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 130: The Communion of Saints (2024)

    May 9th, 2024  |  16 mins 2 secs
    all suffer together, assembly of saints, communion in charity, communion in the faith, communion of charisms, communion of goods, communion of saints, communion of the sacraments, everything in common, god’s holy gifts, god’s holy people, holy catholic church, manifestation of the spirit, paragraph 5, rejoice together, riches of christ, sacraments, sancta, sancti, sanctorum communio, solidarity, special graces

    The Catechism begins Paragraph 5 and dives into the communion of saints. This communion is “in holy things (sancta)” and “among holy persons (sancti).” Fr. Mike emphasizes that “the least of our acts done in charity redounds to the profit of all.” At the same time, every sin hurts every single member of the Church. No one is an island—we belong to each other. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 946-953.

  • Day 129: Many Vocations (2024)

    May 8th, 2024  |  12 mins 46 secs
    hierarchy, in brief, institution, laity, pope, review, surrender, unity, vocation

    This "In Brief" section reviews all that we have learned in recent episodes. In the Church, “the faithful" refers to clerics and the laity with various callings in each. Fr. Mike explains how God calls every human being to unity with him. No matter our vocations, we must surrender our lives to the Lord and participate in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly offices of Christ. Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 934-945.

  • Day 128: Unique Calls to Holiness (2024)

    May 7th, 2024  |  16 mins 44 secs
    calling, chastity, holiness, obedience, poverty, religious, secular, vocation, vows

    The Lord calls everyone to live a life of surrender, and we have been looking at the various ways God calls people to grow in holiness. Religious life includes the public profession of vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; members of secular institutes dedicate themselves to living in the world and helping to sanctify it. We also learn that those in societies of apostolic life devote themselves to a particular apostolic purpose without religious vows. These calls to holiness are gifts to the Church and the world. Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 925-933.

  • Day 127: Consecrated Life (2024)

    May 6th, 2024  |  21 mins 36 secs
    chastity, consecrated, hermits, obedience, poverty, vocation, widows

    There are many ways that God calls people to lives of holiness. Just as he calls lay people to holiness, he also calls individuals to consecrated life, including hermits, consecrated virgins, widows, and religious. In a very intentional, specific, and lifelong way, those in consecrated life commit themselves to the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Father Mike helps us see how all the different kinds of consecrated life are a great gift to the Church and the world. Despite the many ways the Lord calls his children to holiness, the goal of each human life remains the same – intimacy with Christ. Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 914-924.

  • Day 126: Prophetic and Kingly Offices (2024)

    May 5th, 2024  |  19 mins 35 secs
    evangelize, king, leadership, office, prophet

    In addition to Christ's priestly office, lay people are called to participate in Christ's prophetic and kingly offices. They take part in Christ's prophetic office by evangelizing and proclaiming Christ by word and with the testimony of their lives. Fr. Mike explains that the laity participate in Christ's kingly office in their hearts. They do this when they rule themselves and conquer sin, acting as virtuous leaders in the Church and society. Fr. Mike also reminds us that lay people should strive to be guided by Christian conscience in all their actions in the Church and society. Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 904-913.

  • Day 125: Vocation of the Laity (2024)

    May 4th, 2024  |  19 mins 36 secs
    bishop, laity, lay people, priests, salvation, universal, vocation

    The term "laity" refers to all the faithful, except those in Holy Orders and those who belong to a religious state approved by the Church. We learn about the special vocation lay people have to seek the Kingdom of God as they engage in temporal affairs. They live in the world and bring the Gospel to places priests and religious cannot access. Father Mike explains that in this way, the lay faithful not only participate in the Church but are the Church. The laity participate in Christ's priestly vocation by making every part of their lives an offering to God. Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 897-903.

  • Day 124: Teaching, Sanctifying, and Governing (2024)

    May 3rd, 2024  |  22 mins 23 secs
    bishops, episcoal college, governing office, infallibility, pope, sanctifying office, teaching office

    There are three offices that belong to the episcopal college: the teaching office, the sanctifying office, and the governing office. Fr. Mike gives us an overview of the functions within these offices and clarifies the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. As we learn about the authority of the episcopal college, Fr. Mike encourages us to approach the teachings of the Church with docility. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 888-896.

  • Day 123: The Pope (2024)

    May 2nd, 2024  |  17 mins 5 secs
    bishop rome, college of bishops, episcopal college, papacy, peter, pope, roman pontiff, st peter

    Who is the Pope? Today, we focus on the role of the Pope in the Catholic Church as the Vicar of Christ and pastor of the entire Church. The Catechism teaches us that the institution of the papacy dates back to that powerful moment in the Gospel when Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter, the “rock”, and handed him the keys of the Church. Fr. Mike unpacks this pivotal moment and helps us understand why the Pope is so foundational to the Faith. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 880-887.

