Meet the former seminarian who became a leader in homeless ministry

christ in the city missionary and wife
2016 SJV alum Sam Schultz and his wife Anna met during a “Lunch in the Park” for people on the streets put on by Christ in the City, where Samuel now serves as director of homeless outreach.

One of the final blessings at a Catholic wedding goes like this:

“May you be witnesses in the world to God’s charity, so that the afflicted and needy who have known your kindness may one day receive you thankfully into the eternal dwelling of God.”

2016 St. John Vianney College Seminary alum Sam Schultz and his wife Anna have lived this out quite literally. Based in Denver, the former is currently working Christ in the City’s Director of Homeless Outreach, and the latter as Outreach and Apostolate Coordinator at Holy Name Parish.

Their journey together began at a park in Denver. Some time after discerning out of seminary, Sam came to visit Christ in the City — a  young adult apostolate serving the homeless — during their weekly “Lunch in the Park” for people on the streets. There he met his future bride, who was then a missionary for the organization, and they kept in touch.

Fast forward to October of 2021, and the two were married.

The journeys began long before they even met, though. Sam was a seminarian at SJV, then studied at Mundelein Seminary in Illinois for a time, before discerning he was not called to the priesthood. This period of formation, though ultimately not ending in ordination, still provided a crucial and solid foundation for their marriage, he said.

“Marriage is about self-gift,” Sam reflected, “and I can’t give myself unless I know myself. And when I was at SJV, that was the first real step towards self-knowledge and self-mastery. … I would never be able to give myself like I am now without having gone through that, and so the formation was very good in that way.”

Sam also added that seminary helped him develop solid prayer, which is now the core of the Schultzes’ day-to-day life.

Sam’s road came full circle this January when helped lead a team of SJV seminarians ministering to the poor in Minneapolis.

As for Anna, being a missionary with Christ in the City also prepared her well to be a spouse.

“That was the beginning of everything for me, I think,” she said of her time at the organization. “Living in community, in particular, was just incredibly healing in a lot of ways. It was the first time that I was truly seen in the good and the bad, and still loved after being seen … when you live with 30 plus people, you can’t hide, so all of the tendencies to want to be seen at your best fall away.”

According to Anna, receiving the love of God through prayer and then transmitting that love to the homeless, enables her to be that same vessel to Sam as well. Her husband echoed a similar sentiment.

“Learning to be more attentive to the poverty in others and to be willing to serve, pick up my cross daily, and provide for that poverty in another … is like a skill and a love that you learn more radically when you’re [loving] the homeless,” Sam reflected. “To see Anna in her poverty, whatever that looks like, and be willing to stay in the poverty with her, is normally something we want to run away from … but learning to love the poor helps me love my wife better.”

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