Setting aside time to prepare for a small group meeting, while a deceptively simple task, still requires discipline and is integral to a thriving small group ministry. Fortunately, there are ways that you can use pockets of time in your day — like your commute to/from work or walk during lunch — to listen to podcasts that can help you focus in on how God’s Spirit is calling you to plan your upcoming meeting. If you facilitate a lectionary-based small group, the following podcasts might give you some inspiration as you prepare for your meetings. The first four podcasts feature reflections for the upcoming Sunday readings, while the last three podcasts are recordings of homilies, and so are available following a given Sunday.
I was hoping to provide a more balanced list that featured both men and women, however, I’ve had a difficult time finding podcasts featuring women giving their reflections on Sunday readings. If you know of any podcasts that prominently feature women giving their own take on the Sunday readings, please sound off in the comments section below.
PROTIP: If you are a novice to listening to podcasts and use an iPhone/iPod, a convenient way to access them is by downloading the free “Podcasts” app from the App Store and searching for the podcast through there.
- Sunday, Sunday, Sunday Podcast | with Mark Hart by Lifeteen – A reflection on the upcoming Sunday Mass readings. While your ministry may not necessarily be to teenagers, a look at the podcast’s reviews indicate that many priests find this a valuable resource in helping them prepare for their own homilies.
- Sunday Soundbites | Franciscan Media Productions – A weekly, 90-second radio homily based on the Sunday readings written and read by Fr. Greg Friedman, O.F.M. Sunday Soundbites is also heard on Catholic radio stations around the country.
- The Good Word from the Redemptorists – A daily podcast produced by the Redemptorists of the Baltimore Province, featuring short reflections on the Word of God.
- Word on Fire Sermon Podcast | Fr. Robert Barron – Word on Fire Catholic Ministries is a non-profit ministry at the forefront of Catholic evangelization, using new media to spread the faith on every continent. Presented by the global benefactors of Word on Fire, with the support of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
- Church of the Nativity “Watch a Message” – Watch past videos of messages (homilies) given at Church of the Nativity. You’ll also get a chance to see how this parish has chosen to group certain weeks together into “message series,” so that a common theme is held across several weeks. This is something you can do for your small group as well, if you are a lectionary-based group (something I’d like to cover in a future post!).
- Rich Thoughts | Paulist Father – Rich Andre is a Catholic priest with the Paulist Fathers, currently serving as the associate pastor of Blessed John XXIII Parish at the University of Tennessee. He records most of his homilies and some other reflections on this podcast. He welcomes your feedback! You can contact him at richATjohn23rd.org. Fade-in and fade-out music is from “Rise Up” by Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls.
- Fr. Steve’s Homilies – Homilies (sermons) preached by Paulist Father Steven Bell, CSP, mostly at St.Paul the Apostle Church, New York City.
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