  • Day 122: Christ’s Faithful (2024)

    May 1st, 2024  |  20 mins 30 secs
    bishops, college of bishops, consecrated life, ecclesial ministry, grace, hierarchy, laity, mission, priest, sacraments

    There are three primary roles among Christ’s faithful: the hierarchy, the laity, and consecrated life. Fr. Mike explains the difference between these three roles, emphasizing that they are equal in dignity but different in the way they support the Church’s mission. We also learn that all of Christ’s faithful share in the priestly, prophetical, and kingly office of Christ. Lastly, Fr. Mike reviews the mission and characters of ecclesial ministry. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 871-879.

  • Day 121: The Apostolate (2024)

    April 30th, 2024  |  17 mins 45 secs
    apostolate, apostolic, fruitfulness, kingdom of christ, lay people, mission, priests, soul of the apostolate

    For the Church to remain truly apostolic, she must exercise the apostolate, which is the mission “to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth.” Today’s readings remind us that all members of the Church are “sent out” on a mission to proclaim the Good News. Most importantly, Fr. Mike emphasizes that charity, drawn from our unity with Christ, is the “soul” of the whole apostolate that leads us to bear fruit. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 863-870.

  • Day 120: The Apostolic Church (2024)

    April 29th, 2024  |  16 mins 11 secs
    apostles, apostolic church, apostolic succession, bishops, peter, pope, priests, successors

    The fourth mark of the Catholic Church is her "apostolic" nature. Fr. Mike explains the three ways the Church is apostolic and discusses how this characteristic shapes the unique structure and Tradition of the Catholic Church. He also encourages us to pray for our local bishops, who continue to shepherd us in the Faith today as the Apostles' successors. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 857-862.

  • Day 119: The Church’s Missionary Mandate (2024)

    April 28th, 2024  |  17 mins 17 secs
    mission, missionary, missionary mandate, patience

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we explore the many aspects of the Church’s missionary mandate. Fr. Mike emphasizes the importance of engaging and living out Christ’s great commission. We conclude today with a reflection on the fact that it is the love of Christ that urges us on in our mission of patience in bearing witness to the Gospel. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 849-856.

  • Day 118: The Church and Non-Christians (2024)

    April 27th, 2024  |  22 mins 46 secs
    muslims, non-christians, salvation, the church, the jewish people

    Fr. Mike examines the relationship between the Church and non-Christian religions. He discusses that while there is some degree of goodness and truth in every religion, the fullness of truth exists in the Catholic Church. Fr. Mike concludes with a reflection on the statement from the early Church Fathers that “outside the Church there is no salvation.” Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 839-848.

  • Day 117: The Church Is Catholic (2024)

    April 26th, 2024  |  22 mins 3 secs
    apostolic succession, bishop, catholic, particular church, pope, rome

    We continue our examination of the four marks of the Church with today’s mark: catholic. Fr. Mike explains that “catholic” means that the Church is universal in two senses. The first is that Christ is fully present in her, and so receives the fullness of the means of salvation. Second, it goes out to all peoples; everyone belongs. Today’s readings from the Catechism are paragraphs 830-838.

  • Day 116: The Church Is Holy (2024)

    April 25th, 2024  |  17 mins 35 secs
    charity, glorification, holy, love, sanctification, st. therese of lisieux, the church

    Fr. Mike examines the next characteristic of the Church, the Church is holy, and he emphasizes two important ideas. The first is that the Church is unfailingly holy only because of God’s gracious gift to us. The second is that each and every one of the activities of the Church are for two purposes: the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God. We conclude with a reminder from St. Therese on the importance of charity, that love of God is the “vocation which includes all others.” Today’s readings from the Catechism are paragraphs 823-829.

  • Day 115: Wounds to Unity (2024)

    April 24th, 2024  |  20 mins 7 secs
    conversion, division, oneness, renewal, unity, unity of christians

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we examine the wounds to the unity of Christ’s one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church. The Catechism emphasizes that people on both sides of this division are to blame for this broken unity. God did not intend for the disunity of Chrstians that we see today, but rather, intended for the unity of all Christians. Fr. Mike, therefore, concludes with asking us to pray and hope for the miracle of the unity, once again, of all Christians. Today’s readings from the Catechism are paragraphs 817-822.