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 142: The New Heaven and the New Earth (2024)

    May 21st, 2024  |  15 mins 58 secs
    creation, end of time, fullness of time, kingdom of god, last judgment, new earth, new heaven, redemption of creation

    What will happen to humanity and the entire universe at the end of time? Fr. Mike shares with us the joyous hope of the new heaven and the new earth that awaits us after the Last Judgment. We learn that “at the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness,” and all of creation will be redeemed and renewed. There will be no more weeping, mourning, nor pain, for death shall be no more. Fr. Mike invites us to hold on to this hope as we struggle on this side of heaven and await this great promise. Today’s Catechism readings are paragraphs 1042-1050.

  • Day 141: The Last Judgment (2024)

    May 20th, 2024  |  16 mins 39 secs
    conversion, end of time, end times, eternity, final judgment, judging souls, last judgment, resurrection

    We delve into the cosmic event that will take place at the end of time known as the Last Judgment. Fr. Mike explains the difference between the Last Judgment and our particular judgment at the time of our death. We learn that the Last Judgment will reveal the consequences of all our actions and how God’s justice triumphs over all the injustices we’ve committed and suffered. Fr. Mike emphasizes that the message of the Last Judgment is ultimately one of hope and conversion. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1038-1041.

  • Day 140: Purgatory and Hell (2024)

    May 19th, 2024  |  21 mins 15 secs
    death, eternal fire, eternity, gehenna, hell, holiness, purgatory, purification, salvation, sanctification

    Why do purgatory and hell exist? The Catechism teaches us today about the existence and the meaning of purgatory and hell. We learn that purgatory is a transitional state of purification while hell is the state of permanent separation from God. Fr. Mike reminds us that nobody drifts into heaven because “we cannot be united to God unless we freely choose to love him.” Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1030-1037.

  • Day 139: I Believe in Life Everlasting (2024)

    May 18th, 2024  |  18 mins 12 secs
    death, heaven, hell, judgment, particular judgment

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we explore what happens to us at and after the moment of our death. We examine the importance of understanding that the Christian, who unites his death with Christ Jesus, takes a step towards Christ in everlasting life. Fr. Mike emphasizes that we have an active choice in our journey to our Father in heaven. We should not simply desire Heaven, but actively choose it. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1020-1029.

  • Day 138: Summary of the Resurrection of the Body (2024)

    May 17th, 2024  |  14 mins 48 secs
    christian vision of death, death, dying, happy death, hour of death, resurrection, st. joseph

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we arrive at the “nugget day” or summary for the Catechism paragraphs on the Resurrection and the Christian vision of death. Fr. Mike emphasizes that in the face of death, we must not grieve as though we have no hope. He also points out the importance of preparing for the hour of our death. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 1012-1019.

  • Day 137: Dying in Christ Jesus (2024)

    May 16th, 2024  |  16 mins 56 secs
    christian death, conquer death, death, dying, dying in christ

    Fr. Mike examines the mystery of death and dying in Christ. Together, we explore the reality that in order to live with Christ, we must first die with Christ. Fr. Mike emphasizes that Christ accepted death in an act of free and complete submission to God’s will, and how we can follow that example by completely accepting God’s will in our own lives. Today’s readings from the Catechism are paragraphs 1005-1011.

  • Day 136: Questions of Resurrection (2024)

    May 15th, 2024  |  15 mins 4 secs
    body, resurrection, resurrection of body, resurrection of dead, soul

    Together, with Fr. Mike, we unpack some of the questions surrounding the resurrection of the dead. The Catechism clarifies who, how, and when each person will rise from the dead, body and soul. We also examine how we are already somewhat in participation with Christ’s death and resurrection through our Baptism. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 997-1004.

  • Day 135: The Resurrection of the Body (2024)

    May 14th, 2024  |  14 mins 21 secs
    body, resurrection, resurrection of body, resurrection of the dead, soul

    Fr. Mike explores the essential element of Christian Faith that we “look forward to the resurrection of the dead.” We examine how this belief in the resurrection of the dead means that both our mortal soul and our mortal body will come to life again, that eventually every single human being will get their body back. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 988-996.

  • Day 134: The Forgiveness of Sins (2024)

    May 13th, 2024  |  17 mins 14 secs
    apostles creed, article 10, baptism, concupiscence, confession, forgiveness of sins, grace of baptism, i believe in the forgiveness of sins, in brief, inclination towards evil, nugget day, one baptism, power of the keys, power to forgive sins, reconciliation, repentance, sacrament of penance

    The Catechism provides an overview on how Jesus grants the Church the ability to forgive sins through both Baptism and the sacrament of Reconciliation. Fr. Mike doubles down on the revelation that there is no sin that Jesus can’t forgive—and no one is disqualified. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 976-987.

