October 26, 2020

MOVIES: "GET ON UP" (THE JAMES BROWN STORY)


Although “Get On Up” (the James Brown story) is a 2014 film, and I generally review only recent films, I must pause during this year from hell (2020) and honor the film, the man, the music and the actor, Chadwick Boseman.

I wanted to see “Get On Up” when it first came out, but I didn’t make it to the cinema in time. Then it wasn’t available for streaming on Netflix (and I no longer have a Netflix DVD subscription). I finally just borrowed it from a Boston Public Library and am so glad I did.

The filmmaking is pretty superb. I’m convinced that filmmaking about musicmaking is an extremely  challenging genre all its own, and GOU nails it. The film reminded me very much of “Bohemian Rhapsody” (the story of Queen) in several ways. First of all, the performers’ lifestyle shenanigans are sanitized, making it a truly PG-13 film. For younger music lovers, I tell parents: go ahead and let your 13+yo’s watch both films. The history of popular music is woven into history in general, and in the case of James Brown, American history in particular, and is important to know and—if it’s quality—enjoy. Also, the 4 purposes of Media Literacy are--according to one of my mentors, the Australian ML great, Dr. David Considine--protection, preparation, participation and, yes, pleasure.

After a slow, episodic start flashing back to James’ impoverished and abused childhood in Georgia, the story picks up not speed but depth. From his youngest years, James, and many of those around him, always believed he was going to be some kind of bright light. (There’s a delightful scene where an up-and-coming Little Richard both prophesies to and advises his contemporary.) It wasn’t clear at first that James' fame and fortune was going to be through music, but James always had that special something: drive, persistence, fierce determination, raw willpower, and not only prodigious musical ability but business smarts that changed the music industry forever. This fact is all the more marvelous in that he was “coming from behind,” as a Southern Black man in the first half of the twentieth century. But he knew how to leverage his talent and notoriety to the maximum, never blinked in the face of the odds, demanded (and got) respect at every turn.

The flashbacks to the very young James Brown are highly effective to understanding the man. His mother (Viola Davis, always stellar at playing a hard luck woman) left both him and his violent father. His father then deposited him with his aunt (Octavia Spencer, always locked-in playing an earth mother—so out of character and scary when she’s not!). Aunt Honey greatly believed in him. While making him work hard, she taught him to believe in himself and the art of the hustle. Although James found much support around him throughout his life: an adoptive family, a “friend who sticks closer than a brother,“ his two wives (only two of his three wives are in the film) and children, his business manager (a weathered Dan Akroyd, still speaking in his thick, clipped Ottawa Valley accent), his band (a very serious Craig Robinson as a saxophonist)—the rejection of his parents wounded him profoundly. He was a lonely superstar who found it almost impossible to trust anyone but himself.

Was God in the picture of James’ life? Oh, definitely. God was a given. Where James came from, God, prayer, Scripture were a part of everyday life and speech and figured into everything. James acknowledged his gift was from above, and we frequently go back to an experience he had during childhood of a joyous praise revival at a church, replete with a dancing congregation; a soulful, jazzy brass band; and a flamboyant minister dressed to the nines who screeched “Love God!” and “Have faith!” while spinning like a whirling dervish. Easily a big contributor to James’ influences.

His faults are on full display: arrogant, overbearing, fining and withholding wages from his band and his staff. One brief scene of him beating his second wife, DeeDee (the always lovely Jill Scott), is hard to watch. His one loyal friend (ultimately, James returns the loyalty) was with him from the start: Bobby Byrd (an appropriately understated performance by Nelsan Ellis).

How is racism portrayed? Lightly. We see the “banality of evil” in James’ childhood as he casually steals dress shoes off a lynched Black man’s corpse, still hanging from a tree. I think the prejudice is downplayed because what’s emphasized is James turning the tables. He required all to call him “Mr. Brown” and “Sir,” as he swiftly and deftly changed the rules of every game—to his favor. The famous quelling of a potential riot during a gig in Boston right after Martin Luther King’s assassination is played up. I was disappointed not to see his spontaneous chant: “I’m Black and I’m proud” that actually transpired there—but it was shown later in a recording studio with JB and a gaggle of kids.

In addition to Mick Jagger being a producer, I think a lot of actors wanted in on this biopic, and so you’ll see a hilarious cameo by Allison Janney as a bigoted white woman won over by the infectious James Brown sound. (While we’re at it, can someone please tell me why James Brown is the “Godfather of Soul” and not the “Godfather of FUNK”? I never understood that. I mean, didn’t he essentially INVENT funk? Perhaps he didn’t develop funk like Bootsy Collins and George Clinton, but I always associate James Brown with bringing the funk. Isn’t that what we love about his music, why it stands out? Perhaps he’s the “grandfather,” not “godfather” of funk.)

Now. Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick works magic in every way, imitating the physical swagger, mirroring the attitude, pinning down the stage persona  and moves, as well as maintaining the James Brown rasp throughout the depictions of his later life. To tell you the truth, it was hard to understand some of the dialogue (as it was often hard to understand the real JB). James Brown is to rasp what Bob Dylan is to mumble. Incidentally, or not so incidentally, Brown and Boseman were both born in South Carolina. Chadwick did all of his own dancing for the film and some singing. The soundtrack was live performances of JB.

Towards the beginning of the film, we only get snippets of James’ performances—an excellent device that builds anticipation for his full-on shows featuring some of his greatest hits, dance moves and dancing chicks. (Also, may I interject: best Superbowl halftime show ever? Just because it was James Brown, no other reason. The cape alone could have carried it off by itself.)

