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 226: The Supreme Gift of Marriage

    August 14th, 2023  |  15 mins 40 secs
    family, home, infertility, kids, love, marriage, single

    “Children are the supreme gift of marriage,” says Vatican II. Marriage is directed by its very nature toward the procreation of children. Beyond this, parents are the primary educators of their children, responsible for their holistic formation. Sadly, many couples suffer from infertility. Even in their struggle, they can provide a powerful witness of love, sacrifice, and fidelity. In all this and more, we see the family as the Domestic Church. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1652-1658.

  • Day 225: Total Fidelity in Marriage

    August 13th, 2023  |  20 mins 13 secs
    covenant, divorce, fidelity, love, marriage, reconciliation, separation

    “Love seeks to be definitive,” the Catechism tells us in this section on marital fidelity. The faithfulness of husband and wife in the sacrament of Matrimony is a sign of God’s irrevocable covenant with humanity. This fidelity is both beautiful and challenging. Fr. Mike addresses painful situations of separation and divorce and how the whole ecclesial community should respond with truthful love. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1646 through 1651.

  • Day 224: The Grace of the Sacrament of Marriage

    August 12th, 2023  |  21 mins 19 secs
    catholic marriage, conjugal love, faithfulness, fertility, grace of marriage, husband, indissoluble bond, marriage bond, marriage roles, married love, matrimony, one flesh, spouses, unity in marriage, wives

    The grace of the Sacrament of Marriage provides husbands and wives the strength to love one another with supernatural, tender, and fruitful love. Fr. Mike covers the characteristics of the marriage bond and the different roles of husbands and wives. He explains what it means to “be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” We also learn that indissolubility, faithfulness, and openness to fertility are requirements of conjugal love. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1638-1645.

  • Day 223: Differences in Religion in Marriage

    August 11th, 2023  |  17 mins 35 secs
    catholic marriage, differences in religion in marriage, disparity of cult, marriage, marrying non-catholics, mixed marriages

    Can a Catholic marry a baptized non-Catholic or a non-baptized person? Fr. Mike breaks down the Church’s teaching on mixed marriages and disparity of cult. The Catechism teaches us that while a difference in religion “does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle for marriage,” it can often be a source of tension in marriage and present significant challenges when raising a family. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1625-1632.

  • Day 222: Matrimonial Consent

    August 10th, 2023  |  22 mins 45 secs
    annulling marriage, annulment, catholic marriage, marriage, marriage formation, marriage preparation, married in a church, martial embrace, matrimonial consent

    Matrimonial consent is an indispensable element of the Sacrament of Marriage. Fr. Mike explains why it is essential for those entering marriage to express their consent freely and why in the Church’s eyes, “if consent is lacking, there is no marriage.” Fr. Mike also guides us through the Church’s teaching on annulment and clarifies why it can be complex. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1625-1632.

  • Day 221: The Celebration of Marriage

    August 9th, 2023  |  16 mins 8 secs
    catholic marriage, catholic wedding, celebration of marriage, celibacy, eunuchs, marriage liturgy, marriage prayers, matrimony, sacrament of marriage, virginity for the sake of the kingdom

    What does a Catholic wedding look like? Today, we dive into the liturgical celebration of marriage and learn that the celebration must be valid, worthy, and fruitful. Additionally, we briefly cover virginity for the sake of the Kingdom and how this particular call highlights the beauty and goodness of marriage. Fr. Mike emphasizes that those who are called to a life of celibacy can truly live joyful and fulfilling lives. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1618-1624.

  • Day 220: Marriage in the New Covenant

    August 8th, 2023  |  22 mins 7 secs
    catholic marriage, christian marriage, covenant of marriage, jesus teaching on marriage, marriage, marriage bond, marriage in the bible, new covenant, sacrament of marriage, union of man and woman

    How is the meaning of marriage different in the New Covenant? The Catechism teaches us today that Christ elevates the gift of marriage to a sacrament and restores the original order of this powerful union between man and woman. Fr. Mike explains why marriage looked different in the Old Covenant and how God was preparing his chosen people throughout time to accept Christ’s law of marriage. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1609-1617.

  • Day 219: Marriage in God’s Plan

    August 7th, 2023  |  20 mins 50 secs
    education, family, holy matrimony, marriage, offspring, partnership, procreation, sacraments, spouses

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we begin the section on the sacrament of holy Matrimony. We unpack two elements of the sacrament, namely marriage in the order of creation and marriage under the regime of sin. Fr. Mike emphasizes that marriage is a partnership between man and woman that is oriented towards the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1601-1608.

