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The Ascension Roundtable

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Millennials, Cliches, and Catching Foxes

Today we sit down with Luke Carey and Michael Gormley, hosts of the Catching Foxes podcast and enthusiastic lay evangelists. We talk with them about reaching millennials with the message of the Gospel, building communities of radical vulnerability, and the laity’s vocation to bring our faith beyond the parish. These guys are hilarious, insightful, and passionate about reaching a predominantly “unchurched” generation. Stay tuned.

Duration: 00:56:47

Dealing with Division in Your Parish

As long as the Church is made up of human beings, certain levels of division will continue to exist. When we’re working at the parish level, how do we understand and work through those divisions with charity and prudence? In this week’s episode, Tom and Allen share an approach to discerning the roots of conflict between parish members, helping everyone move toward unity.

Duration: 00:35:56

Entrepreneurial Ministry: An Interview with Matt Pinto

Most people don’t associate ministry with entrepreneurialism, and in certain ways, that's for good reason. But in this episode, we sit down with Matthew Pinto, president and founder of Ascension Press, who shares with us seven entrepreneurial impulses that he believes are valuable to anyone working within the Church.

Duration: 00:35:36

Catechesis Needs Conversion: An Interview with Dr. Bob Rice

Catechesis, evangelization, theology…you've certainly heard these terms, but what’s the relationship between them? And when it comes to catechesis, how can we make sure we lead people to deeper intimacy with Christ instead of just filling their heads with information that doesn’t affect their hearts? In this episode, Dr. Bob Rice shares advice on how to make catechesis come alive, and he reminds us that the most important ministry in our lives is the ministry God does within our hearts.

Duration: 00:38:42

How the Columbine Shooting Changed Our Ministry (An Interview with Jim Beckman)

Jim Beckman and Tom McCabe worked at the Catholic parish closest to Columbine High School at the time of the shooting, and they were some of the first people on the scene after gunshots were reported to them by a parishioner who lived nearby. In this episode, they share their experience of that infamous day, and they reflect on how the Columbine event fundamentally changed their approach to ministry.

Duration: 00:45:00

Mary Ann Wiesinger on Making Your Parish a Center of Hope and Evangelization

Mary Ann Wiesinger is the Director of Evangelization and Parish Outreach for the Archdiocese of Miami, and she’s working with Archbishop Wenski to help Miami parishes become centers of hope and evangelization. Mary Ann breaks down what that means, explaining how they’re helping parishes become centers of hope by building parish communities where parishioners will risk face to face encounter. She then shares an interesting strategy that Miami parishes are using to better understand the...

Duration: 00:37:33

An Interview with Maria Mitchell: Beauty Catches the World's Attention

Today we chat with Maria Mitchell, the producer behind the Ascension Presents videos. In the first part of the show, Maria shares the story of how being in Rome when JPII died helped her realize her vocation to produce powerful Catholic media. She and Allen then talk about the importance of creating non-cheesy Catholic art, and the responsibility we have to tell the Christian story in a beautiful way that catches the world’s attention. In the second part of the show, we get practical, and...

Duration: 00:27:10

An Interview with Jeff Cavins: What Catholics Can Learn from Protestants (and Vice Versa)

Jeff Cavins grew up Catholic, but he left the Church at age 18, eventually becoming a protestant pastor. Some years later, he returned to the Catholic faith, bringing with him a lot of practical insight from his time in the protestant community. In this interview, he shares some of those insights, emphasizing how the Catholic Church can better share the fullness of the faith by learning from practical techniques used by our protestant brothers and sisters. He also reminds us never to take...

Duration: 00:28:17

Let Them In! Hospitality as Key to the New Evangelization

In the third episode of our miniseries on evangelization, Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio shares how Christian hospitality and the witness of Catholic community are among the most powerful, yet under-played, instruments of evangelization in the life of the Church. Tune in for tips to help you cultivate a hospitable parish, make space in your life for others, and create community within your imperfect home.

