Who makes up the Church?
Join Emily and Edmund as they dive into the gift of our heavenly friends, the saints. Our hosts explains who the saints are, how we can have a relationship with them, and what role they can play in our lives.
Join Emily and Edmund as they dive into the gift of our heavenly friends, the saints. Our hosts explains who the saints are, how we can have a relationship with them, and what role they can play in our lives.
(00:08) Your hosts Emily and Edmund welcome you to the Unit 10 podcast. This unit’s theme is The Church is a communion of God’s family. This section of the Catechism highlights how connected we are to each other in the Church. This unit covers CCC 946-962. Emily shares the video titles: Proclamation: Who are the best role models? Explanation: What is the ‘communion of saints’? Connection: Two things to know about the communion of saints.
(05:03) Proclamation video: Emily talks about the guest for the Proclamation video, who says in the video, “I encourage my students to have role models because as a teacher, I try to provide both windows and mirrors for students to help in their development. So for example, students need “mirrors.” They discuss the power of witnesses and how they’ve been personally impacted by role models.
(12:28) Stand Out Catechism Paragraph: Emily’s standout paragraph of the Catechism for this section is, “We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church; and we believe that in this communion, the merciful love of God and his saints is always [attentive] to our prayers” This reminded Emily that there are holy people that she can ask for intercession, people who might not have been officially canonized yet.
Edmund’s paragraph is CCC959 “In the one family of God. “For if we continue to love one another and to join in praising the Most Holy Trinity — all of us who are sons of God and form one family in Christ — we will be faithful to the deepest vocation of the Church.” He was moved by this because it brought his made to the question, “what is church?”
(19:02) Explanation video: Emily comments on learning a lot through creating this video. Edmund shares that we are not alone as we struggle and suffer. We can win grace for each other. But also, have the ability to hurt each other in our sin. This connectedness is radical. “How would this belief change the way we interact and encounter each other?”
(25:05) Connection video: Mother Teresa! Austin Weigel’s story is highlighted and displays the rippling effects of holiness. Edmund says that we share in the virtues of one another. Emily tells us that the story of the saints are powerful to share with those we’re sharing the faith with, or who are suffering. Edmund has been inspired by St. Francis of Assisi. Emily has felt moved by St. Paul, and St. Augustine. Emily shares an exciting update that some of the Real+True team is traveling to Rome in September for the International Congress for Catechesis. They will present some of the Real+True content to the Congress at the Vatican.
Edmund: Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the Real+True podcast. I’m your host Edmund Mitchell.
Emily: And I’m your host Emily Mentock.
Edmund:And this podcast is for us to discuss the unit of videos and more detail, to dive deeper into the content and to share a bit of the behind the scenes of the mission and vision of Real+True. How are you doing, Emily?
Emily: Doing really well? Edmund, how are you?
Edmund: Really good? I’m excited because, as always, when we do this podcast, it means a whole new unit has launched, a whole new set of videos that we get to talk about. So I’m really excited. This means that Unit 10 has launched, right?
Emily: Yes. So, Unit 10, if you haven’t checked it out yet, you can go and find the videos at realtrue.org or on our YouTube channel. Uh, and the theme for this unit— it was actually just a short little section of the Catechism that we covered–paragraphs 946-962, I think probably the shortest, yeah, just a small section, but a super important. one. The focus for this unit was that “The Church is a communion of God’s family.” And this section of the Catechism really focuses on how we’re in union with each other and the communion of saints.
Edmund: Yeah. I’m excited about this one. Uh, saints are something that maybe more people have had an experience of, you know, some of the other topics might not be, uh, as practical. I feel like there’s a lot of people, even if they’ve just been, uh, exposed to the Catholic Church, but haven’t actually been a part of the Catholic church, they like kind of understand the concept of saints, but maybe not fully. So I’m excited for, for this, uh, unit, have we talked about the title of the three videos?
Emily: Yeah, we can go over that. So, okay, our Proclamation video is, “Who are the best role models?” Uh, the Explanation video is, “What is the communion of saints? and the Connection video is “Two things to know about the communion of saints.” So kind of two essential things for all Catholics to know about the communion of saints. And I encourage you to go watch these videos if you haven’t.
