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After a monumentally successful year running the Bible in a Year podcast in 2021, Fr. Mike Schmitz is doing it again with the sequel series, Catechism in a Year. The first week of January has not yet passed, but Catechism in a Year is already #1 among all podcasts on Apple and #2 Spotify.
Catechism in a Year, launched on January 1, 2023, presents every word of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 365 daily episodes, running about 20 minutes each. Fr. Mike Schmitz guides listeners through the often complex wording of the Catechism, while clarifying its meaning for viewers and supporting the material with prayers and reflections. The show is rounded out by a lineup of knowledgeable guests who will expand upon an episode’s topic.
Websites that chart the performance of podcasts each place the top 5 in a slightly different order, but every chart agrees that Catechism in a Year is the most listened to podcast of 2023. The other four podcasts of the top 5 include Bible in a Year, a Bible Recap show, which is unaffiliated with Schmitz or Ascension, Dateline NBC, and Crime Junkie. Chartable in particular places the three Christian podcasts in all of the top slots.
Catechism in a Year’s success is due to many factors, not least of which is the charisma and hard work of Fr. Mike Schmitz. Schmitz is a natural host, presenting complex religious concepts in terms that are easy to understand. According to Cision, a PR newswire, Schmitz has been described as “an affable 48-year-old Midwesterner who … exudes strong Ted Lasso vibes.”
Another aspect of its success is that the new podcast springboarded off the audience from Bible in a Year. This podcast quickly shot up to #1 when it was released in January 2021 and it remained popular throughout the year, earning the top spot once more in January 2022. Ascension proudly notes that the podcast had been viewed over 430 million times in those two years.
While the reports lack a specific number of how many times Catechism in a Year has been downloaded, its official Facebook group already has over 115,000 followers, suggesting the show has already has hundreds of thousands of views in the first 5 days of the year. Ascension’s president and CEO Jonathan Strate noted that the positive response to this program was unexpected in a time when the Church in the US is shrinking. He stated:
“To have a podcast about the Catechism of the Catholic Church reach #1 in the United States in all categories is an astonishing moment for the Catholic Church. It speaks to the deep longing we all have to respond to God’s plan for each one of us—a plan revealed so beautifully in the treasure that is the Catechism.”
There are already five episodes of Catechism in a Year, but listeners can expect new installments daily throughout 2023. Find the podcast in the App Store, or visit Spotify to start your educational journey into the hows and whys of Catholic practices today and in its 2000-year history.