Bishop Barron recently delivered the commencement address to the graduating class at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. The entire point of a Catholic intellectual formation is to produce great souls. A great soul doesn’t invent her own values; rather, she intuits the marvelous intellectual, moral, and aesthetic values that are found in the objective order—and then she responds to them with her whole heart.

New book >> The Wisdom of the Word: Biblical Answers to Ten Pressing Questions About Catholicism

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According to a recent Wall Street Journal headline, “Catholic Schools Are Losing Students at Record Rates, and Hundreds Are Closing.” Catholic schools peaked in the 1960s with about 5.5 million students in 11,000 schools. Today, Catholic schools boast only 1.6 million students in 5,900 schools. What explains this decline? And what can we do about it?

Bishop Barron and Brandon Vogt discuss the situation of Catholic schools, the purpose of Catholic education, and where Catholic schools should move in the future. 

A listener asks, how can we be better friends with our friends who are not Christian?

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Bishop Barron recently visited the University of St. Thomas in Houston, where he had the great privilege of preaching at their baccalaureate Mass. In his homily, shared today on the podcast, he said we must remember that the primary purpose of a Catholic university is evangelization, the proclamation of the lordship of Jesus Christ. Therefore, education must equip and form graduates to sanctify the world, so that the light of Christ can be brought into workplaces, classrooms, and trades.

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On today’s episode, Brandon Vogt and I discuss my recent conversation with Alex O’Connor (aka @CosmicSkeptic), one of the most popular atheists in the world. We replay and unpack some of the most important clips from the dialogue. (Watch the full dialogue here.)

A listener who was raised Christian, but became atheist for many years, asks advice on re-engaging with Christianity.

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Today we share the second half of Bishop Barron’s 2020 address at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, titled “Called Into the Depths.” He discussed three sailors from the Bible: the patriarch Noah, the prophet Jonah, and our Savior Jesus Christ.

The sea can be thought of as something frightening and terrifying, standing athwart the purposes of God with its unforgiving power and discouraging darkness. However, when we allow ourselves to be swallowed up by the Lord’s will, we will find a peace that is sure and unshakable, even in the midst of the worst storms.

Links

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A new Gallup survey found that the proportion of Americans who consider themselves members of a church, synagogue, or mosque has dropped below 50% for the first time in American history. In 1999, around 70% of Americans attended a church, synagogue, or mosque–today it’s just 47%. Bishop Barron and Brandon discuss these results, what they mean, and why it matters whether someone belongs to a church. They also respond to commenters on Reddit who reveal why they stopped going to church and will never go back.

A listener asks, why doesn’t the spiritual life get easier?

Links

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Today we share the first half of Bishop Barron’s 2020 address at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, titled “Called Into the Depths.” He discussed three sailors from the Bible: the patriarch Noah, the prophet Jonah, and our Savior Jesus Christ.

The sea can be thought of as something frightening and terrifying, standing athwart the purposes of God with its unforgiving power and discouraging darkness. However, when we allow ourselves to be swallowed up by the Lord’s will, we will find a peace that is sure and unshakable, even in the midst of the worst storms.

Links

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

The Word on Fire Bible series is one of the most ambitious and significant projects we’ve ever taken on. Listen as Bishop Barron and Brandon discuss where the idea came from and the future of the project. They also give you a sneak peek at Volume II of the series, which will cover Acts, Letters, and Revelation.

Support the Word on Fire Bible project and claim your copy of Volume II!

A listener asks, why doesn’t the spiritual life get easier?

Links

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!

Today we share Bishop Barron’s talk at the 2021 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress titled “Catholics, Media Mobs, and the Culture of Contempt.” The talk focuses on how to address the swell of negative and nasty behavior we’re seeing online, not just in general but especially among Catholics. 

Links

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From politics to COVID, this past year has been filled with disagreement. That led Christian apologist Natasha Crain to write an article titled “Disagreement Fatigue and 2020: How the Events of the Year Will Shape Christian Interactions in 2021 and Beyond.”

Bishop Barron and Brandon discuss the article, focusing on three of Crain’s predictions for 2021: more Christians will be hesitant to speak publicly about their faith, Christians will increasingly see apologetics as a contributor to (unhealthy) disagreement, and belief in a generic God will continue to be acceptable in culture, but belief in Jesus as God will become increasingly gauche.

A listener asks, what form was Jesus in before the incarnation?

Links

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a patron and get some great perks for helping, like free books, bonus content, and more. Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners…like you! So be part of this mission, and join us today!