Edmund: Yeah, I’m excited. I always like, uh, this part where you get to remind everybody about where we are in the Catechism and how, how to think about, um, all of these doctrines being connected. So just a quick refresher, there’s four pillars of the Catechism. We’re on the first pillar on “creed,” what we believe. And we’re in this section, we’ve been walking through the Apostles creed, I believe in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and the, the creed really has this Trinitarian formula. And so we can associate the Holy Spirit, the Church and the community of saints, all in the Holy Spirit. We really live in the age of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit’s been poured out into our lives and into the Church. And so there’s the Church, the Holy Spirit and the communion of saints are really connected together. So that’s where we’re at in the Catechism, when we’re talking about, uh, the communion of saints,
Emily: Right? So important to you see that continuous thread of how it all works together. And I think that it totally makes sense that the communion of saints is part of, is in the Holy Spirit section, because I think the saints are some of the great, uh, most visible examples we have on earth of the Holy Spirit working in our world in our time. Yeah.
Edmund: A hundred percent. And, and to try to with this unit, you know, we mean big S saints, but we also mean the body of Christ. And if we end up getting to heaven, we’re not, we’re not big S canonized saints, but we are saints. Right? Like we, we are part of the Church. So it’s interesting to think about like, we’re, we’re part of this Saint, aren’t just people that are way over there.
Emily: Absolutely. And we wanted to, you know, introduce the concept of saints in the way that I think probably most of us, or many of us were taught about the saints. Um, kind of the idea of like, to look up to like, okay, we are, we’re called to be saints. We wanna get to heaven. So for most of us as kids in school, when you’re making your First Communion or, um, you know, whenever you came into the Church, you were probably told examples of the saints as people who lived their life for Christ and you, and they were held up as examples for you to do the same. So to introduce this concept and especially why the saints are such a gift to the Church we focused on who, who are the best role models to have, but more starting from a more, uh, like philosophical, secular point of view, talking about role models in our Proclamation video.
Edmund: Yeah. What were some of your role models growing up, Emily? I think mine was like, Spider-Man
Emily: So that’s so funny that you asked that, um, one of the first role models I can think of was Steve Irwin,. Crocodile hunter. I just loved like his passion. Like he gave his, like truly gave his whole life to what he was doing. And I, I was really into like, kind of scary animals at the time. So I, I think that, uh, yeah, so his role model for being a role model for not just, you know, passion for the environment, but really, I think what inspired me was just like how he went all in and that’s like, what stuck with me more through life than anything.
Edmund: That’s really cool. That’s awesome. Another,
Emily: Another, oh, go ahead.
Edmund: No, no, you go,
Emily: I was gonna say if you had any Saint role models, uh, I know that when we were kids, like we, one of the things that I actually do remember from religion class, like young in school actually were saintly role models that were presented to us. We, we had to do of course, you know, picking a Confirmation Saint, like later on when I was in middle school. But even at a younger age, there were several grades where we would have to like pick a Saint and report on them. So I actually like strongly remember looking up to certain saints and thinking they were cool for different reasons.
Edmund: Yeah. Yeah. Me as well. I don’t know that I really understood the depth of it or that I was called to be a Saint, but I definitely knew like, okay, you know, my parents and the Church are, are, are giving these, these people to me as role models, but I don’t know that I fully understood it. And I also love, uh, some of the ideas we hit on in this Proclamation video, which you, maybe another role model of yours was the expert in this video?
Emily: Uh, well, yeah, she is my younger sister Maggie Steiss uh, I definitely look up to her in many ways, although when we were younger, I don’t know if I would’ve done that. Yeah. But, um, she, she’s certainly someone I look up to now. And so she is an amazing teacher. She’s a third grade teacher. She’s taught third grade for six years and she has two master’s degrees in education, educational leadership. She’s so passionate about doing everything she can in her vocation, as a teacher and as a school leader to form kids, uh, her, the little model that she has up in her classroom is “for college, and heaven.” Right. So she’s all about that. And she, I know uses role models in every single, um, area of curriculum that she covers in her third grade classroom. So they, she actually strategically uses, um, role model examples for science and history and religion. Um, so I thought she’d be a great interview for this video.
