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Bishop Robert Barron passes 1M YouTube subscribers


Word on Fire

J-P Mauro - published on 02/21/24

Bishop Barron recalls his 2-decade journey to become the most followed Catholic bishop on the internet with a brief video to thank his followers.

Bishop Robert Barron of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester is celebrating a major milestone nearly two decades in the making: accumulating 1 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. He commemorated the occasion in a brief video that highlighted his 17-year journey to become the Catholic bishop with the largest following on social media.

It should be noted that YouTube is not the first social media platform on which Bishop Barron has achieved such a large following. He currently has a flock of 3 million followers on Facebook, with another 261,000 following his X (Twitter) account, and 421,000 following his Instagram. His estimated 1,300 YouTube videos have been viewed more than 151 million times.

In the video announcement, Bishop Barron recalled how he began his efforts on YouTube in 2007, when he was still a diocesan priest. We see images of his original video, a young Fr. Barron seated before a “movie theater” backdrop, in which he reviewed Martin Scorsese’s The Departed

“Our work, as always, is evangelization. A million people now subscribing to this channel means that this information, these messages, these videos can go out, and indeed [subscribers] come from all over the [English-speaking] world.”

It may have started with movie review, but today Bishop Barron’s social media presence has grown to include commentaries on many aspects of Catholicism, as well as developments in the secular world. In 2011, he launched the Catholic media organization Word On Fire, which has worked to expand Bishop Barron’s reach and produce high quality Catholic media that educates as well as informs. 

“I think of all the things we’ve done, beginning with the movie reviews, but coming up through all the commentaries I’ve done on different things: the Rosary videos that have been so successful, I think of our Masses during COVID and all the ways we tried to reach out through this vehicle to reach people,” Bishop Barron commented in the video.

Bishop Barron concluded the video by expressing his thanks to all those who follow him and have watched his videos since 2007. He encourages all his subscribers to recommend his videos to their friends to help his channel grow toward its new goal of 2 million subscribers. He said:

“I want to send a word of gratitude as well to everyone who has supported us, especially through using YouTube videos. A word of gratitude to everyone who made that possible. And let’s keep going. That a Catholic bishop can get a million subscribers on YouTube is pretty good, but there’s a whole wider world out there and many many more we can get to subscribe.”

Click here to subscribe to Bishop Robert Barron’s official YouTube channel.

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