“Although he is the writer of virtually every song he recorded, his immense power as a performer made him better known as a concert superstar, singer and recording artist. ... As a singer, Brown's style evolved over the years but never strayed from his roots in gospel and soul music.” songhall.org

James Brown was an incredible spirit, an incredible American whose exuberant, electrifying music will endure wherever people need to Get On Up and dance for joy.



September 20, 2020

HOLY (CATHOLIC) PODCAST PANDEMONIUM!

An abridged, CLICKABLE version of this blog post is available at Our Sunday Visitor! https://www.osvnews.com/2020/09/18/your-guide-to-catholic-podcasts/

(This blog post was originally an article for OSV.)

A much longer list of Catholic podcasts is at the bottom of this blog post, AFTER my diatribe.


The bizarre year that is 2020 has drastically altered almost every aspect of our lives, including our media habits.

Whether or not we are major users of digital media or not, we are all swimming more and more in media-saturated environments, and most likely the people we interact with on a regular basis have their minds and hearts filled with the latest movies, audio books, YouTubes, GIFs, songs, TikTok vids, tweets, memes, sports scores, breaking news alerts, texts, Instagram posts, videogames, Facebook rants or viral sensations they just partook of. (In my media workshops to priests and seminarians we discuss that to “smell like the sheep” today means “smelling” like the mediated pastures the people in the pews are perpetually grazing in.)

DISCERNMENT IS NOT OPTIONAL

We each have to discern who, what, when, where, why and how we will engage in today’s smorgasbord of information, inspiration and entertainment--but if we’re involved in any kind of pastoral guidance of others (looking at you, parents), we must be keenly aware of the power, presence and content contained in the dazzling digital behemoths that our particular sheep (and lambs) are accessing.

THE EVOLVING PODCAST

Podcasts (episodic audio shows, literally “portable on demand broadcasts”) have gone through several iterations since their birth, circa 2004. “Audioblogging” began on the internet, and then the technology was developed to acquire the content on mobile devices. The amount and variety of podcasts available today is staggering. It’s the perfect outlet for the plebeian creator because it can be easily and cheaply produced with simply the human voice, and doesn’t require visuals or more importantly, it doesn’t require the visual attention of its users—ideal for multitasking and background imbibing. Unlike live radio, you can listen when it’s convenient for you, pausing and “rewinding” at will. Today, you can find a niche podcast for just about any arcane interest on earth, and sign up for automatic downloads of each show as it comes out.

PODCASTS & THE PANDEMIC

Have people’s use of podcasts increased, stayed the same, or decreased during the pandemic? According to studies, there was a sharp decrease in April due to the lockdown (the majority of people listen to podcasts during commutes to work or school), but by July, numbers bounced back to pre-pandemic levels. According to Spotify, the rise and fall of regular podcast usage in various locales around the world is directly correlated to the level of Covid-19 outbreaks and surges. However, a minority who never seemed to have the luxury of getting into podcasts (and other forms of media) finally indulged when normal life slowed down…and got hooked. Podcast listening while doing housework increased, but many parents, newly quarantined at home, noted that their podcast diet had dwindled to nil due to the soundtrack of omnipresent munchkins: “My single friends keep sending me 3 hour+ podcasts. Are they crazy?!”

Have new podcasts begun on account of the pandemic? Indeed! Not focusing on the pandemic, but again, some “finally had the time,” or felt the need to do something to stay connected in a time of deep isolation.

HOW I CREATED THIS LIST OF PODCASTS

I did an informal poll on “Catholic Twitter”—around 1,000 responses from my 38,000 followers and their followers--as to their favorite podcasts. Below is a carefully curated list for your listening pleasure. (These must be outstanding podcasts, because my poll rendered the highest percentage of folks keeping their podcast listening steady during the pandemic.) Another informal Twitter poll I did (225 responses) resulted in the reality that a majority of Catholics who listen to podcasts do avail themselves of Catholic podcasts (57%) which is good news. Of course, the respondents are already geeky Twitterati….

Rather than a podcast maven, I’m more of a radio, app and YouTube fangirl. However, I often use radio, apps and YouTubes in podcast fashion: listening to stored radio shows, and listening to YouTubes (audio only) that are also podcasts (some podcasters film themselves simultaneously) or that don’t really require watching. Additionally, in today’s truly multimedia milieux, you can go directly to Catholic media personalities’/organizations’ websites, as well as interact on their social media accounts.

BIG FAT DISCLAIMER

There are some podcasts, radio shows and YouTube channels that I didn’t include here, although I avidly listen to them. Why not? Because I take in a wide swath of secular and Catholic media: information, news, editorials, social commentary, etc., and it’s important for me as a Daughter of St. Paul (#medianuns) to keep abreast of the conversation going on in our divided country and Church, in order to try to “help form a correct public opinion” (Constitutions of the Daughters of St. Paul). Some of these media channels go too far: mudslinging, ad hominem attacks, shouting matches, flirting with sedevacantist terrority, alt-left/alt-right, my-way-or-the-highway, infighting, heresy, unverifiable end times/apocalyptic discourse, private revelations, disobedience, sketchy fact-checking, etc.  And yet, certain unpleasantries, hard truths and wrongdoings must be exposed. Tone-deaf Titanic deck chair happy talk in the midst of severe crises is not the way to go in my book. The truth in charity is the hardest thing to do. And I’d just like to say that Fr. Mike Schmitz wins the “veritas in caritas” prize here. (And I say this even though Father repeatedly snubs speaking at a particularly worthy, large Canadian Catholic conference. He knows what he did--or rather didn’t do. It’s on his conscience).  

Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list, and obviously, I have not listened to all these podcasts myself, but I have vetted them as best I could with the following criteria: helpful, enriching, faithful and often delightful. I take no responsibility for any particular content or any particular podcaster. I take no responsibility for any podcast/podcaster that goes haywire in any way in the future. Furthermore, I have been a guest on several of these podcasts, but I have not been bribed, sponsored or remunerated for promoting them. I’m sorry (or maybe sorry not sorry in some cases) if you’re favorite podcast is not listed. Don’t @ me.

AGAIN, DISCERNMENT IS NOT OPTIONAL

I only have a few YouTube channels/podcasts that I follow. Why? Because life is short. Because I am a nun, and just like Moms and Dads whose first duty is the kiddos, my first duty is being a spiritual Mom and attending to the needy souls in my care. I also have lots of prayer times, duties, community life (digital media can be solitary), other interests and hobbies, AND as a #medianun, I'm also creating media!

But besides all that, we only get One Life To Live and we will never, ever, ever be able to “keep up” with all the amazing digital (or other media) content out there. So pick a few and let the rest go.
If you’re a knowledge glutton like I am, (and need to trim down your media consumption) consider this from The Imitation of Christ: "Learning is not to be condemned, nor the knowledge of anything, which is good in itself...but a good conscience and a virtuous life are always to be preferred." "Many make it more their study to know well than to live well...." "When the day of judgment comes, we shall not be examined on what we have read, but on what we have done...." --Book I Chapter III.
Because, guess what? In the evening of life, we will be judged on love, not on how “in the know” we were. And as Peter Kreeft wisely says: "If we want to pray at all, we're going to have to say 'no' to something else." 

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:

--Do you want to start listening to podcasts but don’t really understand how they work? Just Google a tutorial!

--Young people are already heavy podcast users, so share this list with them. Young adults and screenagers aren’t just listening to dope beats in those headphones.

--Don’t be that ignorant Catholic. Educate your soul. Pick a podcast or two.

--My final podcast recommendation is from a Twitter padre: “The best podcast is the one that keeps you close to Christ,” to which I say, Amen. 

SOME GREAT CATHOLIC PODCASTS!

FUN/FUNNY (billed as such):
Quizzical Papist—Fr. Brad Doyle (Baton Rouge diocese) “The QP episodes are more trivia
      and more fun, the CT episodes are more catechetical”
Forte Catholic—“bringing the joy of the Gospel to you and your crew—fun discussions and fantastic
      guests”
The Crunch—interesting, thoughtful, entertaining: two young adult Catholics’ take on Church and life
     “The only comedy podcast that gets you to heaven.”
Catholic Talk Show—“featuring Ryan DellaCrosse, Ryan Scheel, and Fr. Rich Pagano, the show is
      hilarious, entertaining, and informative”
Catching Foxes—two college friends discuss faith and culture. Casual and funny.

YOUNG ADULTS:
The Burrowshire Podcast—Word on Fire’s Brandon Vogt and some other Millennial
Hagamos Lio—(Spanish) formerly agnostic young adults in Mexico discuss their doubts about love, God, marriage, the Trinity, etc.
The Holy Ruckus—stirring things up--in a holy way (check the Latin flava)
Fr. Mike Schmitz—a Catholic take on today’s most controversial issues: Fr. Mike can always be counted on to tell you the truth with the utmost charity and a side of goofy. You’ll be proud to share with friends.
Thirty Minutes with the Perrys—this dynamic Christian duo of hubby and wife excel at poetry
      jam/spoken word performance and undiluted life lessons for the under 30 set
God and Comics—3 priests talks about God and Comics…pretty obvi
A Catholic Priest Talks About—Father Jack, short explanations of different Catholic topics
School of the 815--@fatherblood815 & @NSentovich faith, evangelization
Outcast Catholic—Two Iowa priests reach out to those who feel distant from the Church
Pursuit of Holiness—young adult Catholics Ryan, Kar and Kate have their priorities straight
Arise—young Catholic adults in Philly

ABOUT MEDIA:
NPR Technology Podcast—tech news you can use
CNET Podcast Central—the premiere tech news website has several podcasts
This Week in Tech—tech news you can use
Get WIRED—the-all-things-tech-and-futuristic magazine’s in-depth tech stories
Catholic Chimney—the latest trends on Catholic social media
The Big Tree—seminarians in training to use media as an evangelizing tool (lots of interviews
      with Catholic media peeps)

BOOKS/LITERATURE/ARTS:
New York Times Review of Books--interviews with authors or reviewers themselves
Bookmark (EWTN)—the latest and greatest in Catholic reading
Mars Hill Audio Magazine—($ digital subscription) Ken Myer (former NPR producer) hosts a
      bi-monthly conversation with Catholic and Christian authors. Highbrow. Lots of history, theology,
      and philosophy with an eye to cultural currents. Yum.
The Daily Poem—hosted by an Orthodox Christian… lots of Catholic poems
The Tolkien Professor—all things Tolkien by astute ancient-to-medieval literature expert, Dr. Corey
           Olsen
Risking Enchantment—(made in Ireland by Rachel Sherlock) all things bright and beautiful
Mystery Through Manners—Catholic storytelling, Catholic authors
The Well-Read Catholic—a cyberspace Catholic book club

FILM:
Steven Greydanus’ Decent Films—movie reviewer for National Catholic Register, but widely featured elsewhere
Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast
devoted to works of high artistic caliber and Catholic interest,
      exploring the Vatican top 100 film list and beyond.”
Common Sense Media—secular media reviews for parents. Extremely helpful and spot-on age
      recommendations. Very moral.
Plugged In—Focus on the Family’s excellent up-to-date reviews of every kind of kid/teen media out
      there
Hell Burns Movie Reviewstinyurl.com/HellBurnsMovieReviews Sr. Helena’s 90-second fiercely-opinionated audio movie reviews