Edmund: Yeah. I love tere’s this part in the video where she talks about trying to provide kids with windows and mirrors. And I think, I think it’s, it’s a really powerful, not only is it a creative image, but it’s a really powerful idea that kids need, uh, both windows and mirrors. Do you mind explaining that a little bit? Ths
Emily: Yeah. She talked about how, you know, she really needs to provide both of those things. Um, the, the mirror, meaning that kids, it helps kids, uh, to relate to something in their role models. You know, like she talked about when she assigned the project where they have to kind of research a Saint, kids will choose things like, oh, well that Saint’s Italian and I’m Italian heritage. Yeah. So I’ll choose them or, oh, this one likes animals and I like animals. So I’m gonna research Saint Francis. And so some of those like early connections that you can make with a Saint is having, you know, something in common with them. So that mirror, that you see something of yourself in that role model, and that helps form a connection that inspires you, to the rest opens you up to the rest of their life.
But then the flip side of that, cuz you don’t want kids to just, you know, only, uh, see people just like them is the windows where you see that, open them up to what might be possible, that there’s all these different options, all these different paths in life or people who, um, maybe even if they had some of those similar connections, the mirror side of things then went on to do incredible things. And so she talked about how important it is, especially at a young age to provide children with both windows and mirrors to inspire them to something greater.
Edmund: Yeah. I love that concept. I’ve been, I ever since I even read the interview or, or heard her say this, I’ve been thinking about it a lot and thinking even with my kids, how am I providing windows and mirrors? And one thing that struck me is that, uh, often we’re talking to, or trying to target or target audiences, people that maybe aren’t as, uh, invested in their faith or maybe think they understand the Gospel message or the faith. Um, and, and therefore don’t like it because what they think they know is not what the Church actually teaches. And I’ve often heard, I dunno, if you’ve heard people say like, well, what is God doing in the world? What is he doing? Like where, where is God? And the idea that you could see yourself in an Italian Saint or see yourself in a, you know, whatever a Greek Saint, or all these different types of things.
Like you can see how God changed someone’s life. Yeah. And I think that’s really, really powerful. And I often forget like how powerful that is because you take it for granted, like God is moving and has changed people’s lives. And here are examples. And, you know, we can relate to Jesus cuz he was a human, but it’s very different if there’s, you know, a Saint from, if you’re from Ghana and there’s a Saint from Ghana, like it, it changes the reality of Christianity and how you can relate to it. Like God is moving and he’s done stuff throughout all of history in every age there’s been saints that have been transformed by Jesus.
Emily: Absolutely. And I love that the community of saints really offers us, you know, both of those examples. So you think of like the popularity of like, uh, Pier Giorgio Frassati, because he was like, he’s kind of portrayed as like this cool guy who, who climbed mountains and played pool with his friends and evangelized his friends, just like a regular young person. And he’s very popular because I think a lot of people look at, you know, his saintly life and see things like, oh, that they could do that too. Yeah. And then you have like the other example, which we’ll talk about a little bit later in this podcast too, of like Mother Teresa. Yeah. And like God bless those women called to be Missionaries of Charity who are really following in her saintly footsteps. But I think most of us don’t, don’t really think it’s realistic that we could go and be Mother Teresa and do what she did.
But I think having like all those different examples, um, really, uh, is, is so inspiring and such a gift, um, from the Church. And what’s interesting about being introduced to all those different examples, I think at a young age and sort of Maggie’s point about, you know, role models is that, you know, you know, God calls people to holiness in all these different ways. And so it’s such a, what a great thing to be able to explore all these different ways that God can work in our world, work in our life and really open up our hearts and minds to what he might do in our own lives too.
