Feb 072013
 

One of my favorite radio shows is Kresta in the Afternoon which is hosted by Ave Maria Radio and also played on EWTN radio. Previously they had started to release recordings of their show via MP3s and later created a Podcast feed so you can listen to the show.

Al Kresta was previously a Protestant pastor, Christian book store manager, and later had a Christian talk show. He returned to the Catholic Church in the early 90s and started his present show in 1997. Here is his conversion story.

What I so enjoy about his show is the range of topics. While there is talk on the current events of the day and the world of politics, the show covers a large variety of topics along with a wide range of guests. Even when covering politics it is at a deeper level of analysis than you normally get and the spiritual dimensions are always considered. I also really like that when he has guests of imposing views it is never the shouting back and forth you would get in other venues. He is a very skilled interviewer and asks very thoughtful questions. I might not always agree with his analysis on prudential questions, but really it is only prudential questions that I have ever found myself disagreeing with.

I also quite like his humility in that he does not pretend to have all the answers and is willing to engage and to learn. On a recent show they had a back-and-forth debate between theologian Monica Miller and Simcha Fisher who blogs and writes for the National Catholic Register along with other Catholic publications. Simca had wrote an article regarding the use of the photos of aborted children. Monica Miller as part of her long-time work in the pro-life cause has taken photographs of aborted children and was involved in some highly publicized cases regarding finding the remains of these children in the garbage outside the clinic. This made for a very interesting debate considering both of these women are strongly pro-life and had differing prudential decisions regarding this. The problem with this debate though was it seemed to be rather contentious at times. This week on Al Kresta’s show Al apologized for not doing his role as host very well leading to the debate not coming off very well. It was apparent he was distressed over this airing of his show.

He often has discussion regarding books along with interviews of the authors and again I am impressed by nuances of his questioning and the answers they invoke. I also look forward to his annual show where he interviews various Catholics and asks them about the books they most enjoyed for the year. I have gotten a lot of pleasure from these discussions and reading these recommendations.

My only real complaint about the show is that there are often repeats of previous broadcasts. It might be selfish of me, but I want him on all the time. I would also like it to be much clearer when the shows are repeats. Another thing that I would like is that they provide notes and an outline of each show in the info section of their podcast. Some tech podcasts I listen to do this and it is quite useful to easily get to links discussed and to see the outline of the show.

Disclaimer: His blog lists my site on his short list of “The Blogs That Matter Most” and I once got to be a guest on a short segment of his show along with another blogger.

Podcast feed

Jan 072013
 

The Sacred Page Michael Barber is a professor of scripture and theology at John Paul the Great University. He maintains a blog called The Sacred Page along with two other professors. In addition he has created a podcast with the same name.

This is a quite excellent podcast with a focus on scripture. Michael Barber’s love of what he is teaching is infectious and it is hard to not get excited by what he is teaching. The podcast ranges from a typical hour long topic or shorter ones following the liturgical calendar. During Advent and Christmastide he has been rather active producing several shows.

I like the way he can give the basics of a topic and then go deeper while also providing historical information.

My only complaint is that as far as consistency goes this podcast is not always on any kind of schedule.

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St. Irenaeus Ministries This is a podcast produced by the St. Irenaeus Ministries in Rochester, NY. My first though was to echo Nathaniel “Rochester! Can anything good come from there?” Well the answer is a massive yes. This weekly podcasts goes through books in the bible and provides commentary. This seems to be a recorded version of a class where there are questions from the group.

The main speaker is David Higbee who converted to the Church in the 70’s. He is quite a good teacher and has an amazing depth of knowledge. I have especially enjoyed his teaching on the Pauline epistles He really dives into the scriptures and you come to understand them much better on a multiple levels. What he has to say is solid and orthodox along with keen insights. The personality that comes across to me in the podcast is a bit gruff at time, he doesn’t put up with heterodox opinions lightly. Although for me that is a plus and not a minus.

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Oct 302012
 

Greg and Jennifer Willits have left Sirius satellite radio and have returned to their roots in podcasting.  They released a reboot episode today of  “The Catholics Next Door”.

