When I first got an MP3 player it was 2006. I was working as a maintenance guy at my parish, which left me with a lot of time to listen to music and podcasts. Podcasts were brand new at the time and there weren’t many shows out there. Only a handful of podcasts existed, but these shows changed my faith life dramatically.
What Are Podcasts?
Podcasts are essentially radio shows that aren’t usually on the radio – anybody can buy some basic equipment, record a show, and put it up online. Podcasts are a great way to learn or be entertained (or both!) while on a walk, on a run, driving, washing dishes, folding laundry, etc. I almost never do any of these things without a podcast on – if I’m performing a monotonous task I may as well be entertained and/or growing my faith life at the same time!
What Podcasts Are We Looking At?
Below is a list of our top five Catholic podcastsThere are many others out there, some that we’ve listened to and some that we haven’t yet, but these five have stood the test of time.
We occassionally listen to shows that are meant to explain and defend the Catholic faith, and these are really important for spiritual development, but we most regularly come back to (and look forward to) the shows that have a more Catholicism-in-daily-life type of focus. If you are looking for a show that explains the Faith we suggest Catholic Answers or EWTN.
Here we go!
The Top 5 Catholic Podcasts
Number 5: Vatican Radio – Clips-ENG
Every day Vatican Radio puts out about half a dozen clips from their radio programming that cover the day’s news. Most of these clips are only one or two minutes long, though some are longer. These podcasts cover news and events from all around the world, but we really like the daily updates on the pope. You will get the translations of the pope’s Wednesday audience and Sunday Angelus and any other speeches or homilies he gives, and also the full update on what is going on around the Vatican.
Check Out Vatican Radio Podcast Online
Number 4: “The Break” with Fr. Roderick Vonhogen
Fr. Roderick is a priest from the Netherlands who speaks impeccable English and has been producing podcasts since the very beginning of podcasting – he even got the Vatican started on podcasting! Fr. Roderick produces multiple podcasts, but our favorite is “The Break” which he produces weekly. This show covers the intersection of Catholicism with the world – topics such as current news, movies, video games, books, travel, and Catholicism are regularly touched on. It is Catholic without being overly Catholic, and it is in-touch with the world without being overly worldly, making the show enjoyable even for those who aren’t Catholic. It is important to note that Fr. Roderick is quite the science fiction geek (he even wrote a book called Geekpriest), which makes this show even more approachable to your average pop-culture listener who may not expect such entertaining discussion to come from a Catholic priest!
Check Out “The Break” on iTunes and Online
Click Here to Learn More About Father Roderick Vonhogen
Number 3: “Adventures in Imperfect Living” with Greg and Jennifer Willits
In the early days of podcasts one of the most popular Catholic shows was the Rosary Army podcast with Greg and Jennifer Willits. That podcast came to an end when Greg and Jennifer started a daily show for the Catholic Channel on SiriusXM, but now that gig is over and they are back to podcasting with their show “Adventures in Imperfect Living.” Listening to this podcast feels like you are just catching up with your Catholic neighbors. It is honest and funny and can sometimes be emotional. We don’t know of anybody who is more sincere in their search for deeper faith than Greg and Jennifer, and they inspire us to work harder on our faith every day.
Greg and Jennifer wrote a book together called “The Catholics Next Door: Adventures in Imperfect Living“ which we highly recommend to those looking to get in touch with their faith, and Greg has also written a book on his own called “The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid“ that will equip and motivate you to live out the New Evangelization (our review of this book can be found Here).
Check Out “Adventures in Imperfect Living” on iTunes and Online
Click Here to Learn More About Greg and Jennifer Willits
Number 2: “Catholic In a Smalltown” with Mac and Katherine Barron
If there is a show that feels like you are sitting on the porch enjoying a beer or cup of coffee with your hilarious, slightly-irreverent-but-still-very-Catholic neighbors, it is “Catholic in a Smalltown.” They talk about happenings in the world, entertainment such as movies and TV shows, and Catholic stuff from the perspective of a family in a small, middle-of-nowhere town in Georgia that doesn’t have many Catholics. And we promise they will have you laughing uncontrollably throughout each episode.
Check Out “Catholic In a Smalltown” on iTunes and Online
Click Here to Learn More About Mac and Katherine Barron
Number 1: “The Catholic Guy Show” with Lino Rulli
We refresh iTunes every day hoping there is a new podcast episode of “The Catholic Guy Show.” This is actually a radio show on SiriusXM Satellite Radio that releases an hour or so a week for free via podcast. And the show is hilarious! If you want a funny, slightly irreverent but always sincere show that talks about the Catholic faith and life as a Catholic you will certainly enjoy this show.
Everything that Lino Rulli does comes with a high recommendation from us, including his books “Sinner” and “Saint.”
Father Roderick, host of “The Break” mentioned above, also puts out a show called the Catholic Insider. This isn’t a regularly scheduled podcast, which is why it isn’t on the list above, but it captures some incredible moments via podcast – from the death of John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI, through many other events of the Church including the resignation of Benedict XVI and the election of Pope Francis – all recorded live and in person at the events with a mobile recorder. If you listen to only one episode of this podcast, check out This One which is a live recording from St. Peter’s square from the white smoke announcing the selection of a pope through the announcement of Pope Francis. Feel the joy of the Church at such an event. You will be hooked and you will find it well worth your time to revisit older episodes of this show.
Lino at Large
A show that no longer airs, Lino At Large is a half-hour show by Lino Rulli (host of “The Catholic Guy Show”) which teaches the faith with a whole lot of humor mixed in. The show is very informative – I only know there are 27 books in the New Testament and 73 total in the Bible because of this show. The show is also very engaging and will make you laugh – I like to listen to Lino at Large on long drives to help me stay awake. Even though the show is no longer produced, there are dozens and dozens of episodes available on iTunes for you to enjoy.
Check Out “Lino at Large” Online
Is there another podcast that you think should be on this list? Let us know about it in the comments below!