Edmund: Yeah. And one of the, I think one of the coolest things we got to show in here is the, this idea of the four minute mile, the record being broken. Once it was broken and people knew it could be broken, then a ton of a ton, more people broke the record, uh, in, in that year, right after that. And I think when we’re talking with people who are, uh, farther away from the Church, or maybe in the Church, one foot in one foot out and are kind of confused about what the Church teaches or if it’s for them, it’s so important, like this, this principle that we could unlock, uh, this potential. So if the church is saying, you know, it’s best to be chased and a person says, I don’t know how anyone could do that. I’ve never seen anyone live that life. And you’re able to show them that. Or like you’re saying, like if you show students saints that look like them or have the same struggles as they did and see that it’s possible, it’s like, it can unlock this- okay, maybe it’s possible. Maybe I could live this life, uh, fully for Jesus.
Emily: Yeah. And I think the last thing that I would say is such a key takeaway from the video is that, you know, children, especially, but I think all of us, even as adults, we are influenced by the people around us and the peoples who’s like who feel present like their presence is influential in our lives. And so it’s not a question of, you know, will we be influenced by the people we are seeking closeness or seeking to be like, or not? It’s really, um, the question we should be asking is who is influencing our lives? Who are we allowing ourselves to sort of grow to be like? Whether they’re people who are, you know, physically present with us in our lives, um, your real life role models or the people that you are just close to by reading about them, praying through their intercession, things like that. And so I think that for people using this video too, for anyone in the world, who’s asking, you know, well, who might my role models be? Who should my role models be? Um, really just, uh, emphasizing that we, we are gonna be influenced by the people around us. So why not for those of us, especially who would like to get to heaven, like the saints, uh, pursue them very intentionally as role models for our lives.
Edmund: Yeah, this is great. The next part I’m a little nervous about, because, well, I’m a little upset about, because our standout Catechism paragraph, I actually picked the same paragraph you picked. And I had to go back and pick a different one, but I did find a good one.
Emily: Great. It was the shortest section too.
Edmund: Yeah. Yeah. So do you want to go with yours first? The, so just remind people, this is standout, Catechism paragraph. We encourage you to read along with us and, um, find one paragraph in this section and just like make that something you meditate on for more than a day, like for a period of time and, and make it something that like is meaningful to you and almost like Lectio Divina, like meditate on that section. So, uh, yes, maybe Emily, you could share yours.
Emily: I can go first. And I really love this practice that, um, has been, become a part of my life since working on this project. So I picked, um, where you kind of sit with it and let it speak to you and call you to some things. So I picked, um, paragraph 962, “we believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purifiedm and the blessed in heaven all together forming one Church. And we believe that in this communion, the merciful love of God and his saints is always attentive to our prayers.” Uh, I have a less profound reason why that stood out to me that I’ll start with, and then we can go a little deeper. Um, I was wondering recently, you know, because it was sort of like ‘canonization season’ at the Vatican and we were getting some new saints, which always a gift, uh, canonized saints.
And I was thinking about, you know, how, like, who are the people who start praying to people before their saints? Right. Like when a holy person passes away, there’s those, those people early on who like recognize the holiness of that person and then really live out this belief is kind of the reason how it ties in really living out this belief and being in communion with those people, even though they’ve died, even though they’re not physically with us, you know, here on earth and, and recognizing that belief in that communion and believing that they’re a holy person on their way to heaven, um, and inspired by their example, like start praying through the intercession of those people before they’re declared servants of God or venerable or blessed or anything like that. And so it just really stood out to me, you know, like who, who are the people that I like I’m forgetting, or I’m not as attentive to the gift of being in communion with them. Um, and then certainly, you know, like how could they be interceding for us too?
Edmund: Yeah. It’s so cool. It really expands your perception of the Church. Like when you, in that paragraph, when you think about the dead, those on their way, those alive, like those who are saints, those who, we’re not sure if they’re saints, like it’s, it’s such a bigger picture of the Church than often I think about.
Emily: Yeah. What about you? What was your favorite, besides this one?
