What is Hipster Catholicism?

November 17, 2017
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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?

via GIPHY

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

November 10, 2017
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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 jesuitical@americamedia.org. 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.

Sister Simone Campbell on Paul Ryan, religious life, and the political issues driving her crazy right now Ep. 36

October 27, 2017
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This week, we talk with celebrity nun, Sister Simone Campbell. Sister Simone is the leader of the Nuns on the Bus and executive director of the NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice. We talk balancing spirituality with fame, women religious, Catholic feminism, Paul Ryan and more. 

In Signs of the Times, next week is Halloween, and some women religious warn: sexy nun costumes aren’t funny. Half of U.S. citizens don’t think you need to believe in God to be a good person—what exactly does it mean to be good? Have you heard of the Palmarian Catholic Church? Well, Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and infamous for getting Catholicism wrong, has a new book out focusing on the creepy, Catholic sect (as a bonus, you guys get to hear about Zac’s schismatic church rabbit hole). Earlier this year, the Vatican released a survey in anticipation of next year’s Synod 2018 on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment. The three of us took the survey back in July on episode 20. Since then, the survey now has over 60,000 responses. 

And finally, earlier this year, Bill O’Reilly was fired from Fox News after several women came forward and accused him of sexual harassment. This week, O’Reilly, who is Catholic, claims that he is “mad at God” over the way he has been treated. This comes in light of similar allegations against Harvey Weinstein, James Toback and Terry Richardson. We talk about the right way for men to talk about sexual harassment and assault, toxic masculinity, the power of the #MeToo social media movement and more. (Editor's note: In the episode we say that Alyssa Milano started the #metoo campaign, but she actually just reignited it—Tarana Burke is the founder of the movement.)

As always, we love to hear from our listeners. Make sure to follow us on Twitter, @jesuiticalshow or send us an email at jesuitical@americamedia.org. And please make sure to subscribe—and tell everyone you know to do it also—to us on iTunes. While you’re there, please leave us a review, and we’ll make sure to shout you out during one of our episodes. 

P.S., we’re moving this week, so there won’t be a new jesuitical dropping next week. However, we’re back the second week of November with Tommy Tighe, author of The Catholic Hipster Handbook: Rediscovering Cool Saints, Forgotten Prayers, and Other Weird but Sacred Stuff.

Links from the show: 

Why your ‘sexy nun’ costume isn’t funny
Half of U.S. Catholics say belief in God is not necessary to be a good person
Dan Brown’s new target? The creepy Catholic sect with its very own pope and ‘Vatican’
Bill O'Reilly ‘mad at God’ over sexual misconduct allegations
Pre-Synod Survey has 65,000 responses (L’Osservatore Romano)
Can the Catholic Church keep millennials from passing it by?
I’m a Jesuit. How should I respond to toxic masculinity and #MeToo?

What’s on tap?

Since we’re moving, we drank whatever we had left in our fridge: Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest 

Do you know why you’re Catholic? Ep. 35

October 20, 2017
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“What does religion have to offer me?” It’s a question more people are asking as affiliation with organized religion continues to fall. Brandon Vogt thinks that Catholics should be ready with answers.

“Today, as the world becomes more and more disinterested and disenchanted with religion, we need this positive approach [to being Catholic more] than a negative defense,” he says.

Vogt, the guest on this week’s episode of Jesuitical, is the author of Why I am Catholic (And You Should Be Too). In it, Vogt recounts his conversion to Catholicism and the arguments that convinced him to enter the church. He also outlines arguments he thinks will convince those skeptical of what the Catholic Church teaches.

Before the interview with Vogt, we summarize and discuss the top Catholic news stories of the week: A cardboard cutout of Pope Francis goes missing; some prisoners break out of jail when they’re supposed to meet the pope; are there changes coming to the church’s teaching on the death penalty?

Jesuitical is a weekly podcast from the young, lay editors of America. You can listen to it on iTunes here, in the embedded player at the top of this page or wherever you find your favorite podcasts. If you like the show, please consider leaving us a review on Apple Podcasts. If you don’t know how, that’s O.K.! Tweet one of the hosts and we’ll be happy to help (@AshleyMcKinless , @OlgaMSegura , @ZacDayvis).

Links from the show:

Life-size Pope cutout stolen from church returned intact

Pope invites prisoners to lunch, they break free instead

Pope Francis: The death penalty is contrary to the Gospel

Mexican state plans $4.2 million 147-foot Our Lady of Guadalupe statue

Holy spirits: Closed churches find second life as breweries

Baltimore middle-schoolers’ viral rendition of ‘Rise Up’ helps soothe a troubled nation

What’s on tap? Pisco Sour

1 oz lemon juice, 1 egg white, 1 1/2 oz Pisco, 3/4 oz simple syrup

Catholic feminism is not an oxymoron Ep 34

October 13, 2017
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What does it mean to be a feminist? I wasn’t raised one—I barely even understood what the word meant growing up. It wasn’t until my 20s that I began to fully engage with feminist ideas and literature, from Betty Friedan to bell hooks to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. For me, feminism is intersectional, incorporating various aspects of my identity: being a woman of color, an immigrant, a writer, and a person of faith.

