What would draw the Viatorian Community to become a major sponsor for a national podcast series, that doesn’t feature any Viatorians? The chance to support large scale engagement over this pressing issue: How to heal a broken church.
“As Viatorians, we are committed to reading the signs of the times and want to witness and provide the presence of Christ in a world that is hurting,” says Br. John Eustice, CSV, coordinator of vocation ministry, and one of the drivers behind the community’s own podcast series, Viatorian Voices: Conversations Along the Way.
The national podcast series is produced by U.S Catholic and takes its name from the vision of Pope Francis when describing today’s church, as a Field Hospital. It debuts Feb. 16 and a new episode will come out every two weeks.
Jeannie Gaffigan, writer and executive producer of The Jim Gaffigan Show, co-hosts the series with Mike Lewis, editor of the website Where Peter Is. Together, they look to explore ways to heal the wounds of the church today.
Gaffigan explains that the seed for the podcast came out of the pandemic, when she was separated from her church and was shocked by the violent divisions among Catholics expressed over social media. She says it was a church she no longer recognized.
“I found myself driven to amplify the visionary voices dedicated to healing a broken church,” Gaffigan says.
Lewis adds that during the papacy of Pope Francis, he has challenged Catholics to examine themselves, their assumptions, andrelationships with God and each other.
“My hope is that through Field Hospital, Jeannie and I can help our listeners understand the vision of Pope Francis,” Lewis says, “at a deeper level and enrich their faith.”
Topics will run the gamut, from racism in the church to the sex abuse crisis to LGBTQ Catholics. The pair promise not to shy away from the tough questions that the nation is grappling with — and Viatorians agreed.
“We are sponsoring Field Hospital because we want the faithful to know we believe Christ is needed in the common, everyday lives of people,” Br. Eustice adds. “We want people to know that the Viatorians are a viable option for helping to make the mission of the church come alive especially as a religous brother, priest, or as a lay associate.”
The first guest on Field Hospital will be papal biographer, Austen Ivereigh. Subscribe for email updates at uscatholic.org/podcasts and look for new episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.