Edmund: All right. So besides that one, I went with paragraph 959, “In the one family of God, for if we continue to love one another and to join and praising the most, Holy Trinity, all of us who are sons of God and form one family in Christ, we will be faithful to the deepest vocation of the Church.” So it’s a lot, it, it was a list. So that first sentences, like in the one family of God, we share in communion, in the one family of God, and then saying that if, if we continue to love one another, we will be faithful to the deepest vocation of the church. I like this idea because the idea that like, what is church, and, and often I forget the real meaning of church, or we get caught up in a secular understanding of church that isn’t actually true. And, uh, the idea that the deepest, meaning the deepest call of the church is for us to love one another in the family of God.
Like, it sounds so simple, but man, I don’t know that I really live that out. Like, I don’t know that I’m thinking about the community of saints as my responsibility to love one another in the family of God to live out the mission of the Church. Um, that, that one really stood out to me. And it’s really cool because I, I love how, like, as we’re going through this, remembering these things in Mass, when we’re here, I believe in the communion of saints, I used to just think, I believe that there are people up there, you know, on a, on a stadium bench that kind of like cheer for us. And now I’m like, and now there’s more like me involved. Now when I hear that, “I believe in the communion of saints.” Man, I’m called to be part of this deepest vocation of the Church, which just is to love one another in the family of God. Um, that, that really stood out to me.
Emily: I really love that. I think it’s so beautiful too, to think about it as the deepest vocation of the Church, that like living as a family and like living in loving communion with each other, isn’t, isn’t this sort of like byproduct of like following the rules, right, it’s not, not assume that’s supposed to happen like second as a result of just other actions like it, that living that out that love and living as a family in communion, um, here on earth and with a communion of saint, like is the deepest vocation and then really everything else, like living in a way that’s, that’s carrying that out is really what goes second after pursuing that deepest vocation.
Edmund: Yeah. Yeah, man. Awesome. Do you have a shout-out for us?
Emily: I do. Okay. So, uh, this was a YouTube comment on last unit. Um, someone commented on the, or SeeFrance, the love the YouTube user.
Edmund: I would love to see France.
Emily: I would love to see France. Uh, “Boom. Brilliant. What an analogy super inspired by the Holy Spirit.” So I really wanted to highlight this comment, um, just to talk about to, because I think what, what this person was spot on about is that we do invite the Holy Spirit, you know, into this, this work you can’t kind of do part of our mission is to write, to carry out this living voice for the modern world to, to help echo down our faith. That’s what catechesis is. That’s what this project is all about, doing it through, through our video content. And so, yeah, I just love that they recognize that like, it’s, of course we’re doing our best to the best of our own human abilities, but really inviting the Holy Spirit to guide this work on a daily basis to pray before we’re doing this podcast to, uh, pray when we are like solving problems, like problems as a team for animation and things like that. So I just appreciated that and wanted to affirm that it’s such an essential part of doing it.
Edmund: Yeah. It’s so important to remember, you know, that techniques of evangelization and catechesis are good, but nothing can replace the general action of the Holy Spirit. And, um, you know, I like, we talk about a lot, like we hope that this project isn’t just like, wow, those people over there are doing this, but inspires you to in your own small way, like be influenced by the Catechism, to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. How am I going to share this with someone who might ask me a question or my kids or my coworkers? Um, so it’s really fun to kind of be doing this as a church, as a community, trying to like tackle this challenge and mission of how do we retransform this letter into a living voice?
Emily: Definitely. Well, let’s move on to the Explanation video then. Um, so this explanation video, I actually feel like I can say I learned a lot from, um, not that it was any of, it was like radically new, but the way it was presented, especially in, um, how connected we are, the, that all the goods of our faith and of this family of God belong to Jesus and are given to us as gifts. Yeah. I definitely learned some things in our work on this video.
Edmund: Yeah. And the way it’s structured too. Like, I, it had been a while since I’d read this and it reminded me cuz I it’s, it’s very easy. It’s like two things, holy things. And holy people, this is a community of holy things and holy people. And it’s just so it’s so much of a relief. Like if someone comes up to you, “what is the community of saints all about? To have those two kind of pillars to think about like, okay, it’s not just these people, but it’s, it’s these people sharing in these things. I really appreciate that. And that’s one of the things like we can, we can learn from the way the Catechisms even laid out in this way, is very helpful.
