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 356: We Dare to Say

    December 22nd, 2023  |  21 mins 39 secs
    children of god, father, filial boldness, god’s children, holy spirit, humility, prayer, son, the lord’s prayer, the our father

    When we pray the Our Father, we are invited to pray with “filial boldness” as children of God. Fr. Mike emphasizes that we are God’s adopted sons and daughters, and so because of that, we are able to call him “Abba, Father.” He also emphasizes that because of this adoption we are called to “continual conversion and new life.” Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2777-2785.

  • Day 355: Summary of the Lord’s Prayer

    December 21st, 2023  |  9 mins 19 secs
    father, god, good father, prayer, the lord’s prayer, the our father

    The In-Brief, or the “nugget day”, for the article on the Lord’s Prayer, emphasizes that understanding the identity of God is essential when it comes to our relationship with God. God is not a tyrant or dictator. He is our good Father. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2773-2776.

  • Day 354: The Prayer of the Church

    December 20th, 2023  |  15 mins 19 secs
    anaphora, article 1, article one, baptism, christian prayer, communion, confirmation, divine office, eighteen benedictions, epiclesis, eschatological character, eucharist, eucharistic liturgy, eucharistic prayer, filial prayer, holy spirit, how we pray, liturgical prayer, oratio dominica, our father, part 4, part four, section 2, section two, spirit and life, st john chrysostom, the lords prayer, the prayer of the church, traditio

    Through the Catechism, we learn more about the Lord’s Prayer and how it should be included in our personal prayers as well as in community during the liturgy of the Mass. In giving us the Our Father, Jesus models how we are to use this prayer to speak directly with the Father. Fr. Mike drives home that we receive the words to pray and also receive the Holy Spirit when saying this prayer. Together, the words and the Holy Spirit enable us to pray like Christ and become more like him. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2765-2772.

  • Day 353: The Lord’s Prayer “Our Father”

    December 19th, 2023  |  16 mins 18 secs
    apostolic constitutions, article 1, article one, at the center of the scriptures, byzantine tradition, christian prayer, didache, disciples, doxology, good news, how we pray, our father, part 4, part four, roman missal, section 2, section two, st augustine, st luke, st matthew, st thomas aquinas, the lords prayer, the sermon on the mount, the summary of the whole gospel

    Diving into the Lord’s Prayer, we look at the origin, meaning, and significance of this prayer. The Catechism reveals the Our Father as “the summary of the whole Gospel” as it includes all that we believe. Fr. Mike helps us understand that this prayer focuses our hearts on the Father and prioritizes our desires. As we begin this prayer in the Father’s name, we know who we are addressing, and we know we can trust the Lord as our Father. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2759-2764.

  • Day 352: Summary of The Battle of Prayer

    December 18th, 2023  |  14 mins 22 secs
    battle of prayer, chapter 3, chapter three, christian prayer, filial trust, how we pray, humility, in brief, nugget, nuggets, part 4, part four, perseverance, pray, prayer and christian life are inseparable, prayer in the christian life, prayer is a vital necessity, prayer of the hour of jesus, priestly prayer, relationship, section 1, section one, spiritual battle, summary, the life of prayer, trust

    Fr. Mike reviews this section of the Catechism, summarizing the battle of prayer and the prayer of the hour of Jesus. We are reminded that prayer is active, and we must engage in grace. The Catechism goes on to state that, “We pray as we live because we live as we pray.” In this, we see that God meets us where we are and wants us to pray always. Finally, Jesus’ prayer to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane exemplifies humility, filial trust, honesty, and perseverance; modeling how we are to pray to the Father. Today’s readings are paragraphs 2752-2758.

  • Day 351: The Prayer of the Hour of Jesus

    December 17th, 2023  |  15 mins 20 secs
    article 3, article three, chapter 3, chapter three, christian prayer, his hour, how we pray, john, our father, pantocrator, part 4, part four, philippians, pray, prayer in the christian life, prayer of our high priest, priestly prayer of jesus, relationship, sacrificial prayer, section 1, section one, the life of prayer, the prayer of the hour of jesus

    Looking at the prayer of the Hour of Jesus, we learn from the Catechism that it “embraces the whole economy of creation and salvation, as well as his death and Resurrection.” This prayer summarizes everything: “God and the world; the Word and the flesh; eternal life and time; the love that hands itself over and the sin that betrays it; the disciples present and those who will believe in him by their word; humiliation and glory. It is the prayer of unity.” Fr. Mike reiterates that this prayer from the Son to the Father allows us to pray as sons and daughters of Christ and give glory to the Father. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2746-2751.

  • Day 350: Persevering in Prayer

    December 16th, 2023  |  16 mins 13 secs
    article 2, article two, chapter 3, chapter three, christian prayer, evagrius ponticus, filial trust, giver, how is our prayer efficacious, how we pray, it is always possible to pray, love, origen, part 4, part four, persevering in love, pray, prayer and christian life are inseparable, prayer in the christian life, prayer is a vital necessity, relationship, section 1, section one, st alphonsus liguori, st john chrysostom, st paul, the battle of prayer, the life of prayer

    The Catechism teaches about the effectiveness of prayer and how to persevere in prayer. Fr. Mike explains that although God already knows what we need before we ask, he wants us to pray, and he extends us dignity by allowing us to pray and ask for what we need. In the process of prayer, we are able to learn the heart of the Father, grow closer to him, and become more like him. The Catechism goes on to state that when it comes to prayer, it is always possible, a vital necessity, and inseparable from the Christian life. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2738-2745.

