About Fr. Mike Schmitz

My Favorite...

  • TV Show – Ninja Warrior.  NOT American Ninja Warrior, but the real deal.  That, or Wipeout.
  • Childhood TV Show – Cartoon was The Super Friends. Sitcom was Seinfeld. And drama had to be Knight Rider and A-Team. And Under Cover.
  • Saturday Leisure – Working on stuff for virtually an entire day while at the coffee shop.  I have the deficiency of thinking that I am relaxing when I am working.  It is a problem, and I realize it.  I just don’t know what to do about it…


  • I am one of six kids.  I have three sisters and two brothers.
  • My last name is spelled S-C-H-M-I-T-Z. People often misspell my name. Fr. Mike Shmits. Fr. Mike Schmits. Fr. Mike Shmid. Fr. Mike Schmid. Fr. Mike Schmidz. Fr. Mike Smith. Fr. Mike Shmit.

I love carrots and celery…sprouts and kale chips.

This is not true.  Steak.  Steak is often overlooked as a snack in most people’s lives.  I think we need to get back to our roots here.

I don’t have any hobbies or hidden talents.

I rarely hide any talents.  Pretty much, if I can do it, I do.

I loved college and I loved the seminary.

In college, I had a class on Shakespeare taught by a monk who was so moved by the beauty of the words that he wept during every class.  It was incredible and drew me to a new love of beauty in the English language.

In seminary, Dr. Christopher Thompson taught a class in Moral Theology that I still reflect on to this day.

I love the school year with students, but I like summers too.

My favorite summer day is waking up at my parents’ place on the lake.  Get in prayer and say Mass.  Get out for a run.  Drink some coffee with my mom and dad, siblings, and in-laws.  Eat bacon.  Get outside in a kayak or paddle board.  Wake surfing with the family.  Lunch.  Bags (AKA “Cornhole”).  “Snooze Cruise” with the nieces and nephews.  Beer and pizza at Zorba’s.

I’ve traveled as far away as the Philippines and Australia.

What if I could live anywhere?  I go back and forth between one of those cabins on stilts in Tahiti and a small place somewhere in Israel.  So I think I’ll stay in Duluth.

My favorite thing about being a priest is everything connected to the Sacraments.

I love offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  I love preaching.  I love hearing confessions.  There is nothing that I know of that can compare with getting to be a part of someone’s Great Story, the story that God is calling His children to live.

I hope that what we do here at Newman sticks with students after they graduate.

I hope that they will live the story that God really wants for their lives.  Too many people live too small of a story.

If I could do any Olympic sport I would do the decathlon.

I mean, if you win that one, you get the title of “World’s Greatest Athlete”.  And it’s official.  And whenever people talk about how awesome whatever athlete or sport is and you get to just pull out your gold medal from under your shirt (because of course you would wear it everywhere.  I mean, you are the World’s Greatest Athlete for crying out loud) and say, “Oh that’s cool.  But, you know: WGA”.

Meet Fr. Mike

Fr. Mike could be coming to your part of the country this year. Check out his travel schedule for details.


  • September 23-26, 2015 – World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, PA
  • October 3, 2015 – Don Bosco conference in Milwaukee, WI
  • October 5-8, 2015  – Duluth Diocese Clergy Conference
  • October 8, 2015 – “The Gathering” with NET Ministries
  • October 10, 2015 – Duluth Diocesan Assembly
  • October 16-17, 2015 – High school confirmation retreat:
  • October 21, 2015 – The St. Paul Seminary
  • October 22, 2015 – North Dakota State University
  • October 24, 2015 – Junior High Rally
  • October 29-31, 2015 – Fan Into Flame Retreat, University of Minnesota Duluth
  • November 7, 2015 – Lifeline event at the NET Center
  • November 11-13, 2015 – St. Dominic Savio – Austin, TX
  • November 20-21, 2015 – St. Cloud, MN
  • December 4-5, 2015 – High School Confirmation Retreat
  • December 12, 2015 – Deacon Formation Presentation
  • December 19, 2015 – Family Wedding


  • January 1-6, 2016 – FOCUS Student Leadership Summit
  • January 15-17, 2016 – T.O.B.I.T. (Theology of the Body Immersion for Teens)
  • January 23, 2016 – Family Wedding
  • January 29-30, 2016 – Legatus National Convention
  • February 1-4, 2016 – Diocese of Duluth Youth Minister Retreat
  • February 6, 2016 – Bulldog Catholic Week at the University of Minnesota Duluth
  • February 13, 2016 – Diocese of Duluth Men’s Conference
  • February 19-20, 2016 – High School Confirmation Retreat
  • February 26-28, 2016 – Upperclassman Retreat at the University of Minnesota Duluth
  • March 4-5, 2016 – Event in Boise Idaho
  • March 6-9, 2016 – Epiphany Catholic Church, Coon Rapids, MN
  • March 12, 2016 – Men’s Conference in Grand Rapids, MI
  • March 18-20, 2016 – Silent Retreat
  • April 15-17, 2016 – Junior High Retreat
  • April 22-23, 2016 – Leadership Team Weekend

About Fr. Mike

Father Mike Schmitz is the chaplain for Newman Catholic Campus Ministries at the University of Minnesota Duluth.  He also serves as the Director of the Office of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth.  You can submit questions at fathermikeschmitz@gmail.com

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can you speak at my event? My primary ministry is with the students here at the University of Minnesota Duluth. So you can imagine that my school year is quite busy! Also, I believe that to maintain a healthy life, I need time to rest and be with my family. So I can say “yes” to some events and “no” to others.
  2. What days of the week are you able to travel? The most important thing that I do is celebrate Mass here at UMD. So if your event is on a Sunday, it won’t work.
  3. How much does it cost to have you speak at my event? I don’t have a set fee, but knowing the limitations of some parishes and diocese, I can accept what you typically offer for that service.
  4. What subjects do you speak on? I can speak on a lot of different topics. I prefer that you give me direction based on the theme of the event.
Check Fr. Mike's Availability