Emily:Yes. That structure is so important for it just it making sense instead of just thinking like, oh, the church is just everything good, all these people in the world. Um, you’re definitely right. And I think that was really just, um, like revelatory for me to really help things click togethe. And then it makes it even more clear. Like again, once it’s organized, well, well then how connected we all are, if these are the gifts given to these people.Then it even, it emphasizes even more the connection we have to each other and to the saints.
Edmund: Yeah. And since in the podcast, we’re kind of talking to people who are really joining us in this mission. I felt like it’s important to bring up that as we’re sharing these things, we’re walking with people with a video like this to really focus on this idea that we share in these holy things, we share in the sacraments, we share in the graces of the Church, which make us more intimately united with one another, even than our physical family. Like it’s a spiritual unification, we’re all co-united with Jesus. And it’s hard to wrap your head around how that makes you even closer than biological family. And because of that, there should be a little bit of a, you know, um, like an urgency to invite people into that family. You know, like, like it’s, it’s not just like, well, I’m just gonna live my life. And I hope maybe one day, those people try to think about maybe joining us. It’s like, wouldn’t you want to share these holy things with these people and have them join you in this family? So I think it’s really important, like to touch on that. It’s not just, we’re holy saints over here. It’s like, we want you to be part of this.
Emily: Definitely. And like that the good we do within that family or the like the sin we do within that family affects all of us. There is such a connection there. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
Edmund: Yeah. This is a really, this is also a really powerful idea because we, especially when we’re dealing with people who have hurt and pain and, and they’re struggling and you’re trying to teach, ’em like, Hey, the community of saints, believe in this. And, and they’re like, but I have so much pain in my life. I have so much hurt in my, how does this help? And the idea that not just, uh, sin or good deeds, but also like the struggling and suffering of one another. Like we share in that, like you’re not alone. If you feel alone in you’re suffering, that’s one of the worst feelings in the world. No one understands me. No, one’s sharing this burden with me. And, and it’s true that the saints and the church really share in the suffering of one another and that when, uh, when someone else is doing a good deed or doing a good act, like I benefit from it.
Like I want other people to be saints. Um, and then also when I am tempted to sin, that it’s no sin is done in isolation. Like I can’t just go to my room and shut the door and go, well, no one will know about this sin. Um, because it does, it does impact the Church and I’m, I’m responsible for, if I’m hurting, other people are hurting and it’s not as direct as that. It’s not like if I, if I choose to go to hell, I’m bringing other people with me. It just means that if I’m making the sin, like I’m hurting the family. Right? Like, and in a way, if your, if your brother or your sister does something that hurts themselves, like it hurts you too, cuz you’re like, you care for them, you care about them and you want the family to be healthy and, and happy, you know? Um, so that’s a really powerful idea this, and I think in our modern time, like we really are seeking unity as a, as opposed to division. Right, right. And this is a really powerful, uh, doctrine of the Gospel message.
Emily: Yes. I think that also, um, that analogy of, you know, thinking about the same way for someone you’re really close to our family member when they’re suffering and you see them suffering, you, you feel you have a heavy heart too. And when they have something exciting happening, like, uh, in the Explanation video example, it’s your sister winning an award, tour heart is lifted as well. And so, um, that’s easy for us to play out or to see an experience in our, you know, like kind of physical relationships or the people physically on earth with us. I mean, uh, but, but that thinking about how that extends to God’s family, our spiritual family in the Church as well. And um, like you, you said a little bit like kind of the responsibility that comes with that of wanting to invite others into that same intimate family and then the responsibility of living out in a way that, you know, is gonna impact the family around you.
Edmund: Yeah. Like how would that change the way you view the whole world, if you, if we really believe this and thought about this often.
Emily: Definitely. So I like, I think that just wanna emphasize that question again, that, that you just said of like, yeah, how, how would it change the way we view the world, our neighbors are siblings? Um, and uh, just anyone we meet, even those outside of the Church, um, how would this belief change the way that we act and love toward all these people that we encounter, uh, and to see them as the family of God?