  • Day 133: Devotion to Mary (2024)

    May 12th, 2024  |  12 mins 45 secs
    annunciation, assumption, blessed virgin, bvm, call me blessed, devotion to mary, doulia, dulia, fiat, hyperdoulia, hyperdulia, icon of the church, in brief, latria, magnficat, mary, mother of god, mother of the church, new eve, virgin mary

    When we show devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, we fulfill her prophecy that “all generations will call me blessed.” The Catechism clearly shows us how such devotion does not compete with devotion to God, but in fact fosters adoration of God. Fr. Mike declares that the better we know Mary, the better we know Jesus, and the more we love Mary, the more we love Jesus. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 971-975.

  • Day 132: Mary Mother of the Church (2024)

    May 11th, 2024  |  16 mins 4 secs
    advocate, annunciation, assumption, benefactress, blessed mother, bvm, dormition, helper, immaculate virgin, intercession, mary, mediation of christ, mediatrix, mother of christ, mother of god, mother of men, mother of the church, one mediator, order of grace, sole mediator, theotokos, type, typus, virgin mary

    Earlier in the Catechism, we unpacked Mary as the Mother of Jesus. Now, we look at what it means for Mary to be the Mother of the Church. Fr. Mike makes it clear that, when he entrusts his disciples to Mary, his Mother, from the Cross, he’s entrusting us to her as well. Today’s readings are from Catechism paragraphs 963-970.

  • Day 131: The Communion of the Church (2024)

    May 10th, 2024  |  16 mins 16 secs
    2 maccabees, 3 states, church militant, church suffering, church triumphant, communion of the church, communion of the church of heaven and earth, communion with the dead, communion with the saints, in brief, in the one family of god, intercession of the saints, mystical body of christ, nugget day, people of god, pilgrims on earth, second maccabees, sleep in the peace of christ, spiritual goods, three states of the church

    The Catechism further unpacks the communion of saints and shows us how the Church lives in communion with those members who have passed on to eternal life with Christ in heaven. If you’re listening to this podcast and you’re not Catholic—or if you still have questions about the communion of saints—Fr. Mike has a word for you. This is your family, interceding on your behalf that you might receive the fullness of Faith here on earth. Today’s readings are from Catechism paragraphs 954-962.

  • Day 130: The Communion of Saints (2024)

    May 9th, 2024  |  16 mins 2 secs
    all suffer together, assembly of saints, communion in charity, communion in the faith, communion of charisms, communion of goods, communion of saints, communion of the sacraments, everything in common, god’s holy gifts, god’s holy people, holy catholic church, manifestation of the spirit, paragraph 5, rejoice together, riches of christ, sacraments, sancta, sancti, sanctorum communio, solidarity, special graces

    The Catechism begins Paragraph 5 and dives into the communion of saints. This communion is “in holy things (sancta)” and “among holy persons (sancti).” Fr. Mike emphasizes that “the least of our acts done in charity redounds to the profit of all.” At the same time, every sin hurts every single member of the Church. No one is an island—we belong to each other. Today’s readings are Catechism paragraphs 946-953.

  • Day 129: Many Vocations (2024)

    May 8th, 2024  |  12 mins 46 secs
    hierarchy, in brief, institution, laity, pope, review, surrender, unity, vocation

    This "In Brief" section reviews all that we have learned in recent episodes. In the Church, “the faithful" refers to clerics and the laity with various callings in each. Fr. Mike explains how God calls every human being to unity with him. No matter our vocations, we must surrender our lives to the Lord and participate in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly offices of Christ. Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 934-945.

  • Day 128: Unique Calls to Holiness (2024)

    May 7th, 2024  |  16 mins 44 secs
    calling, chastity, holiness, obedience, poverty, religious, secular, vocation, vows

    The Lord calls everyone to live a life of surrender, and we have been looking at the various ways God calls people to grow in holiness. Religious life includes the public profession of vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; members of secular institutes dedicate themselves to living in the world and helping to sanctify it. We also learn that those in societies of apostolic life devote themselves to a particular apostolic purpose without religious vows. These calls to holiness are gifts to the Church and the world. Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 925-933.

  • Day 127: Consecrated Life (2024)

    May 6th, 2024  |  21 mins 36 secs
    chastity, consecrated, hermits, obedience, poverty, vocation, widows

    There are many ways that God calls people to lives of holiness. Just as he calls lay people to holiness, he also calls individuals to consecrated life, including hermits, consecrated virgins, widows, and religious. In a very intentional, specific, and lifelong way, those in consecrated life commit themselves to the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Father Mike helps us see how all the different kinds of consecrated life are a great gift to the Church and the world. Despite the many ways the Lord calls his children to holiness, the goal of each human life remains the same – intimacy with Christ. Today's readings are Catechism paragraphs 914-924.