Apple Podcasts “All Categories” Chart with “The Catechism in a Year” at #1 and “The Bible in a Year” at #3. Both shows are hosted by Fr. Mike Schmitz and produced by Ascension, a Catholic multimedia publisher. Screenshot taken 1/2/23 at 12:30pm ET.
For the third year in a row, a Catholic podcast is the #1 show on Apple Podcasts
(Exton, PA / Duluth, MN) — Jan. 3, 2023 — This January, the #1 podcast in America is The Catechism in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz), which has held the coveted top position on Apple for 5 days and counting, ahead of major podcasts like NBC’s Dateline, Crime Junkie, and NPR.
“CIY” is the sequel to the wildly successful 2021 The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)TM (BIY), which itself hit #1 on Apple at its January 2021 launch, hit #1 again in January 2022, and is #3 in all categories as of this writing. BIY was Chartable’s #1 global podcast in Religion & Spirituality in 2022, and has been downloaded 430 million times.
Podcast host “Fr. Mike,” described by the New York Times Magazine as “an affable 48-year-old Midwesterner who … exudes strong Ted Lasso vibes,” works fulltime as a Catholic priest and campus minister for the University of Minnesota Duluth, as well as for his diocesan office for young adult ministry.
As 2023 kicks off, Fr. Mike has invited his audience of Bible enthusiasts to consider studying a new religious text for 20 minutes each day: the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The response to his invitation has been enormous, as seen in the show’s #1 chart position and 115k-member official Facebook group.
Non-Catholics are following the podcast as well, including Anna, a self-described “life-long Southern Baptist” who is posting popular “REACTS videos” on YouTube.
As Christian affiliation declines across American society, it is notable that the top podcast on Apple at the beginning of 2023 is focused on guiding listeners through a traditional Catholic text.
Podcast producer Ascension’s president and CEO Jonathan Strate offers his thoughts on the phenomenon:
To have a podcast about the Catechism of the Catholic Church reach #1 in the United States in all categories is an astonishing moment for the Catholic Church. It speaks to the deep longing we all have to respond to God’s plan for each one of us—a plan revealed so beautifully in the treasure that is the Catechism.
CIY will have 365 20-minute daily episodes throughout 2023, with host Fr. Mike Schmitz reading every line of the Catechism, and adding his own short prayers and reflections. Special bonus episodes will feature Catholic leaders and experts Bishop Andrew Cozzens, Jeff Cavins, Dr. Mary Healy, and Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT.
Ascension is a multimedia network and the leader in Catholic faith formation and digital content. Over the past 25 years, Ascension has helped nurture the faith of more than 10 million Catholics through award-winning books, the chart-topping Bible in a Year podcast, more than 50 unique faith formation programs, and Ascension Presents, the world’s largest Catholic YouTube channel in English.