Edmund: Yeah. It’s less of a, it’s less of a, what I’m picturing is it’s less of a, like, I, you need to be, you need to agree with this because you need to be right. And I’m right. And it’s more of, I have, I have my hands full of these wonderful gifts that I wanna share with you. Like, please come over here and help me, you know, it’s like having like extra food for a dinner. You’re like, like, just come please come. Like, instead of, you know, we’re attacking one another and trying to prove people wrong.
Emily: Definitely. So moving onto the Connection video. So, um, we, uh, talked about Mother Teresa and the impact of Mother Teresa, especially on someone that, you know, and I loved this story and incorporating it into the Connection video, which, you know, really tends to focus on, well, okay, this, we believe this, that the church teaches and how does this apply to our lives? Because you see how Mother Teresa, like kind of as a, as a, a window and mirror, right? Mother Teresa being presented as a role model, uh, inspired another person, a young person who is now trying to live out like inspired by her, live out his life inspired by her example. So do you wanna share a little bit about that?
Edmund: Yeah. I love this because, uh, it’s a little weird might not think about this, but, um, you know, Mother Teresa is more of a modern saint, and Austin Wybel was really influenced by her and really, um, moved by her. And, uh, he decided to start, um, Prodigal Feasts and Feast Day. And this way of serving the poor and the homeless, uh, through especially dignity and certain way of laying out a full meal and having waiters and having good, you know, utensils and they can choose options. And he was really influenced by that. And it’s beautiful story. And Mother Teresa’s story is beautiful too, but I think the coolest thing is that, like we said, like we have no idea the impact of our actions, like the impact of our good deeds us trying to imitate Christ or the impact, the benefit of us suffering the way Jesus is calling us to suffer.
And Mother Teresa, her main thing was to focus on the people right in front of her, the homeless, she wasn’t thinking about Austin Wybel in 2015 being influenced by this and, and impacting people in DFW, Texas. Right? Like you don’t think about that. But if I, I really believe that when we get to heaven, we’re gonna see all the rippling effects of that. And it’s like, it’s like a tangible practical example of how we all share in the good works and the graces and the, um, just the virtue of one another. Uh, and we have no idea, you know, no idea what God has in store for those things. So I really love, I really love that part of the story and I hope it came across in the video.
Emily: Yeah. I think it’s a great way to, again, just invite, um, I mean ourselves, but anyone who, you know, you might be like handing on the faith to, in your life right now, like yeah. Just like the stories of the saints can be such powerful witnesses that you never know how it might impact that person. Or when you’re talking with someone and they’re sharing about something that they’re going through, connecting it to a saint and something a saint went through and then lived out in a holy way, can just be such a powerful thing. And like you said, you never know what impact you might see down the line, uh, with was that by the inspiration of those examples.
Edmund: Yeah. And, um, I think I heard once someone telling a story about how the saints are kind of, you know, like they’re up in the stand in, in a way they’re up in the stands cheering us on and we can feel really alone in our suffering. But, but, and, and, you know, it’s not, it’s not always easy to just be like, well, I’ll just endure this because someone will be inspired one day, but the idea that like, you’re not doing it alone and that maybe God’s calling you to endure this type of challenge because it is for the benefit of everyone, right? Like that there’s meaning behind it, that it isn’t meaningless suffering. It is meaningful suffering when we unite it to Christ and to the Church.
Emily: Yeah. Do you, do you have a patron saint kind of for your life or for different things that you do?
Edmund: So I like, man, I’ve been all over the place with saints and I’ve really struggled throughout my life, in the like, praying for their intercession, because I always felt like, well, how many times do I have to remind them to pray for me? And like, I just, it took me a long time to figure out like the idea of incorporating them into your life, but really, I mean, St. Francis. St. Francis for me, uh, I was very, very, once I learned more about his life beyond just the cliche, I think a lot of people, Saint Francis always talks to birds and deer like him or something. Um, I read GK Chesterton’s biography of, of St. Francis of Assisi. And I was there and it, you know, visited Assisi and it was just really meaningful for me. And I mean, yeah, I would encourage other people to, to do the same, like to, to not be caught off guard by, or to only look at the superficial what you might think. So like St. Patrick, it’s like, oh, well, it’s just St. Patrick’s Day, but there’s, there’s deeper story there. There’s like a real life person behind it. Um, so yeah. St. Francis, do you have one?