TALK SHOWS/RANDOM TOPICS:
Catholic Coaster—Grab a beverage (thus, “coaster”) and join Lance, Katie and Dan each week for some “authentic conversation with people who don’t take themselves too seriously” (subtle, self-effacing Canadian humor)
The Catholic Hipster—Tommy Tighe and Sarah Vabulas (of Catholic Drinkie podcast fame: “home-
      brewed evangelism, blessed with the discernment of spirits”) talk about “the Catholic Faith and
      anything hipster. They interview some of the big names in Catholic new media about their
      experiences growing up Catholic and what we can do to attract and educate Catholics.”
The Cordial Catholic—K. Albert Little cordially (he’s Canadian) explains the Catholic Faith “from the particular perspective of a former Protestant Evangelical”
Do Something Beautiful—Former “America’s Next Top Model” contestant, Catholic wife, mom and
      author, Leah Darrow is out to inspire both men and women to “do something beautiful” with their
      lives (taking a cue from Mother Teresa).
Catholic Stuff You Should Know—four priests host a “consciously unprofessional” show with
      “lighthearted explorations into various prominent and obscure Catholic topics.”
How-to Catholic—Kevin and Lisa Cotter, former FOCUS missionaries, “created this podcast to help
      everyone become a saint by living the Faith practically in daily life.”
Bellator Society: Your Daily Dose of Catholic—“online initiative for Catholic evangelism and Christian ecumenism…committed to what is true, good and beautiful.”
Three Dogs North—“objectifying the subjective since 2014” also “Christianity is not something you just sit around and podcast about.” 3 priests with rapper names. Mysterious. Meta. Intriguing.
Pints with Aquinas—Matt Fradd, come for the Aussie accent, stay for the A-list guest
Father Roderick Vonhogen—the original “Geek Priest” (see book) was an early adopter of all the “new media.” This Dutch priest founded SQPN-Starquest Media and the Catholic New Media Conference. Has several podcasts.
This is Jen—Jen Fulwiler, the ever effervescent wife, mom of 6, author, Texan, comedian and former
      atheist
Faith Full Podcast—“sound-rich narrative storytelling profiles and more on life and the Catholic Faith. An independent, award-winning project hosted by Tony Ganzer.”

NEWS:
Catholic News Agency (CNA) Newsroom and CNA Editor’s Desk—Editor’s Desk is infrequent during the year, but wildly popular: Catholic Press Association Best Catholic Podcast of 2019
*RELEVANT RADIO A Closer Look—Emmy-award winning news journalist, Sheila Liaugminas, dissects the latest news stories with expert guests
*EWTN The Sonrise Morning Show—wake up to the freshest news from the Vatican and around the
      world
*RELEVANT RADIO The Drew Mariani Show—(daily) lively afternoon talk show discussing that latest Catholic and secular news
*RELEVANT RADIO The Patrick Madrid Show—(daily) veteran apologist has a 3-hour call-in show rebroadcast in the evening. Zeros in on a few current events. His recommendations of
excellent books/resources are worth the listen.

CHURCH LIFE:
Every Knee Shall Bow: Your Catholic Evangelization Podcast—confidentially share your faith with
      anyone; five simple takeaways each podcast to share the Gospel, heal and renew the Church, lots of
      success stories are shared
Catholic Current—Fr. Robert McTeigue, SJ, hosts a wide array of Catholic topics/guests
The Art of Catholic—Join Catholic evangelist, Matthew Leonard, for “joyful, passionate (and often
      humorous) explanations of the deep truths of the faith. This is the art of living. This is the art of
      Catholic.”
Bishop Barron’s Weekly Homilies—produced by Word on Fire
The Walk Humbly Podcast--
hosted by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, VA, diocese, this podcast “spreads the Gospel through interviews and discussions about faith, family, and Catholic culture.” The bishop’s favorite segment is taking questions from the faithful.
One 2 One--
Kevin Wells, with guest Fr. Dan Leary, walk you through the footsteps of little known
      American champion of the poor around the world, American priest, Venerable Fr. Al Schwartz.
Into the Deep—Jeff King, president of Institute for Christian Concern, gives news of the persecuted
      Church around the globe.
The Gloriam Deo Podcast—Anglican blood brothers, a priest and a Church musician, share stories of
      faith, perseverance and service, Catholic-friendly, deep into the liturgical year

Clerically Speaking—a priest from Canada and a priest from USA: “Catholic priest digressions.” Wildly popular.
Bishop Fulton Sheen—On digital platforms everywhere. Both timeless and timely wisdom. Everything old is new. Check out his scathing critiques of Communism.

CULTURE:
Catholic Culture Podcast--exploring Catholic arts and culture with a variety of notable guests
Jordan B. Peterson Podcast
—Canadian psychologist, Christianity appreciator and international best-
selling author brings common sense back to the public forum. Massively popular with young adults

