By The Northern Cross
Catholic multimedia network Ascension has teamed up once again with chart-topping podcaster Father Mike Schmitz of the Diocese of Duluth to add his popular Sunday homily podcast, formerly called the UMD Newman Catholic Campus Ministry podcast, to its suite of free media offerings. The addition of the podcast, newly titled “Sunday Homilies with Fr. Mike Schmitz,” expands Ascension’s efforts to help Catholics rediscover the depth and beauty of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass each week via its new Sundays with Ascension multimedia collection of offerings.
For more than 15 years, the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth — where Father Schmitz ministers as chaplain and celebrates Sunday Mass — has handled the production and distribution of the podcast, which has surpassed 16 million cumulative downloads. As part of the show’s transition to Ascension, the podcast has received an updated cover image, a new title, and new introductory elements, making it easier for listeners to find and enjoy the homilies. After its first episode released under Ascension for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, “Sunday Homilies with Fr. Mike Schmitz” jumped to No. 3 on Apple’s chart for “Religion and Spirituality” podcasts.
“Ascension is immensely grateful for the incredible work that the UMD Newman Catholic Campus Ministry team, and Father Mike himself, have done for more than a decade to build this Sunday homily podcast offering into one of the most popular Catholic shows on Apple podcasts,” said Marisa Beyer, general manager of media at Ascension. “Ascension’s new chapter in the podcast’s story is only possible because of the remarkable foundation they have established.”
“For Father and me to be able to hand the podcast over and to work with a team that’s trustworthy, talented, and passionate about the work they do — it’s such a testament to God’s providence,” said long-time UMD podcast producer Mary Hazuka, who will continue producing the podcast as a new member of the Ascension team. “I am so pleased for Father, I am so proud of him, and I am so excited for Ascension and the church!”
“I hope the podcast inspires and motivates listeners,” Father Schmitz said. “And I also hope it leaves them hungry for the One who gave everything to feed them.”
The Sunday Homilies with Fr. Mike Schmitz podcast is part of Ascension’s new product line of Sunday and liturgy-oriented content called Sundays with Ascension. This new multimedia collection of free media offerings provides audio and video resources unpacking each week’s Sunday Scripture readings. The collection includes the Sunday homilies podcast, Father Schmitz’s virtual Sunday Mass hosted on the new Sundays with Ascension YouTube channel, as well as Jeff Cavins’ “Encountering the Word” five-minute Gospel reflections.
Listeners can receive “Sunday Homilies with Fr. Mike Schmitz” and all of the free Sundays with Ascension Mass resources in their email by signing up at www.AscensionPress.com/Sunday or by texting SUNDAY to 33-777. They can also subscribe directly to the new YouTube channel, Sundays with Ascension.