If you are ready to open your heart and step fully into the person God created you to be, then the Diocese’s newest podcast might be just what you’re looking for.
Hosted by Rachel Troche, multi-media producer for the Diocese, “Candid Catholic Convos” is the latest consumer media effort produced by the Office of Communications. The weekly show shares real-life, practical topics and tips designed to humanize the Church and help listeners grow in their faith.
Features thus far have focused on ways to re-invigorate your marriage, how to cultivate a prayer life, why parents should choose a Catholic school, and women’s health from a pro-life perspective.
Guests include clergy, religious and lay faithful who discuss the realities, struggles and joys of life as they offer practical strategies for growing closer to God. Many of the show’s guests are what Troche calls “the people of our community who shape the Church.”
“The vision for ‘Candid Catholic Convos’ is, we want to put a face, or in this case a voice, to the Diocese of Harrisburg. We want to humanize the Church while also being a guiding hand to help listeners grow in their faith, love and understanding,” Troche said.
A podcast is essentially a radio program in an online format. It’s distributed via the internet, and available for listeners to download at their convenience. Podcast formats are consistent with those of a radio or television show, created in a series and centered around a specific topic or area of interest.
Troche pointed out that most consumers of podcasts are young, educated and employed, and spend an average of six hours and 39 minutes listening to the weekly broadcasts.
“One reason that podcasts are becoming more popular is their convenience,” she noted. “Users can listen to audio episodes while running, cooking and cleaning, along with numerous other scenarios. As such, they offer an easy way to absorb information while doing something else.”
The “Candid Catholic Convos” podcasts are typically 30 minutes long – perfect for the work commute, lunch break or evening reflection. They’re available on Spotify; just search “Candid Catholic Convos” in the app.
The series joins a handful of other podcasts produced by the Office of Communications, including “Gospel Reflections” from Bishop Ronald Gainer and “Musings from a Catholic Evangelist” with Sister Geralyn Schmidt, SCC. The podcasts are available online at www.hbgdiocese.org/podcasts.
Personable and Unpretentious
Troche’s approach as podcast host is a conversational and approachable one. She welcomes listeners with an engaging tone that sets the topic for the week. Her occasional references to pop culture (lessons from Frozen and Rocky, anyone?) and the rewards and challenges of being an Army wife, mother of three boys and workplace professional reinforce the candid, Catholic and conversational nature of the program.
So does Troche’s acknowledgment as “a cradle Catholic who is only human, and struggled with faith on more than one occasion,” given at the start of each episode.
“I’m what you would call a cradle Catholic – born and raised, went to Catholic school and was married in the Church. But God, the Church, and myself have had our differences over the years. There were a lot of things I was unhappy with that happened in the Church, a lot of things I didn’t understand, as well as my own crisis of faith over a period of years, and I found myself just not showing up,” she said. “It’s only been within the last several years that I’ve felt a call to come back, and when I agreed to host the podcast, I wondered if there were more people out there like me – those who maybe didn’t believe they were welcome, or who experienced trauma or just generally fell out of love with the Church. So I try to speak from a place of truth, of knowing that maybe if I share my story, it will encourage someone else to share theirs.”
Her goal as host is to ultimate reach people “where they’re at.”
“I am here to extend my hand and say, ‘Here, I’m walking with you, let’s do this together.’ And as I’m learning more about my own faith, I want to share it in the hopes that someone out there may have had the same question but didn’t know where to turn for the answer,” she said.
With more than a dozen weekly episodes already posted, “Candid Catholic Convos” is taking off as the Diocese’s latest consumer media effort. Episodes in the pipeline focus on promotion of an upcoming morning of reflection for couples experiencing infertility and the annual Diocesan Men’s Conference, as well as the season of Lent.
“My biggest goal with this podcast is to offer practical advice to our listeners,” Troche said. “I want them to be able to listen to an episode and walk away with actionable strategies or new knowledge to renew their faith.”
Tune in to “Candid Catholic Convos:”
WHYF AM 720, Holy Family Radio, Saturdays at noon and Sundays at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
WHVR-AM 1280, Hanover, Sundays at 8 a.m.
WKOK-AM 1070, Sunbury, Sundays at 6:30 a.m.
WWSM-AM 1510, Lebanon, Sundays at 7:00 a.m.
www.wisl1480.com, Shamokin, Sundays at 11 a.m.
On Spotify: Candid Catholic Convos | Podcast on Spotify
Online at www.hbgdiocese.org/podcasts
(Photo by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness)
By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness