Gifts Galore Shalom to Host Acclaimed Author, Artist John Schlimm

By Frenzel, Anthony | Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque), March 2, 2019 | Go to article overview

Gifts Galore Shalom to Host Acclaimed Author, Artist John Schlimm


Frenzel, Anthony, Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque)


BY ANTHONY FRENZEL

Tony.frenzel@thmedia.com

John Schlimm's message isn't just about positivity. It's about exploring your

Passion and gifts.

And for a Renaissance man like Schlimm, those gifts are many and varied.

"I feel very fortunate and really blessed to reach this point in my career where I can explore all the areas I'm passionate about," Schlimm said in a phone interview.

Shalom Spirituality Center in Dubuque is partnering with Clarke University and Convivium Urban Farmstead to bring Schlimm to Dubuque Monday-Friday, March 11-15, for five events with the Harvard-educated, award-winning author and speaker.

It will be his first time visiting the area.

"I love the heartland and didn't have to think twice when Shalom asked me," he said. "When the request came, I immediately looked at how far you are from where I am in St. Marys (Pa.). When I saw it was basically a straight line I thought, forget the plane, I'm going to drive. Because I love road tripping."

An international award-winning author, Schlimm is a university professor, artist and activist who has traveled the country speaking on inspirational topics, cooking, art and public relations, including a keynote address on Capitol Hill.

He has appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," NPR, Martha Stewart's "Everyday Food" and EWTN's "The World Over."

"Life is way too short and goes by way too fast to be miserable," Schlimm said. "And too many people are miserable these days. I try to embrace a fun and positive message, even if it's just for a few minutes. This is a beautiful world and a beautiful life that we have."

That message is perhaps best exemplified by his memoir, "Five Years In Heaven." In it, he recounts his time with Sister Augustine, a sister and artist-in-residence at the ceramic shop on the grounds of a 150-year-old convent in St. Marys.

At the time he was questioning his career path. In order to get him out of the house, a friend took him to the ceramic shop - a part of the convent he never new existed despite having been born and raised in town.

"It is very much in the vein of 'Tuesdays with Morrie,'" Schlimm said. "But my version is a 31-year-old guy and an 87-year-old cloistered Catholic nun. Sister Augustine came out with this great smile and twinkle in her eye. It was really love at first site."

What followed was five years of weekly conversations on just about any topic where she offered advice. As a publicist, Schlimm started to get the word out about her.

"She had been hidden from the world and she was pretty content with that," he said. "I started reaching out to reporters and bringing them into the studio and shop. For those five years, it was this glimpse of heaven on earth. I'm so happy that I'm a messenger with a pen. I get to introduce her to the world. …

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