Thomas Griffin 8/20/21
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The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal have launched another initiative to reach the faithful and evangelize in a dynamic fashion through media. The Poco a Poco Podcast (produced by Spirit Juice Studios) consists of weekly insights from Fr. Mark-Mary, Fr. Innocent, Fr. Pierre Toussaint, and Fr. Angelus which highlights the importance of prayer, virtue, and intimacy with Jesus Christ.
The homepage for this newest movement to embrace the culture states that “The Poco A Poco Podcast is a source of rest, encouragement, refreshment, and renewal for all pilgrims helping them to discern and make the next best step. Poco a Poco, little by little, step by step we’re making our pilgrimage to the Father’s house.” As a weekly listener, the mission of the podcast has been both accomplished and superseded by a unique combination of true joy, evident spirituality that is rooted in personal prayer, and practical tips for drawing closer to Jesus.
The four key consequences of listening to the message and witness of the podcast is ever-relevant and profoundly pivotal for our current age. The friars focus on “rest, encouragement, refreshment, and renewal” as the key ingredients they desire to provide the world with on their “step-by-step” journey to the Father.
These disciples of the Lord, and of St. Francis, provide a fountain of rest for the weary as we make our pilgrimage on this earth clinging to Christ and standing on the shoulders of the saints that have come before us. Peace is given to the listener because of the foundational element implicit in their work: nothing on this earth can completely satisfy our desires because we are made for the gaze of God. If the empty tomb has no body, then we are pilgrims who cannot be conquered by evil, sin, or even death.
The resurrection provides the roadmap to bring us out of discouragement, depression, and despair. Rejoicing must be the message proclaimed and the response received from any man or woman who encounters the living and risen Jesus. Fr. Angelus and Fr. Innocent are twin brothers whose relationship grants great joy to listeners through their brutal and, at the same time, compassionate honesty with one another. Their happiness is not dependent on worldly accolades or perceptions, but simply following the Lord and sharing their encounter of him with others.
All four priests have an apparent authenticity towards each other and Jesus which is immensely refreshing. There are no assumptions made, and they’re consistently upfront with their audience regarding the motives for their newest mission: this is an opportunity to grow together in the faith, to pray, and to powerfully perceive how God is speaking to each one of us, here and now.
Fr. Mark-Mary’s introduction of key topics and encapsulation of pivotal insights from the group personifies the reason why this order of Franciscans is defined by renewal. The work of St. Francis, to rebuild the church, is an ongoing mission for the friars and for each disciple. The beauty of this podcast is its intense focus on renewing your own life through prayer, reading of the scriptures, serving the poor around us while encountering Christ in the relationships nearest to us.
As St. Francis was, we are invited to renew the earth one brick, one plank of wood, and one heart at a time. This will be the source of renewal for the wider church, for our families and for our communities because it is renewal in the light of Christ’s travels to meet people one town and one person at a time.
Jesus invites us to travel with him, “poco a poco” (little by little – step by step), on our earthly journey which includes a true capacity to make contact with him each day. With the slew of podcasts, videos, and resources available across the culture and the Catholic Church, the Poco a Poco Podcast stands as a dynamic witness to that powerful contact with the life of the Trinity and gives us the details on what to pack as pilgrims making their way home to the Father.
Tune in, and take a listen each week, as these humble but strong, and unassuming but profound friars of Francis and priests of Christ facilitate an encounter with Jesus through their words, encouragement, and examples. I promise your listening experience will be one of sitting at the feet of Christ, together, to learn from his teaching while being given the opportunity to watch Jesus take his first steps out of the empty tomb and walk directly into your life.
(Subscribe below to receive the latest summaries of the most recent Poco a Poco Podcast’s as we dive deeper into the profound truths of God uncovered by the CFRs)
Thomas Griffin teaches at a Catholic high school on Long Island and lives with his wife and son. He writes for several Catholic media outlets.
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