Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, and Father Richard Davis, TOR, on Father Mike's Passing | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Statement on the Death of Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, (1931-2017) President Emeritus, Franciscan University of Steubenville

    January 07, 2017

    Father Richard Davis, TOR
    Minister Provincial, Franciscans TOR Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

    I lived with Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, from 1992-2012, and I can honestly say he was always an inspiration to me. He was one of the most obedient, charitable, humble, and very holy men in our community, and his concern for faithfulness in living out his religious life was a source of respect and imitation for me. The good he has done for the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, for the order, and most importantly, for the entire Church is a tremendous source of honor. I thank God he was my brother, my mentor, and my friend. As minister provincial, I say to one and all, “Thank God for the gift Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, has been to us.” May God now grant him the fullness of eternal life.


    Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR
    President, Franciscan University of Steubenville

    Franciscan University of Steubenville mourns the death of Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, the beloved former president and chancellor of the University who is rightfully credited with revitalizing the Catholic and Franciscan mission of the University.

    Although I never had the opportunity to serve with Father Mike, I have heard many stories about him from my fellow Franciscan friars and faculty colleagues as well as our alumni and donors. He clearly used the gifts and talents God gave him in whatever situation he found himself and recognized the need to cooperate fully with the Holy Spirit and to follow Jesus Christ as “the way, the truth, and the life.”

    During his tenure as president from 1974-2000, his ideas, guided by the Holy Spirit, turned things around at the struggling College of Steubenville and led to its prominence as Franciscan University of Steubenville. Father Mike wisely surrounded himself with friars and dedicated people who helped him to carry out the Franciscan University mission. He also spent time with the students, listened to their concerns, and prayed how he might help them. He emphasized the importance of academics, particularly theology—now, by far our largest major—and stressed the role of campus ministry and student life in the daily lives of the students.

    Father Mike also focused on the importance of deepening his relationship with Christ and his fellow friars. As a priest, he administered the sacraments with full confidence in their power to restore all things in Christ and generously exercised his considerable gifts of prayer, teaching, preaching, and healing both on campus and around the world. He led countless people into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. It is, perhaps, most of all for his spiritual fatherhood that so many will remember him with gratitude.

    As we pray for the repose of his soul, I know we can count on Father Mike’s continued prayers for Franciscan University and for those of us whose minds and hearts he and the University have touched and will touch.

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