This week Catholic Answers Live celebrates it’s 15th year on the radio.
While I haven’t listened to Catholic Answers Live since the start, it was pretty close. I was lucky that when I moved to Jacksonville, Fl 15 years ago that Jacksonville also had one of only three or four Catholic radio stations at the time. So sometime in the first year of their show I started listening and have been listening ever since.
I have been critical lately of some Catholic media that just wasn’t very professional. Catholic Answers for the most part has been an exception. That they managed to register catholic.com certainly shows some forward thinking. Early on they also started to make their shows available online to listen to or download. Although back then the media was Real Audio something that fortunately has been reassigned to one of the nine circles of internet hell. Fortunately later they switched to mp3. They weren’t an early adopter of podcasting, but they did finally get around to it.
Thanks to the Wayback Machine you can see an early version of their site. While the color scheme is rather awful, by the standards of the day it is rather tame.
What I do know is that I am very glad for the existence of Catholic Answers. When I started listening to their show I had not yet decided to become Catholic, but was leaning in that direction. In the first years of the program the regulars were Jerry Usher performing hosting duties along with the regular hosts of Karl Keating and Jimmy Akin. Karl Keating the founder of Catholic Answers did a lot more shows then and I learned a lot from him along with appreciating his dry wit. It was Jimmy Akin that really blew me away. An apologist that used examples out of Science Fiction books, movies, and television was certainly right up my alley. Beyond that I really came to appreciate not only his depth of knowledge, but in him being very aware of the limits also of his knowledge. Sometimes he would add what his personal opinion was on a subject, but it was always clear when this was the case.
Over the years they have added some great talent to the show and also had people move on. It is rather amazing to having listened to Rosalind Moss over the years and to see her go from being a Catholic apologist specializing in the spiritual life to being the founder of Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel’s hope. It was also interesting to listen to Jerry Usher over the years and how he progressed in his own knowledge of the faith. Patrick Coffin was certainly a very fine addition and I quite enjoy Patrick Coffin’s and Jimmy Akin’s back-and-forth pun topping.
Having listened to such a large majority of this show, I also find it amazing just how great were the guest hosts. There are only a couple examples I can think of where the person just wasn’t cut out to answer live questions. But these things happen, after all I got to guest host an episode of Catholic Answers once.
So congratulation to Catholic Answers. Karl Keating filled a gigantic void when Catholic apologetics was being deemphasized or ignored and there are now thousands (if not more) like myself whose lives were greatly benefited by their apostolate.