If you’re so depressed you can’t get off the floor, how can you get into the confessional? Ep 18

June 23, 2017

Talking about mental health isn’t easy. And when you throw faith into the mix it often becomes even harder. Many Catholics mistakenly think that needing mental health treatment amounts to a kind of spiritual failure. This week, we talk with writer Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning, about how she learned to balance her Catholic faith and therapy.

And in Signs of the Times, for our listeners who have been anxiously awaiting an update, the stolen relic of St. John Bosco has been found—inside a teapot! In papal news, Pope Francis urges parents to “stop pretending to be adolescents”; and he meets with NFL legends. We also  talk about Britanny Hamama, a University of Michigan junior whose Iraqi-Christian father was detained by ICE agents while her family was preparing to attend Mass. Finally, following the acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez in the 2016 killing of Philando Castile, Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis calls for unity and urges “individuals and parish families to be promoters of authentic dialogue and encounter” during these times.

Fr. James Martin: L.G.B.T Catholics have been treated like dirt. We can do better. Ep. 17

June 16, 2017

This week, Father James Martin tells us why he was disappointed with how many church leaders spoke about the Orlando attack (very few uttered the word “gay”)—and what he’s doing to change the conversation within the church between the hierarchy and L.G.B.T. Catholics. (This being the prolific Jim Martin, there is a new book involved.)

Zac Davis is in China. Sad! But we have found a Jesuit Zach to take his seat. Zach with an H works in prisons and with the formally incarcerated in New York City and we so enjoyed his company that we invited him to come back next week.

In Signs of the Times: Who wore it better, Francis or JPII? According to the tailors and cobblers of Rome, papal fashion is changing under our Jesuit pope—and it’s hurting business. Zach makes the case for bringing back the lace. Next, Pope Francis: Venture Capitalist? Not quite, but the Vatican has given its blessing to the “Laudato Si’ Challenge,” a tech accelerator focused on finding solutions to climate change. (At least someone read the pope’s encyclical.) That and more this week in Jesuitical.




News Cycle Survival 101 with an NPR reporter. Ep. 16

June 9, 2017

How do you keep your sanity while covering the news in the Trump era? This week we're talking with NPR congressional correspondent, host of the NPR Politics Podcast and proud Fordham alum Scott Detrow. Scott has some great tips for keeping up with the news without drowning in it.

Pro-tip: Listen to jesuitical while bike riding. Church can help, too.

In this week’s Signs of the Times, our self-described “tone deaf” pope belts out some hymns while at Mass with Charismatic Catholics, and our self-described “evangelical Catholic” vice president says, “American Catholics have an ally in President Trump.” Next, it has been said, “You can take away a relic of Don Bosco, but you can’t take away Don Bosco from the church or the world.” Well, that’s a relief, because last week a thief stole fragments of the 19th-century Italian saint’s brain on display at a church in Castelnuovo.


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.