While Denver is home to many new apostolates in the New Evangelization, it’s not surprising that it’s also home to several podcasts striving to proclaim the Gospel in this way. The following podcasts may have their home in the Rocky Mountains, but they have a world-wide audience.
Dr. Scott Powell had been friends with Father Peter Mussett for years. They regularly got together and talked about the upcoming Sunday readings, in part to help Father Mussett prepare for his homilies. Both men are based in Boulder and involved with ministering to students on the University of Colorado campus.
“We were having so much fun with it, we decided to record it,” Powell said about these moments of talking about the readings.
The podcast now has 40,000-50,000 downloads a week. Powell and Father Mussett discuss the four Sunday readings in their podcast “Lanky Guys.”
“It’s a quick 45-minute crash course on everything going on in these readings,” Powell said.
The biggest growing demographic of listeners is that of priests, he said.
It serves as a good homily preparation for priests besides Father Mussett. Some admit to it, some don’t, Powell said. It also serves parents well. As a parent himself, Powell said he doesn’t think he’s heard a full homily in the last 11 years.
“We don’t want it to be cumbersome,” Powell said.
Their name reflects the lighthearted nature they have on the podcast. The duo seeks “to reverence the scriptures but self-deprecate a little bit,” he said.
The podcast doesn’t try to keep the truths they speak to themselves. They want people to use all of the content they are putting out there, for priests to use it in homilies, or Bible study leaders to use it in their meetings.
The podcast sprung out of the Aquinas Institute at the University of Colorado. Powell saw a need to integrate Catholic intellectual thought into academic life at the college. The Aquinas Institute seeks to bridge that gap by hosting debates, lectures, and classes.
“Lanky Guys” will be hosting live podcast at St. Drogos Coffee Bar in Boulder on Dec. 5, 10:30 a.m.
Several priest friends wanted to respond to Pope Benedict XVI’s call to use new methods to proclaim the Gospel and decided to form a podcast while on a road trip in 2010. This podcast, “Catholic Stuff You Should Know” covers a variety of topics in a conversation between friends.
“The goal is for us to get people who don’t normally hear the Gospel, to hear priests having a conversation,” said Father Nathan Goebel, one of the contributors and pastor at St. Joan of Arc parish.
The audience likes tuning in as listeners of a conversation they wouldn’t normally hear, said Father Goebel. The podcast serves as a privileged look into the close friendships these priests share, and the listener feels like he or she is also around the kitchen table drinking bourbon with the hosts.
The hosts wanted listeners to hear priests in dialogue since many people’s only experience of hearing a priest is during a homily, said Father Goebel.
“We don’t all have the same cookie cutter approach,” he said. Each priest brings a new perspective to the topic.
Catholic Stuff You Should Know now has over 400 episodes.
“This is growing at a rate we didn’t think was possible,” Father Goebel said. “That’s the beauty of technology at times.”
The priests are known for their banter and humor, and one listener fell off his treadmill at one point laughing so hard, he said.
“We’re never short of banter,” Father Goebel said. But the group also wants to make sure they are feeding their listeners.
“People really need a word of hope,” he said. “You want to make sure you give that to them.”
Several therapists at Mount Tabor Counseling saw a need to use their credentials of being licensed mental health professionals and having graduate degrees in philosophy or theology to have an informed conversation on integrating the two realms. The “Catholic Psyche” podcast sprang out of this unique niche.
“We call ourselves the therapist theologians,” said Father Deacon Basil Ryan Balke, a member of the podcast and Deacon at Holy Protection Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Parish.
“Catholic Psyche” seeks to make the conversation about mental health accessible and also put it in a Catholic perspective. The podcast features several men and women therapists.
Freud popularized the idea that you can just go to your therapist instead of your priest, thus giving a negative light to Christian acceptance of psychology, Father Deacon Basil said.
“What I’ve seen is a Church which views the human person as if your prayer life and psychological life are not going to have any impact on each other,” he said. “We have this mentality that we can just pray away emotional difficulties.”
“Our psychological lives have actual value in the spiritual and physical life,” Father Deacon Basil said.
The podcast began in 2018 and addresses various topics from depression, to raising emotionally healthy children, to surviving the holidays.
The team’s goal is “just continue to shout out as much psychological and theological truth into the world as possible and hopefully people can get something from it,” he said.
Dr. Edward Sri, professor at the Augustine Institute, author, theologian and Catholic speaker seeks to break down complex topics in the faith and give listeners a practical application to their lives.
“For many years, people have been asking if I had a podcast,” Sri said. He formed the podcast in 2017 after encouragement from people who had read his books or heard his lectures.
The podcast “All Things Catholic” is as broad as it sounds, covering a range of topics from scripture, to dating relationships, to common questions about the faith. Sri’s favorite episode features his wife as a guest and is titled, “What we wish we knew before marriage.”
The podcast gives listeners “weekly contact where they’re being fed,” he said.
Sri’s goal is to meet people in the midst of their daily lives and encourage them in their faith, he said. He seeks to help people walk as disciples of Jesus.
While traveling around the world, he meets people in other countries who are encouraged by the podcast.
“That’s what keeps me wanting to do it,” Sri said.