priests prostrate in front of the Blessed Sacrament for the first time. Had lectures by a world famous Mariologist. Notre Dame promised to send hundreds of lawyers. Divine providence had a priest conference in Youngstown. Priests and relics came from everywhere. But I shall never forget him sitting on that cot with his Breviary, praying over me, and what he said. Thank you, dear God, for the gift of Father Scanlan. —Mrs. Janet (Chester) Cocchi


    The spiritual, pastoral, and academic impact of Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, ranges far beyond the campus of his beloved Steubenville. His innovative zeal and desire to augment what was truly Catholic in campus, academic, and intellectual life during a crisis period in the Catholic Church in America (particularly for young adults) will never be forgotten—it was truly a major achievement! The spiritual leadership Steubenville enjoys nationally can be attributed in part to Father Scanlan’s diligence and pastoral appeal. May God grant him eternal rest, and may his students past, present, and future “lift some Aves” for him and his dedicated spiritual and academic vocation on their behalf! —Max Kaiser Jr.


    Father Mike drew everyone into his own circle. I love how he would see me. Even though I was never a formal student at Franciscan but taught part time for four years and went to conferences, he would say, “So good to see you, Sister Jane. You are always one of us here.” I will never forget this great priest and friend. —Sr. Jane M. Abeln, SMIC


    I try to offer up Mass for someone every single day. I know how much I need those graces, and I’m sure others do as well. Normally, I will offer it up for whatever friend has a birthday that day and then include others if they are placed on my heart. On Friday, January 6, I was offering up Mass for my brother who celebrated his birthday that day, but then I had a feeling on my heart to offer it up for another person as well: Father Mike Scanlan, whom I hadn’t seen since he left Steubenville in 2011. I hadn’t thought about him for a while, but the Holy Spirit led me to this. As God would have it, he took Father Mike home the very next day. It only makes sense though, that the man who unknowingly led me to a greater relationship with the Holy Spirit through his book Let the Fire Fall would receive those graces from my end the day before he went home to the Father. —Brendan Gotta


    I will never forget May 2, 1998. At Father Scanlan’s FIRE rally, after a long spiritual struggle, I came back to the Catholic Faith. It had been 30 years and my life has been immeasurably richer by coming home. Thank you, and God bless you, dear Father Scanlan. Rest in his peace and love. —Christine Frances Collins


    I was hired as one of the first employees to start building the high school youth conferences throughout the country. When I was first hired, Father Mike had a standard routine of meeting with each new employee. I’ll never forget that meeting. He told me he didn’t care how many teenagers came to conferences. He didn’t worry about how we could afford to run these events. What he worried about was how well we listened to God’s call through the process. He knew the challenge would be to listen and respond to how God was directing these youth conferences and then be willing to follow that call. Nothing was more important. Throughout all these accolades and tributes that are being written about Father Scanlan, I think we all simply appreciate that he never lost this focus. For him, it was never about the achievements, the goals, or the heights to which success may take us. It was always about being faithful to God, above all. Father Mike was more proud of that then anything we could have ever done. And it’s this lesson that was burned into my heart. He was a giant in the culture and in the Church. But he never presumed to be anything more than a friar who loved deeply. —Steve Feher


    When I transferred to Franciscan University as a non-traditional student in 2006, the renewal begun by Father Mike was already nearly a generation in growing and the stuff of legend among the student body. We very much found ourselves the beneficiaries of something amazing that had happened, and was continuing to happen around us, because of this good friar. In the few personal interactions I had with Father Mike, as well as in his many Masses and presentations that I was blessed to be present for, it was clear why so many regarded him as a walking saint even during his life. Here was a man in love, a man completely given over to a wondrous Other. This is the heart of true Franciscanism (may it be said of all those following the Poverello’s footsteps), and just as the mind boggles attempting to conceive of how many lives have been touched and impacted by St. Francis, the same can easily be said of the faithfulness of his good friar, Father Mike. My own little life story bears this out, for it was the culture change at Franciscan, which he championed, that led to my own initial call and conversion to Christ as a wayward teenager, to my entrance into formation for religious life, to my eventual enrollment at Franciscan and the discovery of my vocation in marriage, to the meeting of my future spouse and the generation of three new lives to the glory of God since then. My personal history is forever marked, and I am forever changed, because of the faithfulness of this good friar. May the Lord be pleased to receive him into eternal life. Amen. —Aaron Seng


    I met Father Scanlan in person once and couldn’t even speak properly. I had been listening to him on tape and on EWTN, and I just loved him. His words were like fire, searing your soul. Such an instrument of God to me and so many. I know I will miss him much and so will a whole lot of other people. We will just miss him, that’s all. I read yesterday a line from St. Ignatius of Loyola: “among the many signs of a lively faith and hope we have in eternal life, one of the surest is not being overly sad at the death of those who we dearly love in our Lord,” and Father Scanlan is surely dearly loved. I agree with Dr. Hahn: Giants of the 20th century—may he and Mother Angelica and Father Benedict have a really great time and greet us when our turn comes. Arrivederci, oh dear one! —Elizabeth MacInnis


    Father Scanlan was a man who touched the lives of many, and I am grateful to be one of them. I experienced firsthand his infectious love for God and his zeal for evangelizing as I attended Franciscan during his last year as president. Because of his faithfulness, energy, and fortitude, the college he transformed continues to have an impact on me, my family, acquaintances, and those whom I serve in the Church. Rest in peace, Father Mike. —Liz (Garni) Hoefferle


    My favorite memories of Father Mike that I used many times every year in talks I have given are: I was at the 1978 Youth Conference and his homily was “Give the Lord your lunch.” It was about giving all to Jesus. I had already committed to attend another college, but the following year I transferred to Steubenville. That fall I started classes at Steubenville. Of course, like most, we all met Father Mike the first week during orientation. The second week of school I was walking to class with a group of new friends. Father Mike caught up to us on the way up the hill, and he joined in our conversation. He called me by my name. I was shocked. He soon continued on moving faster up the hill. My friends were so impressed. “How does he know your name?” (I am sure he was still in earshot and heard our conversation.) We were all still questioning how he remembered me. Suddenly, I realized I had my cheering jacket on which was my name . We all broke out in hysterical laughter. Father Mike (who was how in a discussion with a new group) turned toward our group for a moment, smiled, and walked on. The best part of the story was he never forgot my name. We would have chats many time after that. —Kelly Fleck DeRaymond


    Father Mike prayed over me at one of the spiritual FIRE conferences. I was very persistent that he pray over me and for the gift I asked him to give me. At the University while he prayed over me, I was slain in the spirit and came to a while later lying on the ground. When I was picked up from the ground, Father Mike was gone from the stage. He changed my life that day, and I have always shared that story with others. They are astounded by it. I had read his books before this happened and learned about him, so I was determined to meet him that day. I am saddened to hear of his passing but I know he is with our Lord and hope he can pray me up to heaven so I may see him again. —Michael Kuchta


    I was not a personal friend or one of the students who was close to him, but I do remember that he was always approachable. I will miss him. “Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there… I do not sleep. I am the thousand winds that blow… I am the diamond glints on snow… I am the sunlight on ripened grain… I am the gentle autumn rain. When you waken in the morning’s hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of gentle birds in circling flight… I am the soft star that shines at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry— I am not there… I did not die.” —Thomas Klusman


    Father Mike always had a personal connection with those he met. In my many ways of being around him, especially during retreats in Panama and during pilgrimages with Franciscan University, he made sure that he could be there when needed. After going to confession with him, I experienced complete healing of a recurring sin and have been set free ever since. I later realized that was one of his gifts described in his book Let the Fire Fall. I consider myself blessed for having met him and having traveled to the Marian apparition sites and Rome and Assissi pilgrimages with him. May he enjoy the bliss of heaven! —Berta          Briceño


    I came across the obituary of Father Michael Scanlan this morning, and it took just five minutes to read the article announcing the death of this great priest, one whom I had never heard of, and I was mourning his loss and giving thanks to God for the gift of the life of such a great priest as Father Scanlan to the Church. The Church on earth has lost a great teacher and leader, while the saints in heaven have increased in number. Rest in peace, father. Nguemo Aondona, Benue, Nigeria


    Traveling to Jerusalem in 2000 was the trip of a lifetime. I was blessed to have been baptized in the River Jordan by Father Mike and to share many wonderful experiences with him in Jerusalem. —David Arroyo


