The Ascension Roundtable-logo

The Ascension Roundtable

Religion & Spirituality Podcas >

More Information


Parishes, Please Invest in Better Music

Whether we like it or not, people leave parishes because of bad music. While music is not essential to the Mass, it has the potential to move people’s hearts and draw them closer to Christ. Today Steven Joubert (a writer, musician, and youth minister) explains why it is so important for every parish to invest time and effort in music. You may be surprised at how doing just this actually builds up parishes in other ways as well. To find out more about Steven or to listen to his music, visit...


3 Prayers You Might Not Be Praying … and Why You Should Start Praying Them

If you’re not praying, you’re not going to get very far in understanding your faith or being able to help others grow in theirs. Historical theologian Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio explains three prayers of the Church to help you deepen your own prayer life and help others deepen their prayer lives as well. Listen and come away with a better grasp of the Church’s teaching on prayer, as well as several very practical ways to incorporate these three specific prayers into your own life and ministry.


How One College Professor is Challenging Today's Hook-Up Culture

Dr. Kerry Cronin doesn’t just give her students essays; she gives them an assignment that requires them to ask someone out on a good, old-fashioned first date. It’s something she’s been doing for a while, and her experiment is featured in a new feature-length documentary recently released called The Dating Project. If you work with teens, college students, or young adults, you won’t want to miss what Dr. Cronin has discovered about hook-up culture and dating in today’s day and age.


How to Talk About Fertility Within Your Ministry

When it comes to parish life, women’s fertility and health is a topic often relegated to a brief discussion during marriage prep, and then it’s either ignored or rarely touched upon again by anyone in the parish because of its sensitive nature. But this is a topic that everyone in Catholic ministry should be able to discuss to some degree, because at least half of the people we’re serving are women, and this is an area where our faith gives us a wealth of guidance! In a world where young...


NFP Baby

How much do you know about Natural Family Planning? Today, nurse practitioner Alex DeRose gets real about NFP, a topic that can be uncomfortable to discuss and therefore avoided. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Not only does Alex provide an overview to help you explain NFP to others, she answers specific questions about the Creighton Model, NAPRO technology, and explains why NFP is not Catholic birth control. Whether this is the first time you have heard about NFP or you consider...


Understanding and Helping Victims of Child Abuse

Victims of sexual abuse often feel overwhelmed with intense feelings of worthlessness, despair, and loneliness. Many times it’s hard for them to even consider sharing what happened and how they feel. Today, Joann shares her childhood sexual abuse story, from the deep wounds of abuse, to finding peace, hope, and healing in Jesus. In this episode, you will learn what to look for and how to help those around you who may have been afflicted without you even knowing. If you have experienced...


How to Pray with Anyone

Sometimes we get so caught up in the organizing and executing of ministry duties that we forget that one of the most powerful things we can do is stop to pray with and for the people we encounter in our days. In today’s episode, we speak with Deborah Molina, who shares stories about praying with people on the streets of various cities. In giving us a glimpse of these different experiences, Deborah relates several very simple tips to help us minister to people through intercessory prayer.


5 Ways Catholics Ruin Small Groups

In this episode, we identify five major things that cause small groups to fail, and then we suggest ways to avoid those pitfalls. From losing focus on the bigger purpose of the small group to facilitation faux pas, you’ve probably seen these issues at play in a small group near you. When you’re finished listening, make sure to write to us at with your tips for a successful small group.


7 Ways To Support Millennials Working In Ministry

What would you do if we told you that a simple smile, a family meal, or a weekly chat could make a dramatic difference in the life of a young minister? It is all too easy to forget that even ministers sometimes need the people they serve to reach back out to them. Today Lauren Joyce, a young DRE, returns to the Ascension Roundtable to share seven ways you can support millennials who are working in ministry. If you would like to learn more about Lauren or have her come speak at your parish,...


