“The Labyrinth” filmmaker profile Fr. Schmidt: Grandfather/priest/filmmaker’s amazing journey

Caption: Marian Kolodziej’s artwork offers disturbing images of life in Auschwitz. “These are words locked in drawings,” he noted. “It is a rendering of honor to all those who have vanished in ashes.” DECEMBER 2ND PRODUCTIONS

Story by Paula Doyle, The Tidings

He’s a Valley boy and retired Army lieutenant colonel who has had not one but two late vocations.
Jesuit Father Ron Schmidt, a son/brother/father to acclaimed Hollywood film editors, is now a grandfather/priest/filmmaker whose mid-life Holocaust documentary, “The Labyrinth,” about a Polish Catholic Auschwitz survivor, has just been accepted this year for national airing on PBS television stations.

His filmmaking career was sparked in the seminary, which he entered at age 50 following a conversion experience during a Jesuit retreat that he had attended a few years after his wife’s death from cancer.

As he has admitted during his Sunday homilies, one of his three sons asked him when he announced that he was going to become a Jesuit priest: “Don’t you have to go to Mass, Dad?”

“We were Christmas/Easter Catholics,” Father Schmidt, 69, told The Tidings with a chuckle during a recent interview at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood, the office location of his film production company where he spends most of his weekdays. On weekends, he can be found celebrating Mass at St. Francis de Sales in Sherman Oaks or Holy Family in South Pasadena, where his homilies sometime mention the antics of his seven grandchildren.

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