by Joe Bollig
OLPE — Even to Brian and Kay Schmidt, the circumstances that are bringing Catholic apologist, broadcaster and author Gus Lloyd to their parish here in March seem a bit odd.
Odd indeed, since Lloyd will bring his exciting evangelistic and apologetic program “Live Your Faith” to St. Joseph Parish in Olpe thanks to a vacation in Italy and a new car.
Last summer, the Schmidts went on a second honeymoon to Italy. They saw all the beautiful, inspiring places that tourists/pilgrims are supposed to see: St. Peter’s Basilica, Florence and Venice.
“I was really affected by everything I was seeing,” said Kay. “I’ve been Catholic all my life, but it really clicked for me — being part of the Catholic Church. I had a spiritual encounter with the church while I was there.”
They were on a spiritual high. About that same time, they also bought a new car, which came with a free three-month package for SiriusXM satellite radio.
“Right away, I found the Catholic channel and began listening to this guy named Gus Lloyd,” said Kay. “He kept me on this spiritual high. Since the day I’ve tuned in, I haven’t changed the channel. He’s that good.”
Kay is a member of St. Joseph’s parish council. And at about the time she and Brian were returning home from their vacation, the council had begun discussing ways to bring a speaker to Olpe for Lent.
“I knew right away Gus Lloyd would be the person to bring in,” said Kay. “I contacted him and asked if he would come to our small town, and he said he would be honored to do that.”
Lloyd began his radio career in 1979. He left radio, underwent a major religious conversion and then began feeling called to ministry — especially explaining and defending the Catholic faith.
He reentered radio in the early 1990s and began hosting a radio show on WBVM Spirit FM in Tampa, Florida. He co-hosted a show there called “A Question of Faith” with the theologian Scott Hahn.
Lloyd has also written four books: “A Minute in the Church,” “A Minute in the Church Volume II,” “A Minute in the Church: The Mass,” and “Magnetic Christianity: Using Your God-given Gifts to Build the Kingdom.”
His presentation in Olpe will be on that last topic — how one can be a “magnetic Christian.”
“A magnetic Christian is a person who feels the call to evangelize, which we all have through our baptism,” said Lloyd. “These are people who desire to draw others to Christ.”
He will also offer his personal testimony.
“I’m a big believer that evangelization begins with sharing our story, sharing the story of how good God has been in our lives,” he said. “I want to share the story of the circuitous route God has put me on to be doing what I am doing today.”
Lloyd’s presentation will also include a focus on apologetics (defending the faith) that will briefly touch on the most common objections to the Catholic faith that people encounter.
The Lloyd conference will be held March 19 in the Olpe Knights of Columbus Hall, 212 Iowa St. Mass begins at 8 a.m. The conference will follow from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is a free event, but a freewill offering will be collected. Lunch will be provided, but advance registration before March 15 is required. Send your name, number of attendees and phone number to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Brian and Kay Schmidt at (620) 475-3767.