As an early listener of the Rosary Army podcast I am delighted to be able to listen to them again instead of only via a “best of” podcast from their radio show.  I just love their energetic creativity that addresses the new evangelization and the personal call to holiness done in such a way as not to scare off all but hardcore Catholics.  The way they use both humor and address serious struggles in such a frank way is one I admire.

I quite enjoyed the reboot episode and once again they are stepping out into the deep putting God and family first and displaying a trust in God worthy of imitation.

You can find it on iTunes or subscribe directly at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/thecatholicsnextdoor

Mar 292012
 

Over the years there has been a lot of talk about Catholics use of the new media and the poor quality of certain segments of this.  For example Catholic parishes have notoriously poor web sites, and while there have been some general improvements there is plenty of room to grow in this regard.

The same goes for diocesan websites, though they are generally of better quality than parish ones since money is being spent is this regard.

One area of the new media that has been much ignored by most diocese is podcasting with very few diocese getting involved in this.  I would like to highlight one example of the effective use of podcasting by a diocese which I think should be a model for other diocese.

The Archdiocese of Boston produces The Good Catholic Life, an hour long show scheduled Monday through Fridays.  The production values are very good  and the host Scot Landry is top notch in moving the show along and doing interviews.  This is a quality show that focuses on local news for the diocese along with news that affects all Catholics. So Catholics in the diocese who listen to it are kept well aware of what is going on in the dioceses along with hearing personal stories of other in the diocese.

I would love to have a similar podcast in my own diocese to learn more about the priests and people in my diocese to build up a real sense of community that is often lacking in today’s parish life.

They also simulcast the show on their local Catholic radio station which is also an ideal way to build up an audience.

No doubt producing such a podcast is time intensive and requires real resources to pull off right, but I think it is something well worth doing.

Jan 162011
 

Now if somebody was to craft a podcast just for me than it would be the new podcast “A Good Story is Hard to Find” with the tagline “Two Catholics talking about books, movies, and the traces of “one Reality” they find there.”

Julie from Happy Catholic and Scott Danielson a contributor to SFFaudio start by discussing a Zombie novel “The Reaper are the Angels” by Alden Bell and it was a good conversation indeed and I look forward to future episodes.

Julie is on another book fast this year – that is she is trying not to buy any books and instead rely only on the library and review copies. The irony is that they start off with a book that I have added to my wish list to buy. Oh well another year as a book glutton.

Podcast Feed

iTunes Link

Dec 242009
 

As a life-long lover of science I was of course delighted to find not only that there was no contradictions between faith and science, but that many scientists were men of faith and that in many ways it was Christianity that birthed the scientific method.

So I was quite glad to come across the podcast The Catholic Laboratory. Produced by Ian Maxfield, a Catholic scientist himself. Normally in each episode he introduces the life and history of another Catholic scientist and their contributions to science. Though he has also had mutl-part episodes for example discussing the multiverse. His presentation is quite enjoyable as he lays out biographies or discussion of science and even tosses out a bad joke or two (bad in a good way). I also enjoyed the interview he did with an author i admire, Benjamin Wiker and I hope he is able to do more such interviews in the future. I would enthusiastically recommend this to all others who enjoy science or are interested in the intersection of science and faith.

Feb 152009
 

Last October I posted on the Obama votive candle with his face on the body of St. Martin de Porres which Mark Steyn labeled “Votive early, Votive often.” A reader sent me in an update.

He may be the Second Coming to many San Franciscans – but one local Catholic priest wants a popular prayer candle with President Obama’s picture on it pulled from a local gift shop, saying it “mocks Jesus” and “depicts our beloved saints in a not so saintly way.”

The Rev. Tony La Torre of St. Philip the Apostle Church, in ever-hip Noe Valley, is so riled up that he’s calling for a boycott of the neighborhood’s Just For Fun card and novelty shop, which has been selling the $15 candles at a fast clip.

