The press conference featured revelations, reflections and Q&As with Rev. Schmitz, the vastly popular Catholic priest, highly sought after speaker and acclaimed host who's also an author of Catholic nonfiction, and Mr. Cavins, the gifted Scripture scholar, author of Catholic nonfiction and creator of the Bible Timeline Learning System (used to assemble the "Great Adventure Catholic Bible" that's being read during the Bible in a Year podcast).
The initiatives that were announced include a new Times Square billboard advertising the podcast from Dec. 19 through Jan. 9, "La Biblia en un Ano" podcast for 2022 featuring a native Spanish speaking host with original commentary and "The Bible in a Year Retreat" virtual event, to be held Feb. 20 through Feb. 22, 2022, for listeners to the podcast -- which was #1 in Religion & Spirituality from Jan. 2, 2021 - June 30, 2021 and from Oct. 24, 2021 to present. It was also announced that Ascension is considering producing a Catechism in a year podcast in 2023.
But while the announcements were encouraging, the tremendous impact that the podcast has had on people of all ages in the United States and throughout the world is even more encouraging. Being able to listen to The Bible being read and explored in daily podcasts that, on average, are around 23 minutes long has been an incredible blessing for so many people.
During the press conference, Rev. Schmitz said something that really resonated with me. "Hearing God's Word has shaped their lives," he said about the podcast's hundreds of thousands of listeners. He added, "You get close to God's Word, and God does the work."
So many terrible things have happened in the world in recent years. And, sadly, they're still happening. But in recent months, there have also been some inspiring, uplifting news stories about children and teens being rescued from unimaginable harm, people doing what they can to help others and people uniting against injustice, cruelty and a disrespect for those who are among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged among us. I believe that because more people are turning to God, turning to Jesus, and listening to God's Word, there's more care, concern, truth and love spreading throughout the world.
The books that both Rev. Schmitz and Mr. Cavins have written also reflect their love and praise of God. Recent books by Rev. Schmitz include "Pocket Guide to the Sacrament of Reconciliation," "A World Undone: Finding God When Life Doesn't Make Sense" and "How to Make Great Decisions." Recent books by Mr. Cavins include "The Activated Disciple: Taking Your Faith to the Next Level," "Pope Fiction: 30 Myths and Misconceptions about the Papacy" and "Praise God and Thank Him: Biblical Keys for a Joyful Life."
As I continue my own faith-rooted writing journey, with the recently released second novella in the Sweet Dreams of a Heartwarming Vermont Christmas series and an upcoming non-fiction project geared toward aspiring/current Christian authors, I'll look to people like Rev. Schmitz and Mr. Cavins for inspiration. They're clearly using their God-given gifts and abilities to build the Kingdom of God.