EDUCATION/CATECHESIS/APOLOGETICS:
Catholic Answers Focus—
weekly explorations of the “why” behind Catholic teachings
Catholic Answers Live—
the encyclopedic leader and granddaddy of Catholic apologetics. They even
      snatched up “Catholic.com” when the internet was a babe. I tell teens: “Got a weird question about
      the Faith? Catholic.com”
Catholic Answers Today—more of the good goods
The Word on Fire Show with Bishop Barron
—USA’s “media bishop” makes complex issues accessible with a multi-disciplinary Catholic approach and the common touch
Godsplaining—
young Dominicans serve up a tasty dish of Catholic--in the Dominican intellectual
      tradition
*RELEVANT RADIO Cale Clark Show—
Apologetics from a revert. Frequent hockey metaphors.
Disputed Questions--exploring life's important questions and ideas with history's greatest thinkers:
      philosophers, theologians, and scientists
Jimmy Akin’s Mysterious World
—“the world is full of mysteries” (the Catholic “Coast to Coast”)
Fr. Spitzer’s Universe—
Jesuit ubergeek and sci-guy
Way of the Fathers—
Mike Aquilina, expert on the Fathers of the Church
Thomistic Institute--“strengthening the intellectual formation in the university, Church and wider public square. Thomas Aquinas, the Universal Doctor of the Church, is our touchstone. From the Pontifical Faculty of the Dominican House of Studies in D.C.”
What God Is Not—Fr. Michael O’Loughlin and Sr. Natalia. A Byzantine podcast about mystery. Delish.
All Things Catholic—
prolific author, Dr. Edward Sri, known for his Ratzinger-like brainpower and
      clarity
Ask Father Josh--
Fr. Josh Johnson answers your questions about life, faith, morality, and relationships. Pulls no punches. Contemporary and wise. Important takes on racism. Wildly popular.
Catholic Bytes—A Podcast for Busy Catholics-- “a short, dynamic podcast delivering talks on various
      topics about the Catholic Faith for people on the go.”

HISTORY:
American Catholic History—American Catholic History
Road to Now—not from a religious perspective, but very informative, connecting the past to the present
Catholic Under the Hood—Church history and a potpourri of other Catholic topics from a Franciscan priest
Catholic Heritage with Dr. Italy—Catholic traditions, culture, heritage with Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio

PHILOSOPHY:
Philosophy Without Gaps—Professor Peter Adamson does philosophy through the ages. Atheist who
      takes Catholic thinkers very seriously. At least one documented conversion to Catholicism from
      listening! Don’t say you don’t like philosophy because it’s “hard” or abstract. You just had a bad
      philosophy teacher who tried to impress you by making it sound hard. Philosophy is practical and
      “the handmaid of theology.” Everyone has a philosophy of life that they live by. Examine your
      assumptions. Philosophy=Yummy!

TODAY’S ISSUES/TIMELY TOPICS:
Lighthouse Catholic Media--(Augustine Institute) Some of the best Catholic speakers addressing some of the most timely issues directly affecting our lives. Can't recommend enough. In general, I listen to each talk about 3 times. CDs and .mp3s
*EWTN Morning Glory--Gloria Purvis, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, Msgr. Charles Pope, Fr. Bjorn
      Lundberg talk about everything important to today’s Catholic, plus news headlines. Important takes
      on racism.
Fr. Mike Schmitz
—a Catholic take on today’s most controversial issues: Fr. Mike can always be counted on to tell you the truth with the utmost charity and a side of goofy. You’ll be proud to share with friends.
The Catholic Conversation--Steve and Becky Greene, the Cradle and the Convert, help Catholics
faithfully live their vocation by providing Church teaching, navigating moral challenges and exploring 
current issues

The Catholic Podcast-- Joe Heschmeyer (Shameless Popery, School of Faith) and Chloe Langr (Letters for Women) covering all things Catholic
The Counsel of Trent—Trent Horn , apologetics and “interviews with the best Catholic writers and
      speakers today”
Catholic School Matters—Dr. Tim Uhl, superintendent of Montana Catholic Schools, interviews thought leaders in Catholic education and discusses the future of Catholic schools in America.
The Pro-Life Guys (made in Canada)—all things pro-life
The Van Maren Show (made in Canada)—“
tries to get a handle on what is really going on in our culture today. It can be difficult to find news sources and storytellers that accurately reflect a Christian…pro-life, pro-family worldview.” On the “front lines of the culture war.”
Catholic Economics--
Join economist Dr. Levi Russell as he discusses economic concepts and current
      events through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching.

LITURGY:
The Liturgy Guys—award-winning podcast shares the treasures of Liturgy with English-speaking
      Catholics all over the world
The Lanky Guys—Fr. Peter Musset and Dr. Scott Powell’s weekly show on the Sunday Mass readings.
      “Hilarious, lovable and brilliant.”
*RELEVANT RADIO Father Simon Says—Chicago’s own Fr. Richard T. Simon does a BIBLE STUDY of the daily readings. Not a homily or reflection, a BIBLE STUDY—with humor and profundity.
Light of the East—Byzantine priest, artist and Theology of the Body speaker, Fr. Thomas Loya, unlocks the richness of the Eastern Church
Daily Readings Podcast USCCB—from the NABRE (USA)

MARRIAGE/PARENTING:
Holy Catholic Marriage—Married life in the light of the Sunday Mass Readings.
Electric Waffle Podcast-- Wife and husband (and parents), Katie Prejean McGrady and Tommy McGrady discuss Catholicism, cultural trends and the “joyful chaos” of their lives
*AVE MARIA RADIO The Doctor Is In--Dr. Ray Guarendi, psychologist, author and adoptive father of 10 multiracial kids gives tried and true, side-splitting advice on parenting. I just listen for the top-notch comedy. I have spit out coffee whilst listening, it’s that good.
Messy Family Project
extremely practical while being firmly grounded in the Catholic Faith. Alicia and Mike Hernon pass on all they've learned (both successes and failures) while raising ten kids. A true
      mentorship for parents. Back catalog of 125 episodes for any parent currently in need of advice and
      encouragement.”
Parenting Great Kids with Dr. Meg Meeker—prolific author of parenting books can always be counted on to knock it out of the park
Coffee and Pearls: Wisdom for Catholic Moms—just 15 minutes per week! Striving to decomplicate
      everything that goes with Momming
Diapers and Disciples—for young families with the smallest Christians

HEALTH/MENTAL HEALTH:
Chronicles of Strength—Patrick Flynn mixes Catholicism with health/fitness. Who says you can’t
      have brain and brawn…and beatitude? “Regular content on both topics.” “It’s clear his faith informs
      every aspect of his life.”
St. Dymphna’s Playbook—“Find mental well-being as a Catholic with the help of community and the
      saints. Hosted by Tommy Tighe, a marriage and family therapist, husband, and father.”
Touching the Sunrise--Sr. Kathryn Hermes, FSP, MTS, is a practitioner of HeartWork:
      Catholic spiritual growth and personal development. Best-selling author of “Surviving Depression.”
Mental: The Podcast—Covers post-partum depression, anxiety & motherhood. Lots of stories. All the
      women and experts are Catholic.

