The Catechism in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)

A day-by-day walk through the transformative beliefs and teachings of the Catholic Church.

About the show

In Ascension’s The Catechism in a Year podcast, Fr. Mike Schmitz guides you through the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church in 365 episodes, providing explanation, insight, and encouragement along the way.

Unlike any other Catechism podcast, The Catechism in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz) podcast follows a reading plan inspired by Ascension’s Foundations of Faith approach, a color-coded approach that reveals the structure of the Catechism, making it easier to read and understand. With this podcast, you’ll finally understand what it means to be Catholic and how the beliefs of the Catholic Faith come together.

Listen and…

  1. Read the ENTIRE Catechism of the Catholic Church in 365 days
  2. Understand the essentials of the Catholic Faith and why they matter
  3. Understand how Church teaching is rooted in Sacred Scripture
  4. Absorb over 2,000 years of Sacred Tradition
  5. Encounter God’s plan of sheer goodness for your life

Each 15-20 minute episode includes:

  • A guided prayer to help you enter into each episode
  • A reading from the Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • An explanation from Fr. Mike Schmitz about the reading

The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains adult themes that may not be suitable for children - parental discretion is advised.


  • Day 158: Holy Images in the Liturgy

    June 7th, 2023  |  12 mins 7 secs
    holy images, iconography, icons, images, liturgy, word made flesh, worship

    We continue our examination of the different elements of the liturgy, specifically holy images in the liturgy. Fr. Mike highlights that because the Word was made visible in the flesh, Christians now can use images of Christ to pray. Liturgical art is a symbol that points to a greater reality than itself. It is meant to lift our hearts and minds to the Lord in a way that words cannot. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1159-1162.

  • Day 157: God’s Word and Sacred Music

    June 6th, 2023  |  16 mins 9 secs
    actions, celebration, celebration of the liturgy, homily, liturgy, music, signing, words

    Fr. Mike examines the words, actions, music, and singing involved in how we celebrate the Liturgy. He discusses how, at many Masses, there are signs that accompany the Word of God to emphasize the importance of the Word being proclaimed. He further explains that sacred music is a combination of music and words drawn chiefly from Sacred Scripture. When we sing during the Liturgy, we are making art out of God’s Word, itself, and that art forms a necessary part of the Liturgy. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1153-1158.

  • Day 156: How the Liturgy Is Celebrated

    June 5th, 2023  |  17 mins 13 secs
    celebration, invisible, liturgy, saint pope john paul ii, signs, symbols, visible

    We continue to examine the celebration of the liturgy and sacraments. In the context of how the liturgy is celebrated, Fr. Mike explains that we are both body and spirit, and so signs and symbols are the way in which we communicate with and understand the world around us. God communicates spiritual realities in the same way. The signs and symbols which are utilized in the liturgy not only point to spiritual realities, but also make them present. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1145-1152.

  • Day 155: Who Celebrates the Liturgy

    June 4th, 2023  |  18 mins 13 secs
    baptismal priesthood, celebration, celebration of the liturgy, liturgy, sacraments

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we examine “who celebrates the liturgy.” Fr. Mike emphasizes that when we celebrate the sacraments, the whole Christ, not just the body on Earth, but also the body in Heaven, celebrates with us. The Church enables us to participate in the eternal liturgy through the sacraments, and our baptismal priesthood allows us to have full, conscious, and active participation in the liturgy. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1135-1144.

  • Day 154: Sacraments of Eternal Life

    June 3rd, 2023  |  13 mins 9 secs
    efficacious signs of grace, eschatalogical, eschatology, eternal inheritance, eternal life, everlasting life, heaven, in brief, inheritance, marana tha, maranatha, nugget day, sacrament, sacrament definition, sacramental, sacraments, sacraments of eternal life, spirit and the bride

    We’ve seen how the sacraments re-present what Christ worked for us in his Passion and death, but the Catechism also explains to us how the sacraments prefigure our eternal inheritance in heaven. Fr. Mike uses this “nugget day” as an opportunity to ensure we understand what the sacraments are and what they’re for. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1130-1134.

  • Day 153: Sacraments Save

    June 2nd, 2023  |  14 mins 11 secs
    divine nature, efficacious, ex opere operato, necessary for salvation, sacramental, sacramental grace, sacramental life, sacraments, sacraments of salvation

    Jesus uses his sacraments to save his people. The Catechism proclaims that the sacraments are “efficacious”, the sacraments are “wrought…by the power of God” alone, and the sacraments are “necessary for salvation”. Fr. Mike doubles down on the reality that sacraments cause what they signify. They are not merely signs pointing to an already present reality—Jesus, himself, is at work in each and every expression of the sacraments throughout time and in all places. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1127-1129.

  • Day 152: Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

    June 1st, 2023  |  16 mins 42 secs
    baptism, baptizing, evangelization, evangelize, law of faith, law of prayer, lex credendi, lex orandi, make disciples, sacrament, sacramental mission, sacraments, sacraments of faith

    The Catechism makes clear to us that evangelization and the sacraments go hand in hand. An ancient saying is highlighted, linking the two: lex orandi, lex credendi—or, the law of prayer is the law of faith. Fr. Mike illustrates this connection by showing us that, when you change the sign that points to an invisible reality, you risk changing where it’s pointing. This is why “no sacramental rite may be modified or manipulated at the will of the minister or the community.” Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1122-1126.

