Eric Scheske is a writer, father of seven children, attorney, and speaker. His works have appeared in over two dozen publications, including Our Sunday Visitor, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Catholic Men’s Quarterly, and Columbia. He has spoken at numerous venues and has appeared on many radio programs, including multiple appearances on Sirius Radio’s The Catholic Guy. In addition to writing a monthly column for National Catholic Register about blogging, he maintains a daily blog of entertaining social and religious commentary called “The Daily Eudemon.”
An attorney with a successful business law practice, Eric offers practical advice, common sense approaches to the faith, and entertaining slants on modern issues. Listeners will find him edifying yet entertaining.After graduating from the University of Michigan, Eric obtained his law degree, magna cum laude, from the Notre Dame School of Law where he converted to Roman Catholicism. He went to work for a large law firm in Detroit, married his college sweetheart, then re-settled in his hometown in southwest Michigan where he joined a small law firm and developed his niche practice.After moving to his hometown, he taught 8th grade CCD to public school children for five years . . . and became an ardent fan of Catholic parochial school education. Six of his seven children have attended his hometown’s Catholic school. His seventh child (aged three) is primed to attend.When he’s not raising money for his Catholic school and earning money for his family, he spends time with his children, writes articles and columns, and blogs. His blog has been endorsed by Georgetown University’s Fr. James Schall; Catholic authors Michael Aquilina, David Scott, and Thomas Woods; and G.K. Chesterton expert John Peterson. Eric is also the former editor of Gilbert Magazine.
• The Goodness of Getting Your Knuckles Slapped: Why We Need Catholic Schools
• Seven Unwanted Pregnancies, No Unwanted Children: How Ineffective NFP Saved My Soul
• The Four-Day Week: Can You and Should You Convert to a Four-Day Work Week?
• Volunteerism: When Can You Say No? When Must You Say Yes?
• Beer Me in the Pews: Beer, Wine, and Catholic Culture
• Fiber Optic Spirituality: How to Benefit Spiritually from All the New Electronic Gadgets
• The Suddenly-Sinking Ship: A Diehard Lutheran Finds Catholicism
• The Catholic Reader: A Reading Plan for Inquiring Catholic Minds
• Four Dead White Men: G.K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis
Excerpts From Eric Scheske’s Conversion Story:
During one of those summer afternoons, I was sitting in my parents’ family room, doing nothing, just rocking in a chair and looking around. A book on the bookshelf caught my attention. I pulled it down and looked at it.It was still wrapped in plastic: Another Sort of Learning. It was written by a man named James V. Schall and published by a company called “Ignatius Press.” A Lutheran with no taste for things Catholic, I didn’t know "Ignatius" signaled a Catholic thing. I also didn’t know James Schall was a Jesuit priest.The book’s funny cover intrigued me. The title was written in multi-colored print, like it was printed by a child in crayon. The sub-title fascinated me: Selected Contrary Essays on How Finally to Acquire an Education While Still in College or Anywhere Else: How to Employ Your Leisure Time When Ultimate Questions Remain Perplexing in Spite of Your Highest Earned Academic Degree, Together with Sundry Book Lists Nowhere Else in Captivity to Be Found.I was, maybe literally, salivating, but I didn't want to unwrap it, just in case my Dad hadn't meant to order it and planned on sending it back for a refund. As soon as he got home, I asked him about the book. He looked at it and shrugged. He didn’t know where he got it, he said, but I could have it.I read it immediately. I liked the essays, but liked more the list of suggested books in the back of each chapter. I’d heard of some of the authors before: Plato, Cicero, G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien. Most I hadn’t: Etienne Gilson, Christopher Dawson, Josef Pieper, Hilaire Belloc, many others.
With Schall’s book, my aimless reading ceased. I now had some direction. And with Schall’s book, I took my first concrete—though unconscious—steps toward Catholicism.
Though I was a Lutheran, I didn’t mind attending Notre Dame. I’d heard that its Catholicism was watered down and that non-Catholics could attend without feeling out-of-place. If I recall correctly, the Admissions Office itself assured me of this.As far as institutions go, that assessment of religious life at ND law school was accurate. With a few exceptions—Sunday evening law school masses, one professor starting his classes with a “Hail Mary,” crucifixes on the walls—I never felt awkward because I was a Lutheran.
But the institution doesn’t speak for the professors and students, some of whom were, notwithstanding the official “Catholic Lite” position of the University, heavy Catholic. At Notre Dame, I met intelligent and good Catholics. I remember a young man named Andy—handsome, intelligent, good bass guitar player. He was quiet and always looked calm and content. He wasn’t obsessed with grades or his career. He was always kindly and enjoyable to talk with. A person simply felt good after being with him. I eventually learned that Andy was a devout Catholic, from a devout Catholic family back in Pennsylvania. For some reason, I intuited that the two—his goodness and Catholicism—weren’t a mere coincidence. Although I can’t say that Andy was a reason I converted, the existence of someone like Andy made the eventual conversion more inviting.
A few years ago, an expert on the Edmund Fitzgerald spoke in my town. The Edmund Fitzgerald was a huge ship that was the pride of the Great Lakes back in the 1960s and 1970s. It sunk in Lake Superior in November 1975 during one of the severe storms that slam into the huge lake in the late fall. The event was immortalized by Gordon Lightfoot's song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."
Many of the circumstances surrounding its wreck are mysterious, including the way it suddenly disappeared. Right before it sank, the captain told another ship’s captain, via radio: "We are holding our own." The captain of the other ship could see the Edmund Fitzgerald on his radar screen a little way ahead. Then the big ship vanished from the screen with no distress calls and no warning.
No one ever figured out why the great ship sank, but the expert who spoke in my town offered a convincing case that it sank due to flooding in the part of the ship that sits beneath the surface. The expert said that the Edmund Fitzgerald most likely sprang a leak in its lower areas and the ship became like a glass of water in a bucket. As the glass fills with water, the rim of the glass sits lower and lower in the water until it’s just barely above the surface. At some point, adding merely one more drop of water to the glass will quickly plunge it to the bottom of the bucket. That was the Edmund Fitzgerald.
And in September 1991, as a third year law student cocky in his faith and ready to argue with an intelligent and learned Catholic lawyer, I sank like the Edmund Fitzgerald: Quickly, suddenly, with no forewarning to myself or those around me, telling others as I started my sessions with Professor Murphy, “I’m holding my own.” Then sitting in RCIA classes less than a month later.