GUYS:
The Catholic Man Show—Two professional Oklahoma radio guys and best friends saw the crying (in a manly way) need for a manly radio show. CMS is dedicated to the lost art of living VIRtuously. Each
      show features a manly drink, manly gear, and a manly topic. Slogan: Cheers to Jesus!
Vital Masculinity—“Promoting the ancient paths of masculine virtue, the forging of strong communal
      bonds, and the development of complete, well-rounded men who can lead and mentor those in their
      community, we strive to provide the foundation for males from all walks of life to begin their path to reclaiming their manhood and living noble, manly lives against the grain of the modern world.”
dude|Catholic—“Two dudes trying to live and encourage others to live like good Catholic men in a
       world that's starving for what most think is irrelevant.”
Just a Guy in the Pew—“Welcome to the pew. The place where everyday guys, talk about everyday
      things, in front of the one person that can do something about it: Jesus Christ.”

GALS:
Abiding Together—Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, Michelle Benzinger and Heather Khym let us listen in on a casual chat on important faith-filled themes. Guaranteed to lift your spirits and help you
      deepen your relationship with God.
Blessed Is She: The Gathering Place—“Gathering together with you to talk about what YOU want to talk about, ask about, share about. Let's take a seat at the table next to one another, dive into prayer
     together, and grow in love as daughters of the King.”
The Feminine Genius—
In the spirit of John Paul II’s “On the Dignity and Vocation of Women,” Rachel Wong celebrates women of God striving to make the world a better place.
Freed from Feminism—“
Exploring the foundation and ideology behind feminism, it's destructive nature and how women can free themselves from it.” [Sr. Helena’s note: not all feminism is bad. Obviously the hostesses here are talking about the bad kind.]
The Catholic Feminist—“The Catholic Feminist is a podcast for strong Catholic women who want to be inspired, informed, and intentional. Each week, we interview Catholic women on topics like poverty,
      refugees, eating disorders, mental health, and women's rights.”
Letter to Women: Exploring the Feminine Genius—Chloe Langr interviews Catholic women as to how they live out their own unique “feminine genius.”
Among the Lilies—Cameron Fradd (yes, Matt’s better half) started this podcast because she found most women’s podcast to be the ideal, not the real!
Fountains of Carrots—
Two friends, one American, one Canadian have way too much fun interviewing stellar guests and instilling a love for good books in their listeners!
Hallie Weekly
“What it means to live a life that is entirely alive, complete with highs and lows, joy and grief, tears and laughter, and ultimately, peace. The key? Learning to embrace the wild and crazy
      calls of God.”
Just One Small Thing—Women have their own wisdom (every woman has one small piece of the puzzle that is shared on this podcast) and their own path to holiness!
Thriving in the Trenches—
gets down to the real deal topics that tend to be stumbling blocks for women as they live daily for Christ. Megan and Becky interview guests about embracing joy, laughter,
      freedom, and friendship while seeking to thrive in the trenches of their domestic churches.”
Girlfriends—
Danielle Bean, author and speaker and co-host on CatholicTV’s “The Gist,” shares her life experiences as well as advice and humor regarding faith, work and family.

KIDS:
Julie’s LibraryJoin beloved icon Julie Andrews for story time! Julie and her daughter, children’s author and educator Emma Walton Hamilton, invite you into their library to read their favorite children's books. Every story comes to life with sound, music and activities. Authors, kids and other special guests chime in, too!”
Catholic Sprouts: Daily Podcast for Catholic Kids—“a daily podcast for Catholic kids. The short episodes are designed to plant one seed of faith each day. Topics covered include Catholic feast days, morality, Catholic theology, the saints and the sacraments.”
**Storytime with the Sisters—Daughters of St. Paul read Catholic books to the wee ones

THEOLOGY OF THE BODY:
Ask Christopher West—
Since the early 90's, author and speaker Christopher West has devoted his life to spreading John Paul II's revolutionary teaching on human life, love, and sexuality: The Theology of the Body. Christopher and his wife Wendy combine their wisdom to tackle the toughest questions dealing with vocation, sexuality, marriage, and the Catholic Faith.”
Fr. John Riccardo—Selected homilies, presentations, and talks of Fr. John Riccardo, Pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Plymouth, Michigan (aka Catholic Disneyland). Fr. John is a frequent speaker on Catholic radio and at men’s conferences. He’s a big on Theology of the Body and OLGC’s RCIA is overflowing.
Dr. Judith Reisman
(guest on many podcasts!) Her life’s work is to expose the dark roots of Alfred Kinsey, the Sexual Revolution and so-called “sex education” in schools.
Sr. Helena Burns—tinyurl.com/TOBsoundcloud  Talks recorded live at events

VOCATIONS:
Vocation Boom! (priestly vocations)—interviews with priests and bishops all over the world
Called and Caffeinated—“How do we interpret and understand what God is calling us to, both in our vocation and in other life choices? Join Stacey Sumereau on coffee dates with Catholic friends for insight and inspiring guidance. Lifetime documented her journey on the reality TV series ‘The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns.’"

