Three years of The Good Catholic Life!
In 2011, Ash Wednesday was on March 9. Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, chose also to begin the Lenten Catholics Come Home program on Ash Wednesday.
There was a well-attended 3pm news conference that day at the Archdiocese of Boston Pastoral Center in Braintree. With ashes fresh on my forehead, I moderated the news conference until about 3:55pm, when I passed the moderating role to Terry Donilon so that I could rush downstairs to begin the first live episode of The Good Catholic Life (episode #001). The Good Catholic Life is the official radio program and podcast of the Archdiocese of Boston and it is broadcast generously by the Station of the Cross, 1060AM, WQOM.
Our guests were Cardinal Seán, Janet Benestad (Cabinet Secretary for Faith Formation and Evangelization - now the Cabinet Secretary for the New Evangelization) and Tom Peterson, the founder of Catholics Come Home.
Cardinal Seán was running late himself due to the many questions at the news conference, so instead of being guest #1 he became guest #3 (after Janet and Tom). We have come a long way in the flow of our show since that first episode. I remember my wife, Ximena, commenting that I hosted with the pace of a basketball radio broadcaster (something I did in college) and it took a few weeks to get comfortable with hosting a talk show.
We thought, originally, that we would have several segments each hour (similar to the Son Rise Morning Show on EWTN Radio) but we soon found our groove with a one-hour format typically on one topic. This has allowed us to explore many aspects with our guests and to do it at the pace of a good dinner-table conversation. This long-form discussion on a topic is a little bit different from many shows on Catholic radio and on the sports and news stations I listen to typically. It has worked well for The Good Catholic Life. When we interview Catholic book authors, we receive gratitude and compliments for the way we are able to cover their topics in depth, because we are able to spend 56:30 on it.
We have profiled many church leaders, discussed Catholic news headlines each Thursday, discussed the momentous resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the Election of Pope Francis (from Rome!) and broadcasted so many cool episodes. It has been such an honor to hear from people across the Archdiocese of Boston and the country (who listen on TheGoodCatholicLife.com, on the iCatholic Radio mobile app, or via iTunes podcast downloads) that the show helps them live a “good Catholic life” and grow in the knowledge of their Catholic faith.
I am most grateful to our TGCL team over the past few years. Our on-air hosts and regular weekly guests (Fr. Chris O’Connor, Fr. Matt Williams, Susan Abbott, Gregory Tracy, Fr. Roger Landry, Fr. Mark O’Connell, Fr. Chip Hines, Michael Lavigne, Dom Bettinelli) and our production team of Dom, George Martell, Rick Heil, Anna Johnson, Karla Goncalves and Stacia Morabito). It takes a lot of work to produce each episode and the group has given their best in each of the 682 episodes thus far.
I’d also like to thank Cardinal Seán for suggesting the idea of a local Archdiocesan radio program when he formally inaugurated the station on 11/1/2010, and Jim Wright, Chris Kelley and everyone at the Station of the Cross who has supported the program and broadcasted it. I also thank the Secretariat for the New Evangelization at the Archdiocese of Boston for their never-ending encouragement of radio as a tool to share the faith (and for its team members being regular guests).
I encourage you to tune in at 4pm, Monday through Friday. Thanks for reading. Please visit TheGoodCatholicLife.com.
P.S. To see the list of our 682 episodes and to listen to the audio file, please click HERE.