Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on January 2, 2019
Countdown Day 12
4:00 – #2: How the Church Built the West
The facts are undeniable: the Catholic Church was instrumental in building Western Civilization, a society embodied with the Christian vision of God, man, time and eternity. It is a saga that stretches more than 1700 years and is full of examples of priests who became the pioneers and builders of this new culture. Fr William Slattery joins us with their stories of heroism and genius.
5:00 – #1: What do we know about the life of Paul?
For centuries, Paul, the apostle who “saw the light on the Road to Damascus” and changed dramatically from zealous Pharisee persecutor to devoted follower of Jesus, has been one of the church’s most widely cited early teachers. Yet for leading New Testament scholar and Anglican bishop N. T. Wright, most Bible scholars and pastors have not fully grasped what Paul was actually doing and why.
See where we’ve been in the Countdown!
December 17, 2018
2018 Countdown Day 1
4:00 – #35: A Catholic Introduction to the Old Testament (Pt 1)
Although many Catholics are familiar with the four Gospels and other writings of the New Testament, for most, reading the Old Testament is like walking into a foreign land. Who wrote these forty-six books? What are we to make of their laws, stories, histories, and prophecies? Should the Old Testament be read by itself or in light of the New Testament? We begin to take a look at the answers with Brant Pitre.
5:00 – #34: A Catholic Introduction to the Old Testament (Pt 2)
The Catholic content of the Old Testament is far too rich and complex to understand in a year of study, much less a one-hour interview. Nevertheless we’ll continue our look at the topic, this time with John Bergsma.
December 18, 2018
2018 Countdown Day 2
4:00 – #33: Kresta Comments: Why Doesn’t Academia Acknowledge Christian Influence?
A recent PBS documentary about World War 1 almost entirely ignored the role the Church played in speaking out against the conflict. It’s becoming a trend; academics downplay or outright ignore the role of the Church in history. Al has some thoughts.
4:20 – #32: What is God Asking of Me?
Most of us won’t have our vocation revealed to us in a manner as dramatic as Mary’s visit from the Angel Gabriel. Discerning God’s Will is not a one-time event. It’s a dynamic, ongoing process and it can be intimidating when you first start out. Fr. Albert Haase joins us with concise, practical advice for discernment.
5:00 – #31: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism
When Pope Francis began his papacy, many saw him as a continuation of the missions of Benedict XVI and John Paul II. That has not proven to be the case. How does Francis see himself in the Church and what vision does he have for the future? We talk with Ross Douthat.
December 19, 2018
2018 Countdown Day 3
4:00 – #30: Hope: The Power of God’s Great Gift
St. Peter calls us to “always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” It’s one of God’s greatest gifts to us and is an essential and life-giving topic. By meditating on Scripture and the teachings of the Church, we come to a deeper understanding of how hope is necessary in the life of a disciple. We’ll talk more with Fr. Philip Bochanski.
5:00 – #29: 10 Reasons Catholics Don’t Evangelize
A recent survey asked Christians of different denominations, percentage wise, how important evangelization was to their understanding of the Faith. Mainline Protestants answered 60%. Evangelicals answered 85%. And Catholics answered 3%. Why the low number? We’ll discuss it with Fr Dwight Longenecker.
5:20 – #28: The Four Last Things: Understanding the Church’s Most Crucial Teachings
Each of us face Death and Judgment and, ultimately, either Heaven or Hell. God has called us not to His wrath, but to Salvation. Fr Wade Menezes joins us with a look at these Four Last things, which are essential to our pursuit of Salvation.
December 20, 2018
2018 Countdown Day 4
4:00 – #27: Confessions of a Catholic Whistleblower
Siobhan O’Connor served for three years in the Diocese of Buffalo, overjoyed to be working for her beloved Church. But her observations of the handling of the abuse crisis led her to leak internal diocesan documents to a local investigative reporter. What led her to make this decision? She joins us with confessions of a Catholic whistleblower.
4:40 – #26: Kresta Comments: The Love that Keeps us Sane
5:00 – #25: Fact vs. Opinion: A False Dichotomy
What’s the difference between a fact and an opinion? Many of us took quizzes in elementary school asking us to identify the two – “football is better than basketball,” “Mars is the fourth planet from the sun,” and so on. But this creates the false impression that things are either true – or are neither true nor false, the first step toward relativistic thinking. Matthew D’Antuono breaks down the false dichotomy.
