Schmidt’s journey began in 1974 when he came to Xavier fresh from theology school. Two years later, he took over as pastor of Bellarmine Chapel and director for campus ministry. In those days, he says, a practical approach meant giving students solid advice as well as setting up tables and chairs for events and cleaning up afterward. Later, when he began his 21-year association withCompany, his approach often meant typing up stories or handling countless other small chores. And now, he says, the primary challenge of his new job—helping Jesuits find the right outlets for their ministry, talents and interests—requires yet another level of practicality.
“One of the oddities is that I’m sort of the CEO of this organization, but I’m dealing with individuals at the most hands-on level,” he says. “It may not be the easiest way, but it seems to be the best way to do it.”