Survival Tips for the Young Minister

Today’s conversation isn’t just for the young minister; anyone can benefit from the experiences and insights shared by today’s guest. The reality is, our parishes are supposed to be intergenerational, supposed to act like a family and include people from different ages and stages in life. Many times, as a parishioner or minister we can get caught up in one way of thinking about ministry and forget that every generation feels connected to the community in different ways. And it’s no secret...


A "Frank" Conversation with a Former Catholic

In ministry, we all know how hard it can be to get a practicing Catholic to commit to a weekly Bible study, youth group, or service project. So, how can we reach out to those who do not actively practice their faith, or someone who has left the Catholic Faith all together? A few weeks ago Marisa spoke with a man named Frank, a former Catholic. He candidly shared with us his personal experience with Catholicism and the reasons he left the Faith. Between his thoughts, Allen and Marisa...


Blessed Triduum and Happy Easter

Blessed Triduum and Happy Easter by Ascension Press


Three Ways to Lead a Holistic Catholic Ministry and Life

Does feeling burned out in your personal life affect how you approach your ministry? In this episode, we discuss three important aspects of a holistic life and ministry. Discover what aspects of your life and ministry may need revitalization and then take a few simple yet practical steps to strengthen them. Any Catholic, whether a DRE, parent, or student can benefit from these helpful steps.


Make Catholic Formation Holistic Again

Catholic formation isn’t just about teaching the brain; it has to do with the development of a whole person spiritually, physically, mentally, and socially. The Church has long recognized that this formation best happens in a Christian community. In this episode, you’ll learn why knowing Church teachings isn’t enough—you have to allow your whole self to be transformed by Christ, including your prayer life, your personality, how you interact with others, and even the food you put in your...


Answers to Your Questions About Ministering to People with Same-Sex Attraction

In last week’s episode with Fr. Philip Bochanski, we talked about the principles of ministering to those who experience same-sex attraction. In this episode, Father takes those principles and applies them to situations you might find yourself in. How do you respond when someone shares their story with you? What kind of language should you use? How do you help someone recapture chaste friendship with someone else of the same sex?


How Catholics Can Serve People Who Experience Same-Sex Attraction

Many people think there’s no place in the Catholic church for people who experience same-sex attraction. Others hope that the Church changes her teaching on this issue. Today’s interview with Fr. Philip Bochanski will introduce you to a ministry that is fully Catholic, fully pastoral, and spreading quickly in parishes across the world. This ministry, called Courage, seeks to understand its members’ experiences of same-sex attraction, anchor them in Christian community, and help them...


What Catholics Need to Know About Sexual Addiction and Porn

Learn about new ways to understand addiction with therapist Mike Ciaccio. Discover his research on the prevalence of sex addiction in Christian communities. You will find out why he is hopeful that Christians can overcome whatever darkness we face in this realm. His methods have successfully helped people experience Christ’s healing in this area of their lives. Empower yourself with the latest research in Catholic sexual addictions.


Reaching Out to Military Families

On average, military families move every three years. Which means every three years these families leave behind their homes, their communities, and their friends to once more build a new life in a new town. More than just being physically exhausting, it is also emotionally and spiritually difficult. In this episode, we chat with Air Force major Gerard Carisio and his wife Kara about how they live their marriage and family vocation through the realities of their military life. In the first...


Bible Study Changes Everything (with Sonja Corbitt)

Catholic convert and Bible study guru Sonja Corbitt sits down with us to talk about how Bible study changes lives, builds community, and breaks down walls between us and our Protestant brothers and sisters. Whether you’re a bold Bible geek or you feel like you don’t even know how to start reading the Bible, Sonja gives tips for building a culture of Bible study at your parish.


Build a Community of Families at Your Parish

Leaving an old home and relocating to a new town is tough, but building a new community from scratch once you get there is even more daunting. Scott and KC Seibert, along with their four children, recently moved to Indiana and found themselves in this very situation. Today they share with us their journey of building a small, imperfect, and beautiful community of young families in their new parish. Whether you are someone who wants to make your fellow parishioners feel welcomed, a single...