I have written about this podcast so many times now, Reader-land, that I should explain about them to you.
Of course there is a backstory.
The year was 2012 or so. I was elbow deep in my career goals and heading down for five days at a leadership class, specially designed for rising candidates. I thought I was hot sh*t and this was another step in my quest to make more money. Truth be told, I was ignoring my family commitment for work.
I had a two-and-a-half hour drive ahead of me, because I hate carpooling, and I needed stuff to listen to on the way. At some point, I got an idea to get Catholic podcasts, and that is how I met John, Mike, Joe, Nathan, Tim, and Mike, or Olo as he is called.
They had a podcast that started in 2010, so I had plenty to listen through. What caught my attention at first was the podcast Deacon John gave about Revelation. It was intense and got me excited, and it wasn’t even past chapter three! The next one was about the new mass translation. Then the Tetragrammaton. By then I was hooked, and when I got home, I started listening from podcast 1, the Stylites. And slowly, my focus started to shift.
I had them on in every commute, morning and evening. I listened as they went through seminary, were ordained deacons and priests, when they had a falling out with Deacon Joe, when some got transferred to Rome for studies, and their return. I learned about the Carthusians, I learned about the proper place of Latin and chant in the mass, I learned what the gestures mean IN the mass, why the priest does X and Y. Augustine and Von Balthasar, Ignatius and Newman, Tertullian and Diognetus, Caravaggio and Dostoyevsky, Fathers of the Church and Mary at the foot of the cross. I have been with them through the synod on the family, drug and euthanasia laws, sex scandal in the Church, broken bones, the emotional loss of a spiritual director, a family stroke, transfers , doctoral theses, and mistakes. I have listened to their sadness and joy, and above all their choice to remain faithful in their mission. I have learned what election, vocation, and mission means. And every week I wait until Thursday when we get together to catch up. They are old friends.
Of course, I have only met Fr Tim. I’ve emailed them a ton, but have only met Fr Tim.
Everything I have said has been through the podcast. I know them as voices and pictures, but I would say they are my friends. They give so much of themselves in the podcast that if you spent as much time as me listening, you could feel the same way. The other important thing to remember is that we should know about this stuff! They don’t get super arcane, they deal with everyday life, like marriage counseling, divorce, homilies, confession, and what it’s like to be a priest around Denver and Boulder. They talk about real things. If you are practicing your faith, you should know this stuff! Ultimately, they offer catechesis that should be taught to everyone, but most Catholics don’t hear.
The last four podcasts have been spectacular especially regarding modernity, not because I got a shout out, not because of jazz loon, but because they are addressing important issues, with a direct view from the front lines of the fight! They are parish priests, in the trenches with US, not bishops and Cardinals in some palace giving incorrect mandates about how the church doesn’t value life as a preeminent issue!
Their strength is their community. They are members of a private association of diocesan clerics whose members seek to live obedience, chastity, and poverty, the evangelical counsels, as they live their diocesan priestly vocation. They also live in community, meaning they try to have a common life. It is a very different concept from regular diocesan life who may be isolated at some far-away parish. They remind me of my friends in Spain.
I have learned much from them, and I regurgitate it here on the blog. They have learned from wise men, and I am learning from them, the lessons they have learned from a “message in a bottle” being passed down to listeners and then, hopefully, on to this blog. We all can learn about the Truth, opening our minds and turning off our phones. I’ve come to grow to love them as brothers, even though I am nowhere near them. And I will probably not get the chance to meet them on this earth. I do have hope that one day I may stand up and vouch for them, “Lord, these men brought me to You!” If that is how I can play a part…
Start with episode one. Listen on your commute, when you are mowing the lawn, doing laundry, working your hobby, instead of audible, learn your faith! And maybe you can become friends as I have.