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Bishop Burbidge uses new podcasts to evangelize

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Just as the Twelve Apostles went in search of new places to preach the Gospel, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge has found a new place to reach his flock — through podcasts.

“I think that as a church we should use every tool possible to get out the Good News,” said Bishop Burbidge. “ The Good News of the Gospel, the Good News of all the great ministries occurring here in the diocese, the Good News of the truth we can bring out into the public arena.”

“I think that as a church we should use every tool possible to get out the Good News.” Bishop Michael F. Burbidge

The new “Walk Humbly” podcast premiered Jan. 30. In it, Bishop Burbidge looked back on his first year in the Diocese of Arlington. He talked about his love of Catholic education and how the proximity of the Diocese to Washington affects his role as a shepherd. He also offered some personal advice for dealing with anxiety. 

Chief Communications Officer Billy Atwell has worked closely with Bishop Burbidge to develop this new podcast. 

“The three main roles of a bishop are to teach, sanctify and to govern. This is an opportunity to stretch his teaching ministry even farther. We felt podcasts would be a really good platform for this area because there are a lot of people who are commuting long distances,” said Atwell. “I know in my own life I am always looking for something interesting to listen to on my long commute.”

According to Atwell, the “Walk Humbly” podcast will be an opportunity for the Bishop to engage the issues of the day in regard to culture, news, and what is going on in the church and around the world. 

“When we see a headline we respond as individuals, but we are supposed to respond as a child of God, as a Catholic,” said Atwell. “I think it would be a good opportunity for him to remind people of the way Catholics are called to view contemporary societal issues.” 

“Walk Humbly” listeners will be able to hear new content each week, a mix of Bishop Burbidge’s messages, WTOP radio spots and homilies. 

Another podcast serving the diocese is the Catholic Herald podcast, which launched last summer with new episodes weekly. 

“From what we have heard, people are enjoying the weekly recap of the print issue and the online offerings we touch on,” said Ann Augherton, managing editor. “We had an interview with high school chaplains who were a big hit with their humorous banter. Last week, one of our staff writers shared the story of an Alexandria couple whose son was seriously injured in a car accident. The family spoke very frankly about how their faith sustained them in the aftermath. 

“Combined with the weekly newspaper, the website, enewsletter, videos and various social media platforms, the staff of the Catholic Herald is working to keep local Catholics informed and inspired. 

“For the community at large, our coverage provides a look at all that the church is involved with from charity to education, refugee assistance to religious education,” she said. “When we share an inspirational story, we draw readers into the faith and sometimes back to the faith.”

In addition to the “Walk Humbly” and Catholic Herald podcasts, the diocese plans to launch a new podcast called “Searching for More” in the coming months.  

The title speaks to the fact that everyone, Catholic or not, is searching for more in life. The word “more” has a double meaning because the patron saint of the Diocese is St. Thomas More. 

According to Atwell, “Searching for More” will feature interviews with people whose stories express the inspirational and educational nature of faith. It will include keynote addresses from diocesan events and conferences, which are not always accessible to everyone. It also will tap into the abundant stable of experts living and working in the Diocese.

“You don’t have to be a practicing Catholic to appreciate a conversion story or someone’s journey through adversity,” said Atwell. “There are beautiful intersections in our culture where we can introduce the faith and not be heavy-handed about it. This podcast hopefully will inspire everybody to grow a little bit more in their relationship with God and their love of the church.”

Hear the podcasts

For the bishop’s “Walk Humbly” podcast, go to bit.ly/burbidgepodcast.

For the Catholic Herald’s podcast, go to bit.ly/achpodcast.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018