EXTON, PA — This January, the #1 podcast in America is The Catechism in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz), which has held the coveted top position on Apple for 5 days, ahead of major podcasts like NBC’s Dateline, Crime Junkie, and NPR.
“CIY” is the sequel to the wildly successful 2021 The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike SchmitzTM (BIY), which itself hit #1 on Apple at its January 2021 launch, hit #1 again in January 2022, and is #3 in all categories as of this writing. BIY was Chartable’s #1 global podcast in Religion & Spirituality in 2022, and has been downloaded 430 million times.
Podcast host “Fr. Mike,” described by the New York Times Magazine as “an affable 48-year-old Midwesterner who … exudes strong Ted Lasso vibes,” works fulltime as a Catholic priest and campus minister for the University of Minnesota Duluth, as well as for his diocesan office for young adult ministry.
As 2023 kicks off, Fr. Mike has invited his audience of Bible enthusiasts to consider studying a new religious text for 20 minutes each day: the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The response to his invitation has been enormous, as seen in the show’s #1 chart position and 115k-member official Facebook group.
Non-Catholics are following the podcast as well, including Anna, a self-described “life-long Southern Baptist” who is posting popular “REACTS videos” on YouTube.
As Christian affiliation declines across American society, it is notable that the top podcast on Apple at the beginning of 2023 is focused on guiding listeners through a traditional Catholic text.
Podcast producer Ascension’s president and CEO Jonathan Strate offers his thoughts on the phenomenon: “To have a podcast about the Catechism of the Catholic Church reach #1 in the United States in all categories is an astonishing moment for the Catholic Church. It speaks to the deep longing we all have to respond to God’s plan for each one of us—a plan revealed so beautifully in the treasure that is the Catechism.:
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