5:20 – #24: Something was Missing: My Journey to the Priesthood
When Fr. Burke Masters was in high school, he was a non-Catholic dreaming of a career in professional baseball. Years later, he’s living that dream – as the chaplain for the Chicago Cubs! How did he end up in the priesthood and as a director of vocations? What is it like to serve as a chaplain in an industry that glorifies fame, fortune and the accomplishments of man? Fr. Burke joins us.
December 21, 2018
2018 Countdown Day 5
4:00 – #23: I Lost my Husband to Brain Cancer. I’m Forever Thankful He Didn’t Choose Assisted Suicide.
In summer 2016 we spoke with JJ Hanson, who was battling a deadly form of brain cancer but rejected the idea of assisted suicide. On December 30, as snowflakes fell outside, he took his last breath surrounded by his family. He lived with cancer for three and a half years – three years longer than his doctors had predicted. We talk with Kristen Hanson about why she is thankful he decided against a “death with dignity.”
4:20 – #22: The Populist Rebellion Rolling the Church
The scandals of McCarrick, the Vigano claims, and now the inaction at the Fall Assembly have revealed a Church facing a crisis of leadership. The bishops have been left in an impossible position: they cannot do much without appearing to defy Rome, but further inaction does nothing but further alienate their flock. The roots of these tensions are complex, but can be traced to a populist movement that has a different understanding of authority in the Church. We talk more with RR Reno.
5:00 – #21: Will there ever be real Fraternal Correction?
It’s our duty as Christians to call each other out for our moral failings. It’s a way we show our love for another – we want others to be aware of their shortcomings and make amends with God, and of course hope they will do the same for us. Why don’t we see this with the bishops? Why is there this blind adherence to unity, to the point where Truth is compromised? We talk with Fr. Raymond de Souza.
5:00 – #20: Kresta Comments: What to Do When a Priest “Comes Out”
Back in January, a priest in Wisconsin used the Sunday Mass as an opportunity to reveal to his congregation that he is gay. According to reports, his announcement was met with thunderous applause and he has been well-received by local media. What is the role of a priest, and how should they present themselves to their congregation and the world? Al takes a look.
December 24, 2018
2018 Countdown Day 6
4:00 – #19: Super Bowl Champion becomes Champion of God
Elvis Grbac spent eight seasons in the NFL, winning a Super Bowl his rookie year as the backup to the legendary Steve Young and later being selected to a Pro Bowl. Yet he knows there are more important things. He’s a lifelong Catholic who is studying for a Master’s in theology and plans to become a deacon. He joins us.
4:20 – #18: Evangelical Catholics Respond to the Crisis
George Weigel follows Catholic news closely but decided not to attend, in his words, the “circus” of the Fall Assembly – and it proved to be a good decision. Gospel-centered Evangelical Catholics across the country are feeling fury and betrayal that so little concrete action was taken. What are the roots of this anger? And what role does “Evangelical Catholicism” play in all this? George joins us.
5:00 – #17: Understanding the Power of the Angels
At Mass tonight we’ll hear about the angels singing to the shepherds. What are the angels? They do not form a separate universe – they are an integral part of this world and have been sent forth for the sake of our salvation. They are pure spirits who communicate to us God’s grace, His goodness, and His truth. Fr. John Horgan joins us with a look at the rich and beautiful reality of God’s messengers.
December 25, 2018
Christmas Day Special
4:00 – A Year with the Catechism
We’re approaching the New Year, a time for resolutions and new ideas. What if you made a commitment to read through the Catechism this year? It is, after all, a wonderful gift that centuries of Catholics didn’t have access to. We talk with Elizabeth Siegel and Petroc Willey about how to do it one day at a time.
5:00 – The Jewish Roots of Mary
We wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas today it not for Mary’s yes. It’s why Catholic hold her in such esteem. Are Catholic teachings on Mary really biblical? Or are they the “traditions of men”? Should she be called the “Mother of God,” or just the mother of Jesus? Did she actually remain a virgin her whole life or do the “brothers of Jesus” refer to her other children? By praying to Mary, are Catholics worshipping her? And what does Mary have to do with the quest to understand Jesus? Brant Pitre joins us for a step-by-step walk through the scriptures to look at the deeply Biblical basis for our Marian beliefs.
