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Hit Bible podcast’s Fr. Mike Schmitz to appear on billboard in NYC’s Times Square

BIBLE IN A YEAR; FR Mike Schmitz

Photo courtesy of Ascension

Zelda Caldwell - published on 11/05/21

Ascension plans to promote the 'Bible in a Year’ podcast over the New Year’s holiday.

Perhaps few would have imagined that a podcast featuring reflections on daily readings from the Bible would be one of the year’s most popular Apple Podcasts.

But that’s just want happened with Ascension’s Bible in a Year podcast, hosted by Fr. Mike Schmitz, whose readings, commentary and prayers are presented in daily episodes. Scripture scholar and Bible Timeline Learning System creator Jeff Cavins joins Fr. Mike, as he is known by his many fans, as a featured guest of the podcast, which consists of daily episodes averaging 23 minutes long.

A runaway success

Immediately after its launch at the start of 2021, the podcast catapulted to the #1 position among all Apple Podcasts — knocking out podcasts from NPR, Dateline and Crime Junkie — and remained there from January 2 to January 18. Since then, Ascension shared, there have been over 142 million downloads of the podcast, with 464,000 listening daily.

A virtual Bible in a Year community 

After one year, listeners will have read the entire Catholic Bible. Because of the podcast, a community of Catholic bible readers has come together over the internet. Over 75,000 Catholics have joined Ascension’s Catholic Bible Studies Facebook group where they share thoughts and inspiration from the Bible in a Year podcast.

Like a 24-hour-a-day virtual Bible study group, the Facebook page, hosts discussion of scripture, and posts from members sharing how much the podcast has changed their lives:

Love hearing God’s word and deepening my relationship with Christ through “The Bible In A Year” podcast! Congratulations, Father Mike and Jeff C. God is doing a good work through your ministry and the world knows!

I am amazed that this works so well. I have started (and abandoned!) Bible studies before, but by the grace of God, I am still with this! I think it is probably because it takes it in small enough pieces that I can absorb it a little at a time. Also, Fr. Mike definitely has a gift for delivery and discussion that is easy to listen to and to follow. God bless all involved in this!

Dear father Mike, you never ever ever need to apologize for your enthusiasm, your intensity, your gushing over the Bible and God‘s word!! Your faithfulness and your sincerity come straight through to all of us. You enthused all of us to keep going! You’ve gotten thousands and thousands of people reading the Bible! I’m sure your actions and your words have made God so pleased!I know I speak for thousands when I say… you’ve changed my heart!

Giving people a biblical worldview

Fr. Mike is gratified at the success of the podcast, and has seen the fruits of his labors in the many testimonials he has heard.

“Through distraction and distress, our culture has lost a hopeful, historical biblical
worldview – but by the grace of God this podcast has helped thousands rediscover it,” said Fr. Mike. 

“We’re humbled by testimonials from people of all walks of life who’ve started to apply a biblical worldview to their lives – gaining clarity on God’s will, overcoming addictions, returning to the sacraments or are converting to Catholicism, renewing marriages and relationships — and many more incredible stories,” he said. 

Fr. Mike goes to New York’s Times Square

While listeners can begin the podcast at any time, the turn of the year offers an opportunity to listen along with others who are starting the 365-day program on January 1. 

What better place to find new listeners who might be hungry for the word of God, than New York City’s Times Square. Ascension announced at a press conference last week, that they have rented a billboard in Times Square’s busiest season, from December 19 through January 9. Amid the flashing lights and neon, Fr. Mike will promote the podcast to New Year’s eve revelers and passersby.

Ascension also announced the launch of a new Spanish-language podcast, La Biblia en un año Podcast. The program, which begins on January 1, 2022, will feature original commentary and a new, native-Spanish speaking host.

In addition, a virtual “Bible in a Year Retreat” is planned for February 18-20, to help Catholics in their faith journey. Registration, which will be limited, will begin in December.

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