  • Day 218: Summary of Holy Orders

    August 6th, 2023  |  15 mins 8 secs
    bishops, celibacy, deacons, holy orders, ordination, presbyters, priests, sacraments

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we reach the conclusion and “nugget day” for the section on the sacrament of Holy Orders. Fr. Mike reiterates that all three degrees of the sacrament are a longed for element of the “priestly people.” They are those called to go before God and before his people as a mediator. Fr. Mike also explains that for those who are not called to either “sacrament of service”, Holy Orders or Matrimony, we are all called “to be able to rejoice with those who have received gifts.” Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1590-1600.

  • Day 217: The Effects of Holy Orders

    August 5th, 2023  |  18 mins 27 secs
    effects, grace of strength, holy orders, indelible spiritual character, indelible spiritual mark, sacraments

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we examine the effects of the sacrament of Holy Orders. Fr. Mike emphasizes that once a man is ordained a priest, he is always a priest because he receives an indelible spiritual mark. He also emphasizes that Holy Orders is a sacrament of service. The effects of the sacrament configure him in such a way that he is best able to serve the Church. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1581-1589.

  • Day 216: Who Receives Holy Orders

    August 4th, 2023  |  24 mins 49 secs
    bishop, celibacy, deacon, holy orders, men, priest, sacraments, vocations

    We continue our examination of the sacrament of Holy Orders. Specifically, we explore exactly who can receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. Fr. Mike emphasizes that only a baptized man can receive the “sacred ordination”. He then unpacks exactly why the ordination of women is not possible. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1577-1580.

  • Day 215: Deacons and the Diaconate

    August 3rd, 2023  |  13 mins 31 secs
    bishop, deacons, diaconate, holy orders, ordination, permanent diaconate

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we examine the ordination of deacons and the diaconate. Fr. Mike unpacks each of the essential elements of the rite of the ordination of deacons as well as each of the tasks of the deacon. He emphasizes that only a validly ordained bishop can validly confer the sacrament of Holy Orders. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1569-1576.

  • Day 214: Priests and the Presbyterate

    August 2nd, 2023  |  18 mins 45 secs
    co-workers, episcopal college, eucharistic assembly, eucharistic cult, holy orders, ordination, presbyterate, presbyterium, priest, priesthood, rite of ordination, sacerdotal, sacerdotal college, sacrament, sacrament of order, sacramental brotherhood, synaxis, the gospel

    The Catechism moves on from bishops—the episcopacy—to priests in the presbyterate, who share in the bishop’s ministry “in a subordinate degree”, to be “co-workers”. Fr. Mike dives deep into the service-leadership that priests are called to. “[A priest’s] whole life must be configured and must be conformed to Jesus Christ the high priest.” Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1562-1568.

  • Day 213: Bishops and the Episcopacy

    August 1st, 2023  |  16 mins 37 secs
    acme, bishop, bishop of rome, college, collegial, consecration, deacon, diaconate, episcopacy, episcopal, hierarchical communion, high priesthood, holy orders, in eius persona agant, minister, ministry, ordination, presbyterate, priest, sacerdos, sacrament, summa, three degrees

    There are three degrees within the sacrament of Holy Orders: the episcopacy (bishops), the presbyterate (priests), and the diaconate (deacons). The Catechism begins unpacking ordination with the bishops. Fr. Mike speaks on the special role that bishops play in the life of the Church. Today’s readings are from Catechism paragraphs 1554-1561.

  • Day 212: In Persona Christi

    July 31st, 2023  |  20 mins 3 secs
    baptismal priesthood, bishop, boys adrift, caput et membra, common priesthood, hierarchical priesthood, high priest, holy orders, in persona christi capitis, king, mediator, minister, ministerial priesthood, ordained minister, priest, priesthood, priestly, prophet, sacrament, sacred power, two participations in the one priesthood of christ, typos you patros

    The Catechism unpacks—by way of comparison—the “two participations in the one priesthood of Christ”: the common priesthood of all the faithful and the ministerial (or hierarchical) priesthood of the bishops and priests. Fr. Mike hones in on the ministerial priesthood as a means for Jesus to minister to his Church. His ministers act on his behalf in persona Christi Capitis: in the person of Christ, the Head. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1546-1553.

  • Day 211: The One Priesthood of Christ

    July 30th, 2023  |  17 mins 8 secs
    bishops, chosen people, consecration, consecratory, deacons, economy of salvation, levi, levites, mediator, melchizedek, ministers, ministry, new covenant, new testament, old covenant, old testament, ordination, prefigure, prefigured, prefigurement, priesthood, priesthood of aaron, priesthood of christ, priests, sacrament of holy orders, true priest, type, typology

    The priesthood of the Old Covenant among the people of Israel is fulfilled in the one priesthood of Christ. The Catechism compares the Old Testament priesthood, “powerless to bring about salvation,” with the ordained ministry in the New Covenant. Fr. Mike unpacks the reality that there is only one true priest—Jesus Christ. His “priests” on earth are humble ministers. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1539-1545.