As we look forward to the celebration of the Risen Christ in Easter on April 4, it is the perfect time to begin listening to the “Bible in a Year” podcast—hosted by Fr. Mike Schmitz, a Catholic priest, and produced by Ascension—for all those, that is, who haven’t already been listening to the popular program that launched back in January.
“The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)” began on Jan. 1, 2021—and within just two days became the #1 show on Apple Podcasts.
Taking listeners through the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation, the program uses The Great Adventure Bible from Ascension as a 365-day timeline.
It uses the Revised Standard Version, 2nd Catholic Edition, of the Word of God.
“We encounter God’s voice and live life through the lens of Scripture,” Fr. Schmitz says in the intro of each podcast episode.
Each daily show lasts roughly 20 minutes. It features commentary, reflection, and prayer—all spoken in Fr. Schmitz’s resonant, relatable voice.
On Day 85’s program, for example (“Fighting for Each Other,” March 26, 2021), the podcast shared “the meaning behind all the destruction God commands. [Fr. Schmitz] emphasizes that God ultimately wants us to fight for each other and not against each other. Today’s readings are Joshua 12-14, and Psalm 129.”
“God is with you,” Fr. Schmitz says near the end of it, speaking directly to listeners in a conversational tone. “Let’s keep praying for each other … The Lord is with you, and He is guiding you.”
And on Day 84’s program, (“The Sun Stands Still,” March 25, 2021), the podcast shared “different ways we can interpret the miracle of the sun standing still in Joshua 10 … God always desires unity for us even though we often face war and division in this world.”
“We are overwhelmed by the staggering response to this podcast,” Matthew Pinto, founder and president of Ascension, the Catholic publisher and multimedia network that produces the podcast, said earlier this year in a statement about the podcast. “We had hoped that this program would be exciting to our listeners, but [the] huge level of response is truly unbelievable. People are hungry for God, and we’re honored to help them encounter God’s Word through a daily podcast, especially as so many of us continue to be cut off from our parishes, communities, and loved ones during these difficult days.”
Fr. Mike Schmitz has long been an online presence. His YouTube videos have been featured on “Ascension Presents,” the second-largest Catholic YouTube platform in English, according to press materials.
Fr. Schmitz’s primary ministry is with college students at the University of Minnesota Duluth, as chaplain for its Newman Catholic Campus Ministry. He’s also a nationally known author and speaker.
In a statement earlier this year, Fr. Schmitz explained his vision for the daily Bible podcast: “One of the primary reasons I wanted to create this podcast was because my own mind was being filled with a lot of chaotic voices. Some were wise; many were merely distracting. I think that a lot of people are tired of those same distracting and temporary voices. And they want what I want: to allow our hearts and minds to be shaped by something eternal—God’s eternal Word.”
The podcast was recently highlighted for its uplift and inspiration in an op-ed piece in The Christian Post by Jim Denison, who lamented the “fallen world” that we live in today—and pointed toward our transforming need for God, prayer, and faith.
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—Maureen Mackey is a writer, editor, web content executive, and regular contributor to Christian News Journal.