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.

Episodes

  • Day 316: Labor and Social Justice

    November 12th, 2023  |  19 mins 18 secs
    commandments, economic activity, economic life, economics, employment, just wage, justice, labor, seventh commandment, social justice, strike, ten commandments, unemployment, work

    Work is both a gift and a duty. Today, we explore how labor can impact man’s dignity and unite us to Jesus, the carpenter. Fr. Mike emphasizes that work should not be ordered towards economic gain, but rather, it should be ordered toward man’s dignity and the human community. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2426-2436.

  • Day 315: The Church’s Social Doctrine

    November 11th, 2023  |  21 mins 10 secs
    animals, capitalism, commandments, communism, creation, economics, pets, seventh commandment, social doctrine, socialism, ten commandments

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we examine both our respect for the integrity of creation as well as the Church’s broader social doctrine. Fr. Mike emphasizes that we owe animals kindness because they have been entrusted to our stewardship, but also that we must have a balanced relationship with them. He then goes on to examine the Church’s Social Doctrine in our postmodern world, focusing on capitalism, socialism, and communism. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2415-2425.

  • Day 314: Goods of Others

    November 10th, 2023  |  22 mins 25 secs
    10 commandments, 7th commandment, article 7, article seven, commandments, commutative justice, contracts, distributive justice, enslavement of human beings, gambling, games of chance, goods, how we live, justice, legal justice, life in christ, love of neighbor, part 3, part three, private property, promises, reparation for injustice, respect for persons and their goods, respect for the goods of others, seventh commandment, solidarity, temperance, ten commandments, the right to private property, theft, universal destination of goods, wagers, you shall not steal

    What does it mean to have respect for the goods of others? Fr. Mike unpacks the Catechism’s answer to this question and what it teaches about the seventh commandment in regards to respect for persons and their goods. We learn that it comes down to the dignity of persons and the virtues of temperance, justice, and solidarity. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2407-2414.

  • Day 313: Ownership of Goods

    November 9th, 2023  |  21 mins 22 secs
    10 commandments, 7th commandment, article 7, article seven, catholic social teachings, charity, commandments, goods, how we live, justice, life in christ, love of neighbor, ownership, part 3, part three, private property, seventh commandment, steward, ten commandments, the right to private property, universal destination of goods, you shall not steal

    Beginning our look at the seventh commandment, the Catechism focuses on the universal destination of goods and the private ownership of goods. Fr. Mike helps us understand that at first glance, these concepts may seem contradictory, but upon closer inspection, they are paradoxical. Each concept is necessary, and they must be held “in tension”. We have the right to private property, and at the same time, we should have the mindset that we are stewards of our earthly possessions and talents with the intention of using them to benefit others. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2401-2406.

  • Day 312: Polygamy, Incest, and Free Union

    November 8th, 2023  |  20 mins
    10 commandments, 6th commandment, article 6, article six, cohabitation, commandments, free union, how we live, husband, incest, life in christ, love of neighbor, marriage, nugget, offense, part 3, part three, polygamy, sexual abuse, sin, sixth commandment, st paul, ten commandments, wife

    The Catechism continues on with other offenses against the dignity of marriage and concludes our look at the sixth commandment. Polygamy, incest, sexual abuse, and free union are reviewed in detail. Fr. Mike highlights that these sins are grave, but God gives hope to all of us experiencing wounds or guilt. We have the opportunity to change in order to live in accordance with the Gospel. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2387-2400.

  • Day 311: Adultery and Divorce

    November 7th, 2023  |  23 mins 21 secs
    10 commandments, 6th commandment, adulterer, adultery, article 6, article six, commandments, commitment, divorce, fidelity, gift, how we live, infidelity, life in christ, love of neighbor, lust, marriage, offense, part 3, part three, sacrament, separation, sin, sixth commandment, spouse, st basil, ten commandments, unfaithful, union

    The Catechism goes into detail about offenses against the dignity of marriage. The two topics we look at are adultery and divorce. These sins against marriage are not isolated between the spouses, but affect others including family, children, and society. With this, Fr. Mike reminds us that we live in a broken world, but God is among us, and he is a merciful Father with the ability to redeem. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2380-2386.

  • Day 310: The Gift of a Child

    November 6th, 2023  |  20 mins 5 secs
    10 commandments, 6th commandment, abraham, article 6, article six, artificial insemination fertilization, child, children, commandments, conjugal act, dignity, donation of sperm or ovum, embrio, families, family, fruit, fruitful, gift, how we live, jacob, life in christ, love of neighbor, marriage, parenthood, part 3, part three, procreate, rachel, right, sexual act, sixth commandment, sterile, surrogate uterus, ten commandments

    Children are a gift from God. Children have integrity and rights. With these key principles in mind, Fr. Mike reviews the Catechism’s teachings about marriage, family, child bearing, sterility, and adoption. Because “a child is not something owed to one but is a gift”, we must protect the dignity of the child at the forefront of all decisions. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2373-2379.