BIBLE STUDY:
The Jeff Cavins Show—Catholic-then-Protestant-Pastor-Then-Catholic-Again creator of the Great Adventure Bible Study,
“Jeff Cavins shares faith tips and Scripture truths to help you live as a modern-day disciple of Jesus Christ.”
The Road to Emmaus—Produced by the St. Paul Biblical Center:
Scott Hahn presents the deeply biblical roots of Catholic teaching and practice. Join him to learn how Sacred Scripture forms and informs our notions of morality and spirituality, liturgy and the sacraments, and so much more.”
Bible Study Evangelista—Author Sonja Corbitt’s
Catholic Bible study series created with you in mind: bites of spinach that taste like cake.”
*RELEVANT RADIO Father Simon Says
—Chicago’s own Fr. Richard T. Simon does a BIBLE STUDY of the daily readings. Not a homily or reflection, a BIBLE STUDY—with humor and profundity.

CHURCH’S SOCIAL TEACHING:
Bible Study Evangelista—Bible teacher, Sonja Corbitt, takes you through the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching.
The UnCommon Good—Excellent and much-needed interviews with those engaged in the Church’s outreach to building a better society for all.

THE BIBLE:
Why listen to “the blast of men’s mouths” when you can listen to God?
RSV Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible (New Testament)
OT/NT Audio Bible--narrated by James Earl Jones or Johnny Cash
Verbatim app with audio—Remember the bulky, jam-packed Logos Catholic Bible Study software? It’s now a (mostly) free hefty app which includes a great audio Bible.

LECTIO DIVINA:
*STATION OF THE CROSS Food for the Journey with Sr. Ann Shields—hard -hitting life-applications from the Daily Readings
Enkindle: Family Scripture Reflections—from Ablaze Family Ministries:
opens up the Scriptures to the family in a way that is relevant to young and old alike. Short, insightful sessions help families to enter more deeply into the word of God, allowing them to better prepare for Mass on Sunday and also develop simple, concrete applications for daily life.”

PRAYER ON TAP:
The God Minute--led by Vincentian priest Fr. Ron Hoye, a short, reflective morning prayer based on the Divine Office that includes a Psalm, short reading and reflection to begin your day with the Lord. Less than 10 minutes.
*EWTN Radio Essentials (formerly Radio Classics)—24hr Mass, prayers and devotions—new since the pandemic
*RELEVANT RADIO Rosary Across America—7:00pmCT send in your intentions—new since the pandemic
*RELEVANT RADIO Mass—12:00pmCT & 7:30pmCT (lasts exactly 30 minutes)—new since the pandemic
*RELEVANT RADIO--Divine Mercy Novena (with call-in intentions) with Drew Mariani
*STATION OF THE CROSS--Divine Office/Liturgy of the Hours/Divine Mercy Novena/Rosary

SPIRITUALITY:

*EWTN Women of Grace—The always incisive Johnnette Benkovic Williams is on fire with the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures. Her long-running show sheds God’s light on the pressing issues of today and how they affect your own walk with the Lord.
*The Inner Life—call-in show for (general) spiritual direction from various excellent priests
The Poco a Poco PodcastFranciscan Friars of the Renewal offer "Practical Spirituality." The friars break open the Gospel in light of their years of prayer, communal life, and work with the poor. Poco a Poco is a source of rest, encouragement, refreshment, and renewal for all pilgrims helping them to discern and make the next best step. 
Catholic Classics--All meditations are recorded directly from the works of the Saints and spiritual greats of the Catholic Church.
Discerning Hearts—Ignatian spiritual director, Fr. Timothy Gallagher, OVM, and other spiritual mentors
Catholic Heritage Spirituality—husband and wife team discuss writings of the saints
Hello and Welcome! Podcast—Former Evangelical missionary to Guatemala, now Catholic apologist Kristine Franklin takes on many topics
Touching the Sunrise--Sr. Kathryn Hermes, FSP, MTS, is a practitioner of HeartWork: Catholic spiritual growth and personal development. Best-selling author of “Surviving Depression.”

FOR INQUIRERS INTO THE CATHOLIC FAITH:
*EWTN Called to Communion—“In this LIVE call-in show, Dr. David Anders talks clearly with non-Catholics about the faith. We ask the question ‘What would it take for YOU to become a Catholic?’ Dr. Anders is amazing: always kind and extremely lucid!
**EWTN Journeys Home—Converts and reverts to the Catholic FAith tell their fascinating stories to Marcus Grodi. One of EWTN’s most popular shows.
Catholic Answers—the family of Catholic Answers podcasts

MUSIC:
The Catholic Playlist—Catholic contemporary music

AGGREGATORS:
Catholic Answers
Starquest Media (SQPN)
Catholic Culture
Breadbox Media

SR. HELENA’S ABSOLUTE, MUST-HAVE, HANDS-DOWN PERSONAL FAVORITE THAT SHE WOULD TAKE TO A DESERT ISLAND IF SHE COULD ONLY TAKE ONE PODCAST:
*RELEVANT RADIO Father Simon Says—Chicago’s own Fr. Richard T. Simon does a BIBLE STUDY of the daily readings. Not a homily or reflection, a BIBLE STUDY—with humor and profundity.

RADIO SHOWS AS PODCASTS:
Most Catholic radio stations record and post each show on their website and app soon after it airs.
EWTN
RELEVANT RADIO
CATHOLIC CHANNEL--SIRIUS XM (SATELLITE)
AVE MARIA RADIO
STATION OF THE CROSS
..and, of course, always support your local Catholic radio station/affiliate!

