New Year-Long Ascension Podcast Begins Jan. 1 and Will Feature the Entire Catechism
Starting Jan. 1, Ascension Press will launch “The Catechism in a Year,” guiding listeners through the four parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and “providing explanations, insights, and encouragement along the way.”
During 365 daily podcast episodes, Fr. Mike Schmitz will read the entire catechism. Throughout 2022, the priest hosted the popular “The Bible in a YearPodcast with Scripture scholar Jeff Cavins.
Father Schmitz read every verse of the Catholic Bible in 365 days, using a reading plan based on the Cavins Great Adventure Biblical timeline. The Reading Plan organizes the 14 narrative books of the Bible into 12 periods to help readers understand how they relate to each other and to God’s plan of salvation.
A priest of the Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota, Father Schmitz is a popular Catholic speaker and author. He and Cavins created the Bible Podcast with support from Ascension. Cavins is also the founder of the Archbishop Flynn Catechical Institute at St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul, and a former director of evangelism and catechesis at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
“We don’t think it’s an accident that after ‘The Bible in a Year’, the most requested thing from our audience was a ‘Catechism of the Year,'” said Lauren Joyce, communications and relations specialist. public at Ascension, a multimedia company. Catholic publisher based in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Helping congregants understand and read the Bible with Cavins’ timeline learning system and podcast format “has made such a big difference to accessibility,” she told a conference release on November 2 via Zoom. “Our audience is saying to do the same for catechism: ‘We know we should like it, we know we should read it (and) have a hard time doing it, so help us.'”
In the 30 days leading up to the press conference, the Bible Podcast had reached an audience of 1.5 million people through various electronic devices, such as a cellphone, tablet with downloaded episodes, or YouTube.
According to Chartable Global Reach, a podcast measurement company, “The Bible in a Year” was #1 in 2022 in the religious/spiritual category.
Ascension has also published a new printed edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Its four sections have navigation features for the reader, including color-coded corner tabs, keywords and quotes from scripture, church councils, popes and/or doctors of the church .
There is a comprehensive glossary and appendices, which include a chronology of ecclesiastical writers who have contributed to the development of doctrine throughout Church history.
There’s also an accompanying fold-out chart, “The Catechism at a Glance,” which is “like a roadmap if you will,” explained John Harden, senior product manager at Ascension, during the press conference.
“The reverse shows how all the sources of scripture and tradition flow into the catechism,” he said, “and the reverse shows how the four parts are arranged – what we believe, how we worship , how we live our lives as Christians, and how we pray as Christians.
He called it a joy to work on this edition of the catechism. “I really hope people learn to grow in love and appreciation for all that we believe as Catholics.”
Harden also “thanked and thanked” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for working with Ascension on the copyright and permissions issue that allowed the Ascension volume to move forward. He noted that there will be an ongoing theological review of the content of the “Catechism in a Year” podcast and the podcast itself.
Local bishops in each country control permissions and copyrights for catechisms released in their country. For this reason, Ascension currently only has permission from the USCCB to sell the Ascension Catechism Edition in the United States. Ascension said it hopes to work with other episcopal conferences to receive their endorsements in the future.
The catechism recognizes “that what God does in this world has not ended” with chapter 28 of the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible, Fr. Schmitz said. The fifth book of the New Testament tells of the founding of the church. “God continues to reach out to his people. … (With catechism) we come to love him more,” he added.
“What we did with the Bible, we are going to do with the catechism,” the priest said of the podcast. “For 365 days, we will do a small part of catechism every day.
“We’re going to read it, explain it and expand on it so that by the end of this year we can say, ‘I know what the church believes, I know what God’s plan is for my life, I know how to talk to God, I know how to listen to his voice and I know how to adore him. It’s gonna be amazing.
“For us to grow as Catholics, we need to know what our faith is. We need to articulate our faith in order to share it,” said Cavins, who will host a new program called “The Bible Timeline Show.”
In 60-minute episodes, he’ll unpack the questions raised by listeners of “The Bible in a Year” podcast with Father Schmitz and other guests.
The Catechism in a Year podcast will be available for free on all major podcast platforms as well as the Hallow app. Ascension also provides Catholic schools and parishes with free materials promoting the podcast, including flyers, posters, media graphics and newsletter announcements.
Joe Ruff of The Catholic Spirit contributed to this report.
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