The pandemic has been a time of increased prayer for many people, and Catholic podcasts – free audio programs that you can listen to whenever you like – are a place many turn for inspiration.
There are at least two podcasters in the Diocese of Allentown, and there may be many more among the 250,000 registered Catholics in our five-county area.
Mike St. Pierre, of Bethlehem, hosts a podcast called “Pausing for Prayer: Saints, Sinners and Everyone In Between.”
“This is really a labor of love,” says St. Pierre, a parishioner at St. Jane Frances de Chantal in Easton. “I’m really passionate about prayer, and if my podcast helps people get closer to God, then I’m doing my job.”
St. Pierre gets about 10,000 visits per year to his website, from 96 countries. More information on the podcast can be found at www.mikestpierre.com/podcast.
Jim Friend of Macungie hosts a podcast called Advancing Our Church. It features “people and stories that positively impact the Catholic Church and our world.”
Past episodes have looked at the effect of Covid 19 on parishes and people, the challenges faced by Catholic schools, and effective ways to promote stewardship — or giving — for parishes, dioceses and schools. It has a nationwide following. For more information, www.advancingourchurch.com.
Kristin Friend, Jim’s wife, recently started a prayer-based YouTube Channel with a unique twist: It features a library of prayers read by her, Jim, and the couple’s three teenage children.
In about five months, she’s garnered 2,000 subscribers and the prayers have accumulated about 300,000 views for a total of 59,000 hours of viewing and prayer. The channel can be found at www.youtube.com/kristinscrosses.
“There has been an uptick in the number of prayer-related resources on the web,” says Jim Friend. St. Pierre agrees. Most of the visitors to his podcast site arrive as the result of an internet search. “That tells me,” he says, “that people out there are searching for prayer resources.”