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The Catholic Culture Podcast

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Musician and writer Thomas V. Mirus explores Catholic arts & culture with a variety of notable guests. Dedicated to the Holy Family. An extension of

Musician and writer Thomas V. Mirus explores Catholic arts & culture with a variety of notable guests. Dedicated to the Holy Family. An extension of


United States


Musician and writer Thomas V. Mirus explores Catholic arts & culture with a variety of notable guests. Dedicated to the Holy Family. An extension of




Ep. 72 - Stabat Mater - Francesco Cotticelli

Stabat Mater, a medieval hymn that was long used as the sequence for the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is now commonly sung between each Station of the Cross. This prayer, in which we ask Our Lady to help us experience the same sorrow and love with which she participated in her Son’s Passion, has been set to music by many great composers. This episode explores the most famous and influential setting of Stabat Mater, completed by the 26-year-old Giovanni Battista...


Ep. 71 - Thick Skin, Weak Stomach - Timothy & David Gordon

Timothy and David Gordon join the show to discuss their new book Rules for Retrogrades: Forty Tactics to Defeat the Radical Left. It’s a reverse-Alinskyan playbook for conservatives and Christians who are sick of being outmaneuvered at every turn by the forces seeking the destruction of the Christian faith and the natural foundations of the social order. The Gordon brothers want us to stop falling for the left’s tactics, which take advantage of the timidity, and false humility of today’s...


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Ep. 70 - The Flannery-Haunted World - Joshua Hren, John Emmet Clarke

This episode features two young Catholic publishers who are doing cutting-edge work to preserve and carry forward the Catholic literary legacy, building on the accomplishments of the great Catholic writers of the 20th century in particular. The first guest is Joshua Hren, founder and Editor-in-Chief of Wiseblood Books. Wiseblood's focus is on cultivating and publishing new works that maintain a high standard of literary quality and Catholic vision: featuring up-and-coming writers alongside...


Highlights from the Archive #1

A look back through the Catholic Culture Podcast archive. This episode contains highlights from: Ep. 1 - A Working Actor's Working Faith - Tony Mockus, Sr. Ep. 2 - The Largest Civil Disobedience Movement in American History - Bill Cotter, Phil Lawler Ep. 3 - Native American Catholicism and the New...


Ep. 69 - Poetry of the English Martyrs - Benedict Whalen

In 1581, a young Englishman named Henry Walpole attended the execution of the Jesuit Edmund Campion. As Campion was hung, drawn and quartered, Walpole stood close enough to be spattered with his holy blood. Though Campion’s fame in England was already great, Walpole would amplify it further with a splendid, lengthy poem, which became enormously popular among English Catholics—so popular that the man who printed the book had his ears cut off as punishment. In his poem Walpole wrote: We...


Ep. 68 - What I Learned From Making Music With Mark Christopher Brandt

Thomas recently had the privilege of playing piano on the latest album by Catholic composer Mark Christopher Brandt. The Butterfly consists of a suite for string quartet and piano, plus two solo piano pieces. The suite, which uses the butterfly’s transformation as an allegory of conversion, was described by the Catholic poet Dana Gioia as “fresh, inventive and alive”. In this episode you will hear the beautiful Butterfly suite in full, followed by a no less beautiful conversation in which...


Ep. 67 - "Why I'm No Longer a Catholic Feminist" - Melody Lyons

After growing up immersed in feminism and a dissident parish that left her deeply unhappy, Melody Lyons found truth and healing in the fullness of Christ's teaching on man and woman. Yet after decades of no longer considering herself a feminist, she started describing herself as a "Catholic feminist" in order to find common ground with secular women. Melody has recently realized that this strategy is counterproductive. What's worse, today's "Catholic feminism", ostensibly designed to be...


Ep. 66 - Christopher Tolkien, 1924-2020 - John Garth

This is a tribute to Christopher Tolkien, who passed away on Jan. 16, 2020. Without Christopher's decades of dedicated scholarship, most notably his editing and publication of The Silmarillion, our knowledge of J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional world and very real genius would be considerably disadvantaged. Tolkien scholar John Garth, author of the acclaimed biography Tolkien and the Great War, joins the show to discuss a father-son collaboration unique in literary history. Contents [5:36] How...


Ep. 65 - Reason With Stories, Philosophize With Your Life (Vision of the Soul Pt. III) - James Matthew Wilson

Modernity elevated pure, abstract reasoning as the only way to know about reality. Reason having disenchanted everything else, modernity then became disenchanted with reason. The ascendancy of reason over superstitious myths was viewed by the postmodernists as just another myth to be exposed. The postmodernists were right to see that the dictates of reason were not wholly separate from our lives, self-images and desires, but were colored by the stories we tell about ourselves. But they were...