This week, in a women’s only episode—Zac is on a much deserved vacation—Ashley and I discuss our personal relationships with the feminist label, Catholicism and more with this week’s guest, Claire Swinarski. A former FOCUS missionary, Claire is the host of “The Catholic Feminist Podcast.”

And, in Signs of the Times, Pope Francis reaches 40 million followers on Twitter. U2’s Bono (mistakenly?) takes the Eucharist after a concert in Colombia. Does inviting someone to speak at your university explicitly mean you support everything they stand for? We analyze this question by looking at Nick Cannon’s performance at Georgian Court University in New Jersey and Charles Koch’s lecture at Catholic University.

And finally, in some nun news, a new reality television series invites women to swap the club for the convent; and “Nundos,” a nun-run pop-up restaurant, invites millennials in for free food—but you’ve got to leave your phone at the door.

As always, we want to hear from you. Follow us Twitter @jesuiticalshow or send us an email at jesuitical@americamedia.org. And pretty, pretty please leave us a rating and review on iTunes!

Links from the show:

Pope tops 40 million followers on Twitter, 5 million on Instagram

U2’s Bono (Mistakenly?) Receives Eucharist at Mass After Concert in Colombia

Nick Cannon upsets Georgian Court University with controversial performance

Koch, Turkson speak at Catholic University's ‘Good Profit’ conference

Party girls’ sent to live in convent for reality TV show

A Nun-Run Pop-Up Restaurant Called 'Nundos' Is Funny But Not a Joke

What’s on tap?

The Kevin Ahern, which contains mint, 1 ounce St. Germain, 2 ounces of bourbon, 3 dashes of bitters (for trinity) and a squeeze of some lemon for the bitterness of sin mix with ice. Kevin invented this drink in honor of the church in Paris called St Germain Des Pres.

Matt Maher: Jesuit spirituality could save the world Ep. 33

October 6, 2017
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Even super fans (your hosts included) of Grammy-nominated Christian artist Matt Maher may not know this fun fact: The Canadian musician went to a Jesuit high school in Newfoundland! On this week’s episode, we ask Matt if Ignatian spirituality has influenced his music, how the music industry has changed since he released his first album in 2001 and about the place of protest and suffering in his latest album, “Echoes,” which dropped on Sept. 29.

In Signs of the Times, we talk about how we, as individuals and a country, responded to the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas. Are thoughts and prayers enough? Is this the right time to talk about gun control?

Next, a former ESPN employee fired for writing a racist headline and about to become a Catholic priest show the power of second chances. And in other sports news, a Catholic diocese decrees that student athletes and spectators cannot take a knee during the national anthem. Also, they might have found Santa’s grave (and you might want to cover the kiddos’ ears). Finally, 40 Catholic groups marked the Feast of St. Francis Assisi (Oct. 4) by announcing a record divestment from fossil fuels.

As always, we want to hear from you. Follow us Twitter @jesuiticalshow or send us an email at jesuitical@americamedia.org. And pretty, pretty please leave us a rating and review on iTunes!

Links from the show

Pope Francis offers prayers for the dead and injured in Las Vegas shooting
Fired by ESPN for a racist headline, he’s finding his second chance as a Catholic priest
LI diocese: Students, spectators must not kneel during national anthem
SANTA IS DEAD
Catholic Church to make record divestment from fossil fuels

What’s on tap?

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest

How one Jesuit grad is building Tiny Homes to end chronic homelessness Ep 32

September 29, 2017
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Tiny homes—you’ve probably heard of them. They’re littered all over Instagram and Pinterest, and HGTV has dedicated a show to hunting them.

But what you probably haven’t heard about is how they could be a solution to end chronic homelessness.

This week we talk to Andrew Lunetta, a graduate of LeMoyne University, who is the executive director of A Tiny Home for Good. Only 27, Andrew “builds and manages safe, affordable and dignified housing for individuals facing homelessness in Syracuse, New York.” How does he do it?

In Signs of the Times, we discuss the first U.S.-born priest to be beatified, funeral Mass-crashing and the controversy around N.F.L. players taking a knee.

This week we’re giving away print copies of the latest issue of America if you leave us an iTunes review! To have one personally mailed to you, leave us a review on iTunes and send us an email at jesuitical@americamedia.org to let us know you did.

It’s a beautiful issue, chock full of great stories. The cover story on the Catholic Church in China is beautifully written and accompanies the documentary that we released this week. (Did I mention we have a documentary out on the Catholic Church in China? Here’s a link if you missed my previous pleas to watch it).

