Out of all the 2021 prediction games we probably played, having this podcast beat out every other one was most definitely not on anyone’s list.
Father Mike Schmitz’s podcast, “The Bible in a Year“, has exploded on the charts and does just as the name suggests: reads through the Bible piece by piece for 365 days. The podcast is hosted by Ascension Presents, who have also hosted Fr. Mike’s short podcast of reflections on daily life as it relates to spirituality.
Father Mike Schmitz is a Catholic priest, author, and podcaster and lives in the diocese of Duluth, Minnesota. His oratory skills are unmatched in the Bible in a Year podcast, given he needs to pronounce ridiculously hard Biblical names often.
It’s such a simple idea for a podcast and yet, as of January 20, 2021, it’s been downloaded cumulatively more than six million times! That’s incredible. It sat at the top of charts till just a day or so ago, beating out the New York Times and NPR daily podcasts. Episodes are around the 20-minute mark every day.
Father Mike is reading from the Catholic Bible and after reading, he says a quick prayer and gives a reflection on the day’s readings. One thing he asks every day of his listeners is to pray for one another. It’s such a beautiful request and he has said he wants people to feel like they aren’t alone in their struggles – of which there are many that the characters in the Bible face.
The inspiration for the Bible in a Year podcast came through Fr. Mike’s love of audiobooks and podcasts. He told the National Catholic Register that while he received opinions and Earthly wisdom from listening to those, he wasn’t truly receiving true wisdom, the wisdom from reading the Scriptures. He approached Ascension Presents with the idea of doing the podcast and they jumped on it.
Several Facebook groups have popped up to talk about each episode and people are genuinely surprised at the various stories that are read – these families, especially in the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, are complete messes. It really helps to make us not feel so bad about our own families!
But perhaps the biggest thing that Fr. Mike points out every day is how God’s faithfulness always wins, that He sees our brokenness and hurt and pain and walks with us in that. Maybe that’s why people are so drawn to the podcast today?
If you want to listen to the podcast, it’s available on any podcast app or you can listen here and sign up for daily emails.