Podcasts: 2012

'America' in the 21st Century

Matt Malone, S.J., talks about his vision for America as he begins his tenure as Editor in Chief. Fr. Malone served for two years as an associate editor, from 2007-2009, when he covered foreign policy and domestic politics. He was the recipient of the 2006 first place Catholic Press Association award for essay writing. Earlier in his career, Fr. Malone served as deputy director of MassINC, an independent political think tank, and co-publisher of CommonWealth, an award-winning review of politics, ideas and civic life.

December 24 Podcast

The Case for Amnesty

Fred Kammer, S.J., talks about the prospects for immigration reform and the Biblical roots of the concept of amnesty. Fr. Kammer is the executive director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans. He spoke to associate editor Luke Hansen, S.J., at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, D.C., in November 2012.
December 17, 2012

Cuba's Future

December 10 Podcast
Margaret E. Crahan discusses the complex nature of Cuban society and the greater role the Catholic Church is playing in the country's evolution. She also talks about Latin American policy under President Obama. Professor Crahan is senior researcher at the Institute of Latin American Studies at Columbia University.

Out of Syria

November 26-December 3 Podcast
Daniel G. Groody, C.S.C., reports on his visits to camps for Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and elsewhere. Fr. Groody traveled with a delegation from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services, which issued this report on their visit. Fr. Groody's article for America on the visit can be found here.

The Catholic Candidates

October 29 Podcast
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Joel K. Goldstein, a respected scholar of the vice presidency, analyzes the debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan. Goldstein talks about how the debates have shaped the office of the vice presidency, and the history of Catholic vice-presidential candidates. There were 8 in all (if you count Biden twice), and they helped diversify their respective parties, starting with John F. Kennedy in 1956, who didn't win a spot on the ticket but openly campaigned for it at the convention.

Big Bang, Big Questions

October 15 Podcast
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What are the origins of human consciousness? Can science and evolution explain human development, or do we need to look to other sources to understand the depths of human intelligence? How does one respond to Richard Dawkins and others who argue for an exclusively scientific explanation of human nature? Father Brendan Purcell tackles these questions and many more in his new book From Big Bang to Big Mystery: Human Origins in the Light of Creation and Evolution. He spoke to Tim Reidy during a visit to New York. Father Purcell is Adjunct Professor in the School of Philosophy at Notre Dame University, Sydney, Australia.

A New Role for Women?

October 1 Podcast
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The Most Rev. Emil A. Wcela, a retired auxiliary bishop from the Diocese of Rockville Center, Long Island, talks about new developments in Rome that may allow for the ordination of women to the diaconate. Associate Editor Kerry Weber spoke to Bishop Wcela from Garden City, New York. Bishop Wcela's article on the subject, "Why Not Women," appears in the October 1 issue. Bishop Wcela served as president of the Catholic Biblical Association in 1989-90. He also served on the Pastoral Practices, Liturgy and Doctrine committees and the Translations subcommittee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Young, Hip, Catholic

Special Podcast
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First-time author Matt Weber talks about his new book, Fearing the Stigmata: Humorously Holy Stories of a Young Catholic's Search for a Culturally Relevant Faith. Matt is the New and Social Media Officer for the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he hosts the Harvard EdCast, a podcast featuring interviews with leaders in the field of education. Matt also hosts the popular television segment “A Word with Weber” on CatholicTV’s flagship newsmagazine show “Clearvoice”. He is also the younger brother of our associate editor Kerry Weber.

The Case for Community

July 16-23 Podcast
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In his new book Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent, E. J. Dionne Jr, seeks to reassert the importance of community in the American story. In this conversation, Dionne explains why the term "community" is more vexed than "liberty," why it's a mistake to mythologize our country's founding and how the Catholic tradition can help counter the increasing emphases on individualism in American political discourse. E. J. Dionne Jr. is a University Professor at Georgetown University and a columnist for the Washington Post.

Visit the Prisoner

July 2-9 Podcast
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Kerry Weber talks with Kathryn Getek Soltis, an assistant professor of Christian ethics and the director of the Center for Peace and Justice Education at Villanova University. Prof. Soltis wrote her dissertation on a virtue ethics approach to justice looking at the reform of the America prison. She has also served as Catholic Chaplain at Suffolk County House of Correction in Boston. Read Kerry Weber's article on Catholic ministry at San Quentin state prison in California.

A Catholic Look at 'Mad Men'

Special Podcast
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Is Megan a better fit for Don than Betty? Why did Joan do what she did? Why did Peggy leave Sterling Cooper? How does music inform the series? Does Pete have any morals at all? Are Roger and Don friends, enemies or frenemies? And the big question: Where is God in all this? James Martin, S.J., and Tim Reidy discuss Season 5 of AMC's "Mad Men."

A Man for All Seasons

Mark Shriver describes the faith that sustained his father, Sargent Shriver, through a long political career that included key posts in the Kennedy administration and work with the Peace Corps, the War on Poverty and the Special Olympics. Mark Shriver's new book, A Good Man, has just been published by Henry Holt. Mark is pictured at right with his father.
June 18-25, 2012 Podcast

Mere Heresy

June 4-11 Podcast
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New York Times columnist Ross Douthat tells the story of how Christian orthodoxy found a home in the United States, and how the last 50 years has a seen a national turn toward "heresy." Talking about his new book, Bad Religion, he describes notable trends in the Catholic Church, including what he sees as a diminishment of Catholic public witness due to internal squabbling. He also explains his choice of the word accommodationist to describe liberal Christianity, a term some have found troublesome, and talks about being a Catholic public intellectual working in the secular media.

