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.
- Read the ENTIRE Catechism of the Catholic Church in 365 days
- Understand the essentials of the Catholic Faith and why they matter
- Understand how Church teaching is rooted in Sacred Scripture
- Absorb over 2,000 years of Sacred Tradition
- 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.
October 27th, 2023 | 24 mins 43 secs
10 commandments, 5th commandment, amputation, article 5, article five, autopsies, autopsy, bodily integrity, commandments, corporal work of mercy, cremation, death, dignity, experimentation, experiments, fifth commandment, hostage, how we live, kidnapping, life in christ, love of neighbor, mutilation, organ donation, organ transplant, part 3, part three, public health, respect, science, scientific research, sterilization, technology, ten commandments, terrorism, torture
The Catechism looks at matters relating to scientific research, bodily integrity, and the dead with the lens of the dignity of the human person. Fr. Mike helps us navigate the Catechism’s teachings by acknowledging science and technology as a good while emphasizing restrictions and conditions to ensure respect for the dignity of persons. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2292-2301.
October 26th, 2023 | 14 mins 24 secs
alcohol, commandments, drugs, fifth commandments, food, health, temperance, ten commandments, tobacco
Our health is a gift from God, and so we have a responsibility to care for it. Fr. Mike emphasizes the importance of caring for our health while also explaining that we cannot idolize our health and bodies as an absolute good. If we do idolize health, it can greatly distort the way we view the dignity of those around us. He also unpacks the virtue of temperance, defining it as, “doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time.” Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2288-2291.
October 25th, 2023 | 20 mins 49 secs
commandments, dignity, fifth commandment, integrity, respect, scandal, ten commandments, virtue
We have seen how harming ourselves or others physically is a violation of the fifth commandment, but how can causing harm to another’s virtue or integrity violate this commandment? Fr. Mike unpacks what scandal is and exactly how it is a violation of the fifth commandment. He emphasizes the gravity of scandal when it comes from those who, by nature, teach, and how vital it is for all of us, but especially teachers, to avoid contributing to scandal. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2284-2287.
October 24th, 2023 | 20 mins 39 secs
The cross of suicide is a violation of the fifth commandment that, tragically, many of us have been impacted by in our world today. Fr. Mike explains that we are stewards of the life that God has entrusted to us, not owners. Our lives are precious gifts, and we have a responsibility to care for them. He also emphasizes that we should not lose hope for the eternal salvation of those who take their own lives. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2280-2283.
Listener discretion advised. This episode contains references to suicide. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please contact someone you can trust and/or contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 (available 24 hours everyday). You are loved, you are beautiful, and you are absolutely irreplaceable.
October 23rd, 2023 | 21 mins 50 secs
commandments, dying, euthanasia, fifth commandment, handicapped, medical procedures, palliative care, sick, ten commandments
We continue our examination of the fifth commandment, taking a closer look at the sin of euthanasia. Fr. Mike emphasizes that whatever the motive, the action of ending a life in order to eliminate suffering is still a sin. He also emphasizes that palliative care, however, is an important and special form of charity and love. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2276-2279.
October 22nd, 2023 | 16 mins 41 secs
abortion, commandments, crisis pregnancy, excommunication, fifth commandment, forgiveness, mercy, ten commandments
Together, with Fr. Mike, we examine the wound of abortion. Fr. Mike emphasizes that all human life deserves protection, especially the unborn, but he also emphasizes the importance of God’s mercy. He explains that those who have procured an abortion are excommunicated, subject to the conditions established by Canon Law. However, the excommunication does not limit the scope of God’s mercy, but rather highlights the gravity of the sin. Fr. Mike concludes by highlighting that if abortion is a part of your story, you are encouraged to take the step towards confession and forgiveness, to be met with mercy and love and be welcomed home. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2270-2275.
October 21st, 2023 | 12 mins 11 secs
5th commandment, direct and intentional killing, eugenics, fifth commandment, fratricide, homicide, how we live, indirectly killing, infanticide, intentional homicide, life in christ, love of neighbor, manslaughter, murder, parricide, part 3, part three, the commandments, thou shalt not kill, unintentional killing, you shall not kill
Continuing our examination of the fifth commandment, we look at various ways in which one may sin against this commandment as it relates to homicide. The Catechism addresses three categories of homicide: direct and intentional killing, indirectly killing, and unintentionally killing. Fr. Mike explores this grave topic with resonating examples and explains the varying degrees of moral culpability. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2268-2269.