    Since I discovered Franciscan University Presents on EWTN, I followed the program every first Sunday of the month. I felt then that I “knew” Father Scanlan as he facilitated the program, drawing from his guest and the two panelists the very best of thoughts and opinions. I never knew any of them personally, as live 10,000 miles away, but I always felt drawn to the way they expressed their beliefs, encouraged by the gentle but forceful facilitator. We have lost Father Scanlan on this earth, but surely he will be welcome in heaven where Jesus will reward him for his service to the faith and to mankind. —Consolacion Rogacion


    My first encounter with Father Scanlan was at a youth conference at Franciscan University. I did not know there were so many people of my own age who were willing to follow and cheer for Jesus until I attended that conference. Father Scanlan was a light for all to see. What a wonderful soul, a beacon of light, genius and hope strapped into that long brown robe. It is with great fondness that I remember him now. “I rejoiced when I heard them say let us go unto the house of the lord.” Say one Hail Mary, one Our Father, and one Glory Be for him now! —Fred Grosse


    Six of my nine children have attended Franciscan University, and in May the youngest will graduate. As a grateful parent, I have two favorite memories of Father Scanlan. The first was at a luncheon many years ago, when he assured parents that the faculty and staff of Franciscan University were not there to “undo” the values and faith parents had spent 18 years forming in their children (unlike many colleges we had visited). The second was when he told me how to convince one of my sons to attend Franciscan… and it worked. Rest in peace, Father Scanlan. —Rebecca Bremberg


    Thank you, Father Scanlan for allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you. RIP, good shepherd. —Rodney Cox


    Father Michael Scanlan was president when I was at the Franciscan University of Steubenville from 1980-84. He was a great inspiration for me and was a mentor to many of us at the University. He will be greatly missed by us all! —Joseph Kent

    Our older children went to secular colleges. When our third son was ready for college, we enrolled him at Franciscan. After an orientation event, I wrote to Father Mike to tell him that I felt comfortable trusting our son to Father Mike’s guidance. To my surprise, I quickly received a lovely hand-written note from Father Mike. I was shocked that someone with that much responsibility would take time to write back. God bless him. RIP. —Jacqueline Mazza


    Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, was the most amazing, talented, and charismatic person I have ever met, bar none. When he came to the College of Steubenville in 1974, I was there in my junior year on a basketball scholarship. I was there: I was a witness to the magical miracle of the transformation of the College, which took place right before my own eyes. Seeing is believing. This holy priest is on the level, if not above the level, of many saints. Please contact me when they start the canonization process in Rome…I am ready to provide reliable miraculous testimony. As an active duty military chaplain in the USAF, I fly around the world…this man was known to be saintly not only in Steubenville and Loretto, but around the globe. —Major Timothy Hirten, USAF McGuire AFB, New Jersey (current assignment) Osan AB, Korea (future assignment)


    May God abundantly reward Father Michael in his heavenly home, and may Father Michael know the depth of gratitude in our hearts. His blessing led me to freedom from self and Satan, both of which strangle and keep the image of God within us from fruitfulness. I and countless others are indebted to his prayers, preaching, tender love, and inspired leadership. Words fall short, so I say thank you, Father Michael, and pray that God’s tender love surround you now and forever. —Mary Jennett


    I only had the honor of meeting Father Michael Scanlan on a few occasions, but every time I knew I was in the presence of a truly great person! One time, I was walking into noon Mass, and I saw that he was the main celebrant. The opening was about to begin, but feeling that I might never get this opportunity again, I ran up to him and asked if he’d hear my confession after Mass if he had time. Father Mike replied, “Oh, how about we do it now?” To my amazement, he left the line of priests about to enter, took me to the side, and heard my confession. That was something I’ll never forget about him! —Mary-Teresa Lee


    Feeling so thankful for Father Mike today. At Mass this morning, it really struck me the impact that he made on hundreds of thousands of people. Father Mike said “yes” to the Lord’s call and, in turn, became an instrument for the conversion of so many people. Without him, I would never have had reason to travel across the country to attend a small college in Ohio, to become friends with some of the most amazing people I have ever met, to find the love of my life and begin a faithful family with him, and most of all to come to know the Lord in such a profound way. So today, I can say that my life has been truly blessed for having known Father Michael Scanlan! —Rebecca Brounstein


    Father Michael Scanlan was a very significant part of me and our family becoming who we are today. From the Fire rallies in the ’80s, to his books and the ongoing summer Steubenville youth conferences, we continue to receive the ripple effect of his answer to God’s call. Thank you, Father Michael. May God bless you abundantly! Sincerely, Mark (and Maxine) Liebsch and children Sarah (and Nathan) Spencer, Father Doug, Alex (in seminary), William (and Payton), Theresa (serving on NET), Claire, Emma, Joseph, and David.


    Father Mike was special man, priest, father, and friend. He knew that I liked knowing where he was, so when he was traveling overseas one time, he called to let me know he was at JFK, in my state. Oh, he just had a way of making people feel like they were important to him, and that was a big deal because he was Father Mike, and he is in the same category as JPII, Mother Teresa, Fulton Sheen... Thank you, Father Mike, I will never forget you, and I pray you’ll watch over and guide me as I endeavor to do God’s will. —Erika Kirtoglou


    His life is a wonderful example of: Pray and stay in God’s will. He was the vessel through which God poured his grace onto Franciscan University. Thy will be done! Such holiness continues to reside there. —Cheryl     Boland


    I first met Father Mike at a charismatic conference in Jacksonville, Florida. During that conference, his teaching moved my heart from being tormented by my mother’s illness and begging for physical healing to actually, on my knees, with tears welling, THANKING GOD for allowing her illness and treasuring it for the good that God had planned from all eternity to bring out of it. It sounds simple, but at that moment, a HUGE door opened in my heart to our loving God. Another time I was asked to bring Father Mike to an airport following a local visit. He encouraged my husband and me to share deeply about our family’s joys and sufferings on the way to the airport. He gave himself to us, totally, for that 75-minute period of time. Father Mike is one of the big reasons that I pursued a master’s in theology at Franciscan. God embrace you, Father Mike, the way you embraced all of us! —Carolyn Dean


    I knew this day would come, and knew I would want to write something profound as my attempt to honor this extraordinary man who meant so much to so many of us. He would have been the first to deny his greatness, but that doesn’t change the fact that Father Michael Scanlan was a great man. A Harvard-educated lawyer, he left a prestigious worldly career to become a Catholic priest. And not just any priest, but a Franciscan friar—one of the more humble orders, a mendicant order. That in itself demonstrates extraordinary humility. But his story doesn’t stop there. Transformed and on fire for God by the charismatic renewal, “Father Mike” was named as president of the College of Steubenville in 1974, a job he accepted on the condition that he be given a free hand to make the struggling school a bastion of radical Catholic faith and practice. He did the hard work that he believed God wanted him to do, and make no mistake, it was hard work. Firing beloved staff and faculty because they didn’t share his vision, resisting student demands, watching enrollment numbers drop precipitously before they started to climb again, starting new programs and institutions like households and Lord’s Day celebrations that now are synonymous with our alma mater—perhaps these sound somewhat blasé in the recounting, but at the time, he had to demonstrate not only that he was driven by passion to do God’s will, he had to be made of stern enough stuff to actually do it in the face of opposition, derision, and scorn. And he was. In addition to the changes he made on campus during the academic year, he started the now famous summer conferences. Year after year, as their reputation grew, the numbers would increase. Priests and deacons, religious sisters, charismatic Catholics, apologists, catechists, and of course the thousands of high school students—so many came to this hilltop in the Ohio Valley to have a personal encounter with the living God. And many of us returned as students. By the time I arrived as a freshman in the fall of 1988, the College of Steubenville had become the University of Steubenville. During my four years as a student, I was transformed by the school he built. My spirit was moved by God and the faith of the campus community, my heart was moved with compassion for the unborn, and my mind was moved by exposure to great thoughts and the story of Western civilization that we are still telling. My student years set me on a path of commitment to virtue and truth that I never would have chosen—perhaps would never even have been aware of—had I not gone to Franciscan. I made lifelong friends, met the woman I was to marry, and started my adult life there. I did not seek spiritual direction from him the way so many did. Like all the other students, I was enamored with “Father Mike,” and I reveled in the familiarity I had with this celebrity, with this man that others only saw from afar. He was ours. After graduation, I worked for the University for six years. And between my student years and my employment there, I had the privilege of being intimately involved with many of the transformative events of the school—defining milestones that we experienced only because of him: the Operation Rescue years, the Tomb of the Unborn, the inaugural semester of the Austrian campus in fall ’91, the building of the Finnegan Fieldhouse. When I felt the urge to pursue a law degree, but was anxious about leaving the comfortable and stable life we had in Steubenville, it was Father Mike’s guidance I sought. Even after I left Steubenville in 2000, I found myself inspired by his example. I could not go to Harvard, but I could pursue my own legal studies with diligence. I could not serve God as a priest, but I could serve his people as a lawyer, a husband, a father, a friend, a professor, and an elected official of integrity. I would pursue a life of virtue. The man I am is because of the man he was. I echo something I saw written on a friend’s Facebook page—who am I, that I was so blessed to know this man, to have the opportunity to talk with him, work with him, learn from him? For years, I sat at the feet of a master. And though I had not seen him for years, I feel his passing keenly, for the world has lost a great man. I will not feel his loss on a daily basis, but it was a comfort of sorts, just knowing he was there. And now he is gone, and our world is poorer for it. Yet the legacy he leaves behind is of the best, most enduring kind. The J.C .Williams Center, Tommy More and Francis dorms, even Christ the King Chapel itself—the stones of these buildings will someday crumble. But the countless souls that came to know God and his Church, the holy marriages and families that were created at Franciscan, the hearts that were transformed and the minds that were opened to truth, goodness, and beauty— these are the legacy of Father Michael Scanlan, and they are eternal. As others have said, the Church in America indeed owes him a debt of gratitude, and I am profoundly aware of my own debt to him as well. I will spend the rest of my life attempting to pay it off. —Jason Negri


