Bishop Barron covered Pope Francis’ recent visit to America for NBC. In this episode, he and Brandon Vogt reflect on four Americans the Pope mentioned in his speech to Congress: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:58 – Pope Francis’ historic visit to America
  • 2:05 – What is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy today?
  • 4:49 – The importance of King’s non-violence
  • 6:23 – The best example of non-violence in the last half-century
  • 8:06 – Why did Pope Francis lift up Abraham Lincoln as a model?
  • 12:09 – Dorothy Day’s “both/and” Catholicism
  • 16:54 – The key to making peace and justice concrete
  • 19:32 – Is it significant that Pope Francis chose fairly flawed figures to lift up?
  • 22:02 – Who was Thomas Merton and how did he influence Bishop Barron?
  • 25:19 – Why Thomas Merton remains important today
  • 28:39 – How Pope Francis pushed Catholic books onto the Amazon bestseller list
  • 28:58 – What was Merton’s best book?
  • 29:40 – How can Merton help evangelize secular people today?
  • 32:37 – Bishop Barron’s recommended books on each of the four heroes

Bonus Links


Click to enlarge! Find more graphics at


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

12 comments on “WOF 001: Pope Francis and His Four American Heroes

  1. Ndimu Dec 15, 2015

    Quite interesting presentation. Thanks. The four people Pope Francis mentioned were special and yet very ordinary with flaws like me.This shows that I can aspire to do God’s bidding even with my flaws and still make a difference in the world

  2. Fastest half hour history lesson ever! Love this new medium from Word on Fire and look forward to next weeks. There should be an Amazon Smile link next to the book suggestions so that Word on Fire gets a much deserved commission for the increase in book sales!

  3. Anne Cusack Dec 15, 2015

    I do not have an IPhone, only an IPad (Apple). The explanation on how to subscribe was too difficult for me even if I did have the Phone.

    Guess I will do streaming.

    Thanks, Anne Cusack

  4. Caroline Routson Dec 15, 2015

    The Popes 4 hero’s. Yes, I agree, God does matter and social justice issues are not the responsibility of the government. We as church are responsible for social justice concerns. We are our brother’s keeper. Unfortunately, social justice and government have become intertwined. Government is writing out all reference to our biblical roots. Our Founding Fathers miraculously created a beautiful, balanced; God centered Constitution that allowed us to be our brother’s keeper. The political balance of power was intended for moral leaders. Unfortunately, Christians and social justice leaders vote away our individual liberties, enslaving us to unnatural, diabolical government intrusion, which takes away our rights, freedoms and even hanging a price tag on the laws of nature. You are American hero’s so desperately needed in these dark, greedy times of trampling on Gods benevolence. Keep up the God work!

  5. Rosa-Maria Stoeber Dec 16, 2015

    I really enjoyed it, I just hope I can installed in my device. Thank you.
    It is a great way to learn more about my faith.

  6. James Athol Steel Dec 16, 2015

    Congratulations. I was quite impressed with this first effort and enjoyed it. The presentation and discussions seem well balanced and informative. This promises well for future podcasts and I look forward to hearing more.

  7. Damian. Madera Dec 17, 2015

    Amen I loved I loved Glory Be to God Amen

    • Damian. Madera Dec 17, 2015

      Amen Thank you Bishop Barron for this Blessing of teaching us God Bless you Always Amen Amen Amen Glory Be to God Amen

  8. Erin Donohue-Zink Dec 17, 2015

    Thank you for the books to read tips
    Our book and faith sharing group will
    have plenty of engaging content for
    2016 and beyond.

  9. Gabriela McLaughlin Dec 21, 2015

    Thank you so much for all the valuable information !
    I treasure the views of Bishop Barron.
    And I feel motivated to read more about these figures.
    God bless you,and count with my prayer for the amazing job of evangelization.

  10. I just want to make a few comments regarding Dorothy Day.

    She should not be declared a Saint. She is not Catholic. She infiltrated the Church to spread her Socialism/Communism ideas into the Church.

    She was using the Church to accept Socialism and the welfare system. In the past many of the previous Popes have condemn Socialism and Communism. Now because of her many in the Church (including Bishops and Cardinals) are promoting socialism in our Government. Whereby the government takes care of our needs through welfare programs.

    Our Lord even condemn Communism at the Fatima by the Blessed Lady. By saying Russia’s errors will spread throughout the world. They spread when people willing accept government welfare in their own lives and in others.

    The Church must reject socialism/communism/welfare programs. Only the Church and private charity groups should be helping the people. If government is taking care our needs (education, healthcare, social security, aid for the elderly and sick) than no one is going to rely on God to provide for their needs or if think of going to the Church for help.

    And by the way being a progressive/liberal Catholic does not make you a Catholic. It makes you an enemy of our Lord. Same thing with being a “moderate”. Being a moderate makes you lukewarm in your faith. And Jesus warned us about being lukewarm. He Spits Out Lukewarm followers. They end in the same place as liberal/progressive Catholics go.

    Only the Right; Traditional and Conservative Catholics are the true Catholics.

  11. Brandon, the word “address”–as in giving an address to Congress– is pronounced “a-DRESS” … not “AD-dress.”