Is it possible to blend yoga and Catholicism? Ep. 46

January 26, 2018

In Signs of the Times, we talk Catholic dioceses suspending the sign of the peace due to flu outbreaks; priests in cassocks competing for the John Paul II Cup; and Pope Francis celebrating the marriage of two flight attendants during a papal flight.

“Going, Going, Gone: The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics” is a new study that seeks to understand why so many young Catholics leave the faith they were born into. We get into the study, our own experiences growing up in the church and some of the study’s most interesting findings. Should older married men become priests in order to serve isolated Catholic communities? Cardinal Beniamino Stella, of the Congregation for Clergy, says yes. Finally, we get into Pope Francis’ latest handling of sexual abuse allegations against clergy.

Make sure to leave us a review on Apple podcasts. If you already have, thank you! And don’t forget write us an email at, where you can share your own consolations and desolations or drink recipes, and follow us on Twitter @jesuiticalshow.

Links from the show:

Catholic diocese suspends ‘sign of peace’ due to flu

VIDEO: Priests in cassocks take part in annual skiing competition

Serving isolated parishes may mean ordaining married men, cardinal says

Study asks: Why are young Catholics going, going, gone?

Pope Francis explains why he celebrated the airborne marriage of two flight attendants

Pope Francis asks forgiveness from sexual abuse victims but reaffirms support for Bishop Barros

What’s on tap?


What do (Catholic) women want? Ep. 45

January 19, 2018

You have heard it said, “Who runs the world? Girls” (Bey 4:12). But we ask: Who runs the church? Popes, of course. But across the country there are dedicated women of faith taking the lead in parishes, schools, social ministries—and magazines. Our guest this week is one of them.

Kerry Weber is an executive editor at America and the driving force behind a groundbreaking new survey of U.S. Catholic women. We ask her why Catholic women are so often reluctant to claim the label of role model and what the church can do to lift up the important work women are already doing in the church.

Make sure to check out the new special issue on women in the church, which features Kerry’s piece, “The humble, indispensable women leading the Catholic Church you’ve (probably) never heard of,” plus tons of other great articles diving into the survey data.


And in Signs of the Times, Pope Francis says he is “truly afraid” of nuclear war—and how Catholics in Hawaii reacted when they thought that such a war was coming. Next, we discuss what America’s findings about the politics of U.S. Catholic women might mean for the 2018 midterm elections. Finally, we tackle the history of football’s “Hail Mary pass” and the question: Should church doors ever be locked?

Have you left us a review on iTunes yet? We’d be eternally grateful if you did. Please. Not that we’re desperate. If you already have, thank you! Do keep in touch: Write us an email at and follow us on Twitter @jesuiticalshow so you can take part in our unscientifically significant polls!

Links from the show

U.S. Catholic Women: What a New Survey Reveals

Pope Francis: “I am truly afraid” of nuclear war.

How our Confirmation students kept us calm during a false missile threat in Hawaii

Overall, the survey found that 59 percent of Catholic women are Democrats or lean Democratic, whereas 38 percent are Republican or lean Republican. (Those numbers decrease to 41 percent Roger Staubach, Drew Pearson hope Vikings’ miracle play makes up for 1975 Hail Mary

Catholic bishop says churches should stay open like the Church of England

What’s on tap?

(Modified) Elderflower Thistle

2 ounces of Jameson, an ounce of St. Germain and a dash of Angostura bitters, over ice. (The original recipe calls for Scotch. Apparently, Irish whiskey is not, in fact, the same thing as Scotch. You live and you learn.)

One thing you can do to support migrants and refugees. Ep. 44

January 12, 2018

It is not the first time and it is unlikely to be the last time, but President Trump’s latest racist remarks about “shithole” countries has many of asking: Who are we? What do we stand for? Who do we welcome and why?

We recorded this episode on Wednesday before the news about the president’s comments broke, but nonetheless we think a lot of what we talk about with this week’s guest will help you channel the anger you might feel toward practical steps to help migrants and refugees.

This Sunday the Catholic Church marks the 2018 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, and Jesuitical is marking that by talking with Giulia McPherson. Giulia is the director of advocacy and operations at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, where she works on policy for refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons.