    My oldest son and my daughter, three years later, went to Franciscan, and we would go to visit them, take them, or pick them up from Slinger, Wisconsin. We would stay in one of the hotels with a pool, and a number of times Father Scanlan would be swimming there. He was always friendly, and it was nice to meet the president on a personal level. He was always friendly and fun to talk to. —Kenneth Kainz


    Father Mike was an absolutely wonderful priest and man of God. We have very fond memories of our relationship with him, particularly from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. Perhaps our fondest memory is when Father Mike celebrated our wedding on August 11, 1984. At that time, the plaza outside Christ the King Chapel was being constructed, and the entire chapel area was surrounded in thick mud. Father Mike made arrangements to have slag poured from the chapel to the parking lot and the student center so that we could walk to and from the chapel, parking lot, and student center (where our reception was held) without incident. He preached magnificently, and the whole wedding ceremony was like a big prayer meeting! Once kids started arriving, he baptized several of our children and came over to the house from time to time. We would gather around the bonfire in the yard, and Nancy would clear the wax out of his ears. We had wonderful times with Father Mike planning and executing the pro-life memorial services and the Ohio Right to Life State convention in which Baby Michael was laid to rest in the Tomb of the Unborn Child. We have such fond memories of doing Life in the Spirit seminars and Festivals of Praise with Father Mike and the friars. There are so many spectacular memories with this wonderful man of God, but I think the most amazing characteristic of Father Mike was that he always encouraged us to seek more of God. Father Mike was an intensely passionate lover of Christ who walked in deep prayer. His mind was continually preoccupied with how to advance the kingdom of God. In closing, Father Mike is an outstanding testament to the power of priesthood that is alive in Christ and totally fluent in the life of the Spirit. We will miss you dearly Father Mike. —Danny Luke and Nancy Chmura–Fioramonti


    I was immensely blessed to “share” a wall with Father Mike. My office was next to his, and I grew very close to him over the years. But more than that, the time I was able to spend with him and Shirley, Rose, Father Gus, Father Dan, and so many others for dinners, coffees, and desserts, after events, after conferences, after holidays, for birthdays, and all those other wonder-filled times just visiting with him alone. Father Mike changed Church history and thus changed our world. I believe the Lord chose him in a special way to carry out the plans He gave us through St. John Paul the Great... The JPII generation was formed and prepared because of the fiat of Father Michael Scanlan. He was close to Our Lady and told me many, many beautiful stories of his encounters with her. He enkindled the fire the Lord lit in our hearts. He saved the Church, as a little Francis. Every nook and cranny of Franciscan University bore witness to the love Father Mike had for the Lord and his bride. My mind and my heart cannot contain my gratitude to God for the gift of this great priest and the blessings wrought to the world through him. We will never realize his impact on the world until we join him in heaven. And just imagine...if we feel this way about him, what it will be to meet Jesus face to face. I love you with all my heart, Father Mike. Pray for us as we will for you. And may the Holy Church proclaim you a saint. Soon. Because those of us who know you already know it’s true. Thank you for your love as a father, a mentor, a friend. Thank you for the love you showed me, my daughter and son-in-law, my son and daughter-in-law, and their families. Thank you for the gift of your prayer that is Peter. You will always be in my heart and my prayers. HEAVEN is REJOICING! And we grieve with joy. —Debbie Womack


    While I never had the honor of meeting Father Scanlan, I was “introduced” to him through his inspiring book Let the Fire Fall. I had found his book more than a decade ago while I was doing research on the secularization of Catholic colleges and universities. His book changed my thinking on what I thought was a “normal process” of secularization of all Catholic colleges. I had never considered that a Catholic college that had lost its commitment to its Catholic identity could ever recapture it, but the miracle that occurred (with Father Scanlan’s help) at Franciscan University of Steubenville showed me that it was possible. Father Scanlan made that possible through prayer, the work of the Holy Spirit, and a kind of quiet courage we seldom see today. I remember thinking when I was reading his book, how wonderful it would be to work at such a school. At the time I was teaching at the University of San Diego and never thought that could ever happen. But, just a few years later, I found myself part of this most blessed community. Thank you, Father Scanlan, for helping to make this possible. I will always be grateful for the inspiration—and the hope—you provided to me and to so many of us. —Anne Hendershott


    It was with great sadness that I learned about the death of Father Mike. Of course other feelings also come to the surface, feelings of fondness and gratitude to God for a wonderful priest, mentor, a wonderful man of God. I had the privilege of attending Franciscan from 2004-2006. Without Father Mike’s vision, this would not have been possible for an Irish diocesan priest. While Father Mike was blessed with many charisms of the Holy Spirit, he was someone with great charisma, someone who brought joy and happiness wherever he went, a towering presence on campus and also in his community. As an Irish priest, I felt a special connection to this ‘son of Saint Patrick.’ What a blessing to have known him. I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to his beloved friars. In the words of the Gaelic prayer: “Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam usual séimh, álainn.” (May his beautiful kind noble soul be on God’s right side.) —Father Gabriel Kelly


    Father Mike exemplified what is best about being a Roman Catholic in this country. His military service led to service to our Church, which was all part of his service throughout his life to God. He saw obstacles, including financial obstacles, resistance in society and within the Church, and personal health challenges as being part of a divine plan of redemption. When one thinks of the thousands of lives this one man has impacted, it inspires all of us to do more, do , and to do it on time, because of Who we are working for. I will be praying for and to him, and I am privileged to have had opportunity to attend summer conferences as an adult at Franciscan University. May his passing lead more souls to Christ. —Ann O’Keeffe Rodgers


    A great light has been extinguished. May you enter into your eternal reward, Father Michael Scanlan, TOR. Thank you for everything. —John Magee


    In 1993, as a freshman, I walked onto campus at Franciscan University and heard Father Mike’s booming voice...FOVE, FOVE CULTURUM! (No, it was not just the microphones, it was his heart resounding with a call for us, the young people!) Whether seeing him bounce walk from St. Thomas Moore down around to the tennis courts with a tennis racquet in one hand and a listening ear bent towards a friend...yep, picturing Tony, hearing the Holy Spirit through his words at Mass, being inspired by his love and enthusiasm for Holy Mother Church at the President’s dinner, a conference, and graduation, the one thing I am so grateful for...20 years later...his heart on fire for souls to come to Jesus through Mary and especially in the Eucharist. He wanted every member on campus, students and workers alike, to make a personal consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary...his whole vision was culture shock....from within. He gave us each an image, which he blessed at Mass. And God’s Word, through Father Mike’s lead, took root in our souls. Even Cindy, a cafeteria tray passer outer, joined R.C.I.A. while I was a student there! (Barbara Morgan helped that year!) Father Mike had a bigger vision than we did...than I did. He shared it, and made us all a part of the amazing things God was doing....everywhere! That year and the next...CYC with Bob Rice, Living Stations became real, Liturgy Committee, working for University Press and the Conference Office...everyone everywhere ....all agreed....there was no other priest like Father Mike. Receiving a diploma was just the beginning of serving God and using everything he taught us...for the world! And after graduation, we saw him on Mother Angelica, at conferences, pilgrimages, and wearing the heart of God on his Franciscan sleeve... “Come home, Jesus loves you, He wants you and He needs you. Come home. Let the fire of God’s love burn within your heart and life so as to glorify him!” And now, he truly does. He is united with the love of his heart, and I am grateful to have had the flame fanned in my own heart due to his faithful, relentless, joyful, zealous, and ever real love for Jesus and Mary, and the Church...and his “YES,” his “FIAT!” to God and his community. Father Michael Scanlan, pray for us!
    —Katherine (Rossi) Ricciardi


