Fr. Mike Schmitz, who is known for his catechetical online videos through Ascension Presents and serves as a college chaplain in Duluth, Minnesota, while addressing a Catholic leadership conference conveyed that authentic Christian friendship requires intentionality and a willingness to be vulnerable. Fr. Schmitz, highlighted that discipleship must be rooted in friendship and reflected that it has to be this thing called virtuous friendship.

As reported by Catholic News Agency, Fr. Mike Schmitz remarked that “It may be easy to get a faulty impression of FOCUS’ goal in developing friendships with those whom they evangelize, saying it may sound like it’s about manipulating people through a relationship. Sometimes we can get into this mindset that says that when I look at people, I see a project, not a person. That’s not true because discipleship must be rooted in friendship.” Further, Fr. Schmitz added, “It has to be the thing called virtuous friendship, or else it’s not going to work. Friendship is not incidental but it is intentional.”

Fr. Mike concluded his remarks by exhorting that “The future of the Church will be Christians, Catholics, coming to know the Lord in a deeper way, allowing the Lord to move their lives in a new way that looks different from the rest of the people around them.”