 

Audrey Assad on doubt, social justice and mysticism—plus an exclusive album sneak peek Ep 31

September 22, 2017
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Last week, we talked about how to pray—this week, we bring you the music for those prayers as we talk with Catholic rockstar Audrey Assad. She is the daughter of a Syrian refugee, an author, speaker and producer who uses her music and her various social media platforms to talk about her Syrian identity and movements like Black Lives Matter.

We talk to Audrey about her latest album, “Inheritance,” her conversion to Catholicism and more. We’ve also got an exclusive preview (!) of her next album, “Evergreen,” which debuts next year.

Next in Signs of the Times, we pray for Mexico and the lives lost in the latest earthquake to hit the country. In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we talk about “Siervas,” a rock band from Peru made up of 11 nuns. And an 11-year-old altar server gets a chance to mow President Trump’s lawn. Did you know, along with Lino Rulli, there’s another Catholic Guy, in Australia?

Finally, we talk the latest trend on social media: Catholic trolls.

Last week, we asked for reviews—and we received! We want to thank all of our listeners who commented on iTunes. We absolutely love hearing from you guys! And please keep the feedback coming. What are some of your favorite worships songs? Do you love Audrey Assad as much as we do? You can email us at jesuitical@americamedia.org, follow us on Twitter at @jesuiticalshow or leave us a comment here.

Links from the show:

Pope Francis prays for victims of Mexico City earthquake

How a band of nuns became international rock stars

That kid who mowed the White House lawn is an altar boy

How to respond to Catholic internet trolls

Bishop McElroy: Attacks on Father James Martin expose a cancer within the U.S. Catholic Church

What’s on tap?

Pumpkin Spice Lattes, spiked with Maker’s Mark

Father James Martin: The right way to pray is whatever works best for you. Ep. 30

September 15, 2017
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Chances are if you’re Catholic you’ve said it, or at least thought it: I am terrible at praying. I know I have (and am). You’ve tried the rosary. You’ve given the Examen a shot. You even dragged yourself to adoration. Why isn’t God answering?! Especially in this long slog between Pentecost and Advent, it’s easy to get discouraged.

Fear not, dear listener. This week, we bring back Father James Martin, who has written a new book on prayer, In All Seasons, For All Reasons: Praying Throughout the Year. We ask him: How to (pumpkin?) spice up your prayer life during plain ol’ Ordinary Time? What’s your favorite way to pray? And what’s the worst prayer advice you’ve ever heard?

(You can enter to win a free copy of Father Martin’s book if you leave us a review on iTunes, screenshot the review and then send it to jesuitical@americamedia.org!)

We also asked listeners what the first prayer they learned was and got a ton of responses. Check them out in this Twitter thread @jesuiticalshow.

 
 Next in Signs of the Times, we discuss: Does Pope Francis’ change in the rules around Mass translation mean we can stop saying chalice? Will Mychal Judge, O.F.M., the first official victim of 9/11, also become the Catholic Church’s first openly gay saint? And, should a student be kicked out of his Catholic high school for having dreadlocks?

Also: An Indian priest who was kidnapped in Yemen gets to meet the pope; said pope gets a black eye and then throws a few punches of his own on Donald Trump’s DACA decision and climate change denial; and a chainsaw-wielding nun gets to work in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Links from the show:

A liturgical expert explains Pope Francis' change to Mass translation rules

Pope Francis says DACA repeal not “pro-life” and refutes climate change deniers

Indian priest kidnapped in Yemen in 2016 has been freed

Florida nun grabs chain saw to help with Irma recovery

Student fights Central Catholic ban on dreadlocks

Could Father Mychal Judge Be the First Gay Saint?

What’s on tap?

The Father James Martini: A regular martini with a twist of discarded apple peel (it’s a long story…)

You need to pay attention to hip-hop if you’re religious. Here’s why. Ep. 29

September 8, 2017
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Rap got religious last year. At least that’s what Zac wrote earlier this year for America. The truth is, while it may have gotten more explicit about religion in 2016, hip-hop has always had a deep religious undercurrent to its bars and beats.

This week we’re chatting with Alex Nava, the author of In Search of Soul: Hip-Hop, Literature, and Religion. We talk to Alex about religion’s influence on hip-hop and why people are surprised to find out about it. If you need any convincing before or after listening to us—go listen to Kendrick Lamar’s “How Much a Dollar Cost.”

In Signs of the Times, we talk Pope Francis in Colombia, rapping nuns, beer-brewing monks and proposing in front of Pope Francis.

Links from the show:

Czech Catholic Church branches out into forestry
Beer-Brewing Monks Are Helping Rebuild Earthquake-Devastated Town In Italy
Rapping nun to perform for Pope Francis in Colombia
Man proposes to girlfriend in front of Pope Francis
In new book, Pope Francis says he consulted a psychoanalyst
Catholic Church leaders condemn Trump administration’s decision to end DACA

What’s on Tap?

Becherovka, a Czech digestivo (otherwise known as a classy version of Jagermeister).