Poverello Medal 2018 - Fr. Michael Scanlan, TOR | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Named Franciscan University's 2018 Poverello Medal Recipient

    STEUBENVILLE, OH—Franciscan University of Steubenville named the late Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, fourth president of the University, as the 2018 recipient of the Poverello Medal—the University’s highest non-academic award. Father Richard Davis, TOR, minister provincial of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, will accept the award in Father Scanlan’s memory on Saturday, March 3, at 9:30 a.m., during a ceremony at Mission Immersion Day. The event will be held in the Tony and Nina Gentile Gallery, J.C. Williams Center. 

    Mission Immersion Day marks the final training for nearly 300 Franciscan University students before they depart on Missions of Peace spring break mission trips. 

    “The evangelical thrust of Mission Immersion Day—when our students learn how to bring Christ to the needy across the U.S. and throughout the Western Hemisphere—is the perfect occasion to honor Father Mike, who answered the Church’s call to evangelization by leading the renewal of Catholic higher education, as well as with his preaching, EWTN appearances, pro-life work, conferences for youth and adults, and in many other ways,” said Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, president of Franciscan University. 

    Father Scanlan died on January 7, 2017, at age 85 after an extended illness. As president of Franciscan University from 1974-2000, he transformed the small, struggling College of Steubenville into one of the most renowned Catholic universities in the world, known for its excellent academics and passionate Catholic faith environment. 

    While president, Father Scanlan shared his love for Jesus Christ as a retreat and pilgrimage leader and formed a summer conference program that today serves more than 55,000 high school youth and adults who attend Franciscan University conferences in 16 states and Canada. An early leader in the Catholic charismatic renewal movement, he co-founded and spoke at FIRE rallies (Faith, Intercession, Repentance, and Evangelization) in 29 states and 15 foreign countries, reaching over 400,000 people. 

    Father Scanlan also wrote some 16 books and booklets on Catholic spirituality and was one of the first priests to get involved with Mother Angelica’s Eternal Word Television Network, which led to his hosting the theology discussion program Franciscan University Presents for 18 years on EWTN. 

    The Poverello Medal bears an image of St. Francis giving alms to the poor. Cast in steel to signify simplicity and poverty, it acknowledges organizations and individuals who follow in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi, Il Poverello (“the little poor man”), through strong Christian character, practical charity, and service to the poor. Past recipients include St. Teresa of Calcutta, Mary’s Meals, and the Little Sisters of the Poor.

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