Weekly church sermons that can be downloaded from the Internet and played on portable audio players have become the Podcasts most in demand, according to analysis of search results at Lycos.com.
"During the past month, searches for Godcasts have risen over 355 percent," said Dean Tsouvalas, writer of the Lycos 50 report. "There are no specific ‘Pod preachers’ being queried, but it’s only a matter of time before the ‘Billy Graham’ of Podcasts emerges," he wrote in an e-mail.
In the past week, searches for Godcasts were as popular as queries about TV’s "ER" and model Naomi Campbell. [Source]
Very few Catholic priests seem to be getting involved in audio recordings of their homilies published as podcasts. A couple make them available as mp3s though without a subscription for podcasts.
Here are some that I like.
Fr. Robert Barron from the Archdiocese of Chicago publishes his homilies weekly at Word on Fire and I have listened to two of his homilies on Pope Benedict XVI and found them to be really good. Technically the sound quality is very good and include a Catholic commercial at the end. That is a commercial for a cemetery and I find a commercial for a cemetery to be very Catholic. After all St. Thomas Aquinas kept a skull on his desk to remind him of the end of earthly life. [Hat tip to Sr. Lorraine of Open wide the doors to Christ! for posting about Fr. Barons site]
Catholic Insider (which has a cool entry page) is a podcast by father Roderick Vonhögen, catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Utrecht, The Netherlands. I just found this site though what I heard so far is good. He actually recorded a podcast right under the balcony when when Pope Benedict XVI was selected and you can hear his joy at the selection of Cardinal Ratzinger and he interviews other people there also overjoyed at the news. (Scroll down here to Habemus Papam to hear it) Here is the url to subscribe if you are using podcast software to track subscriptions.
PodcastPickle has a couple links to Catholic podcasts.
Obviously there is a lot of room for Catholics to grow in this medium and with the great interest in Godcasts I hope that we don’t lag far behind our Protestant brothers in taking advantage of this. The Vatican website should definitely get on this bandwagon (or is that bandwidthwagon?) and make audio translations of all the Pope’s audiences and homilies rapidly available. Or at least take advantage of using some of the newer generations of text to speech software available to make these files. Though of course maybe they already do and I just can’t find them using the interface on the Vatican’s web site. I am convinced they hired a Gnostic web designer because you require hidden knowledge to navigate the site.