The Laramie Project

The Laramie Project

Father Roger Schmit is the Catholic priest in Laramie at the time of Matthew Shepard’s murder. Unitarian minister Stephen Mead Johnson considers Father Roger to be the next left-most minister in town after himself. Father Roger holds a vigil for Matthew without hesitation after his beating, and generally seems to be accepting of LGBT people despite the fact that the Catholic Church officially disapproves of homosexuality. He condemns all violence against LGBT people—which, according to him, includes homophobic slurs and hate speech—and in doing so he expands the readers’ understanding of what violence can mean or look like. Father Roger shows how the same religious doctrine (such as Catholicism) can be read in many different ways and models the possibility of taking part in a traditional religious community while also being an ally to LGBT people.

Father Roger Schmit Quotes in The Laramie Project

The The Laramie Project quotes below are all either spoken by Father Roger Schmit or refer to Father Roger Schmit. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Homophobia, Tolerance, and Acceptance Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dramatists Play Service edition of The Laramie Project published in 2001.
Act 2: Two Queers and a Catholic Priest Quotes

I thought, “You know, should we…call the bishop and ask him permission to do the vigil?” And I was like, “Hell, no, I’m not going to do that.” His permission doesn’t make it correct, you realize that? And I’m not knocking bishops, but what is correct is correct.

Related Characters: Father Roger Schmit (speaker), Matthew Shepard, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

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You think violence is what they did to Matthew—they did do violence to Matthew—but, you know, every time that you are called a fag, or you are called a…dyke…Do you realize that is violence? That is the seed of violence. And I would resent it immensely if you use anything I said…to somehow cultivate that kind of violence…Just deal with what is true. You know what is true. You need to do your best to say it correct.

Related Characters: Father Roger Schmit (speaker), Matthew Shepard, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti
Page Number: 65-66
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 3: A Death Penalty Case Quotes

I think right now our most important teachers must be Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney. They have to be our teachers. How did you learn? What did we as a society do to teach you that? See, I don’t know if many people will let them be their teacher. I think it would be wonderful if the judge said, “In addition to your sentence, you must tell your story.”

Related Characters: Father Roger Schmit (speaker), Aaron McKinney, Russell Henderson
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:

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Father Roger Schmit Character Timeline in The Laramie Project

The timeline below shows where the character Father Roger Schmit appears in The Laramie Project. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1: The Word
Homophobia, Tolerance, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Prejudice Theme Icon
...from left to right. Furthest left is the Unitarian Church, and then next leftmost is Father Roger Schmit and the Catholic parish. Stephen says that, immediately after Matthew Shepard’s attack, Father Roger... (full context)
Act 2: Two Queers and a Catholic Priest
Homophobia, Tolerance, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Leigh Fondakowski and Greg Pierotti, who both identify as gay, go to speak with Father Roger Schmit, Laramie’s Catholic priest. Father Roger tells Leigh and Greg that Matthew Shepard has done... (full context)
Homophobia, Tolerance, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Violence, Punishment, and Justice Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Theater and Representation Theme Icon
Father Roger Schmit tells Leigh Fondakowski and Greg Pierotti that, if they do intend to write a... (full context)
Act 3: A Death Penalty Case
Homophobia, Tolerance, and Acceptance Theme Icon
Violence, Punishment, and Justice Theme Icon
Theater and Representation Theme Icon
...and so she has a hard time with the idea of putting him to death. Father Roger talks about the importance of learning lessons from Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney and letting... (full context)
Act 3: Departure
Religion, Morality, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Theater and Representation Theme Icon
...for good to go to Denver for their flight. Andy looks in the rear-view mirror. Father Roger Schmit appears and repeats his earlier request that the playwrights tell the story of Laramie... (full context)