October 20th, 2023 | 17 mins 9 secs
5th commandment, capital punishment, crime and punishment, criminal justice system, death penalty, fifth commandment, how we live, justice, legitimate defense, life in christ, love of neighbor, love our enemies, love your enemies, love your neighbor as yourself, part 3, part three, protect, punishment, right to life, self-defense, st thomas aquinas, the commandments, thou shalt not kill, you shall not kill
Is there ever a time where legitimate defense is justifiable? The Catechism answers this question and how it relates to honoring the dignity of the human person as we dive deeper into the fifth commandment. We learn about defense of ourselves and others, principles of crime and punishment, and capital punishment. Fr. Mike also explains the Church’s current teaching on the death penalty and why it has changed over time. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2263-2267.
October 19th, 2023 | 15 mins 1 sec
5th commandment, anger, article 5, article five, dignity, dignity of the human being, fifth commandment, forgiveness, hatred, how we live, human life is sacred, innocent, kill, life in christ, love of neighbor, love our enemies, love your enemies, love your neighbor as yourself, murder, part 3, part three, respect for human life, the commandments, the witness of sacred history, thou shalt not kill, vengeance, you shall not kill
We begin exploring the fifth commandment: “you shall not kill." The Catechism reminds us that human life is sacred, and we must not take the life of another innocent human. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus takes this commandment even further as he calls us to avoid anger, hatred, and vengeance in addition to loving our enemies. By forgiving and extending to others the same love and mercy we are willing to extend to ourselves, we are respecting the dignity of that person. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2258-2262.
October 18th, 2023 | 17 mins 23 secs
4th commandment, article 4, article four, dignity, fourth commandment, how we live, in brief, life in christ, love of neighbor, nugget, part 3, part three, political community, politics, respect, the commandments, totalitarian
We take a look at what the Catechism teaches about the Church in relation to political communities. Every institution has their own vision of what it means to be human, which shapes their policies. Because the Church knows the truth, that every person is made in the image and likeness of God, the Church must weigh in to ensure that the dignity of the human person is at the forefront of political decisions and policies. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2244-2257.
October 17th, 2023 | 20 mins 48 secs
4th commandment, armed resistance, article 4, article four, authority, civil authorities, country, foreigner, fourth commandment, freedom, how we live, just war, justice, life in christ, love of neighbor, nation, part 3, part three, patriotism, political authorities, solidarity, st paul, the commandments, the duties of citizens, the duty of citizens, truth
As citizens of a nation, we have certain responsibilities in accordance with God’s Law. The Catechism provides parameters for contributing to society, welcoming the foreigner, refusing obedience, and resisting oppression. Fr. Mike helps us better understand our role as co-collaborators in society within the lens of our world today. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2238-2243.
October 16th, 2023 | 16 mins 42 secs
citizens, discipleship, family, kingdom, loyalty, priorities, society
While family is important, the Catechism states, “The first vocation of the Christian is to follow Jesus.” This means that parents should support Christ's call for their children. Fr. Mike explains that when we deny Jesus or his teachings for the sake of our families, we are making an idol of the family. We also learn the duties of civil authorities. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2232-2237.
October 15th, 2023 | 28 mins 45 secs
education, evangelization, family, kids, parents, school
Being a parent is far more than just having kids. As the Catechism reminds us, the fruitfulness of married love extends to the moral and spiritual education of a couple’s children. Parents are the primary educators of their children, especially in the ways of virtue and prayer. Fr. Mike reminds us that it is also parents' privilege to evangelize their children. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2221-2231.
October 14th, 2023 | 20 mins 52 secs
children, duties, gratitude, kids, parents, respect
Gratitude is the proper response of children toward their parents. Out of this gratitude comes respect. When we are children at home, this respect includes “true docility and obedience.” Fr. Mike emphasizes respect for parents doesn’t expire when we leave home as adults. Grown children are responsible for caring for and supporting their parents in their old age. As Fr. Mike stresses, this can be the simple but often overlooked phone call to mom or dad. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2214-2220.
October 13th, 2023 | 18 mins 11 secs
community, family, freedom, relationships, rights, society
The family is the foundational element of society. Fr. Mike explains how families initiate us into societal life and act as the foundation of freedom and community. Because of its indispensable importance, we learn that civil authorities are responsible for supporting and honoring the family. Familial relationships also enlighten those found in society; we see our neighbor not as an anonymous individual but as “someone.” Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2207-2213.
October 12th, 2023 | 17 mins 18 secs
children, evangelization, husbands, marriage, trinity, wives
In learning the core and fundamental definition of the family, we read today that a family is formed by a “man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children.” The Christian family is a communion of faith, hope, and love and an image of the Trinity. Fr. Mike shares how important he believes friendship and family are in spreading the Good News of the Gospel. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2201-2206.