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The Rome Boys: A different kind of Catholic podcast

THE ROME BOYS PODCAST

Rome Boys | Facebook | Fair Use

Sabrina Arena Ferrisi - published on 12/28/21

Three best friends from Texas produce a faith formation series designed for people whose parents are not active in the Catholic faith.

The Rome Boys is a Catholic podcast/YouTube show that was born out of a desire “to do something more” to evangelize others.

It is hosted by three best friends from Texas — Chris Martin (“The Entrepreneur”), Tony Frasco (“The Theologian”) and Joe Matthiesen (“The Farmer”). 

“Basically, we all teach RCIA and have taught CCD in the past. We just started hanging out,” said Joe. “We would be at Tony’s house with 18 kids running around and we’d sit around the kitchen table talking about the faith.”

All three experienced the difficulty of teaching CCD to children whose parents at home were not living or understanding the Catholic faith. That’s when the idea of starting a podcast/YouTube channel to cover topics in Catholicism came up.

The “upper room” studio

Rome Boys was born in 2020 when Joe decided to transform a loft (which he calls the “upper room”) in his house into a studio with the help of a laptop, GoPro camera, a few microphones, lights and office chairs. They have created 144 videos thus far.

While some Catholic podcasts feature bookish theology professors and clergy, these three Texan men appeal to the average American man and woman trying to grow in their Catholic Faith. They cover serious theology with a light-hearted touch. They also show that manly-men who live in the world can be deeply religious and fun.

Chris owns nursing homes and dialysis centers. He is a convert to the Catholic faith and married with 6 children. Tony spent some time in seminary before getting married and having 7 children. Joe is a fifth-generation cotton farmer who provides a down-to-earth perspective. He is married with 5 children. Tony and Chris are brothers-in-law to each other.

Fun and fascinating faith formation

Rome Boys has several categories for their videos: “Hangin’ with the Saints,” where they introduce their audience to fascinating facts about saints like Padre Pio; “Awesome Interviews,” where they interview some of the best and brightest leaders in the US Catholic Church; and “Faith Formation Series,” where they explain aspects about the Catholic faith that people may not know.

“The saints were real human beings like us and ordinary people,” said Tony. “Some of the saints did amazing things with the help of God’s grace but others were ordinary but kicked it up a notch because they united themselves fully to the heart of Christ. We want our viewers to know that sanctity is possible because all things are possible with God.” 

Though Joe and Tony grew up as Catholics in stable families, Chris grew up with extremely difficult circumstances.

“My mom was married seven times and had issues with drugs and alcohol. I have seen just about everything you can think of, things that no one should see,” said Chris.

Still, Chris always believed as a kid that he was built for something more than his circumstances. 

Chris first encountered Catholicism on the day he met his biological father for the first time at 20. He pulled a book from a bookshelf that belonged to his paternal grandfather called “20,000 Denominations,” with the first chapter focusing on the Catholic Church. The next encounter took place when Chris took a philosophy class in college and the professor had the class read St. Thomas Aquinas. Books and messages about Aquinas kept showing up in Chris’ life, and he began to read about the Catholic Church in earnest. When he met the woman he would marry – a practicing Catholic – Chris was well on his way. Eventually Chris would convert in 2008.

“I have never made excuses in my life,” said Chris. “If God has created in us the opportunity to serve and thrive and to fend for ourselves, he has also given us the ability to know and do His will.” 

The three Rome Boys hope that their podcast/YouTube channel can be an instrument of evangelization in a difficult time.

“With Joe’s tech skills, Chris’ ideas, and my social media skills, God has done amazing things thus far,” said Tony Frasco. “Our podcast is geared to every person. We want to help Catholics love their faith more and non-Catholics to hear what the Church has to offer.”

They have several thousand subscribers thus far from all over the world with about 60% women and 40% men.

When it comes to difficult news in the world and in the Church, the Rome Boys don’t shy away.

“We tackle it head on, but always remaining positive and filled with hope. Part of our motto is to ‘Be Real,’ and we do our best to not shy away from asking and tackling the tough topics of the day, but we always want to remind our viewers that God has got this, and the Holy Spirit is in charge,” said Tony. 

Ultimately, the Rome Boys want to inspire their audience to grow in their faith.

“God loves you personally and wants you to share that love with a hurting and broken world. Everyone has a God shaped hole in their hearts that only God can fill,” said Tony. “Everyone longs for the transcendentals of truth, goodness, beauty and we are here for this short time on earth to help others see and experience that.”

For more information on Rome Boys, visit https://28835.sites.ecatholic.com/staff

Tags:
CatholicismPodcasts
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