    My husband and I met Father Mike Scanlan when we lived in the Pittsburgh area in the 80s and 90s. From the moment we met him he made us feel that we were very special people, as I know he did with everyone. He was a deeply spiritual man and a man filled with great joy and love for all. Now may he and my husband have a beautiful reunion in heaven in the presence of Jesus. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful rest in peace. Amen. —Trudy Hannaway


    Father Mike was my cousin. His mother, Margaret, was my aunt. She had a twin named Madeleine, who was my grandmother. I grew up calling him “My Mike” from being very little. I didn’t like sharing him with my brother, so the name stuck for me. My Mike was the spiritual dad in my life. I was blessed with my own dad, but My Mike was a sort of dad for me. I loved him, and I know one day I will see him again. My Mike is in heaven now, healthy, happy, with Jesus and our family. I loved him more than I can say. I thank Jesus we were so close. God bless his memory. —Kim Albecker


    Father Scanlan, along with Father Brennan Manning, taught me theology at the College of Steubenville. The two of them accompanied a group of freshmen to the downtown area just before Christmas break to share our bounty with the poor families of Steubenville. We learned many lessons just by their cheerful, fun-loving example. When I returned many years later, Father Scanlan called me by name. Father Scanlan is one of best example of holy priesthood. I am privileged to have known him. Eternal rest grant unto you, dear Father Mike. May your soul and the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace. Amen. —Molly Finn


    God bless Father Mike for the legacy he created in Franciscan University’s resurgence. Now he can do even more for his beloved university than he could on earth. Eternal rest grant unto Father Mike, O Lord, and let Perpetual Light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen. —Barbara Svatek


    If it were not for Father Mike, I would never have attended a vibrant Catholic school such as Franciscan University, would never have fallen in love with Catholic philosophy, would never have pursued my PhD in philosophy, and would never have been teaching what I learned in the heart of a secular institution! To Father Mike, so many owe so much. Well done, good and faithful servant! —Robert Miller


    Father Michael is one of the reasons that I became a priest. And it is his support and his example that has enabled me to continue to serve the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma. May his memory be eternal! —Father Bryan Eyman


    A true father has passed from this life. May the angels accompany him to the arms of his heavenly Father. Although a student and staff member during Father Michael’s time as president at Franciscan, I did not know him personally very well as many of my friends did. I would always admire him from afar. That didn’t seem to matter to him, though. Every time I would run into him on campus he would warmly greet me and talk to me as though it was the only thing he had to do at that moment. He was a lover of souls, a lover of the students in his care, and most importantly a lover of Jesus Christ. Rest in peace, Father Mike, and keep praying for the University you loved so much! —Shannon Siemens


    I came to Franciscan University in the fall of 1981, hearing that it was the Catholic Charismatic university to attend. I was inspired each time I attended the many Masses Father Michael celebrated and preached at, and at the prayer meetings, services, and summer conferences that he prayed and spoke at. His preaching and prayer always touched me deeply with God’s truth and gave me the desire to come closer to the Lord. When Father Michael was around you, you sensed and experienced God’s loving presence and encouragement. I experienced this in later years also, each of the many times he visited our home. God’s joy was deep within him. When he laid hands on your shoulder or head to pray for you, you felt God’s Holy Spirit and love in a very powerful way. In a phrase, Father Michael lived by the power and will of the Holy Spirit. This is his legacy, I believe. It is a witness that will forever be my compass and guide. I was able to see a man live the “abundant life” that God means for us all. —Jean Schalk


    I am a youth minister and have brought teens to a youth conference for the last 17 years. One year we had a teen girl who was diagnosed with a brain tumor right before our conference. Our pastor, Father Wayne Ureel, asked Father Mike to pray over her after Holy Hour on Saturday night. There are no words to describe what I saw or felt. There were seven youth ministers with Father Mike and Stephanie. Father Mike took her face and put it against his. The rest is a blur because all seven of us rested in the spirit along with Stephanie. We knew we had witnessed a miracle. I remember him telling her that she would be fine but it would take time. He told her to not lose her faith. At Stephanie’s next doctor appointment, the tumor had shrunk and she didn’t lose her eyesight like she was supposed to. I know she is still doing well today. Father Mike was a true disciple of Jesus! I will treasure the memory of that healing for the rest of my life. —Caroline Mutlaert


    I attended the Franciscan University of Steubenville from 1985-1989. What set Father Michael apart from other university presidents was, of course his great love for our Lord and Mother Mary. Secondly, he could be found walking on the campus with his arm over the shoulder of one of the students, listening to him/her as a compassionate spiritual father would do—and like St. Francis! The memory of Father Scanlan that I treasure most was when he sat down with me one day and ate lunch with me in the school cafeteria. I was floored and deeply touched by his kindness and the sharing of his time and presence with me! May he now “enter into his master’s joy!” Amen. —Marian Crawford


    With love and gratitude and prayers for our beloved father and friend. Rest in peace, and please pray for us. He loved telling the story of our first big conversation, when he memorized my name because I was wearing a jean skirt. At my graduation, when a big band was playing, he was standing next to me for the last dance. I asked him if he ballroom danced, and he said he loved it and took my hand and taught me a few steps and theories I didn’t know. Great last dance! I’d never seen him dance before that. For a reunion once I took him a bottle of nice wine, and he really appreciated it as we shared it together. When I visited him more recently, I took him another, but he could only have a little so he sent me home with it. We met up after a Mass in Philadelphia at the cathedral, and I told him some sorrow at the time, and he grabbed my head and put his forehead on mine commiserating and empathizing with me over a similar sorrow he’d had, and gave me some lovely and heartfelt advice right there. How beautiful and fatherly! Just a few memories of a most personable spiritual father, friend, and person who loves deeply and joyfully, and so far reachingly! We are blessed, and the world is brighter because of him. I can only imagine great rejoicing in heaven as they prepared to receive this beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Father Mike; I count on your prayers for us as well. —Jeanne Guerin



    I remember Father Mike at the Franciscan University summer conferences. He brought the Good News of the Lord Jesus in his discourses and at Mass. Lord Jesus, guide us to be living witnesses for you. Thank you for Father Mike who has brought me closer to you. —Rob Poissant


    As a regular attendee of the summer Catholic Charismatic Conference for many years, Father Mike was always there to encourage us in living out the purpose God had for our lives—a life lived in the Spirit, following Jesus wherever he called us to. Thank you, Father Mike, for living your life for Jesus. —Sue Young


    What a gift you have been to so many, Father Mike! You and my other TOR brothers have remained in my heart these last 20 years since God called me away from Steubenville. I will remember you as a brother in Christ who reached out to me personally even when so much rested on your shoulders. I am especially grateful for sharing the journey of our pilgrimage to Ireland. I am happy for you that your journey to our dear Father in heaven has ended and ask your prayers for all of us who remain on our earthly journey. Thank you. —Barb (Hazuka) Richter


    Father Mike was profoundly an inspiration to me, plus he helped me personally in two particular problems. I have to say for the one, it certainly seemed to me he had the gift of bilocation in a prayer conducted at Franciscan. I asked his permission for that prayer and another priest (from Europe) was conducting the prayer. I remember it so vividly—it so much seemed to me Father Mike was present with us for this prayer, for another person who was present with the one priest and me. For the other special help, Father Mike counseled my RE spiritual directors, speaking much like a lawyer, I found, in his advice. To me his special gift is sorting out the tangles and knots and pushing aside the darkness of dilemmas of our times, in a way that works extremely well for our times. Also his way of kindly representing our faith to others in full humility is so wonderful! Praise God for him and his life among us. In Jesus, Anne Quick.


