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Catholics, Please Don’t Ignore Single Parents

Statistically, there are over eleven million single parent families in the USA. Single moms are the only head of household for about twenty-three percent of American children, and single dads make up another six to eight percent. Whether it is a teenage mom who decided to not have an abortion, or a middle-aged mom who has finally left an abusive relationship, or the man whose wife has left him and the kids for someone else, the stories are unique, but the needs are real. Single parents have...


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.


How to Make Jesus Your Priority

Juggling work, family, and friends can make life feel too busy to squeeze in anything but Sunday Mass and ministry obligations. But the key to increasing your faith and bearing fruit despite all the hustle and bustle involves one simple (but difficult) change of heart. Here’s the thing: we should only have one priority, and that is Christ. Instead of trying to squeeze time with Christ into our busy lives, we should schedule the rest of our life around time spent with him. In today’s...


Evangelize Through Marriage Prep (with Scott Seibert)

While some engaged couples have a great Catholic marriage prep experience, there’s no denying that many couples resent it, feeling like it’s just a meaningless hoop to jump through. How do we change the status quo and make marriage prep an opportunity to evangelize, connect with, and genuinely support engaged and newly married couples? Scott Seibert from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis shares his diocese’s journey to adjust its model of marriage preparation so it can more effectively...


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...


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Ascension! We will be back the second week of January with a whole new season of the Ascension Roundtable Podcast.


Youth Ministry in an Age of Desensitization (with Brian Butler)

In today’s episode, Brian Butler - a seasoned youth minister, speaker, and trainer - shares practical ways in which you can better minister to youth and young adults in a culture that has become desensitized to the reality of the person. We discuss how to look at someone and see their good instead of devaluing them and seeing them as simply a sexual being. At the end of this episode, you will be able to explain what it means to be a man and a woman, each once created in God’s image and...


How to Reach Out to Those Suffering from Divorce

In the first part of today’s show, we talk about how to start a ministry to the divorced at your parish, and then we discuss two helpful “do’s” and two “don’ts” that will help you to facilitate a divorce ministry group. In the second part of the show, Rose gives advice to youth ministers and catechists about how to best minister to children and families affected by divorce. Stay tuned!


Burning for Christ or Burning Out? (With Rose Sweet)

Rose Sweet has spent forty years in different areas of parish ministry and more importantly, she’s spent even more time as an avid follower of Jesus Christ. Drawing from her experience in ministry and especially from the way Jesus relates to people in the gospel, Rose shares with us “Four Rules of Relationship” that we can follow to help us avoid ministry burn-out. And even though we’re focusing especially on the relationships you build while doing ministry, I think you’ll finish today’s...


Christopher West Talks Marriage Preparation

We need to get marriage preparation right—the stakes are just too high not to. In this episode, Theology of the Body expert Christopher West explains some of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to preparing engaged couples for a joy-filled marriage. He then gives three pieces of advice to help you do a better job walking with couples during their time of marriage prep.


Preparing Someone to Hear the Gospel Message (with Thomas Smith)

We often think that the first step of evangelization is to explicitly spell out the gospel message to another person. In this episode, evangelist and Bible scholar Thomas Smith challenges that notion, explaining how evangelization can start with one very simple question. Stay tuned to hear what that question is, and you will find that speaking to someone about the Faith is easier than you think.


Why I Converted from Mormonism to Catholicism (with Thomas Smith)

In today’s episode, evangelist and Bible scholar Thomas Smith tells his story about converting from Mormonism to the Baptist faith and then eventually becoming Catholic. He explains what it is about Christianity that made him question his Mormon faith, and he also tells us four things he wishes we’d learn from the Mormon community. He finishes the show by walking us through two simple-to-implement prayer practices that can change your life.


Whole Parish Renewal (with Tim Glemkowski)

What happens when one young man decides to pursue the heights of holiness and sets out to bring entire parishes along with him on the journey? Find out in today’s episode with Tim Glemkowski, founder of “L’Alto Catholic Institute. Stay tuned to hear how Tim has helped several parishes be transformed into dynamic communities of missionary disciples.


Fr. Mike On Building a Better Relationship with Your Pastor

This week’s episode is short and sweet, but it hits on a topic many of you have written to us about—collaborating with your pastor in a healthy and constructive way. We might all want to be saints, but the reality is that none of us are yet. That means relationships with our pastors can sometimes feel rocky. As lay people, we wanted to get a priestly perspective on the topic and find out how we can do a better job communicating to, collaborating with, and serving our priests.


4 Things a Mom Wants You to Know (with Danielle Bean)

Danielle Bean, mom of eight, served as a DRE in her parish, and because of the unique perspective she’s gained from wearing many hats, we asked her what four insights she’d like to share with you. You’ll finish this episode feeling encouraged, and you’ll have a few practical tips to bring with you to work today.


An Interview with ProjectYM

Today we sit down with Tony Vasinda and Michael Marchand, co-founders of Project YM, to pick their brains about youth ministry. We discuss the value of a holistic approach to youth ministry that is fully integrated with the rest of parish life, creative ways to support parents, and tough conversations that are sometimes worth having.


3 Tips for Parish Staff (An Interview with Sonja Corbitt)

In this week’s episode, we sit down with Catholic convert and Bible study author Sonja Corbitt, who shares three tough lessons she’s learned when it comes to working within the Church. Plus, she gives a sneak peek into her upcoming Bible study.


How to Engage Parents During Sacramental Prep

You know that parents are the primary educators of their children, and that’s why it can be so hard when it seems completely left to you, the catechist, to teach them the Faith. How can we, as parish communities, evangelize parents during those key moments of sacramental prep so we can help them encounter Christ, understand their calling as parents, and embrace their role to bring their children with them to heaven.


Spiritual Multiplication (an Interview with Dr. Carole Brown)

In a perfect world, we’d bring thousands of souls closer to Christ in our lifetime. But in reality, we'd be lucky to help even ten people grow considerably in their faith. In today’s episode, Dr. Carole Brown explains how our impact may seem insignificant, but if we focus our efforts on building up small groups of disciples, a serious ripple effect may lead millions of people to Christ over the course of time.


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