December 26, 2018
2018 Countdown Day 7
4:00 – #16: Sharing the Faith, One Person at a Time
Why do so many Catholics find themselves too intimated to share the Faith? After all, Jesus and the apostles didn’t have social media, television or even radio broadcasts – and they changed the world forever. Karen Edmisten joins us with the evangelization tools that brought her from atheism and how she uses them today.
4:20 – #15: Cultivating the Unique Calling of Every Person
What if we were able to gain profound insight into the unique design, creative drive, and potential destiny of the people in our lives? We are all called to holiness, but we are called to implement it in different ways. How can cultivating our own vocation and call to holiness help us with the mess we are in? We talk with Josh Miller.
5:00 – #14: Six Steps to Improving our Seminaries
The McCarrick scandal has brought the sexual harassment and abuse of seminarians to the forefront. It leaves us wondering what steps can be taken to make sure our seminarians are safe and are being properly equipped for the unique calling of the priesthood. We talk with Fr Thomas Berg.
5:20 – #13: Playing Hurt: The Hidden Struggle of Mental Illness
John Saunders was one of the most beloved figures in sports journalism and one of ESPN’s iconic faces and voices. But he had a secret struggle – a crippling depression that drove him to the brink of suicide. He has since passed on from natural causes, but he has shared his story with John U Bacon. May was mental health awareness month, and there has been a renewed focus on removing the stigma that prevents so many – especially men – from seeking help. John joins us.
December 27, 2018
2018 Countdown Day 8
4:00 – #12: How did Liberalism Become our State Religion?
The Establishment Clause of the first amendment has become a go-to tool for driving religion out of the public square and ultimately creating a de-Christianized Western Civilization. In this society, government is the new Oracle – Caesar sits in his rightful place. Dr. Ben Wiker joins us.
4:20 – #11: Kresta Comments: Two Sisters
5:00 – #10: Harry Becomes Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement
The transgender movement has hit breakneck speed. In the space of a year, it’s gone from something that most Americans had never heard of to a cause claiming the mantle of civil rights.
But can a boy truly be “trapped” in a girl’s body? Can modern medicine really “reassign” sex? Is sex something “assigned” in the first place? What’s the loving response to a friend or child experiencing a gender-identity conflict? What should our law say on these issues? We talk with Ryan Anderson.
December 28, 2018
2018 Countdown Day 9
4:00 – #9: Dear Troubled Catholics
Ralph Martin has been a leader in the New Evangelization for years and has seen the Church face times of struggle. But he has never seen so many “ordinary Catholics” so deeply – and rightfully – troubled. But one thing doesn’t change – the Church is our mother. Ralph joins us.
4:40 – #8: Kresta Comments: Why Did We Take So Long to Speak on Homosexual Bishops?
5:00 – #7: Former Model Contestant Discovers Authentic Beauty
Leah Darrow is a former contestant on America’s Next Top Model who saw firsthand the lies the culture feeds us about physical beauty and what is truly important. She now devotes her life to helping women discover true beauty. Leah joins us.
December 31, 2018
2018 Countdown Day 10
4:00 – #6: Has America’s Genius for Freedom become its greatest threat?
Over the last several years, pundits have tried to explain the causes of the deep political divides in America. There’s one root of these conflicts that never seems to come up, and it has to do with our understanding of Freedom. The American understanding of Freedom can be divided into two camps – the 1776 Camp, which celebrates the ideals of the American Revolution, and the 1789 Camp, which upholds the ideals of the French Revolution. Os Guinness explains.
5:00 – #5: What Francis Knew
We don’t know if Archbishop Vigano’s claims are true, but they do demand investigation. After all, he was the second-ranked Vatican administrator to Pope Benedict, holds doctorates in both Canon and civil law, and has been trusted with clear access to the kind of information he reports. What do we know about the whole situation, and how should we respond to it? We talk with Phil Lawler.
January 1, 2019
2018 Countdown Day 11
4:00 – #4: Is There Evidence for Miracles?
What do most Americans think about miracles? How many people have had an experience that can only be explained as divine intervention? How many of us believe miracles are possible today? Bestselling author Lee Strobel has done the leg work on an extensive study of American’s opinions of the miraculous. He joins us.
5:00 – #3: The Life of St Catherine
St Catherine of Siena was born on the Feast of the Annunciation in 1347. She’s known for many things, including her Dialogue, visions of Christ and stigmata that were only visible to her. Fr Thomas Mcdermott, an expert on her work, joins us.