    I remember when we dropped off our firstborn at Franciscan University in 1993. Father Mike was so joyful and welcoming . I bought the book Let The Fire Fall, brought it home, and read it in one day. I cried tears of joy that God had led us to Father Mike and Franciscan University. I immediately wrote Father Mike a letter and thanked him for his obedience. I will be forever grateful to Father Mike for listening to God and saying YES. Because of his yes, God was able to work through him and change the University and so many lives. We have had seven children graduate from Franciscan University, and we have a son who is a student now and one who will be there in the fall. Father Mike became a good friend. He baptized our son and our granddaughter, and we have traveled with him and prayed with him. He changed our daughter’s life in one sermon. We love you, Father Mike. Rest in peace, good and faithful servant. —Marty and Mary Bobak


     (A few weeks ago I had a pressing desire to write Father Mike a thank you letter for his transformative influence on my family. It was never written, so I offer it to him now.) Dear Father Michael, This letter is too long in coming but written with a most sincere and grateful heart. I thank you for your spiritual fatherhood to my late husband, David Warner, and to me and my children. It was your “yes” to God (beautifully described in Let the Fire Fall), and all that “yes” contained, that helped propel the Warner family back into the loving arms of Mother Church starting back in 1986 through the evangelizing charism of Franciscan University. Just before Christmas on Sunday, December 18, 1988, in Christ the King Chapel you led David, me, and our oldest son, Christopher, (12 years at the time) in a profession of faith, ushering us back into the faith of our fathers. Christopher was also receiving his First Communion. You then proceeded to baptize our Rebecca, Bethany, and Ben-David who were 9 years, 5 years, and 9 months old, respectively. Ben-David was baptized by immersion, and he made quite a splash, soaking you and all too close to avoid both your and his enthusiasm. But what is most memorable to me is that you baptized him David Ben-Francis, which means Beloved Son of Francis, and to this day our Ben-David has a special devotion to St. Francis of Assisi and the new evangelization. Let the Fire Fall! Father, I especially want you to know that David had a special love for you, and one of his greatest joys was serving your vision at Franciscan University; those years were prime in his life. Your infectious love for Jesus and your spiritual fatherhood greatly enriched David’s love for Jesus and fatherhood that has borne beautiful fruit for the Kingdom of God. I am eternally grateful to Franciscan University; David, our five children, together with two spouses, account for 10 degrees from Franciscan! The Catholic liberal arts education they received, with its solid Christian worldview, anchors their lives in truth, goodness, and beauty, which enables them to discern spirits in a culture drowning in relativism. With a profoundly grateful heart I can say the David B. Warner family is solid in the faith, intellectually and spiritually capable of handing it down to their children; blessed be God. Thank you for the love of a father’s heart so lavished on us and countless others. A seminal love whose spiritual fruit, I trust, you are witnessing in eternal reward. Rest in peace. Your daughter in Christ, Pattie Warner


    I graduated from Franciscan in 1993 and then went back to get my master’s in theology from 97-98. Thanks to Father Scanlan’s hard work and holiness of life, he formed a whole generation of Catholics who are now serving the Church in fascinating ways. His joy and great sense of humor and a life of deep prayer and sacrifice inspired me to be a better Christian. He brought together the best minds to teach us and set up a thriving liturgical life for us to be nourished. The households he established for community life on campus so that no one felt left out helped to make Franciscan University a real family. I will miss him greatly; we all will. His “YES” to God was a real example to me of being truly open to what the Lord is calling me to and to expect surprises! Pray for us, Father Mike! We love you! —Mary Shovlain


    I have been associated with Franciscan University of Steubenville since 1984. Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, changed my life for the better by his words and his example throughout the years. Even before moving to Steubenville, I heard him preaching at a National Catholic Charismatic Conference at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He was speaking about taking action when the Holy Spirit inspires us to do something. In his very powerful way of communicating, he said: “DO IT NOW!” He was clearly encouraging us to not hesitate and to not procrastinate, but rather to take immediate action in following God’s promptings and to DO IT NOW! This advice has served my life well for over 35 years. Thank you, Father Mike, for all the good you did for me, for my family, and for countless others. —Dr. Ronald DuBois Jr., MM, DSM


    RIP. I have prayed the Rosary with Father and Dana for years now. Also, three of my teens attend Steubenville conferences. How fitting Father went to be with Jesus on First Saturday. —Mrs. Mary Donahue


    A great loss to the Catholic Church, Franciscan University, TOR Family, the Scanlan family, and also to all of us who knew him and worked with him. Father Mike invited Fathers Jim Ferry, George Kosicki, John Dreher, and me to come to Steubenville and found the Fraternity of Priests, which is now established around the world as a follow up to the annual priest conference every year. I have so many fine memories of Steubie U, and I owe it all to him. I will truly miss him. Thanks for the memories, Mike. RIP and pray for us. —Father Ed Wade, CC


    Father Scanlan had a special gift with names. My first year in the fall of 1996 I saw him walking campus. I introduced myself to him. A couple of weeks later after Mass at Christ the King, I greeted him, and he greeted back, “Hello, Rosa!” I was floored! It made me feel special and that I wasn’t just a student but someone who was a part of the Franciscan University family. I am so blessed to have known such a great and holy person. —Rosa Hood


    Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, has gone to his eternal reward. This man had a great impact on my life and that of my father. He met my dad at a conference and encouraged him to have me come check out the University of Steubenville, since my other college plans had fallen through. It was a decision that changed my life and set the groundwork for the woman I have become. He had a charismatic personality that matched his spirituality—and then some! He was on fire in his zeal to win souls for God and to show all that the Lord is full of mercy and compassion. He’s now up there with the other holy men of God who have gone before him from Franciscan: Father Gus, Father Ange, and Father Sam. I’m sure they met him at the Gate, ushered him in, and are having one heck of a party! RIP, Father Mike. Yours was a life well lived. —Wendy Wilmowski


    Father Michael Scanlan was the person who encouraged me to leave Bermuda and go to study for a master’s of theology at Franciscan University. He then continued to befriend me and mentor me throughout my years of study, never hesitated to meet me as a spiritual guide, and he also inspired my daughters (who were in primary school at the time) with his smile and kind words. We remember his joking, especially the time he said to Alisha after Mass, “Alisha, I saw you looking around and not paying attention at Mass today.” He also encouraged me in my music ministry at a local school when he said, “Charlene, I hear you are doing great work with the children singing that (World Youth Day) song “We are one body.”  How did he know that? I always wondered who had told him. I will remember him as a great teacher, and very prayerful, and as a wonderful fellow Franciscan brother, and a great follower of Christ. I especially loved his teaching of how to hear and follow a Gods will . —Charlene Gabriel


    Father Mike Scanlan changed my life with his book Appointment With God. His book made so much sense and impacted my relationship with Jesus is a very positive way now some 40 years later I am making that quiet time appointment with God. Thank you, Father Scanlan, for your faithfulness and wisdom and giving me/us a tool to draw closer to God. —Dave Coe


    Love you, Father. Thanks for helping four of my five kids (Caren, Sarah, David and Faith) at Franciscan. Rest in Peace Father! —David Wendell


    Father Michael, your “yes” changed my life. Thank you for creating a university where I was able to flourish in my faith and relationship with Jesus. I will forever carry on your legacy through my family and students I serve. Thank you for all of your love. I will remember you ALWAYS! Rest in peace. —Cristy Hernandez-Eckelkamp


    My wife, Gina, and our eight children thank God and Father Michael Scanlan for allowing the Franciscan University experience to change our lives for the better. There we learned to love the Lord within the Catholic Church in a way we never imagined. Rest in peace, my friend, and may God reward you for your good works and prayers. —Keith Borchers


    I had read his works, but first met Father Scanlan at the National Catholic Charismatic Conference for Priests and Deacons in Steubenville as a new Episcopal priest in 1980. While his achievements at the University impressed me (I was founding faculty of a nearby seminary), I was more impressed by his spiritual depth. That spirituality almost haunted me and was one big influence in my becoming a Catholic priest in 2014 (and director of Clergy Formation for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter). Thanks be to God for Father Mike and his calling me and many others deeper into the heart of God and into union with God’s Church. He lived his Franciscan spirituality, which is a big reason why I am part of a Franciscan-inspired public association of the faithful today and have moved from teaching biblical studies to living (and sometimes teaching) spirituality today. Father Peter Davids


    In memory of a holy and great man who made such a huge difference in this world and in the Catholic faith and community. I was privileged to meet him at Franciscan University of Steubenville at the summer conferences, which I still attend every summer. I literally love this man. He is being welcomed into heaven, he is home at last, and he has been a good and faithful servant. He will be missed greatly. God’s blessings on him and Franciscan University, his baby. —Dana Thompson


