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 57: Consequences of Adam’s Sin (2024)

    February 26th, 2024  |  15 mins 34 secs
    adam, concupiscence, eve, human nature, original sin, personal sin

    Fr. Mike examines the consequences of the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve. He discusses that even though they committed a personal sin, it affected all of human nature. As Fr. Mike states, “Original sin broke the world.” Additionally, we explore the idea that although we are good, we are still broken. Fr. Mike also discusses how each and every one of us has an inclination towards evil and sin known as concupiscence. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 402-406.

  • Day 56: Man’s First Sin (2024)

    February 25th, 2024  |  20 mins 57 secs
    adam, eve, original sin, sin, the fall

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we explore the nature of man’s first sin or our “freedom put to the test.” Fr. Mike unpacks the importance of us understanding that freedom is not the power to “do what we want,” but rather, the power to “do what I ought.” Though the story of the first sin is that of our first parents, Fr. Mike emphasizes that we still repeat the grave error of the first sin in our own lives by preferring our own perceived “goods” over the “goods” of our Creator and Father in heaven. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 396-401.

  • Day 55: The Fall of the Angels (2024)

    February 24th, 2024  |  18 mins 43 secs
    angels, creation, disobedience, fall, fallen angels, satan

    Fr. Mike explores the fall of the angels, and how their fall leads to our own “fall into death out of envy.” Together, we examine what caused some of the angels to fall, whether it be pride or envy, and how it affects humanity's reality within creation. Fr. Mike concludes with a commentary on the mystery of why Divine Providence permits evil and the actions of the fallen angels. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 391-395.

  • Day 54: The Fall of Man (2024)

    February 23rd, 2024  |  19 mins 2 secs
    adam and eve, evil, evil in the world, fall of man, moral evil, mystery of lawlessness, original sin, paragraph 7, reality of sin, sin, the fall, where sin abounds

    The Catechism introduces us to the Fall, beginning with the reality of sin and the mystery of evil. Fr. Mike highlights the fact that sin is not “a developmental flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure,” but it is man saying, “not your will, but mine be done” to God. Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 385-390.

  • Day 53: Man in Paradise (2024)

    February 22nd, 2024  |  16 mins 17 secs
    adam and eve, concupiscence, friendship with god, harmony with creation, in brief, in-brief, labor, leisure, love, mastery of self, original justice, original sin, the garden, work

    In the beginning, humans were in friendship with God and in harmony with creation. The Catechism unfolds this harmony and introduces us to the “original justice” that our first parents lost in sin. Fr. Mike reminds us that, although our original callings to leisure, love, and labor have been twisted by sin, they are renewed in Christ. Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 374-384.

  • Day 52: Male and Female (2024)

    February 21st, 2024  |  15 mins 23 secs
    bone of my bones, complementarity, difference, equality, father, feminine, flesh of my flesh, god’s image, helper, helpmate, husband, made for each other, male and female, masculine, men and women, mother, sexism, wife

    The Catechism teaches about God’s plan and design for men and women—male and female—and their equality, complementarity, dignity, and destiny. Fr. Mike shows us how men and women can be both complete in themselves and yet made “for each other.” Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 369-373.

  • Day 51: Unity of Soul and Body (2024)

    February 20th, 2024  |  16 mins 52 secs
    body and soul, body soul unity, corporeal, dualism, dualist, hylomorphic, image of god, spirit, spirit and matter, spiritual

    The soul and the body “are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature.” The Catechism introduces us to this profound mystery and begins to unpack our nature as a body and as a soul. Fr. Mike shows us how so much pain and confusion in modern times—and indeed throughout history—stems from an attempt to separate these two inseparable parts of our being. Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 362-368.

  • Day 50: The Dignity of Man (2024)

    February 19th, 2024  |  16 mins 29 secs
    brethren, charity, communion, dignity of life, dignity of man, friendship of god, god created man, human race, image of god, imago dei, male and female, man, paragraph 6, racism, self-knowledge, self-possession, sexism, solidarity, unity of persons

    “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). The Catechism teaches us about man’s God-given dignity and unique place in creation. Fr. Mike explains the unity that exists between all persons, and how this necessitates a “law of human solidarity and charity.” Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 355-361.