J.R.S./USA is using the World Day of Migrants and Refugees to let people know there are things they can do to respond to Pope Francis’ call to welcome the stranger with a campaign called #Do1Thing.

Before the interview, we tackle some other Catholic news from the week: Pope Francis is talking about the devil again before his trip to Latin America; Lady Bird wins a Golden Globe; and Trump’s recent immigration decisions are closing Catholic resettlement programs.

What have you been doing to support migrants and refugees? Do you have New Year’s resolution? Let us know by sending us an email at, follow us on Twitter @jesuiticalshow or leave us a comment here.

Links from the show:

Bullying is the devil’s work, pope says at morning Mass

Greta Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird’ is a rallying cry for Catholic schoolgirls everywhere

Pope Francis’ message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees

New Trump refugee policies could close more than 20 Catholic Charities resettlement offices

Catholic leaders call ending T.P.S. for Salvadorans a ‘lose-lose’ decision

What’s on tap?

French 75

1 oz gin, 1/2 oz lemon juice, 1/2 oz simple syrup, 2 oz champagne

What’s it like being Catholic at The New York Times? Ep. 43

December 22, 2017

In our final Jesuitical episode of 2017, we talk with my fellow Bronxite and award-winning journalist at The New York Times, David Gonzalez. Born and raised in the South Bronx to Puerto Rican immigrants, David was raised Catholic and attended Cardinal Hayes High School. Since the 1970s, he has been snapping pictures of people and places all around New York City.

Currently, he co-edits the Times’ photography and video blog, Lens, and writes the Side Street column. In Side Street, he offers his “native New Yorker take on life off the beaten path in the five boroughs” in stories such as the effects of gentrification in the South Bronx, attacks against the transgender community in Queens and the life of Lorraine Montenegro, who founded a social service agency in the Bronx and died in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. “I wanted to present a view of either Catholicism or people in the South Bronx or Puerto a way that portrays us as real people,” he tells us.

We talk to him about the role of Catholicism in his work, what it means to be religious at a secular publication, photography in the age of Instagram and more.

As we did in our two previous episodes, we’re taking a break from Signs of the Times and Consolations and Desolations this week, but we’re giving away A Big Heart Open to God: A conversation with Pope Francis. You can enter to win by leaving us a review on Apple Podcasts, then email us at with your iTunes account name in the subject line, and we’ll enter you in the raffle! If you don’t want a book but want to give a Christmas gift to us, leave us a review anyway, follow us on Twitter @jesuiticalshow and send us an email with your questions, feedback and cocktail recipes.

Finally, we asked you on Twitter: What is your family’s weirdest Christmas tradition? Check these out during your holiday break.

Merry Christmas and see y’all in 2018!

Kirsten Powers worked for Bill Clinton and Fox News. She has some thoughts on sexual harassment. Ep 42

December 15, 2017

How does an appointee in the Bill Clinton administration end up as a regular face of Fox News? It’s complicated. And what does a woman who has worked for decades in both politics and the media have to say about today’s sexual assault and harassment reckoning? A lot.

This week we talk with Kirsten Powers, who you may recognize as a frequent on-air political analyst for CNN and an opinion writer for USA Today. We ask Kirsten whether she thinks we’ve reached a turning point in how we handle sexual misconduct in the workplace and beyond.

Kirsten has also had a fascinating spiritual journey—from growing up in an Episcopal church in Alaska to straddling atheism and agnosticism in New York to becoming an evangelical Christian and, finally, entering the Catholic Church. We ask her how her faith has changed her approach to politics and if she still feels at home in the Democratic Party.


Like last week, we’re taking a break from Signs of the Times and Consolations and Desolations this week, but we are giving away another book by Father James Martin, Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for the funny Catholics in your life (or Catholics who could learn to take a joke...).

Enter to win by leaving us a review on Apple Podcasts, then email us at with your iTunes account name in the subject line, and we’ll enter you in the raffle!

Even if you don’t want the book (what you don’t like laughing?), please leave us a review, follow us on Twitter @jesuiticalshow and send us an email with your questions, feedback and holiday cocktail recipes.

Finally, we asked you on Twitter about your favorite Advent songs and got some great recommendations. Check out these meditative tunes and save Mariah for the big day.


Happy Advent!