    What a gift Father Mike has been to all of us! Absolutely transforming my parish through the Franciscan conferences! And personally, I cannot thank him enough for the blessings to my family! Four children and their spouses are graduates of Franciscan University. —Darleen Whelan


    Father Mike tapped into the Fransican Fund for the Needy and financed my first year of college. I entered, kicking and screaming, on probation as my math scores were so low. The next three years were some of the happiest years of my life as I always felt he believed in me. One time I missed two classes, and he called the dorm to check on me. That kind of shepherding, for a person as lost as I was at the time, literally placed me on a trajectory of success and, most importantly, love. Without Father Mike, I most likely would have ended up a drunk on the streets. In my worst moments, he saw something worthwhile in me that I couldn’t see, and with his support I became the best I could be. I owe my emotional life to him and will forever be kind to others to try to repay his kindness to me. May God, in his mercy and love, bestow Father Mike with the highest grace a soul can contain. —Jeani Bedore


    I met Father Scanlan while participating in a week-long summer youth ministry training conference in Steubenville. This was in the late 1980s or early 1990s. He gave us sage advice and was very encouraging. I remember that before leaving at the end of the week I asked him for a blessing, and so he put his hand on my forehead and blessed me. I also had the opportunity to speak to him once again in the summer of 1994. I told him I was on my way cross country to take on a youth ministry job on the west coast and asked for another blessing, which he gladly gave. I read his book Appointment with God a few times and have always admired him and what he did out in Steubenville. The Holy Spirit definitely used him as a powerful instrument. I pray that all priests, and all people of God, will learn to be as open to the Holy Spirit as he was. I know right now he is enjoying heaven! —Linda Norton


    I am pretty sure every student at Franciscan held Father Mike in high esteem. I remember some girlfriends joking that they were going to pluck a stray hair off his habit and keep it for the day he would be canonized a saint. Thus, they would have a first-class relic. Knowing how fond Father Mike was of households, I felt singularly blessed when I ran into him while sporting my bright red Sacrifice of Love Household sweatshirt. He commented how much he liked our household shirts. He could spot us across campus. However, a memory of Father Mike that I hold dear to my heart is when I was lucky enough to be matched with him for confession in Christ the King Chapel. Heavily burdened, I laid my sins out to him in persona Christi. His piercing blue eyes gazed into my tear-filled eyes and he spoke comforting words of love. I have never felt Christ’s merciful love in that same way as through Father Mike. He was a father to all of us students. Thank you, Father Mike, for your faithful service to God, his Church, and Franciscan University. Your “yes” has changed the world. —Debbie Pienta


    I first met Father Michael in September of 1984. I had just arrived in Steubenville and was taking an evening walk alone when he asked if he could join me on the walk. He asked me where I was from, and I told him Quincy, Massachusetts, to which he said, “Oh yes, there is a big rivalry between the two high schools there.” I was shocked that he would know anything about my hometown. Then he told me how he had gone to school at Williams College and Harvard. That was the first of many talks about his love for New England. We soon discovered that we both had a love for Irish music too. I remember many evenings at Jim and Mary Cowan’s home singing Irish songs. Father Michael helped me through the discernment process and later encouraged me to pursue public service, which I have done for the last 20 years. On meeting Father Michael, St. Pope John Paul II said, “Steubenville has done great things for the Church.” May I add, Father Michael has also done great things for the Church. May he rest in peace. —Tom Clasby, Alumni Board President


    RIP, Father Mike. —John Borkowski


    Dearest Father Michael Scanlan, we thank our Father in heaven for giving us a faithful son who led by example. We desire to imitate you by rising up and following your example. The world is a sadder place without you, yet richer for it because of you. Thank you for saying yes to the Father and the Son and the most Holy Spirit, for all the world has benefited from your cooperation. Requiescat in pacem. dearest Father. Yours sincerely, the Kollar family, devoted viewers of Franciscan University Presents, Sydney, Australia.


    Congratulations, Father Mike! You made it to your spiritual glory! We all know you fought the good fight and have well earned a great reward! Thank you for being such an amazing spiritual leader, man of God, and real down-to-earth role model. For me, I am forever grateful for that day we met at the softball field when I was only eight years old. Thank you for being kind enough to bother playing catch with me when the big kids wouldn’t let me play in the softball game. You earned an admirer that day. From that day, you showed me through your friendship and love what it was like to be loved by God. God’s love isn’t earned. He is always caring. He is committed to us through good times and bad. Father Mike, thank you for your love and tutelage as I grew up under your wings. Thank you for the example of God’s love and for the practical, reasonable advice through the years. I am forever who you are because of the imprint you left on me. I pray I can live up to the person you were, and I hope to always be challenged by the lessons you taught me. Thank you for your love!
    —Sarah Ferguson-Smith


    It was the spiritual influence of Father Mike over a 20-year period that was a big part of my wife and me being drawn closer to the Lord. That closeness grew into a personal relationship that can’t be described. Father Mike introduced us to the charismatic renewal and our lives have never been the same. Our daughter, son, daughter-in- law, and granddaughter experienced the beauty, joy, peace, and excitement of our faith while attending Franciscan University of Steubenville. My son met his wife at the University, and their family enjoys the blessings of our Catholic teachings. My daughter, a Steubenville grad, and her husband share our faith with their five small children. My granddaughter, soon to be married, met her fiancé at the University. What a beautiful quality of life their family will experience based on the teachings at “Steubie U.” Late after one of the summer conferences, I witnessed a person being healed by Father Mike when he laid his hands over her ears. Father Mike was gifted in so many ways, and he shared those gifts. Oh, how I loved that man! I am blessed to be a deacon at Christ the King Catholic Church, a charismatic church, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where the gifts of the Holy Spirit are experienced. May the teachings and passion of our faith by Father Mike Scanlan, TOR, continue to be the bedrock of the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
    —Deacon John Ozog


    Father Michael and the FIRE team hired me to run their event stores in 1999, which kicked off a business for my family and me. For that I am so grateful. His words of wisdom, love, and hope in the Lord encouraged me as a student, mother, and eventually as a sister. —Sister Rose Catherine Marshall


    Many times at FIRE Rallies, or at Summer Conferences at Steubenville, I heard Father Mike proclaim God’s message in clear, in challenging, in uncompromising words. I know that my journey with the Lord in this life is richer from having heard him speak or having read his books. Thank God for Father Michael Scanlan.
    —Cookie Ruane


    I never knew Father Mike, but he saved the University. This meant that my father, Dr. Earl Spinnenweber, could keep his job as a philosophy professor, and it meant that later my mother, Dr. Kathleen Spinnenweber, could be hired and meet my father. I should therefore be very thankful for everything he’s done, because without him, I wouldn’t be here. —Mark Spinnenweber


    At all the adult conferences that I attended and Father Mike would give his homily, he always started by saying, “So.” I was always in the front row, and then he would look right at me. I will never forget the twinkle in his eye and then a most powerful talk! I have missed him since he left, but he will never be forgotten in my heart.
    —Norine Burghardt


    Father Mike was instrumental in me deepening my faith. Always a kind man who remembered all he met. I am proud to say that Father Mike was a friend and teacher and one of the reasons I chose to study at Franciscan. His love of God permeated through every one he met. There is another angel added to the choir of angels. It’s so ironic that he was called home on the first Saturday, so I’m sure he is in heaven!
    —Gitthaline Gagne


    Father Mike had an enormous impact on my life from the first time I met him in 1997. He inspired me to earn a MA in theology when I was 61. I’ve read his books, some of them more than once. I believe he is a saint now, and I hope he will be canonized soon. —Michael McKeating


    Father Michael asked me to come to Steubenville University to strategize the turnaround he was facing. He was one of the most wonderful leaders I have ever served. Father Michael, Bill Bright, and Tommy Barnett were brothers of the same cloth. For me personally, his legacy is one of the sweetest memories of my ministry/business career. Today he is Heaven’s Prisoner. —Dr. Clifford


    I remember many Charismatic Leaders Conferences where Father Michael would always greet me (the gal with the yellow tambourine with streamers!). He was always so excited to see you (whoever you were). My friend Karen and I would always be his prayer shield while he prayed over participants on Saturday evening, and if he caught us in the hall the last afternoon, he’d pull us over to help him pray over others in need. What an example, what a spiritual father! My fondest memory was of him and Bishop Sam Jacobs praying over all the volunteers late one night of the conference, and when we wanted to pray over him he exclaimed, “No! I’ll be here all night!” (resting in the Spirit). We love you, Father Michael....PRAY for us! —Lori Rose Cannizzaro


