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Susan Ciancio reports on a new podcast series from Ascension Press, featuring Fr. Mike Schmitz reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Two years ago I was incredibly excited to begin the Bible in a Year podcast journey with Fr. Mike Schmitz. For years prior, I had watched Fr. Mike’s videos on Catholicism from Ascension and was always blown away by the ease with which he explained Church teaching. So when I heard that he was going to read the entire Bible in a year, I was beyond thrilled.

That first year, I was a devoted listener and didn’t miss a day. When the podcast ended on December 31, I wept not only with sadness but with gratitude. This amazing journey had come to an end, but I wasn’t ready for it to be over. So I listened again this year.

The success of Bible in a Year has been immense. According to Ascension, it was the number one global podcast in the Religion & Spirituality category (Chartable) in 2022 and the number one podcast in Religion & Spirituality (Apple Podcasts) in 2021-2022. I don’t think that anyone could have imagined that this podcast would have such an impact on people. Stories continually pour in about Catholics strengthening their faith and returning to Mass and of people converting to Catholicism. As Fr. Mike would say, “What a gift!”

So when it was announced earlier this year that Ascension and Fr. Mike were going to create a Catechism in a Year podcast for 2023, the community was ecstatic.

Throughout the 2,000 years of the Church’s history, Church leaders have put together collections of works that outline what Catholics believe, but in 1992, under the direction of St. John Paul II, the Church condensed it all into one volume. If you want to know what the Church teaches about any subject, you need only look to the Catechism.



The Catechism is this incredible gift of a Church that’s been given God’s word, has been shaped by God’s word, has been called higher by God’s word, has been converted and convicted by God’s word. (Fr. Mike Schmitz)


After the Bible, the Catechism is the most important book we have as Catholics. Starting January 1, 2023, listeners can tune in every day to their favorite podcast app to hear Fr. Mike read from the Catechism. Each day’s podcast includes an excerpt from the Catechism, a prayer, and Fr. Mike’s straightforward explanation.

Listening to the Catechism in a Year is the perfect way to follow the Bible in a Year, and as Fr. Mike said, the goal is “to fall more in love with the Lord.”

We live in confusing times—times when the world attempts to downplay the importance of faith. Whether it’s friends, family, politicians, or the media, many try to keep us from following God’s teachings and instead preach the popular mantra “you do you.” But when human beings just do human beings, they often find themselves unfulfilled. We need God in our lives.

Sadly, many people go through life unsure of what they believe or why. Maybe they don’t believe anything, or they are so mad at God for things that have happened to them that they cannot see past the anger and hurt to understand God’s existence and His love. Further, many Catholics don’t even know what their own faith teaches. That’s why listening to and exploring the Catechism is vital to our faith journey.

Yet, just reading the Catechism cover to cover on our own can be confusing—some may even say boring. But through Fr. Mike’s dynamic and easy-to-understand explanations, we will come to truly understand the Church and her teachings.

The Catechism is broken into four parts: 1) What we believe, 2) How we worship, 3) How we live, and 4) How we pray. As with the BIAY when Jeff Cavins—who created the Bible in a Year timeline—would talk with Fr. Mike and introduce each new section, Fr. Mike will have guests help him introduce each of these four sections. Guests include Jeff Cavins, Bishop Andrew Cozzens, Dr. Mary Healy, and Sister Miriam James Heidland, SOLT.


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So that podcast listeners can read while they listen, Ascension has even designed its own version of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which includes a chart to guide readers through the sections, a color-coded system that helps readers see how everything within the Catechism connects, and more.

The Bible in a Year led—and continues to lead—people on a transformative journey through the Bible. The Catechism in a Year will continue our faith-filled transformative journey so that we can better understand the heart of God and learn to give voice to what we believe. As Jeff Cavins explained, through Catechism in a Year, we are “telling people our family story.”

Indeed, as God’s children we are part of a huge family. And just as biological family members listen to each other with the intention of growing closer and learning what’s in each other’s hearts, listening to Church teaching will help us grow in love and devotion to the Lord who created us.

As Fr. Mike said, “Just by pressing play, you are inviting God into your life.” Come January 1, I hope that you will join me in pressing play.


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Copyright 2022 Susan Ciancio
Images courtesy of Ascension Press, all rights reserved.