God and War Stories. Ep. 15

June 2, 2017

“I had at least thought there would be nobility in war. I know it exists. There are so many stories, and some of them have to be true. But I see mostly normal men, trying to do good, beaten down by horror, by their inability to quell their own rages, by their masculine posturing and their so-called hardness, their desire to be tougher, and therefore crueler, than their circumstance. And yet, I have this sense that this place is holier than back home. Gluttonous, fat, oversexed, overconsuming, materialist home, where we’re too lazy to see our own faults.”

That’s just a sample of the stinging and raw prose found in Phil Klay’s collection of short stories, Redeployment. Klay, a veteran of the Iraq war and recipient of the National Book Award, sat down with us to talk about Memorial Day, why we find it difficult to talk to veterans about their time in war and what war and writing teaches you about faith and suffering.

In Signs of the Times, our weekly review of Catholic news, we discuss our discovery that the United States’ first lady is a Catholic; why Justin Trudeau wants Pope Francis to apologize; a young woman who was shamed and barred from graduation because she got pregnant; robot priests; and the heroism displayed in the Portland MAX train attacks. 

If you like what you’re hearing, please take your friend’s phone, because they would also love us, and subscribe them to Jesuitical on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever podcasts are sold.

Finally, we want to hear from you. Leave us a comment here, write us at jesuitical@americamedia.org or find us on Twitter @jesuiticalshow.

Some Catholics and a Rabbi Walk into a Podcast Studio Ep. 14

May 26, 2017

What does the word “rabbi” stand for? Is a priest just the Catholic version of one? If you’ve ever had these questions, this week’s episode is just for you. We talk Judaism 101, “radical hospitality” and more with Rabbi Avram Mlotek. In Signs of the Times, Pope Francis selects five new Cardinals; Haitians in the United States get temporary protected status extensions; and Vice President Mike Pence and Greg Boyle speak at the Notre Dame Commencement. And, in what is slowly becoming the “Zac Davis Wonders Why This Is Interesting” section, we discuss “The Bachelorette.”

Finally, the meeting everyone has been excitedly and anxiously awaiting: President Donald J. Trump and Pope Francis meet at the Vatican, or as we like to call it, PRUMP 2017.

Stop, cooperate and listen: Ep 13

May 19, 2017

Does capitalism not do it for you? Communism a bit much? There's another way.

This week we're talking with Nathan Schneider (and his adorable baby, Daniel) about co-ops. Now, that word might bring to mind hippies living together and making vegan meals from the community garden (which Nathan did)—but there are hidden cooperative businesses all around you: REI, Dairy Queen, Southwest Airlines. We ask him about the Catholic roots of the co-op movement and why he thinks it's making a comeback. 

In Signs of the Times, President Trump is heading to the Vatican. Will Francis be "pope-like" enough for him? And, Simone Biles: great Catholic gymnast or the greatest Catholic gymnast? Next, it's commencement speech controversy season. Do speakers at Catholic colleges need to agree with church teaching? Does anyone even remember commencement speeches? We discuss.

Finally, some Zac-splaining on the apparitions at Medjugorje—the site of Marian devotion (not worship) that has attracted millions of pilgrims since 1981.

Special shout out this week to Stephen Grant, who generously provided a fine selection of adverbs and monastic beers. And to Rosa Del Saz, America's vice president for finance and operations (and jesuitical's #1 Fan), for her moral and monetary support. 


From Elvis to Queen Bey, Finding God in All Tunes. Ep. 12

May 12, 2017

Aside from being fodder for tattoos and Twitter bios, “Finding God in all things,” is a powerful idea that can spark an exploration into realms of pop culture that often are considered... surprising. This week we chat with Professor Tom Beaudoin from Fordham University about his course: "Faith in Music: Sound Theology From the Blues to Beyoncé." In Signs of the Times, we'll catch up on the recently unemployed James Comey and the flood of news surrounding President Trump and his visit to Rome. All that and more on this week's epsiode of Jesuitical.

My Big Fat Very Catholic Dream Wedding. Ep. 11

May 5, 2017

Are you a Sorta Catholic? Symptoms include: residual guilt, love for Pope Francis, alternating between church and SoulCycle Sundays.

This week's guest is a Sorta Catholic who wound up having a Very Catholic Wedding. Tracey Wigfield won an Emmy as a writer for “30 Rock” and is a graduate of Boston College (you can decide which is more impressive). In Signs of the Times, we check in on the bros of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Much to our dismay, the Ringling Bros are not a traveling fraternity. May Day, Catholic scientists, Pope Francis in Egypt and a new study on college education and religion, all that and more this week on Jesuitical.


We choose life: Arkansas, Nebraska and the death penalty. Ep 10

April 28, 2017

This week we're talking with Brother Joseph Hoover, S.J., about the Catholic Church's fight against the death penalty. Signs of the Times includes a band formed by four Dominican sisters. On the Pope Francis news front, we've got his latest donations to an Italian non-profit, his comparison of refugee camps to concentration camps and his surprise TED Talk calling for a "revolution of tenderness." And finally, we wade into the debate around being a Catholic and a member of the Democratic Party.

Jesus is risen. And so are our glasses. Ep. 9

April 21, 2017

He is risen! And so are our pint glasses, now that Lent is over. This week, we chat with Andy Otto, author of the new book God Moments: Unexpected Encounters in the Ordinary and author of the blog godinallthings.com. Who gets to be an expert on Ignatian spirituality? What are “God moments?” And how can Ignatian discernment help you with making the big and small choices in life?

In Signs of the Times, we open up Pope Francis’ annual Easter message, “Urbi et Orbi,” Bill O'Reilly's up-and-down Wednesday, anti-Catholic Irish slurs, what schism really means and whether you should put down your yoga mat and pick up your cross.

Finally, in consolations and desolations, which is quickly devolving to the “we go to church with our significant others” part of the show, we look at where we found God in our Holy Week and Easter.

It’s all Good… Friday. Ep. 8

April 14, 2017

Why is the Easter Vigil so long and why should you definitely attend it? We sat down with Fr. James Martin, S.J. (again) to talk about all things Holy Week. This week we also explain where we got the phrase "Signs of the Times," no we didn't make it up. All that and more for this, the holiest week of the year, and perhaps the holiest of all Jesuitical episodes.

Feels like I got hit by a truck. Literally. Ep. 7

April 7, 2017

You've probably said it. You wake up—head pounding, body sore. “I feel like I got hit by a truck.”

Well, Katie McKenna actually got run over by a truck. An 18-wheeler to be exact. This week on jesuitical, we talk with Katie about her aptly named memoir How to Get Run Over by a Truck.

Disney Kids 4eva - Bonus Episode (Featuring our moms)

April 6, 2017

We had so much fun talking Beauty and the Beast last week, that we decided to take a deeper dive into how Disney influenced our upbringings. So we decided to ring up the people best able to assess that: our mothers.