The Sydney archdiocese has launched a new podcast series for anyone interested in the intersections of life and faith.
This Catholic Life, launched 31 July, is a one-hour weekly show featuring ordinary Aussie Catholics in relaxed yet genuinely searching conversation covering topics from religion to politics, movies to mental health or families to fast food.
Hosts Notre Dame University’s Peter Holmes and Dr Renee Kohler-Ryan will welcome a variety of local and international guests to the show each week.
Guests include popular Catholic Weekly columnist Monica Doumit who is the archdiocese’s director of public affairs and engagement, and contributor Anna Hitchings whose article on dating as a faithful Catholic went viral this year.
“The growing popularity of podcasts is a great opportunity for Catholic media,” said Mr Holmes, who said the show would model respectful disagreement on issues of importance.
“When we looked at doing this podcast we knew that it has got to be good, it’s got to be professional and it can’t be for this tribe or that tribe, it’s got to be a genuine conversation.
“The idea is also that anyone can listen to it, I could have my protestant siblings or atheist friends listen.
“While they may not agree with everything that’s said they can appreciate that it’s an interesting discussion.”
Producer Mike Lynch said that there are multiple ways people can connect with This Catholic Life, including directly from the The Catholic Weekly online, email, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The podcast is the initiative of Bishop Richard Umbers in his role as Sydney’s episcopal vicar for evangelisation.
Bishop Umbers believes that highly sharable online content such as memes and podcasts can be an effective means of sharing the Church’s ideas and promoting its mission in our social media world.
“The Church needs to be where the people are, and people are online so we have to be there too,” he said.
“Certainly there’s a role for face-to-face communication as ours is the faith of ‘real presence’. That said, we also need to be online and readily accessible and it is an opportunity to respond when people when questions.”
Listeners are invited to leave a review on iTunes and provide feedback via email ([email protected]) or social media with questions or topics they would like discussed.