  • Day 349: Temptation, Trust, and Prayer

    December 15th, 2023  |  21 mins 19 secs
    complaining, faith, humility, prayer, priorities, trust

    What motivates our prayer? Do we see God as our “divine genie,” or do we look to him as our Father? We learn that the most common temptation in prayer is a lack of faith. Another major temptation is acedia or sloth. In the face of these temptations of presumption and discouragement, we must respond with filial trust in God our Father, the giver of all good gifts. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2732-2737.

  • Day 348: The Battle of Prayer

    December 14th, 2023  |  25 mins 41 secs
    battle, failure, grace, grit, humility, love, prayer

    Prayer is "grace and grit," as Fr. Mike phrases it. In this section, one of Fr. Mike's favorites in the Catechism, we hear that "we pray as we live because we live as we pray." This living and praying is a battle in which we must confront our failures and accept the Holy Spirit's grace and aid. Prayer requires humility, trust, and perseverance on our part. In this struggle, we must battle against distraction, ourselves, dryness, and temptation. Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 2725-2731.

  • Day 347: Contemplative Prayer

    December 13th, 2023  |  19 mins 28 secs
    contemplation, friends, prayer, silence, solitude

    In contemplative prayer, we seek Jesus. As St. Teresa of Avila put it, contemplative prayer “is nothing else than a close sharing between friends.” The Catechism tells us this form of prayer is a gift, a covenant, and a communion. Further, it is a silent gaze “fixed on Jesus.” In this episode, Fr. Mike helps us better understand this intimate form of prayer. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2709-2724.

  • Day 346: Meditation and Vocal Prayer

    December 12th, 2023  |  17 mins 2 secs
    heart, humility, meditation, prayer, self, voice

    Because man is both body and spirit, our prayers can be vocal and meditative. We learn that vocal prayer expresses the movements of our hearts and minds, enabling us to pray with the fullness of our being. Another form of prayer is meditation, which the Catechism tells us is “above all a quest.” In meditation, we employ our thoughts, imagination, and emotions to deepen our union with Christ. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2700-2708.

  • Day 345: Animated by Prayer

    December 11th, 2023  |  14 mins 30 secs
    forgetful, heart, pilgrimage, place, prayer, remember

    We know we can pray anywhere at any time, yet certain places are more favorable for prayer. There are also certain rhythms of prayer in the life of the Church that foster regular attention to the Lord. As Fr. Mike emphasizes with the Catechism, we can’t pray always “if we don’t pray at specific times.” Today Fr. Mike encourages us to find our place and time for prayer. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2691-2699.

  • Day 344: Guides for Prayer

    December 10th, 2023  |  18 mins 9 secs
    catechesis, family, guides of prayer, holiness, how to pray, learning to pray, prayer, prayer groups, prayer life, praying, priests, religious, saints, teachers of prayer

    We are lifelong learners in the school of prayer. The Church offers various guides to help us grow and cultivate our prayer lives. These include the family, the saints, priests, religious brothers and sisters, prayer groups, spiritual directors, and more. These individuals and communities teach us to pray in different ways and inspire us to persevere in prayer. Fr. Mike invites us to reflect on how God calls us to lead others in the Faith. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2683-2690.

  • Day 343: Praying Through Mary

    December 9th, 2023  |  14 mins 39 secs
    ave maria, hail mary, marian prayer, mary, mother of god, mother of jesus, praying through mary, praying to mary, rosary

    To love Mary doesn’t mean our hearts belong any less to Jesus. Today, the Catechism explains our Blessed Mother’s role in prayer and why the Catholic Church prays in communion with her. We also explore the origin behind the Hail Mary prayer and other prayers to Mary throughout the Church’s history. Lastly, Fr. Mike reflects on the tenderness and strength of Mary’s motherhood that carries us through the difficulties of our lives. By uniting our prayer to her prayer, we unite our trust with her perfect “Fiat.” Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2673-2682.

  • Day 342: Trinitarian Prayer

    December 8th, 2023  |  18 mins 42 secs
    come holy spirit, invoking the name of jesus, prayer, prayer to jesus, prayer to the father, prayer to the holy spirit, praying, the holy name jesus, the name of jesus, the way of prayer, trinitarian prayer

    What is the significance of praying to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? As we explore the path of prayer, the Catechism elaborates on the concept of trinitarian prayer and underscores the importance of establishing a relationship with each member of the Holy Trinity. Fr. Mike emphasizes that Christ is the focal point of Christian prayer, and he underscores the profound power of invoking the name of Jesus, as it represents his very presence. Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 2663-2672.

  • Day 341: The Theological Virtues

    December 7th, 2023  |  13 mins 58 secs
    article 1, article one, at the wellsprings of prayer, chapter 2, chapter two, christian prayer, cure of ars, curé of ars, faith, holy spirit, hope, how we pray, in brief, love, nugget, nuggets, part 4, part four, prayer, prayer in the christian life, scripture, section 1, section one, st john vianney, theological virtues, today, tradition of prayer

    The Catechism reveals the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love as additional “wellsprings” of prayer for us to connect with the Father. Fr. Mike explains that we must enter into prayer with faith, pray in hope, and love as God loves us. Fr. Mike also addresses the Catechism's view on praying in the present, not looking at the past or future. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 2656-2662.