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“Laugh-out-loud clean comedy”: Confessions of a Catholic Single

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Courtesy of Erin Dooley

Erin Dooley, creator of Confessions of a Catholic Single, at Saint Therese in Alhambra, CA

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 02/15/24

The lighthearted audio sitcom tells the story of a newly widowed Catholic woman struggling to find love in Sin City.

Confessions of a Catholic Single is an audio sitcom, the story of a newly widowed Catholic woman struggling to find love in Sin City. Lighthearted and fun, the show has been compared to I Love Lucy

Season Two came out on February 14, and you can listen on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast platform. Young Adult or other church groups can use the series as a resource in their ministry, and you can reach out for a discussion guide.

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Aleteia had the chance to catch up with Confessions of a Catholic Single creator Erin Dooley. Here is our conversation.

What a fun idea for a series! What inspired its creation?

As a Catholic single myself, I’ve had many conversations with friends who are in the same boat and shared a lot of funny stories. It seemed like too good of material to not put into a show to make others laugh! Beyond the laughter, I also wanted to create a show where characters take their faith seriously but aren’t curmudgeons, as a way to inspire other faithful to live out their faith in every part of their lives — even their love life!

What were some of the hardest and most fun parts of the process of putting it together from an idea to the final published audio sitcom?

The most fun is definitely being in the recording sessions with the actors. Hearing the stories come to life through their talent is so much fun! Especially great are the jewels that just come out in the moment that weren’t scripted. There is a scene with Agnes and Florence in Episode 3 that has come to be a moment that never fails to crack me up. It only happened once I heard the two actresses feeding off each other in the moment. It felt like the Holy Spirit was moving—and the Spirit also likes to laugh! 

The hardest this season was perhaps the timing. Our lead actress was moving and there was a miscommunication on the date of the move, so we only had a few days in which to record. We had been saying a novena to St. Cecilia that week to help us with the podcast and wouldn’t you know, five people with busy schedules were actually all free the weekend before the actress flew out! We recorded the bulk of the seven episodes over three days. Thank you, St. Cecilia!

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Is any of it based on real experiences?

I was previously married for 12 years, so the idea of re-entering the dating world after such a long time in a city not known for being a bastion of faith (Los Angeles in my case, but Las Vegas in the show) is based on my life. There are a number of moments, big and small, in both seasons that are based in reality. One joke in Episode 5 is a mash up of something that happened when the two lead actresses and I had been out at a networking event together mixed with a family story. I joke around a lot in real life so I write down humorous anecdotes that will be good to use; I already have a document started with jokes for Season 3!

What can listeners learn from the series?

If listeners aren’t familiar with the corporal works of mercy, they will at least learn the names from the titles of each episode. Overall, I hope they can learn the beauty of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and be encouraged to go back. In Season 1, it was only the main character Cecilia going to Confession each episode, but in Season 2 all the main characters enter the confessional — even the priest. 

Something a little different in this season is how Cecilia being a widow plays out. It didn’t play as big of a role in Season 1 but it’s front and center this season. This season doesn’t give an answer so much as I think it poses the question of how to incorporate grief and loss into your life — both when you are the one who lost someone and when you are on the other side, loving someone who lost someone.

Any suggested topics for discussion after listening?

I have a discussion guide for the series that is a free resource for groups, like young adult groups. Group leaders can reach out to me for this. For each episode, there is a question about how listeners can live out that episode’s corporal work of mercy into their lives. There are also questions about relationships lifted from that episode for listeners to ponder.

For instance, in Agnes’ story line, she takes time to reflect on becoming the best version of herself before she starts dating again. In doing so, she gets closer to God and her faith. Listeners can reflect on their own lives and how they can invite God into those moments.

What is the most important thing you want people to know about Confessions of a Catholic Single?

I would want people to listen to it for themselves and enjoy! A priest who listened to the series compared it to I Love Lucy and said it was “laugh-out-loud clean comedy.” I hope that listening to the series can bring some fun to people’s lives. There is a lot of entertainment with questionable references and jokes, but this is a series that even my daily-Mass-going mom can listen to!

Tags:
Catholic LifestyleHumorPodcastsSingles
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