Faith has never been more fun than when you’re listening to and learning from The BeatiDudes, three Catholic men who co-host the religiously funny podcast for Christian men seeking authentic fraternity.
Each week, The BeatiDudes explore life from the perspective of men seeking to follow God’s will while they grow closer together in holiness and humor.
The show’s funny and unassuming nature draws in listeners, especially men. Then the co-hosts let the Holy Spirit weave together a conversation that covers difficult and important topics, such as forgiveness, healing, loss, worthiness, hope, and the sacraments.
“Listeners never know if they are going to laugh until they cry, or cry until they laugh,” said co-host Jeff Schiefelbein in an interview with Aleteia. “But we promise a roller coaster of humor and holiness on every show.”
Who are the BeatiDudes?
It all started with Jeff Schiefelbein, a culture expert and nationally recognized motivational speaker with a passion for human formation and innovation. He’s also a husband and father of seven living out his Catholic faith in daily life.
“I have hosted a live radio show on the Guadalupe Radio Network in North Texas for seven years,” Schiefelbein said in an interview with Aleteia. “About four years into the show, I was about to quit until I interviewed an incredible guest, Paul Kolker. The chemistry we had on air was refreshing and life-giving so I asked him on the spot to be my co-host.”
Paul Kolker spent 3 1/2 years in the seminary studying to be a Catholic priest before discerning otherwise, and today he has over 20 years of experience performing and teaching improv comedy, as well as appearing in multiple commercials and independent films.
Kolker and Schiefelbein continued to host their live radio show every month for the next three years, but about a year into it, Schiefelbein said, “we started imagining fun ways to make conversations about the faith more accessible while showcasing the authentic fraternity that you can create when your friendships are rooted in your love of Christ.”
That’s when the name “BeatiDudes” first came to mind. A year later, Schiefelbein was working with his business partner Nick Bezner to set up Undivided Life, a strategy and culture consulting firm dedicated to the mission of bringing work to life and life to work. Bezner is a professional investor and strategy expert.
As they put together a studio to use for online classes and coaching, they realized it was close to a full-blown podcasting studio, making it possible to launch the BeatiDudes podcast with the three men as co-hosts.
Curious to learn more about The BeatiDudes?
Here’s our conversation with Benzer, Kolker, and Schiefelbein.
What has been your favorite episode so far?
Schiefelbein: Jason Shanks from OSV came on the show towards the end of season one and recounted the story of his battle with COVID and the miracles that ensued after 45 days in a coma. That show spotlighted the healing power of prayer, the holiness of the mundane moments each day, the joy of suffering, and much more.
Benzer: I think that our shows with Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers (#59 and #60) are really great, and I learned so much hearing his story. We recorded his shows as the first two on a marathon day of recording eight shows. By the end, we were sweaty and tired, but I always remember his message that the Lord prepares the called, so even if something seems like it’s outside of your skill set or comfort zone, God will provide you with what you need.
Kolker: I would have to say that my favorite episode is typically the one we just recorded, but if I had to pick one out of all the fun ones we’ve done so far, I would say it’s “The Third Great Crisis of the Church” with Jonathan Doyle. He did such a great job breaking down the history and philosophy that has led us to our current moment in world history, and I found the whole experience both fun and fascinating (and everything in between).
Would you share your funniest church story?
Schiefelbein: Here is a funny story about the pastor, Fr. Edwin Leonard, from our parish, St Ann, in Coppell, Texas. When he came on the BeatiDudes, we surprised him at the end of the show by putting him on the spot and asking him to sing a Taylor Swift song. It was priceless to see his face turn beet red as this very outgoing priest suddenly found himself behind a mic with nowhere to run. We ultimately let him off the hook by helping him to sing but it was an incredible moment of vulnerability and goofiness that I will never forget.
Benzer: I’ll never forget one of my first times as an altar server, I was in charge of ringing the bells at the consecration, and I couldn’t see the priest’s hands so I started ringing them too soon, only to get a very stern look from a 70-year-old priest who wasn’t too happy with his fourth- grade helper.
Kolker: I don’t know if it’s my funniest Church story, but I certainly remember a specific moment while being a seminarian in Rome waiting in line to enter St. Peter’s Basilica. After standing there for some time, it became clear that a large group of Italians, instead of waiting in line, had decided to press into the entrance from the sides. Having learned just enough Italian to feel confident in my abilities, I figured I could rectify the situation. I decided to remind them that there had been a line formed for some time now, so I drew a deep breath, got their attention, and stated, “Scusate, c’e’ una figlia.” They turned, looked at me with blank faces, and calmly resumed their mission to cut in line. It dawned on me shortly afterwards that I had shouted, “Excuse you, there is a daughter.” The word for line is “fila.” Missed it by that much.
What is the most important thing you would want people to know about The BeatiDudes podcast?
Schiefelbein: Because of the clean, fun, and witty humor of the show, The BeatiDudes is an attractive entry point for people looking to have faith conversations without being intimidated by anything overly academic or theological while simultaneously providing an outlet for the well-formed, well-educated Catholic to also join the conversation and be reminded of the need for joy as we make disciples of all nations.
Benzer: That it’s okay to make faith accessible and personal in your life, whatever that means to you. I love our “TBD” aka The BeatiDudes question of the day, because just by being more intentional with your conversations, you can change your relationship with others in your life.
Kolker: That we are hoping to model—both by our witness and our senses of humor—how to take the faith seriously but not ourselves. God provides in so many ways, and we can have joy in the journey of growing closer to Him.