    I love Father Mike! Like many, many students at Franciscan, he was a father figure for me. I got sick my first year in college, and my doctor said to go home and get treated. I remember telling Father Mike I had to leave Steubenville and tears started to flow. Father Mike hugged me and said. “You’ll be back!” And sure enough, that fall I was walking all around Steubenville! Father Mike also wrote about me in his Let The Fire Fall expanded and updated book. I will miss him sorely, but look forward to sharing with him our reward in heaven! —Victoria Cain


    Father Scanlan was a tremendous influence in many areas. I remember him best while active in the pro-life movement. May he rest in peace. —Naomi King


    Hi, I am Jenny, Father Sam’s niece. I have so many fond memories of Father Mike that it is hard to speak of only one. But I think the most memorable ones occurred in Cape May when he and Father Sam would vacation there. My family and I planned our two-week vacation to overlap with the time they would be in Cape May. We had so many special dinners and times on the beach. My children were small, and my daughter was drawn to Father Mike. She would often crawl onto his lap during dinner. I would always try to remove her so that she wouldn’t bother him. But he would say, “leave her,” this is a joy to me. Such a big man with such an incredible mind and such a gentle spirit and heart. Of course, there was always the playful bantering between Father Mike and Father Sam about their latest tennis match or other physical endeavor. And, of course, his deep spirituality and love of God. Such a beautiful man. God bless him. I’m sure heaven has become a little raucous with Father Sam, Father Augustine, and Father Mike all together. I miss them all.
    —Jennifer D’Andrea


    I shall always benefit from his days as rector of St. Francis Seminary, especially his leadership in spirituality. May God grant blessed repose in his eternal memory.
    —Bishop John Kudrick


    Father Mike was so special to me. He was our advisor in Madonna of the Streets household, and he was so loving and wise. He would sit at our Lord’s Days in a recliner and tell us God’s Word with such simplicity and wisdom. I often felt as though he was a grandfather to each of us, telling us stories. The first time he spoke to me, I was in the cafeteria and when I told him my name, his eyes lit up and he said something like “Do you know what the longest-running #1 song of all Broadway musicals was?” And I said, “No…?” And he said, “It’s ‘Once in love with Amy’!” and he started SINGING it. People stared and laughed. It was the cutest thing EVER. I will never forget walking back to Kolbe-Clare with my friend one night, and we saw him there in the parking lot, taking a walk by himself, outside in the freezing cold, probably in prayer or just taking a break from all the busyness. It was a beautiful sight. Another time at a FOP, he was sitting in the audience on the side of the stage, and it took him a while to get up onto the stage, but he did and started preaching about the power of the Holy Spirit into the microphone and you knew NOTHING could get this man down. I will never forget something he said at the end of a homily: “You can always trust in the One who died and resurrected for you.” And after Communion, he often said, “Be open to the Eucharistic amazement.” And his story of when he was caught off guard by being asked to pray over a deaf man. He said he had no idea what to say, but he remembered the Gospel and he put his fingers into the man’s ears and said “Ephphatha! Ephphatha! Ephphatha!” like Jesus did in Mark 7. Later he came to find out the man hadn’t believed but did come to faith in Christ because of his miraculous healing. Amen! This man will undoubtedly be canonized a saint, and I am blessed to say I knew him. —Amy Dalessandro


    How fitting it is that God called Father Michael, a veteran of the United States Air Force JAG Corps if I am not mistaken, to renew the College of Steubenville. After all, the College of Steubenville was initially founded for the benefit of Steubenville area World War II veterans. Bearing in mind such a humble and noble start and the serious struggles faced by the College when he said yes to taking the lead, Father Mike, by the power of the Holy Spirit, led “Steubie U” through a profound renewal into an internationally loved and very robust Franciscan University—a source of profound peace for too many of us to count. His whole life was ground in service born of love of both God and neighbor, and the fruits are undeniable. Thank you big time, Father Mike! Rest in peace, brother! Father ChrisSaliga, OP


    I was able to meet Father Mike for the first time in 1992. I was visiting Franciscan to see some friends before enrolling as a student the following fall. I was arriving in Pittsburgh via train and had no way of getting to the University, and a friend who was in spiritual direction with Father Mike asked him if he could pick me up from the train station. He gladly accepted, and on our drive in from Pittsburgh we had incredible conversation about all things in life, but mostly discernment. What struck me about that experience first off was the humility of Father Mike! As president of the University, he was willing to be a father to his children and help in whatever their needs were, including shuttling friends of students from the train station! Secondly, his intense interest in others was remarkable. It is something I continued to experience over my four years on campus with him as my president. He knew my name, and all student’s names, and a little about each of us. He truly was a father to us all and lived out the vocation of fatherhood in his priesthood in a way that was exemplary to the priesthood, but this was an action that was a result of his knowing the Father in so intimate a way. I am grateful to Father Mike for his fiat and radical way of following Christ, which bore so much fruit in the lives of so many. What he and others were able to build in Steubenville has blossomed the world over. Our family’s faith foundations were formed at Franciscan. Thank you, Father Mike! Until we meet again! David Pipp, Denver, Colorado


    Because of his vision and his obedience, I was able to attend a university that gave me a well-rounded education, but it also formed a grounding in the spiritual realm that most everything else I did with God’s guidance has it roots in the soil that I was planted in at the College of Steubenville. —Kenneth Forbush


    God indeed blessed humanity with such a kind and generous leader in the Church. Father Michael was a great inspiration to the many people—priests, men, women, young adults, and teenagers, that I had the opportunity to bring to Steubenville starting in 1984. The various conferences, still today, are recalled by most of them and the example of Father Michael’s spiritual and physical leadership went far beyond the campus of Steubenville. Father Michael’s fire in starting the various conferences was indeed far reaching and the various speakers were a great inspiration to the Church. I thank God for my having met him, and I ask God to continue to bless the University, which he gave new life to through Father Michael’s leadership. May his soul rest in peace! —Rev. Joseph O’Malley


    My nephew and niece attend Franciscan U. There are so very few universities that hold true to the authentic faith and its treasures. I am so sorry to hear of Father Scanlan’s passing. I did not know him, but from your videos, and from the beautiful faith of the school, I know he was a diamond in the rough! I am sure God will reward him for standing up for his bride, the Church. It comforts me so very much to know that we do have holy priests in the world. I wish my children would attend your school. I will pray for Father Scanlan’s soul as the priest is held to a higher standard than the rest of us. I pray that Our Blessed Mother will take him to her Son in heaven. Thank you for your influence on the souls of the world, Father Scanlan! May his soul, and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. —Mary LaMagna


    Thank you Father Mike... from my first days on campus 20 years ago and for the rest of my days. I am the person I am because of your faithfulness to our Lord and the formation I received in Steubenville. You were a shining example to give everything to God and how richly he rewards you and fulfills your life with such joy. Your life has touched countless lives, including my own, but always in pointing to the Father. I pray I can continue to run the race with as much courage and perseverance and to fully live as you did. You prayed with my husband and me when I came back as an alumna unable to conceive four years into marriage. A year later we were pregnant with my now 9-year-old. I hope to teach my own three children how important it is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and to never give up on running the race! Rest in peace. —Leah Fish


    Thank you, FATHER Mike, for your leadership at Franciscan University. May the Lord bless his soul. Adrian Dharman

    —Adrian Dharman


    I’m sorry to say that I didn’t know Father Scanlan very well insofar as a personal basis. I was in his company on the Steubenville Country Club golf course on a few occasions. I also had an opportunity to talk with him in the grill room. He was a wonderful gentleman to share time with. Of course, when I was a high school student, I used to go to the College of Steubenville’s student lounge area to see the pretty girls. The transition that he (and others) has been able to accomplish has been truly amazing. The University is now not only a Steubenville asset, but a global asset. He’ll not be forgotten. —Martin Hauser


    I was sorry to hear about Father Michael Scanlan’s passing, Even though we weren’t part of Franciscan University’s academic programs, we would sometimes attend conferences, and I would purchase some books written by Father Scanlan. He was a very prophetic writer. I’m sure he will be greatly missed. —Mary L. Stachnik


