Speaking to the Register at a press conference, Fr. Schmitz invited Catholics and non-Catholics alike, “Discover how God’s plan of pure goodness is manifesting for us today.”
After the incredible success of Podcast The Bible in a Yearfather Mike Schmitz and Jeff Cavins of Ascension Press announced all the details regarding The Catechism in a year podcast at a press event on November 2.
This next adventure coming to all online audio platforms on January 1 was something Father Schmitz had in mind during production. The Bible in a year, but it was really popular demand that brought this new podcast. An Ascension Press survey found that thousands of people want to learn more about catechism through a daily podcast. The 900-page book is a compilation of fundamental Christian truths and essential teachings of the Church.
Father Schmitz spoke passionately about this new podcast, telling the record what listeners will get for tuning in:
“One of the things that we recognize is that here is the Holy Spirit, moving on. Here is God, who continues to reach out to his people. God continues to make us his sons and daughters…and there’s real truth in the fact that you can’t love what you don’t know. …And I’m so grateful for the catechism. God reveals himself in the Holy Scriptures so that we love him more. But it is also revealed in the sacred Tradition. Thus, we love him more. I hope that when it comes to the Bible, we have had a biblical worldview that was first given or rediscovered. Now, with the Catechism, it is a biblical view of the world that is now amplified or even brought into a clearer or sharper view.
The podcast offers essential facts and knowledge about the richness of the Catholic faith, Fr. Schmitz continued, adding that the episodes not only offer “real information but real transformation.”
New Podcast and Real Presence
Given the release of the new podcast coming amid the National Eucharistic Renewal, the Register asked Fr. Schmitz about the timing of this new endeavor and how the podcast could help rekindle understanding and belief in the presence real.
Father Schmitz noted that since the podcast runs through the catechism in a linear fashion, “we won’t necessarily be discussing the Eucharist for a while,” but added that the entire show is an “invitation to love, relationship with God himself”, and us as believers: “We cannot love what we do not know.
The new podcast will explore in depth – as the Catechism does: “God in himself, the who and what of what God is, offering greater understanding and greater love. In terms of Eucharistic revival, Schmitz called the podcast an invitation to “fall more in love with the word” and ask “how does God keep revealing himself now?” The first episode is titled: “Knowing and loving God”.
Similar to The bible of the year podcast, The Catechism in a year The podcast will run 15-20 minutes for each episode, offering both commentary and prayers. Bringing to life the Four Pillars of the Catholic Faith, Jeff Cavins joins Father Schmitz to cover “What We Believe”, Bishop Andrew Cozzens joins to discuss “How We Worship”, Mary Healy explores “How We Live”, and Sister Miriam James Heidlandand adds to “How We Pray”.
Because so many churches listen together as a group, Ascension Press has created free parish promotional materials including flyers, posters, newsletters and graphics. The new podcast will be free on all streaming platforms, as well as the prayer app Hallow.
The practicality of podcast content is quite unique. Talking about the young audience they are reaching with the current podcast and what they hope to cultivate with the launch of The Catechism, Cavins of Ascension Press said, “There is a real challenge in reaching such a young audience who are intrigued by the Catholic faith.” Father Schmitz called it ‘next level’ at the press conference, saying the podcast offers ‘a sober and serious revelation of who God is’, adding: ‘This faith of ours has really been thought through’ .
This project is also accompanied by a new printed edition of the Catechism. The book was released this fall in anticipation of the podcast releasing in January. John Harden of Ascension Press first thanked the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for their help in printing this robust new version suitable for podcast segments.
Both the podcast and the catechism have undergone extensive “theological scrutiny,” Harden noted. He also talked about their ‘Foundations of Faith’ approach, which “allows people to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church with a clear understanding of its sources in Scripture, Church documents, saints and more”. The new book also comes with a helpful “Catechism at a Glance” chart and colorful catechism indexing tabs, so listeners can easily follow along. A podcast notebook is also available.
Because the Doctors of the Church play such a crucial role in the breadth and depth of the Catechism, the Register asked Harden about unique aspects, and he noted a very interesting feature of the coinciding Catechism: “We highlight the sources for each section – the Scriptures and Tradition, Creeds and Councils, and Doctors of the Church. Listing all the sources for each topic and section, Harden said readers and listeners can learn that “perhaps the half of the content of the Catechism is actually a quotation from a council or a doctor of the Church”.
Ascension Press also announced a new series coming next year: The Biblical Timeline Show, featuring Cavins. In dialogue with a special guest, the conversation will discover the links between the Bible and the catechism. Some of the star guests include Father Schmitz, Father Josh Johnson, Scott Hahn and Sister Alicia Torres.
Ascension, the publisher of the podcast, thinks this new podcast will have a huge impact, following the success of The Bible in a Year podcast, whose popularity continues to climb. Amassing 6.8 billion total listening minutes, the podcast has had over 365 million downloads to date.
In the last 30 days alone, the current podcast reached 1.5 million people and also topped the charts on Apple Podcasts for the second year in a row. Lauren Joyce, publicist for Ascension Press, said: “Before Conan O’Brien, before Dave Ramsey, people secretly read the Bible. The podcast also features countless testimonials, many of which point to “healing bridges in Catholic and Protestant homes.”