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 174: Summary of the Sacrament of Baptism (2024)

    June 22nd, 2024  |  12 mins 46 secs
    baptism, baptismal grace, baptize, fruit of baptism, in brief, indelible spiritual sign, nugget day, sacraments of initiation

    In this summary of the Church’s teachings on Baptism, the Catechism relays the heart of the sacrament. If you needed to quickly explain Baptism to someone on the street—Fr. Mike says—this would be your guide. Fr. Mike hones in on the fact that Baptism is “a grace and a gift of God that does not presuppose any human merit.” Today’s readings are paragraphs 1275-1284.

  • Day 173: Brothers and Sisters in Baptism (2024)

    June 21st, 2024  |  15 mins 41 secs
    baptism, baptismal font, baptismal seal, baptize, baptized, body of christ, children of god, chosen race, church unity, common priesthood, configured to christ, daughters of god, dominicus character, faithful, full communion, indelible spiritual mark, living stones, member of the church, obedience, obey, people of god, rights and responsibilities, sacramental bond of unity, seal of the lord, sign of faith, sons and daughters, sons of god, unity of christians

    The Catechism shows us how Baptism unites the Church as a “People of God of the New Covenant” and goes so far as to say that “Baptism constitutes the foundation of communion among all Christians.” We all belong to Jesus, together. Fr. Mike highlights the fact that with the gift of unity in Baptism comes real responsibility. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1267-1274.

  • Day 172: What Does Baptism Do? (2024)

    June 20th, 2024  |  14 mins 57 secs
    a new creature, adopted, baptism, baptismal, baptize, baptized, belonging, beloved creature, co-heir, concupiscence, daughter of god, divine nature, effects of baptism, forgiveness of sins, grace of baptism, immersion, partaker, sanctifying grace, son of god, temple of the holy spirit

    Baptism has profound effects upon the baptized: “purification from sins and new birth in the Holy Spirit.” The Catechism shows us that the graces of Baptism are so deep that—for the newly baptized—“nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God.” Fr. Mike relates to us the hard teaching that we are born mere beloved creatures of God—but through Baptism, we become adopted sons and daughters of God. Today’s readings are paragraphs 1262-1266.

  • Day 171: The Necessity of Baptism (2024)

    June 19th, 2024  |  20 mins 9 secs
    baptism, baptism of blood, baptismal, baptist, baptize, baptizing, catechumen, desire for baptism, faith, faith and baptism, godfather, godmother, godparent, limbo, martyr, ministers of baptism, necessity of baptism, officium, reborn of water, sacrament of faith, trinitarian formula

    “Baptism is the sacrament of faith.” The Catechism explains to us who can baptize as well as why we need Baptism for eternal life. It also explains to us what happens when people die without the opportunity for Baptism. Fr. Mike addresses our “what about” questions concerning Baptism. Most especially, Fr. Mike addresses the destination of those who will never have the opportunity to hear the Gospel or be baptized. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1253-1261.

  • Day 170: Who Can Be Baptized? (2024)

    June 18th, 2024  |  13 mins 34 secs
    adult baptism, baptism, baptismal, baptize, baptizing, catechumen, catechumenate, child baptism, infant baptism, rcia

    Put simply, “[e]very person not yet baptized and only such a person is able to be baptized.” The Catechism explains to us the purpose of Baptism for both adults and infants. Fr. Mike doubles down and makes sure we understand that Baptism is for everyone. God wills Baptism for all people. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1246-1252.

  • Day 169: The Mystagogy of Baptism (2024)

    June 17th, 2024  |  14 mins 18 secs
    baptism, baptismal water, mystagogy, mystery, sacraments, sacraments of initiation

    Together with Fr. Mike, we continue our examination of the sacrament of Baptism, specifically the mystagogy of the rite of Baptism. The Catechism explains each and every element of the Baptismal rite, from the Sign of the Cross to the baptismal water. Fr. Mike concludes with a reflection on Baptism as the beginning of our sacramental journey and how we are called to walk as children of God throughout our lives after our Baptism. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1234-1245.

  • Day 168: The Celebration of Baptism (2024)

    June 16th, 2024  |  14 mins 17 secs
    baptism, initiation, rcia, rites of christian initiation, rites of christian initiation for adults, sacraments, sacraments of initiation

    We continue our examination of the Sacrament of Baptism, specifically how we celebrate the sacrament and the different elements that must always be present in Baptism. Fr. Mike emphasizes that while infant Baptism has become the “form in which this sacrament is usually celebrated,” post-baptismal formation and instruction is necessary in order for the full flowering of the graces received in the Sacrament of Baptism. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1229-1233.