When your favorite Jesuit moonlights as a model. Ep. 41

December 8, 2017

Have you ever gotten to know a priest only to discover that your conception of who he was was misguided? Too often priests have either the best or the worst assumed of them, and the result is that we, the laity, fail to see them as they are: human.

Our guest this week is Chris Yates, a graduate of Loyola Marymount University who has created a fine-art coffee table book that seeks to show the Jesuits he had grown close to as they truly were. Emmaus: The Nature of the Way profiles several Jesuit priests with two portraits. One is a traditional headshot, the other is an informal composition of each Jesuit doing one of his hobbies: gardening, cooking, stand-up. It’s a beautiful book filled with over 100 portraits, some of which can be found on Yates’s site.

Some housekeeping notes: you’ll notice that this week’s episode is a bit shorter than normal. As much as we, your gracious Jesuitical team, would love to keep delivering full-length episodes 52 weeks out of the year, we’re taking Advent to rest and prepare our hearts for Christmas. So there won’t be any Signs of the Times or Consolations and Desolations for a few weeks. BUT, that said, we didn’t want to leave you with nothing! So we’ve saved some really great interviews that we’ll be releasing every Friday through the rest of the year.

Until next time, may you find your Advent calendars filled with chocolate or bourbon.

Black catholics are the past and future of the U.S. church Ep. 40

December 1, 2017

When you think about the history of American Catholicism, images of Irish, Italian, German and Polish immigrant parishes probably come to mind. Think about the future of the U.S. church, and you’ve probably been told it’s Latino. But the story of the church, in the United States—past, present and future—is the story of black Catholics.

On this week’s show we talk with Mary C. Curtis, an award-winning journalist and columnist at Roll Call, who recently wrote about the African-American Catholic experience for America. We ask her how the church can address the sin of racism, about the gifts black Catholics bring to the church and what she thinks about Pope Francis five years in.

In Signs of the Times: An entrepreneurial cannabis company in Canada is selling a unique Advent calendar—and the Archdiocese of Washington holds its ground in the War on Christmas (ads). Cardinal Blase Cupich will spend his first week of Advent in Puerto Rico at the request of Pope Francis. And in international news: The oldest person in France in at 113-year-old nun—who converted at age 27, joined the convent at 40 and did not retire until 104. Welcome to your future millennials.

Next, Pope Francis became the first pope to visit the majority-Buddhist country of Myanmar this week. We discuss the political minefield he faces in addressing the plight of the Rohingya, a stateless, Muslim minority group that the U.S. and U.N. are facing ethnic cleansing. Finally, you’ve probably heard that Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe has stepped down after an (unofficial) coup. You might not know that a Jesuit priest played a key role in the mediation between the country’s longtime leader and the military.

In Jesuitical news, we are giving away books! Get your copy of The Jesuit Post collected writings by leaving us a review on iTunes and then sending us an email with your account name in the subject line!

Finally, while you’re busy with finals and Christmas shopping, Jesuitical will be entering a lighter rotation. You will still find interviews with some amazing people each week this January we’re taking a break from Signs of the Times and Consolations and Desolations to focus on waiting for the birth of our Savior.

As always, we want to hear from you. What’s in your Advent calendar? What’s your favorite Advent song? You can email us at, follow us on Twitter @jesuiticalshow or leave us a comment here.

Links from the show

A Company in Canada is Selling Illegal Marijuana Advent Calendars
Oldest woman in France is 113-year-old nun, Sister André
Pope Francis asks Cardinal Cupich to visit Puerto Rico
Pope Francis is the first pope to visit MyanmarPope Francis calls for peace in speech to Myanmar leaders, does not say ‘Rohingya’
Jesuit mediator tells how Mugabe was persuaded to step down

What’s on tap?

The weather is getting cooler, so we’re drinking hot toddies.

Thanksgiving special: A look at Jesuit basketball Ep. 39

November 24, 2017

This week, we talk with Brian Larkin of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Larkin is part of the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight. Founded in 2018, the J.B.S. is “a nationwide effort to capitalize on basketball games between Jesuit schools and, through those games, bring greater positive awareness and exposure to Jesuit education and its shared mission.”

We talk about its creation, the Jesuit Player of the Week, greatest moments in Jesuit ball history and why he thinks Patrick Ewing should be canonized.