  • Day 309: Faithful and Fruitful Marriage

    November 5th, 2023  |  27 mins 10 secs
    children, contraception, faithful, fidelity, gift, life, marriage

    Married love has an “innate language” of total and mutual self-giving. This language expresses itself in the marital act of sexual intimacy. Marital love mirrors God’s love. It is free, total, faithful, and fruitful. Fr. Mike explains that in the face of this reality, contraception and infidelity directly contradict the marital covenant between a man and a woman. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2364-2372.

  • Day 308: Same-Sex Attraction

    November 4th, 2023  |  32 mins 32 secs
    chastity, children, homosexuality, love, marriage, sexuality

    Fr. Mike guides us through the Catechism’s discussion of same-sex attraction. He highlights that all of the Church’s teachings on sexuality stem from her embrace of God’s intended and revealed purpose for sex. Fr. Mike stresses that this understanding of sexuality is core to our understanding of ourselves and the world in which we live. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2357-2363.

  • Day 307: Offenses Against Chastity

    November 3rd, 2023  |  24 mins 40 secs
    dignity, evil, healing, lust, sex, sexuality

    What is God's intended purpose for our sexuality? We confront several significant transgressions that hinder this design. These offenses include lust, the consumption of pornography, and engagement in prostitution. Fr. Mike offers us a poignant reminder that despite these sins, our intrinsic human dignity remains unblemished and worthy of reverence. Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 2351-2356.

  • Day 306: Gift of Self

    November 2nd, 2023  |  21 mins 51 secs
    celibacy, chastity, engagement, friendship, marriage, self, sex

    What are the different types of chastity? We learn chastity is "a school of the gift of the person." Mastering ourselves enables us to gift ourselves to another. Fr. Mike explains that chastity bears fruit in the form of true friendship. He explains that God calls everyone to this virtue, no matter his vocation. Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 2346-2350.

  • Day 305: The Call to Chastity

    November 1st, 2023  |  25 mins 8 secs
    chastity, integrity, prayer, purity, sex, sexuality

    We are all called to the virtue of chastity, which integrates our sexuality within the fullness of our person. Chastity trains us in freedom, teaching us how to direct and guide our desires. Fr. Mike explains that this virtue requires sustained effort and leads to self-mastery and peace. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2337-2345.

  • Day 304: Male and Female

    October 31st, 2023  |  17 mins 42 secs
    complementarity of the sexes, human body, human sexuality, male and female, male and female he created them, man and woman, sexual identity, sixth commandment, two sexes, you shall not commit adultery

    Why did God create us male and female? We begin our journey through the sixth commandment by learning about the meaning of human sexuality and the complementarity between men and women. Fr. Mike underscores the significance of the body in revealing our sexuality and our vocation to love. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2331-2336.

  • Day 303: Summary of the Fifth Commandment

    October 30th, 2023  |  14 mins 26 secs
    abortion, arms, ethic of life, euthanasia, fifth commandment, homicide, murder, peace, respect for human life, sanctity of human life, scandal, suicide, thou shalt not kill, war, you shall not kill

    The Church offers us a consistent ethic of life from the moment of conception until death. In today’s “Nugget Day,” we review the main takeaways from our readings about the fifth commandment. Fr. Mike reiterates that the Church’s teachings on the value of human life stem from the truth that every human life is sacred; God wills each person for his own sake. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2318-2330.

  • Day 302: War

    October 29th, 2023  |  18 mins 17 secs
    armed conflict, avoiding war, battle, church teaching on war, destruction of life, legitimate defense, military, national defense, soldiers, violence, war

    The Church urges us to pray and work for peace to avoid the evils and injustices of war. Because we live in a broken world, the Church also offers guidance on approaching war. Fr. Mike breaks down just war theory and the criteria of legitimate defense by military force under principles of moral law. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2307-2317.

  • Day 301: Peace

    October 28th, 2023  |  17 mins 54 secs
    10 commandments, 5th commandment, anger, article 5, article five, charity, commandments, dignity, fifth commandment, hatred, high call, how we live, justice, kill, life in christ, love, love of neighbor, mortal sin, part 3, part three, peace, peacemakers, prince of peace, respect, revenge, st augustine, st thomas aquinas, ten commandments, vengeance

    Peace is not simply an absence of war. Fr. Mike breaks down the Catechism’s teachings about peace as the "work of justice and the effect of charity.” We learn that to cultivate true peace, we must do more than avoid anger, hatred, and harm to our neighbor; we must actively work toward becoming agents of peace. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2302-2306.