When his beloved Catholic grandmother died, Scott Hahn tore apart her rosary beads and threw them in the garbage can.
"I thought of these beads almost like chains that at last she was broken free from,'' Hahn has told audiences, according to the Catholic Education Resource Center website.
Hahn would go on to become a minister and teacher at a Presbyterian seminary.
Years later, Hahn had a conversion that turned him from anti-Catholicism to a man who has embraced the teachings of the Catholic Church, starting with its ban on contraception and going forward to its renewed call for evangelization. He now teaches at the Catholic-based Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.
Hahn is to speak at 7 p.m. April 10 at the JFK auditorium at St. Francis University in Loretto with other presentations to be made during the day.
In his talks, he often goes into great detail about the journey he and his wife, Kimberly, embarked on as they made their way from a Presbyterian seminary to the Catholic Church, according to the resource center website.
If you go
Name: Scott Hahn
When: 7 p.m. April 10
Where: St. Francis University
For more information: Visit francis.edu/scott-hahn-14. A series of events are planned throughout the day.
Hahn could not be reached for comment for this story.
But Paul Girardi, the associate director of campus ministry at St. Francis, said in bringing Hahn to the campus, the university is carrying through on a call from Pope John Paul II to help spread the good news of Jesus Christ to more people.
"In the 1990s Blessed Pope John Paul II coined the phrase 'the New Evangelization,''' Girardi said. "This movement is a call to each Christian to renew their relationship with Jesus Christ.''
Girardi said the pope's call also carried with it a need for people to learn more about Jesus, which he said is why the university is bringing Hahn to the campus.
"As one might guess, there is a strong educational component in this New Evangelization,'' Girardi said.
By having Hahn speak, it helps the university fulfill its dual goals to evangelize and educate, Girardi said. Hahn has written or edited more than 40 books on the Catholic faith and related topics.
"[Hahn] has delivered thousands of popular talks and academic lectures nationally and internationally, on a wide range of topics related to Scripture, theology and the Catholic faith,'' Girardi said. "His presence here at St. Francis University reinforces our mission as a Catholic institution of higher education.''
Girardi said Hahn would speak not only on the New Evangelization, but on the Bible, the Eucharist and "on cultivating a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
"These themes are designed to invite those present to a deeper introspection and ignite in them the flame of faith,'' Girardi said.