No Signs of the Time this week because it’s Thanksgiving. We are super thankful for all of our listeners. As always, we appreciate your feedback, so email us at or follow us on Twitter at @jesuiticalshow. While you’re home eating turkey, tell your family about us and make sure to follow us on iTunes and leave us a review.

Enjoy the holidays and we’ll be back with our regularly scheduled episodes next week.

Happy Thanksgiving!

What is Hipster Catholicism? Ep. 38

November 17, 2017

In an article that appeared in America over the summer, David Michael wrote:

Hipsters are drawn to craft beer, obscure cheeses, organic farms, taxidermy and homemade preserves. They favor hand-dipped candles, old-fashioned stationery, Indian headdresses and the lamentable industrial-chic decor and exposed bricks that mark so many new restaurants and bars.

Hipsters love the authentic, the craft and the obscure—which is exactly why Catholicism, in its practices and its aesthetic, is perfectly suited for them.

Don’t believe me? Well, let Tommy Tighe, this week’s guest on Jesuitical, have his say. Tighe is the author of The Catholic Hipster Handbook: Rediscovering Cool Saints, Forgotten Prayers, and Other Weird but Sacred Stuff, a collection of essays that probe the various corners of the Catholic Church that muddle the line between sacred and vintage, between beeswax beard balm and baroque monstrances.

During Signs of the Times, we examine and break down this week’s Catholic news: This year’s fashion prom is Catholic-themed—what could go wrong? Pope Francis is banning cigarette sales at the Vatican AND he wants us to stop bringing our phones to Mass? Also, one of the best movies in theaters right now is what our producer, Eloise Blondiau, calls “a rallying cry for Catholic schoolgirls everywhere.”

Links from the show:

Catholic Church must do more to combat racism, says bishop
Sister Mary Antona Ebo, pioneer of Civil Rights, dies at 93
Pope Francis wants you to stop bringing your phone to Mass
Pope Francis is banning cigarette sales in the Vatican
World’s first Catholic-Jewish school campus opened in Scotland
Next year’s Met Gala is Catholic-themed. What could go wrong?
Greta Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird’ is a rallying cry for Catholic schoolgirls everywhere

What’s on tap?



Live, from D.C., it’s Jesuitical! Ep. 37

November 10, 2017

Last weekend Jesuitical took the show on the road for our first live recording at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in my hometown, Arlington, Va. The Teach-In is the country’s largest Catholic social justice gathering, which brings together students from Jesuit high schools and colleges and other members of the Ignatian family for three days of learning, prayer and advocacy.

For this week’s interview, the tables were turned and your hosts were in the hot seat. Our audience had some extremely thoughtful questions for us: How has our faith changed since graduating from college? How do you convince teens who say they like God but not religion that the church has something to offer them? And, of course, if we could canonize one person, living or dead, Catholic or not, who would it be?

And in Signs of the Times, Pope Francis makes an extra-long distance call to the International Space Station. Next, the “chainsaw nun” now has an IPA named in her honor—maybe they’ll serve it at the University of Nebraska’s new Catholic sorority house? And it’s been one year since Donald J. Trump was elected president of the United States, and from Sean Spicer’s fact-challenged press conferences to Anthony Scaramucci’s, ahem, colorful language, Trump’s Catholics have been keeping things interesting over the past 365 days.

Speaking of Trump: What does it mean to be an ally to people of color under an administration that has struggled to condemn rising white nationalist sentiment? And finally, we discuss the church’s effort to keep young people in the Catholic fold.

Special thanks to everyone who came out to the live show. If you want to bring Jesuitical to your school or group, let us know! And as always, we want to hear from you. Follow us Twitter @jesuiticalshow or send us an email at And please leave us a rating and review on iTunes. This week we peaked at #19 on iTunes’s Religion and Spirituality podcast charts. Only you can help us top Joel Osteen!

Links from the show

Pope Francis to call astronauts on the International Space Station
‘Nun With a Chainsaw’ isn’t a horror flick. It’s a beer inspired by a Miami nun
Catholic sorority awaits house’s construction on Greek Row
Sean Spicer finally gets to meet Pope Francis
Hundreds of BC students walk out of class to rally against racism
Can the Catholic Church keep millennials from passing it by?

What’s on tap

Need. Coffee.