  • Day 49: We Are Created For Worship (2024)

    February 18th, 2024  |  20 mins 13 secs
    creation, creatures, earth, heaven, rest, sabbath, worship

    There is a solidarity among all of God’s creatures because all are oriented to give glory to God. We learn that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day, sanctifying it and blessing it. Fr. Mike tells us that all creatures were made with a view to the Sabbath, created for the worship and adoration of God. We are all called to the sacred task of worshiping God and nothing else should take precedence over it. We end with an “In Brief” review of all we have learned in recent sessions about the physical world, the spiritual world, angels, and creation. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 344-354.

  • Day 48: Creation in Order (2024)

    February 17th, 2024  |  18 mins 59 secs
    corporeal, creation, creatures, dominion, earth, heaven, hierarchy, human beings, interdependence, stewardship, universe, visible

    God created all of the visible world in richness, diversity, and order, and everything owes its existence to God. Because all of creation comes from God, every creature has its own goodness and perfection and God wills the interdependence of all creatures. Father Mike helps us to see that God gave us the world for our use, but not for our abuse. Human beings are made in the image and likeness of God and we are charged with caring for the natural world and all of its creatures. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 337-343.

  • Day 47: The Angels (2024)

    February 16th, 2024  |  17 mins 58 secs
    angels, church, corporeal, creation, creatures, earth, gloria, heaven, intercession, jesus christ, liturgy, saints, spiritual, spiritual world, worship

    The angels belong to Christ as they were made through him and for him, and he has made them messengers of his saving plan. We learn that angels have been present throughout the history of salvation, and the life of Christ is surrounded by the adoration and service of angels. Fr. Mike explains how in the liturgy, we join the angels in praising God, and all of human life is surrounded by angels’ care and protection. He reminds us that all angels and saints have the power to intercede for us before God. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 331-336.

  • Day 46: Heaven and Earth (2024)

    February 15th, 2024  |  18 mins 12 secs
    angels, corporeal, creation, earth, heaven, spiritual, spiritual world

    God created heaven and earth — all that we see and all that we don’t see. We learn that the earth is filled with men and many things we can see, but our faith tells us that there are many things on earth that we cannot see, including the presence of God and angels. Fr. Mike explains how human beings are spiritual and corporeal creatures, but angels are immortal, purely spiritual creatures. He tells us more about the role of angels and how, possessing intellect and will, they too are created to glorify God. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 325-330.

  • Day 45: Summary of Creation (2024)

    February 14th, 2024  |  13 mins 45 secs
    creation, creator, evil, sacrifice, suffering, surrender, transform, trust, universe

    In this “In Brief” section of the Catechism, we review that only God has the power to create, that is, to call into existence something from nothing. God made man and the entire universe as a manifestation of his love, and he keeps the world and all of us in existence by his will. Fr. Mike discusses one of the greatest mysteries of our faith: God bringing good out of evil. He says we won’t fully understand this mystery until we are united with God in heaven. In a broken world, we are called to trust in the goodness of God. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 315-324.

  • Day 44: The Scandal of Evil (2024)

    February 13th, 2024  |  17 mins 45 secs
    brokenness, evil, fallen world, physical evil moral evil, saints, scandal of evil, sin, suffering

    If God is a good Father and creates a good world, why does evil exist? The Catechism addresses this profound and often painful question. Fr. Mike helps us understand how to reconcile sin, evil, and suffering with God’s loving Providence. He assures us that while God does not remove evil, he does redeem it, offering himself as the solution. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 309-314.

  • Day 43: Creation Is Good (2024)

    February 12th, 2024  |  20 mins 7 secs
    create, creation, divine providence, freedom, god creates, good, goodness of creation, human nature, order, primary causey, salvation, secondary causes, universe, world

    How does God create? We read today about the reality that God creates an ordered and good world. Moreover, he is continually present in his creation, upholding and sustaining it. We also learn that God grants human beings the dignity of being causes, giving us the incredible power to share in his Divine Providence freely. Finally, Fr. Mike reminds us that because we can participate in God’s plan, our suffering is not meaningless. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 299-308.

  • Day 42: The Work of Creation (2024)

    February 11th, 2024  |  17 mins 47 secs
    creation, existence, gods create, holy trinity, love, recreation, trinity, world

    Why did God create? The Catechism today gives us a glimpse into the reason for our existence as we learn about God’s marvelous work of creation. Fr. Mike emphasizes that creation is ultimately a work of the Holy Trinity and a work of love that reveals the glory of God. He also reminds us that creation is not a work of the past; God is constantly forming and breathing new life into our lives and hearts. Today we read Catechism paragraphs 290-298.