Architecture as Catechesis

May 28 Podcast
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Arthur J. Sikula talks with associate editor Kerry Weber about church architecture as a form of both controversy and catechesis. Sikula, a liturgical architect, was a member of the task force that prepared "Built of Living Stones," the U.S. bishops' document which details guidelines for the relationship between church art, architecture, and worship.

From the President's Office

May 14 Podcast
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John P. Schlegel, S.J., and Leo J. O'Donovan, S.J., both served long tenures as presidents of Jesuit colleges. For our annual Jesuit education issue, they talk about the challenges facing Catholic colleges in a pluralistic society and how the implementation of Ex corde ecclesia affected the way Jesuit schools think about their Catholic identity. Fr. Schlegel, left, the current president and publisher of America, is the past president of the University of San Francisco and Creighton University. Fr. O'Donovan served as president of Georgetown University.

'The Other America' Then and Now

When The Other America was published in 1962, Michael Harrington only expected it to sell a few thousand copies. The book, a study of the "invisible" poor in America, went on to become a national bestseller and helped shape the government's War on Poverty. Here Thomas Landy of the College of the Holy Cross explains the impact of The Other America, and why we need someone like Harrington today. Holy Cross recently convened a conference on the legacy of Harrington's seminal book. An audio archive of the talks can be found here. This podcast includes excerpts from the remarks delivered by Maurice Isserman, Harrington's biographer.
May 7, 2012 Podcast

A Priest Behind the Iron Curtain

April 30 Podcast
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James Martin, S.J., joins Tim Reidy for a discussion of Walter Ciszek's With God in Russia, which chronicles the imprisonment of an American Jesuit in the Soviet Union. The Vatican recently gave formal approval for Fr. Ciszek's cause for canonization to proceed. The Pennsylvania-born priest spent five years in the notorious Moscow prison, Lubyanka, and later in Siberian work camps. He developed a deep reliance and belief in the providence of God, and risked his life ministering to his fellow prisoners.

A Martyr's Death

March 26 Podcast
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Associate Editor Kevin Clarke talked to Virginia Farris, a foreign policy adviser to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, shortly after the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, a Pakistani minister who was fighting the blasphemy laws in his country. Here we provide an excerpt from that interview, and an update on the promotion of Bhatti's cause as a saint and martyr.

Young Jesuit Evangelists

How do you talk to young people about the Catholic faith in a way they can understand? For the editors of The Jesuit Post, the answer lies at the intersection of faith and popular culture. In this conversation, the Jesuit scholastics Patrick Gilger, Eric Sundrup, Jim Keane and Sam Sawyer explain the genesis of The Jesuit Post and how they hope to connect to young seekers via the Web.

A Mentor's Legacy

February 20 Podcast
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In 1968, shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., John Brooks, S.J., of the College of the Holy Cross set out to recruit a group of African Americans to attend the small Catholic college in Worcester, Massachusetts. Among those he would bring to the school were Clarence Thomas and Theodore V. Wells, Jr. In the new book Fraternity, author Diane Brady follows five of the young men Fr. Brooks recruited to Holy Cross, a group that also included the respected novelist Edward P. Jones. In this panel discussion Diane Brady joins Mr. Wells, Fr. Brooks and Dr. Malcolm Joseph, class of 1971.

Assessing the Council

February 13 Podcast
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In an archive interview from the 2010 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, Richard Gaillardetz examines the successes and the still yet unrealized goals of the Second Vatican Council. Should Catholics today focus anew on implementing the Council's vision, or instead turn outward to evangelize the culture? Or perhaps, fifty years after Vatican II, is a followup council needed to address the questions--like the role of lay ministers and women in the church--not taken up by the Council fathers?

Witnesses to Injustice

January 30-February 6
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Timothy A. Byrnes talks about his new book Reverse Mission, which looks at three religious communities and the unique ways they have shaped U.S. foreign policy. Byrnes, a professor of political science at Colgate University and a panelist on the Ivory Tower Half Hour, focuses here on the story of the six Jesuits who were killed in El Salvador by military forces and the coordinated response of Jesuits in the United States.

The Continuing Mission

Special Podcast
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There’s been a change of leadership this month at Catholic Relief Services, the relief and development arm of the U.S. Catholic Church, but will that mean a change of direction? Kevin Clarke recently spoke with Catholic Relief Services new CEO Carolyn Woo. Ms. Woo comes to CRS after a lengthy tenure as dean of The University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business. View a slideshow highlighting the work of CRS.

Children in Wartime

January 16-23 Podcast
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This week we spoke with Mary Meehan, a freelance writer and public speaker, who is sought after to give talks about life issues at universities and other locations across the country. Her recent article for America, "In Harm's Way," looks at the effects of war on children, both born and unborn. Mary spoke to us by phone from her home in Maryland. Her writing and reporting on life issues can be found at meehanreports.com.