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Fr. Mike Schmitz wins Cardinal John P. Foley award for ‘Bible in a Year’


St. Mark the Evangelist | Wikicom | CC BY-SA 4.0

J-P Mauro - published on 07/15/22

Not resting on his laurels, Fr. Mike Schmitz is already setting his sights on his next big project: Catechism in a Year.

The number one Catholic Podcast in the world, Bible in a Year (With Fr. Mike Schmitz), has earned its distinguished host a prestigious award in the field of communications. 

This year, the Catholic Media Association (CMA) has selected Fr. Mike Schmitz as recipient of the Cardinal John P. Foley Award. Fr. Schmitz is joined in the honor by biblical scholar and developer of the podcast Jeff Cavins. 

John P. Foley Award

According to the Catholic Media Association, the John P. Foley Award “goes to an individual who, in the preceding year, demonstrated excellence and innovation in Catholic storytelling.” Nominees are selected from members of the CMA whose works are presented on various media platforms.

The award is named for Cardinal John Patrick Foley, whom CMA regards as the “patriarch of the American Catholic press.” Cardinal Foley was influential in the development of Catholic news in the United States and is especially remembered as the English language narrator of the pope’s midnight Christmas Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Cardinal Foley passed away in 2011 at the age of 76. His list of accomplishments includes serving as an editor of Philadelphia’s archdiocesan newspaper and as host and producer of the “Philadelphia Catholic Hour” on WFIL radio. At the Vatican, he led the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, a position that allowed him to also serve as Vatican correspondent for Philadelphia’s archdiocesan newspaper.

Bible in a Year

The award was announced on July 6 at the 2022 Catholic Media Conference in Portland. Father Mike Schmitz and Jeff Cavins were just two of 10 nominees for the award. Crux noted that neither Fr. Schmitz nor Cavins was present to accept the award, but Crux has an excerpt from their nomination letter by Lauren Joyce, Ascension’s communications and public relations specialist, who wrote: 

“If you ask Father Mike and Jeff, they will say that the Holy Spirit deserves all of the credit; it is God’s story, after all. But we humbly submit that God’s story is most powerful when spirit-filled storytellers bring it to life and tell it anew in their own time and place.”

Even a year and a half after the show started, Bible in a Year (With Fr. Mike Schmitz) remains at the top of the Catholic podcast charts on Apple. At its peak in 2021, the show boasted 450,000 daily listeners. 

Catechism in a Year

Now that the program has finished, Fr. Schmitz and Jeff Cavins are setting their sights on the next big project, Catechism in a Year, which is scheduled to begin on January 1, 2023. 

In this upcoming podcast, Fr. Mike Schmitz will give the Catechism of the Catholic Church the same treatment as the Bible, with daily readings and discussions to help explain the day’s passage. The new podcast is expected to put the complexities of the Catechism in terms anyone can understand and will cover the entire book in just one year. 

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