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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Podcasting is basically a radio-style show put out over the Internet. That means, worshippers can catch their Sunday church sermon in the car during Monday morning rush-hour traffic or on the treadmill at the gym after work.

And there are plenty of religious podcasts to choose from. Last summer, listed roughly 170 religious and spiritual podcasts on its site. A recent check showed that number has jumped to more than 600 religious-based podcasts.

The surge in religious oriented podcasts or "Godcasts" is of great benefit especially to those who are unable to attend Sunday worship. However, some worry that the ease of which people can now download sermons or homilies in their own homes may threaten the importance of seeing the primary expression of worship in the community.

In that sense, I don't think it is any more of a threat than having Sunday Mass on TV, plus the general post-Vatican II mindset on homilies is that they should focus on the Gospel for that particular Sunday. This has led to a decline in homilies on other topics such as a particular virtue/sin or sacrament. It seems to me that the need for better catechesis leaves open the need to try to reach people with these types of messages via podcasting which can compliment - not supplant - the message of the homily.

In a parish situation it can be very difficult to get people to come to a parish for adult education. Podcasts can be a good means of reaching the faithful who wish to learn more but are unable to find a lot of free time amidst very busy schedules.


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