    I know Father Scanlan set the vision, the mission, and the tone of Franciscan University and made it one of the best universities in the country. I am so grateful to him for that. I am very grateful that my sons, Chris and Brian, started at Franciscan University under Father Michael Scanlan’s presidency and Chris finished under his very capable successor, Father Terence Henry. But I am especially grateful for Father Scanlan’s faithfulness to his priestly vocation, and here is why. It was Monday, May 31, 1999. We just received a phone call that stops you in your tracks, takes you to your knees, clears your mind of everything except this one goal: how to erase the words, “Your son, Brian, is missing.” How to erase those words by finding him. We called everyone who knew Brian and Aaron. No one knew where they were. Chris made informational flyers and was set to drive to Steubenville to start searching for his brother whom he loves so much. Detective Lelless told me to stay home because Brian might call home, if he could, and I, of course, would want to answer. You know how slow time goes when you are waiting for someone to call? Every second was like a slow torture. I repeated over and over again in my mind, a thousand times, “Brian, call me; Brian, call me; Brian, where are you? Brian, call me.” The call never came… I tried to picture Steubenville and all of a sudden a small town became a huge expanse of land, buildings, hills, waterways—a seemingly impossible task to find two missing boys… I felt so helpless. I wanted to find my son! But I had to stay home. So I picked up the phone and called the University. I asked to speak to Father Scanlan. He came on the phone immediately. “Father, my son Brian is missing.” “I know, Rachel, I know. The police have informed us. They have searched the campus. They are working hard, trying to find Brian and Aaron.” “Father, they won’t let me come to Steubenville to search. I have to stay home in the hopes Brian will call here. Father, I can’t come and look for my son.” “Rachel, he is our son, too. All of the friars here are his spiritual fathers. We will go out and look for him.” Picture that beautiful scene, that beautiful act of love. Friars, in their long robes and rosaries, walking door to door and asking everyone if they knew anything about the two missing Franciscan University students, Brian and Aaron. Not only did they search, they prayed. They had prayer vigils in the University chapel around the clock. They celebrated Mass for Brian and Aaron. They offered us any and all help we needed. But that is not all. Heartbreak—and beauty—was yet to come. Father Scanlan told the police to call him right away when they had any news at all. On Friday, June 4, at around 4:30 in the afternoon, Brian and Aaron were found. They had been beaten, shot, and killed, then their bodies left out in the elements for five long days and nights. I wanted to go to Brian but was told over and over again no; I should not look at Brian in that state… But Father Scanlan went. He climbed the hill that Brian and Aaron climbed and he knelt by their dear bodies—and he prayed. He prayed. He raised his voice, hands and eyes to heaven and prayed for his sons. When Father came back to campus we were waiting for him. His face had changed. He looked so much older. Sad. Almost even traumatized. He had seen man’s inhumanity to man. But he didn’t regret it. He lived it. He did God’s will. He loved with the love of God the Father. I am forever grateful to Father Michael Scanlan. Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord, and may the perpetual light shine upon him. Amen. With gratitude and love, Rachel Muha


    Father Mike, thank you for your patience in communicating your vision for the University. Thank you for your fidelity and obedience to your call and vocation as a TOR Franciscan and priest. Thank you for helping me learn how to listen to the Holy Spirit in my own life and ministry as a priest and Franciscan. Thank you for sharing so many years of brotherhood, first in the original Holy Spirit Friary (1988-2009) and then in the newly constructed friary until your departure in early summer 2011. Thank you for your indomitable spirit! Thank you for introducing me to the life in the Spirit, especially through your example at prayer every morning in the Holy Spirit Friary chapel. Finally, thank you for sharing so many stories. You were such a good storyteller, my favorite being the one about the first day you arrived on the campus of the College of Steubenville in the summer of 1974. How you proceeded upon arrival to the front lawn of neighboring St. Thomas More Hall to pull up the “For Sale or Lease” sign posted there in hopes of luring local businesses to make use of its copious and empty halls at that time. You came with a vision and a promise from God; thank you for staying faithful to what our good and gracious God had shown you! Now may you rest in peace after so many labors, not least of which include the hidden years since your departure in 2011. May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord shine his face upon you and be gracious to you, may the Lord turn his face toward you, and give you peace! May God bless you, Father Michael! —Father Daniel Pattee, TOR


    I only knew Father Scanlan from pilgrimages and conferences over the years, but he taught me so much. He now will be just a wonderful intercessor for all of us! —Diane Habbley


    I first met Father Mike when we brought our son to Franciscan for orientation. We were sitting alone at a luncheon, and who but Father Mike came over and said, “May I sit with you fine people?” Four years later he was very proud that my son became a TOR. What a nice, humble, and faithful man. RIP, Father Mike. —James Whittle


    A couple of years ago at a Lord’s Day commitment, a visiting parent (an alumna herself) gave thanks for Father Mike. Not only were she and her husband alumni, but all of their children as well, and their last child was enrolled at the time. She went on to explain how Father Mike’s “yes” to the Lord had made all of this possible and that without his “yes” we wouldn’t have Franciscan University today. The profound reality is that Father Mike’s “yes” has not only touched those of us who have had the privilege of studying or working at Franciscan University, but his “yes” has touched the lives of millions more through alumni, summer conferences, missions of peace, works of mercy, and more. Father Michael Scanlan is one of my heroes, and if it weren’t for his “yes” I would not be where I am today, and I would not be the person that I am today. I believe that Father Mike’s “yes” has set into motion a work of God that will continue to touch hearts and minds for generations to come and continue to build up the kingdom of God! Thanks be to God for Father Mike! —Brother Michael Baker, MIC


    Father Mike looked at everyone with great love. Before I ever really knew him, in passing him on a sidewalk he looked at me and beamed, saying “You have a beautiful smile. Keep smiling.” —Rebecca Olson


    Father Mike was always an inspiration to me. He was always welcoming to the students and always showed that he cared. He sat with students and talked to them and encouraged. Always willing to give a hug when I said hi. So many of his talks inspired me and helped me to walk in my faith. The Holy Spirit was so strong with him that you could feel the Holy Spirit around him. The University and the households that he developed transformed me deeply in my faith to what I am now. I will always be grateful to Father Mike for following God’s call. We need more people like you. You will be missed. —Jeanne Stephens


    I have so many stories of this amazing man! I’ll start with a favorite. When I was in school, we had an all-campus Mass. I can’t remember which one, maybe the Opening of the School Year Mass. I think it was 1999 or 2000. At any rate, we were all there and Mass began and the friars filed in. When it came to the homily, Father Mike stood up and said, “You know, just a few hours ago, I was in another state with some donors.” Then he paused and smiled and said, “but I told them that I had to get back to be with my kids.” Immediately everyone in the whole fieldhouse leapt up, erupted in cheers, and starting clapping and shouting back our love for our dad. As he would do, he tried to quiet us down, but we just kept going. He loved us. And we knew it not just that day, but every day that he led us. We were his children, his kids. And he loved us! —Jennifer Brown


    I was privileged to be Father Michael’s secretary for six years. It was one of the greatest blessings of my life. I could share many stories about him, but the thing that stands out most in my mind is the way that he respected the dignity of every person. Many people came through our office doors—the wealthy and powerful, church leaders, and ordinary people from the local Steubenville community. Each person was greeted with the same warmth and enthusiasm. We are all taught that everyone is made in the image and likeness of God, but Father Mike really lived that in the way that he treated every person that he encountered. Bob and I last saw him in October and, although he was not in good physical health, his spirit was still the same. Rest in peace, Father Mike. —Judith Koveleskie


    Father Mike challenged us in his homilies to lead extraordinary lives in our walk with Christ. He encouraged me, as a lecturer and a graduate student, to bring Our Lady into every facet of culture which I was given a part. He loved us and our households. He was being challenged through a tough period in the mid ’90s , but he drew a staff that still inspires us today. His brotherhood with Father Gus must make him glad for today. I know he has a stein waiting for him at the pearly gates! Couragio, Father Mike. —Eileen Spotts Cosby


    I am a life that was changed by Father Mike. May our Lord bring him to his eternal reward. I’m forever grateful for my time at Franciscan; may it always be faithful to the Church and to Father Mike’s vision for the University. May he rest in peace.
    —Jodi Grant


    My brother, sister-in-law, me, my wife, and now my oldest niece is preparing to go to Austria next week. Father Scanlan’s work and Franciscan University has impacted generations of families, mine specifically, and so many others. I can truly say I would not be the person I am today had it not been because of the formation I received in household, which he started in the 1970s when Franciscan University, then the College of Steubenville was on the verge of closing its doors. Thank you, Father Scanlan, for your obedience to the Holy Spirit and thank you, Franciscan University, for your continued commitment to dynamic orthodoxy and true Catholic higher education. —Jonathan Born

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