Ep. 64 - Advancing the Faith in the Podcast Medium - Mike Aquilina, James T. Majewski

It’s Podcast Week here at, as we want to make more people aware of our audio offerings, particularly the two new podcasts we launched last October: Catholic Culture Audiobooks and Way of the Fathers with Mike Aquilina. Both of these shows have broken new ground in Catholic podcasting, which has so far largely stayed in the realm of talk shows rather than scripted programming. As more and more people in the United States and globally adopt podcasts as a source of...


Ep. 63 - Beauty Revealing Being (Vision of the Soul Pt. II) - James Matthew Wilson

It is in the nature of Being to reveal itself to us, and in the natural realm this is done preeminently through beauty. Aquinas mentions radiance, clarity and proportion as beauty’s three criteria. Proportion is arguably the most important in showing forth Being, as beauty reveals the plenitude of relations among all things: the relation of the parts of a thing, of the parts to the whole which surpasses them, of the whole object to all other things, and to its Maker. This is part two of a...


Ep. 62—Overcoming Catholic Dating Hangups & Social Isolation

We've all heard the complaints about Catholic dating. Catholics have trouble with the concept of "casual dating" because they (rightly) see dating as oriented toward marriage but (wrongly) put all that weight on a single date. Some are perpetually "discerning" without ever really going anywhere. Women feel like if they don't find a spouse during their four years at a Catholic college, they've missed their chance. Some problems we share with the rest of the world: Men won't ask women out...


Ep. 61 - Liberal Anti-Culture vs. the Western Vision of the Soul (Pt I) - James Matthew Wilson

The devastation rationalism has wrought on modernity has yet to be calculated, because it is the air we breathe, often regardless of our professed beliefs. To take politics as an example: the modern left, disenchanted with the Enlightenment narrative of reason’s supremacy, has, rather than restoring reason to its proper subordinate place in our vision of reality, instead become skeptical of all claims to truth. Lacking a foundation in truth, “critical thinking,” that shriveled scrap of...


Episode 60 - Princeton Hosts Event Dedicated To St. Cecilia

Princeton University recently hosted and funded a very Catholic event as part of its annual Being Human Festival. It was a several-hour program dedicated to representations of St. Cecilia in poetry, painting and music, exploring how a conversation between these art forms can stir us to wonder and the contemplation of the Divine. The day’s events included singing the Salve Regina and a dinner in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose feast it was. In the first part of this episode, Thomas and...


Episode 59 - The Glorious English Carol

This is a love letter to the great English Christmas carols, from “There Is No Rose” to “The Boar’s Head”. Did you know that not just any Christmas song is a carol? The true carol, in all its earthy splendor, is a distinctive product of the Catholic middle ages. Yet our forefathers didn’t limit caroling to Christmas: they wrote carols for every season of the year covering the entire story of our Redemption, not to mention secular topics at times. This episode explores the origin of carols...


Episode 58 - A Hidden Life Film Review w/ James Majewski

Terrence Malick’s stunning new film, A Hidden Life, is about Blessed Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer who was martyred for refusing to swear loyalty to Hitler. James Majewski joins Thomas to discuss the film. He reads excerpts from Bl. Franz’s letters and prison writings, to see how well Malick’s portrayal lives up to the real-life saint. The letters of Franz and his wife Franziska their deep devotional life, and testify to how much Franz’s heroism owed to the sacraments and the...


Episode 57 - River of the Immaculate Conception - James Matthew Wilson

James Matthew Wilson’s new cycle of poems, The River of the Immaculate Conception, is a reflection on the history of the Catholic faith in the Americas, from Juan Diego to Elizabeth Ann Seton. Its title is the name given to the Mississippi River by the missionary Fr. Marquette. James reads four of the seven poems, explains their relation to the recent Mass of the Americas which inspired them, and discusses the challenges and delights of poetic form. Links Buy The River of the Immaculate...


Episode 56 - Vindicating Authority - Aquinas Guilbeau, O.P.

Modernity has attempted to do away with authority. It does this not most commonly by advocating anarchy. Rather, it justifies its own established powers in terms of a fictive self-rule, and purports to replace the arbitrary dictates of power--and much of what makes us human--with scientific rationality. But authority is necessary to human life, and not just as a medicine for weakness and evil. It arises from and serves what is noblest in us. The French Catholic philosopher Yves R. Simon...


Episode 55 - The Hundredfold - Anthony Esolen

Having honed his skills translating Dante, Tasso and Lucretius, well-known Catholic cultural commentator Anthony Esolen has now published his first book of original poetry. The book-length poem The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord is centered around twelve dramatic monologues set during and shortly after the time of Christ, complemented and illuminated by dozens of lyric poems and hymns. Links Buy The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord Books...