Duration: 00:33:05

Want to Evangelize? Tell Your Story

If we want to evangelize, we need to rediscover something that the Early Christians knew very well—that telling stories about how Christ has transformed our lives is what will catch people’s attention. So how do we build a Catholic culture where testimonies play a central role? Tune in to the second episode in our miniseries on Evangelization to hear Dr. Italy’s wisdom on this topic and get practical tips to help you start incorporating more testimony into your ministry.

Duration: 01:11:37

Evangelization 101 with Dr. Italy: Putting It All in Context

In this episode, Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio (aka Dr. Italy) puts the New Evangelization into the context of the ups and downs of our Catholic story. The early Christians grew from a group of 120 at Pentecost to 10% of the Roman empire in about 300 years. How did they do it? Dr. Italy discusses this and other key times in Church history, explaining how the New Evangelization is and isn’t so new.

Duration: 00:44:39

The Do's and Don'ts of Catholic Fundraising

Today we interview Brice Sokolowski from He’s going to tell you why you should fundraise (hint—it’s not just about the money), and how you can avoid common Catholic fundraising pitfalls.

Duration: 00:42:28

Is Your Work Just a Job? An Interview with Jake Samour

Jake Samour worked as rocket scientist. He lived in a big house and drove a nice car. So why did he give it all up to take a job in Catholic ministry? Twenty-five years later, he tells his story. Stay tuned to hear Jake give you the advice he wishes he’d gotten when he was just starting out in Catholic ministry. Thinking of someone who would make a good guest on the Ascension Roundtable? Shoot us an email at And if you have 30 seconds, please rate...

Duration: 00:36:14

Tackling Tough Topics

We’ve all heard the complaint, “I could be Catholic if it weren’t for (insert unpopular Church teaching). In this episode, Colin and Marisa break down where this resistance often comes from and discuss how to engage with those people in a disarming and fruitful way. Tune in, and when you're done listening, send us an email at to tell us what's worked for you when it comes to tackling tough topics.

Duration: 00:39:25

Ministry on a Shoestring Budget

Let’s face it— most of us working in ministry don’t have a large operating budget, so we get creative when it comes to executing our missions. It’s not easy, but it can be done. Stay tuned to hear our hosts share different methods you can start using today to address this challenge in your ministry.

Duration: 00:34:01

4 Strategies to Maximize Your Team's Potential

In our last episode, Colin and Allen tackled three issues often faced when building a ministry team. In this episode, they’re going to talk about how to develop, disciple, and sustain your team so that you can maximize their potential.

Duration: 00:28:42

Where's My Team?

In this episode, Colin and Allen troubleshoot three issues often faced when building a ministry team: 1. “I can’t find anyone to help me” 2. The people who have stepped up aren’t the right people for the job”, and 3. I’ve got a great people, but my team comes across as “clicky” to other people who want to join.”

Duration: 00:42:48

Why Rebrand a Diocesan Office? An Interview with Anthem Philly

What do Our Lady of Guadalupe, Apple, and Anthem Philly have in common? In this episode, we talk to Megan and Jacob, directors of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, and they tell us why they went through a rebranding process, why they chose a new name, and how this process is rooted in their mission to create intentional disciples. Even if you are not involved in youth or young adult ministry, this interview will help you think about how your ministry builds trust with the...

Duration: 00:36:14

Is "Discipleship" Just a Buzzword?

We’ve mentioned discipleship in past episodes, but we’ve never fully explained what we mean when we use the term, and we’ve also never made an argument as to why your adult ministry can only succeed when a discipleship model is at its core.

Duration: 00:31:12

An Interview with Father Mike Schmitz

In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz, Director of the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth and Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth, shares an inside view about his experiences in these ministries. He also tells us how he manages his time according to the demands of his vocation—something I think all of us in ministry could benefit from hearing. In the second part of the show, he talks about how, as a Church, we can do a better job approaching sacramental prep...

Duration: 01:10:48

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