  • Day 167: The Baptism of Christ (2024)

    June 15th, 2024  |  12 mins 35 secs
    baptism, prefiguration, sacraments, sacraments of initiation, st. john the baptist, water, waters of baptism

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we continue our examination of the sacrament of Baptism. Fr. Mike emphasizes that each and every one of the Old Covenant prefigurations are fulfilled in Christ Jesus. He also unpacks Christ’s own Baptism in the Jordan, explaining that when Christ is baptized by John the Baptist, he brings the “mess of humanity” into the Jordan with him and makes the waters of Baptism holy. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1223-1228.

  • Day 166: Introduction to Baptism (2024)

    June 14th, 2024  |  18 mins 43 secs

    Together, we begin the chapter on the sacraments of initiation, specifically the section on the sacrament of Baptism. Fr. Mike unpacks the different names that the Church employs when discussing Baptism, such as the “washing of regeneration and renewal” and “enlightenment.” He concludes with a reflection on the prefigurations of Baptism in the Old Covenant. Today’s readings are Catechism, paragraphs 1210-1222.

  • Day 165: Summary of Liturgical Diversity (2024)

    June 13th, 2024  |  13 mins 38 secs

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we arrive at the conclusion and “nugget day” for the section on liturgy and culture. Fr. Mike reiterates the importance of the fact that the Church does not abolish culture, but redeems and fulfills it. He also emphasizes that even though the Church welcomes liturgical diversity, there are still some things that are incompatible with the Faith and, therefore, unable to be incorporated into Catholic liturgy. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1204-1209.

  • Day 164: Liturgical Diversity and Unity (2024)

    June 12th, 2024  |  10 mins 49 secs
    alexandrian rite, armenian rite, byzantine rite, chaldean rite, coptic rite, latin rite, liturgical diversity, liturgical rite, liturgical traditions, maronite rite, mission, roman rite, syriac rite

    Did you know there is more than one liturgical rite in the Catholic Church? Fr. Mike reviews the different liturgical Traditions that are part of the Catholic Church. All of the different rites are rooted in the same mission of Christ, reminding us that the diversity of liturgical Traditions does not take away from the unity of the Faith. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1200-1203.

  • Day 163: Summary of the Liturgy (2024)

    June 11th, 2024  |  11 mins 25 secs
    churches, eucharist, litrugy of the hours, liturgical celebration, liturgy, mass, nugget day, prayer, sacrifice of the mass, worship

    In today’s “nugget day”, we review the main takeaways from our readings on the liturgy. Fr. Mike invites us to remember that every time we participate in the liturgy, we are participating in the heavenly worship of the Father. We also learn that in times of discouragement, we can unite ourselves to Christ our high priest by praying the Liturgy of the Hours. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1187-1199.

  • Day 162: Where the Liturgy Is Celebrated (2024)

    June 10th, 2024  |  13 mins 46 secs
    altar, assembly of the faithful, baptistry, cathedra, churches, house of prayer, house of worship, lectern, sacred chrism, tabernacle, visible churches

    Where is the liturgy celebrated? The Catechism offers us overarching principles as well as specific details about the spaces in which the liturgy is celebrated. Fr. Mike highlights the importance of endowing dignity and respect to these physical spaces because they are sacred places of encounter with our Lord. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1179-1186.

  • Day 161: The Liturgy of the Hours (2024)

    June 9th, 2024  |  18 mins 31 secs
    daytime prayer, devotions, divine office, evening prayers, liturgy of the hours, morning prayer, night prayer, office of readings, praying

    The Liturgy of the Hours is known as the “public prayer of the Church.” Fr. Mike explains how praying the Liturgy of the Hours sanctifies time and gives God the opportunity to speak to us throughout our day. Fr. Mike encourages us to see the Liturgy of the Hours as a great gift from the Church that can powerfully transform our prayer lives when it takes root in our hearts. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1174-1178.

  • Day 160: The Liturgical Year (2024)

    June 8th, 2024  |  10 mins 16 secs
    easter, feast days, liturgical celebrations., liturgical year, martyrs, paschal mystery, saint feast days, solemnities, the sanctoral

    Fr. Mike reviews the major solemnities and feast days that make up the liturgical year and explains why they are important to celebrate. We learn that the liturgical year highlights key moments of the Paschal Mystery and commemorates the life of our Blessed Mother and the lives of the saints and martyrs. The feasts and solemnities of the liturgical year ultimately point us to Christ’s sacrifice and strengthen our faith. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1168-1173.

  • Day 159: When the Liturgy Is Celebrated (2024)

    June 7th, 2024  |  14 mins 54 secs
    liturgical seasons, liturgy, sabbath, sunday, the lord’s day, today

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we examine the question of when the liturgy is celebrated. The Catechism states that there is a word that marks Christian prayer, and that word is “today.” Fr. Mike emphasizes that our liturgy and worship happens “today,” not in the past and not in the future, but right now in this present moment. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1163-1167.