__________
*radio shows as podcasts
**YouTube channels as podcasts

 


September 8, 2020

CATHOLIC MOMS VIRTUAL SUMMIT--NOVEMBER 13-15, 2020!

 

What?! Yet ANOTHER Virtual Conference? Yes! But this time it's for CATHOLIC MOMS! Sign up here (and you'll help the @DaughterStPaul at the same time):

https://cardinalstudios.org/a/34145/Goeb5nXt








September 4, 2020

READING LIST ON MARXISM/COMMUNISM/SOCIALISM

My article: "Marxism Has Nothing To Do With Christianity" catholicregister.org/opinion/guest- via @CatholicRegistr

--Both Popes Pius XI and Pius XII exposed and roundly condemned Marxism/Communism/Socialism with their respective encyclicals: “Reconstruction of the Social Order” (1931) and “On Atheistic Communism” (1939). FREE at vatican.va  One cannot be a Christian and a Marxist-Communist-Socialist.

--“The Black Book of Communism—Crimes, Terror, Oppression”—(Harvard University Press)
A few quick stats from the book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Book_of_Communism

--“Architects of the Culture of Death” by Donald DeMarco & Benjamin Wiker-- DeMarco and Wiker examine the roots of the Culture of Death by introducing 23 of its architects, including Ayn Rand, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Jean-Paul Sartre, Alfred Kinsey, Margaret Sanger, Jack Kevorkian, and Peter Singer.

--“The Devil and Karl Marx” by Paul Kengor—Marx not only devised a devilish system, he also dabbled in Satanism.

--"Rules for Retrogrades--40 Tactics to Defeat the Radical Left" by Timothy Gordon--What can YOU do to resist/push back today's neo-Marxism? (Riffing off Saul Alinsky's nasty "Rules for Radicals")

--"A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" DVD by EWTN on Saul Alinsky's life and work

--"Inside the Aquarium: The Making of a Top Soviet Spy" by Viktor Suvorov. Describes the author's recruitment and training inside the Aquarium, headquarters of the GRU, the Soviet Union's top-secret military intelligence organization

--Bishop Fulton Sheen YouTubes on Communism

--Jordan B. Peterson YouTubes on Communism and totalitarian systems

--“Revolution” by the Beatles: 

You say you want a REVOLUTION
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world

But when you talk about DESTRUCTION
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be
All right, all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're doing what we can

But if you want money for people with minds that HATE
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be
All right, all right, all right

You say you'll change the CONSTITUTION
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free your mind instead

But if you go carrying pictures of CHAIRMAN MAO
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know it's gonna be
All right, all right, all right

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
Revolution 1 lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Royalty Network

--“The School of Darkness” by Bella Dodd—An American Communist operative in NYC in the 1920’s-1950’s, Bella left the Party disillusioned and was brought back to her Catholic Faith through the instrumentation of Bishop Fulton Sheen. She testified before Congress and revealed the infiltration of Communism into politics, teachers’ unions and Catholic seminaries.

--“Witness” by Whittaker Chambers (American spy for Communists who had a change of heart)

--“The Gulag Archipelago” by Alexander Solzhenitsyn—inside the hard labour/re-education camps in Siberia

--“Against All Hope” by Armando Valladares—thrown in prison for life at 23yo for casually commenting at work that he doesn’t like Communism (in Fidel Castro’s Communist Cuba)

--“The Drama of Atheistic Humanism” by Henri de Lubac—Amazon review by Tina Bell: To look at Nietzsche, Comte, and Marx through the eyes of this genius is the best way to think about what Atheism is, and why it became the religion of the 19th century. The book will point you to Dostoevsky if you are looking for the Christian response. De Lubac doesn't waste his time on arguments against atheist humanism ---arguments will not win this fight. As a Roman Catholic it occurred to me that the answer to atheistic ideologies is not a Christian ideology (if such were possible). This is a humanism invented by often tormented and arrogant men who saw a real problem--rationalism--and found Christianity wanting. Their new religions required a denial of God, and the assent of the mind to their man made creeds. I have to say, how like men. The real answer? The unvarnished, real answer? If you want a book, read The Devils by Fyodor Dostoevsky. But there's a better one, and she appeared at Fatima during the early part of the 20th century.

--“The Miracle of Hope: Political Prisoner, Prophet of Peace” (Life of Vietnam's Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen van Thuan)

--“Zeal for Your House” by Bishop James E. Walsh, Maryknoll missionary tortured in prison for 20 years in Communist China

--“With God in Russia” by Fr. Walter Ciszek, SJ—a U.S. priest goes undercover to administer the Sacraments in Communist Russia and gets caught ("He Leadeth Me" is the same autobiographical story, but it's Father's internal journey)

--“Women of the Gulag” Marianna Yarovskaya’s 2019 Oscar-shortlisted short film (forgotten horrors)

--“My Thirty-Third Year”—a young priest in the Gulag

--“Holodomor: The Ukrainian Famine-Genocide (Bearing Witness: Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing)” by Philip Wolny—In the first half of the 20th century, Joseph Stalin, a Marxist-Leninist, starved 10 million Ukrainians to death.

--“Thirty-Two Days”—a book for children about a heroic young Chinese girl and the Eucharist in Communist China

 



July 6, 2020

ONLINE VOCATION DISCERNMENT SUMMIT! GUYS N' GALS!


GUYS & GALS: DISCERNING YOUR VOCATION? (Remember, marriage is a vocation!) U NEED this Vocations Summit! Code STPAUL gives additional 5% off already-deeply discounted pre-Summit price of Navigation Pass or True North Course (AND u support @DaughterStPaul!)


JULY 31-AUGUST 2, 2020

REGISTER HERE: staceysumereau.com/adventure