The candles feature the president’s halo-adorned head plastered onto the crucifix-clutching body of St. Martin de Porres, the Peruvian-born friar regarded as one of the first black saints in the Americas.

“I am appalled that in such a family-oriented neighborhood, any retailer would be so bigoted and so hateful (as) to carry such merchandise just to ‘make a buck,’ ” La Torre declared recently in the parish newsletter.

Store owners Robert Ramsey and David Eiland say they’ve sold more than 700 candles since putting them on display over the Christmas holiday.

And while the candles are a big hit, Ramsey says they’re not much different from the line of gag gifts they’ve been selling without complaint at the store on upper 24th Street for the past 22 years.

Yeah they put them right next to the prayer rugs picturing Obama as Mohammed – oh wait they don’t have that.

But to La Torre, the candles featured in a big window display were “the final straw” for a store “that feels the need to mock and ridicule the Catholic/Christian faith.”

It’s not first time “anti-Catholic, anti-Christian” attitudes, as La Torre calls them, have been decried in the city.

A couple of years back, Archbishop George Niederauer said he had been duped into giving communion to a couple of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence – cross-dressing, prankster “nuns” – prompting outrage from religious conservatives across the country.

The candle commotion might have passed quickly, except that La Torre also described the store’s owners as Jewish (they’re not) and urged parishioners not only to boycott the store but to “be sure to poke your head in … and tell them why.”

The San Francisco Archdiocese weighed in, contacting the priest to express its concern over his “Jewish” reference. La Torre has since retracted the reference, saying he only meant that the owners – if Jewish, as he says he was led to believe – “should know what it feels like to be mocked and ridiculed.”

That certainly didn’t help matters and wasn’t germane to the matter at hand even if true.

The owners ignored La Torre’s offer to meet with them to discuss his concerns, but did post a copy of the priest’s newsletter in their store window – right next to the king-size, 2-foot-tall version of the Obama candle that had set him off.

So far, the only effect of the controversy seems to be free advertising and a demand for even more candles.

“Tomorrow, I got 72 more coming,” Ramsey said.

That is always part of the prudential decision to boycott since it can give free advertising and in this case drive sales. Too bad it was mostly the local pastor seemed to be upset by these candles. This is really and act desecration by sacrilege whenever something sacred including sacramental is used for an unworthy purpose. This is more than just a political novelty, but a mocking of the Catholic faith – something that seems to be a constant theme in San Francisco.

Jun 022008
 

Marc at the latest Catholic Vocations Podcast has an interview with Fr. Jonathan Meyer. Very interesting interview of how cradle Catholic Fr. Meyer found his vocation via Protestantism. Some will remember that Fr. Meyer was the priest in this vocations poster.

Matrix Priest Vocations Poster

Moving from The Matrix to Battlestar Galactica. Husband and wife team Jeff and Zina have been producing the excellent Secrets of Battlestar Galactica podcast. They have produced four episodes so far and they are quite insightful and really dig into the series. Highly recommended for BSG fans.

Feb 042008
 

href="http://catholichack.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">The
Catholic Hack is a podcast now up to its fortieth show which
focuses on apologetics and Church teaching and recently became an
affiliate podcast with target="_blank">SQPN.

Joe McClane who runs the Catholic Hack is
a convert to the faith from Protestantism and has created yet another
well-produced Catholic specific podcast.  You can certainly
pick up his excitement for the faith as he talks on standard apologetic
topics and he covers the various subjects thoroughly.  Some of
the topics span multiple shows such as the ones he did on Jehovah
Witnesses. Besides the good apologetics fare what makes this podcast
excellent is the quality of the interviews he conducts with many
well-known Catholics involved in apologetics and other fields.
 He has had people like Tim Staples, Carl Olson, Mike
Aquilina, Steve Ray, Marus Groudi, and several others.  This
week he had Christopher West on in another good interview as they
discussed Pope John Paul II’s the Theology of the body and his recent
book The Love that  Satisfies ( href="http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester/archives/008290.php">which
I reviewed here.)

This is an informative and fun podcast
that is well worth your while.

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