  • Day 151: The Seven Sacraments

    May 31st, 2023  |  14 mins 37 secs
    anointing of the sick, article 2, baptism, baptismal priesthood, church’s sacraments, confirmation, eucharist, holy orders, masterworks of god, matrimony, ministerial priesthood, new covenant, ordained priesthood, paschal mystery, penance, sacraments of christ, sacraments of faith, sacraments of the church, seven sacraments

    The Catechism introduces the seven sacraments that Christ offers the Church: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. The Catechism highlights the fact that the sacraments are “by the Church” because the Church is “Christ’s action at work”, and they are “for the Church” because they “manifest and communicate to men…the mystery of communion with the God who is love.” Fr. Mike focuses on the fact that while ministerial priests administer many of the sacraments, their priesthood is at the service of the baptismal priesthood, into which all of the baptized are ordained. Today’s readings are from Catechism paragraphs 1113-1121.

  • Day 150: The Epiclesis

    May 30th, 2023  |  12 mins 58 secs
    advocate, anamnesis, blood of christ, body of christ, communion, communion of the holy spirit, epiclesis, eucharist, holy spirit, liturgy, paraclete, paschal mystery, sacrament, sacramental, sanctifier, transubstantiation

    At the heart of the Liturgy of the Eucharist is the epiclesis, when the priest begs the Holy Spirit to come and transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. The Catechism explains this mysterious reality, and Fr. Mike reiterates that the Mass is not a repetition of Christ’s once-and-for-all sacrifice, but a re-presentation and celebration of his eternal sacrifice on the Cross. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1104-1112.

  • Day 149: The Holy Spirit Recalls Christ’s Mystery

    May 29th, 2023  |  14 mins 9 secs
    anamnesis, holy spirit, liturgy, memorial, mystery of christ, sacred scripture

    Fr. Mike examines how the Holy Spirit recalls the mystery of Christ. We explore how the Holy Spirit both inspires the Word of God and recalls the Word of God. Fr. Mike emphasizes that it is the Holy Spirit that helps us hear and understand God’s Word. It is the Holy Spirit that helps elicit a response of consent and commitment within us. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1099-1103.

  • Day 148: The Holy Spirit’s Work in the Liturgy

    May 28th, 2023  |  18 mins 48 secs
    christian liturgy, holy spirit, jewish liturgy, liturgy, new covenant, old covenant, prefiguration, sacraments, typology

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we continue our examination of the sacramental economy, specifically the Holy Spirit’s work in the liturgy. Fr. Mike emphasizes that what Jesus makes possible, the Holy Spirit makes actual. We are made to live in the life of the risen Christ and that is what the Spirit brings about in us. Fr. Mike concludes with a reflection on the importance of understanding that the Christian Liturgy springs from and fulfills the Jewish Liturgy. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1091-1098.

  • Day 147: Christ’s Work in the Liturgy

    May 27th, 2023  |  17 mins 24 secs
    christ’s death, christ’s life, christ’s resurrection, efficacious, liturgy, paschal mystery, sacraments

    We continue our examination of Christ’s acts through the sacraments that he instituted. Fr. Mike emphasizes the importance of understanding that the sacraments are sacred signs that “make present efficaciously the grace they signify.” The sacraments specifically signify the Paschal mystery, Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. We also explore how the Paschal mystery cannot remain in the past. Though it occurred in time, it transcends all time and is made present in all time. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1084-1090.

  • Day 146: The Father’s Work in the Liturgy

    May 26th, 2023  |  16 mins 33 secs
    blessing, liturgy, paschal mystery, sacramental economy, sacraments

    Together, we begin Section One on the sacramental economy. Fr. Mike emphasizes that the sacramental economy is both what God has done for us and how we should participate in it. He also emphasizes the blessings we receive from the sacraments through the Father. We conclude with an examination on the dual dimension of the sacramental liturgy, that while we are praising the Father, we are praising the Father with his own gift, his own Son. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1076-1083.

  • Day 145: Introduction to the Liturgy

    May 25th, 2023  |  16 mins 41 secs
    community, grace, liturgy, sacraments, worship

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we begin the section of the Catechism examining the liturgy. We start with an exploration of the questions of “why” the liturgy and “what” the liturgy is. Fr. Mike explains that it is through the liturgy that we are able to encounter the grace that Jesus Christ has won for us. He emphasizes that it is the liturgy that gives us access to God, himself. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1066-1075.

  • Day 144: How We Worship (Part 2 Introduction with Bishop Andrew Cozzens)

    May 24th, 2023  |  46 mins 11 secs
    bishop andrew cozzens, healing, how we worship, initiation, part 2, pillar 2, service, the celebration, the celebration of the christian mystery, the liturgy, the mystery, the sacraments

    Part 2 of the Catechism—the Second Pillar—is about “how we worship” through the Liturgy and the sacraments. Fr. Mike sits down with Bishop Andrew Cozzens to discuss the significance of the way we worship God and how Jesus meets us in the sacraments.

  • Day 143: Amen

    May 23rd, 2023  |  16 mins 8 secs
    amen, ascension, belief, bible, catechism, catechism in a year, catechism of the catholic church, catholic, catholic church, catholic doctrine, catholic faith, catholic teachings, catholicism, death, father mike, father mike schmitz, foundations of faith, fr mike, fr mike schmitz, grace, jesus, judgment, scripture, tradition

    Congratulations, we have come to the conclusion of Part One of the Catechism! Fr. Mike reviews the last “nugget” section on death and judgment, inviting us to regularly ponder the moment of our own death and judgment before our Lord. We conclude today with an explanation of the meaning of the word “amen” and the significance it has for our belief in God. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1051-1065.