Emily: Um, I guess, I don’t know if I have, well, I always say St. Paul’s my favorite. Yeah. Um, I do love St. Paul. Um, but I would say one of the saints that, especially like, as I was having my kind of journey, like back to the church and exploring my faith more, that I really just like loved was St. Augustine, related to his like search in other places for happiness, for peace, for in life and finding it, you know, and looking at all the wrong places, not finding it there. Um, but then what I really always go back to now is that like, then, like, yeah, like once, but then once, like, God did capture his heart and he did have that conversion then like he knew his heart was God’s forever. Yeah. And I go back to that a lot just because like, okay. I can relate to like, yeah, that more superficial, like struggle that he had. And that was important to me at a certain time in life. But then now just like going back into how he clung to holiness too, like, that’s also inspiring to me. Um, so yeah, I mean, there’s so many, right. You gotta have, you can have all different ones, like St. Paul for work. St. Augustin for life, all the different ones.
Edmund: Yeah. Yeah. There’s um, do we wanna talk a little bit about the, this didn’t make it, uh, into the video, but the tapestries of saints in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, did I say that right? When we tried to do the voiceover, I kept doing it wrong. Um, but this is really cool, John Nava, I hope I’m pronounced that. There’s these really beautiful tapestries where the saints are depicted and they look pretty realistic. And he used, it’s really interesting, he used, um, old photographs, death masks, which I had to read up on as basically like this idea of casting, uh, a face before the person, uh, passes away or after they pass away, um, famous paintings and also even hired a casting director to find contemporary faces that would seem familiar to the viewers. Right. And it’s beautiful. I encourage you to look it up and in catechesis, this is always like when you lead with art, it can be really, really powerful to show someone something and have them kind of interact, like, why did the artists do this? What is sticking out to you? It’s a really, really interesting… you’ve have you seen this in person?
Emily: I have seen it in person. Yeah. It’s very striking. Um, and I think there’s, there’s a lot of, yeah, really impactful art projects that we can find here in our modern world, too. Yeah. Um, of seeing the saints depicted, um, in a way that like is more of like that mirror, like yeah. In a more modern way that we can see ourselves in, in a way that in kind of then reflects, um, that, that, again, that kind of communion with them in a way that we can relate to. Like, and, and I love that in that tapestry, it’s so strikingly beautiful how the diversity of all the different ways that he brought these saints, um, to life and there’s a lot of cool projects like that going on. Yeah.
Edmund: So what, what, I mean, if you had to summarize, like you’re standing there in front of it and you’re looking at it, like, what did it mean to you that they were depicted so modern and familiar and it’s very different style. What, like, what did that really mean to you? Maybe I’m putting you on the spot, but I’m interested.
Emily: You are. Well, I’m no art critic, but I would say, yeah, what it meant to me is like, you know, I don’t know if it should make a difference or it shouldn’t, but like, it almost feels more like, oh yeah. Like I could be like this too… then when you see them in like Renaissance depictions, which is beautiful in a totally different way, like that’s, you know, spanning every age and, and different things. But yeah, I would say like the most honest answer I can give is that when you see saints kind of depicted, like with a, like a, a more modern take for what it does for me personally is just kind of inspire me that like, yeah. I like I’m, I’m called the exact same thing.
Edmund: Yeah. That’s awesome. Yeah. I, I have similar feelings about it that, that man I’m really, I could be a saint too. Like these were people too.
Emily: Yeah. Yeah. These are people too. Well, not that Jesus was too, but yeah, same. Yeah.
Edmund: So, um, I also wanna just encourage people, you know, the li we talked about this a little bit, but like the lives of the saints can be really powerful as a supplemental to catechesis that as you’re going throughout, you know, if you’re teaching someone or you’re walking with a friend or something, it can be a really powerful, practical way to show someone like, actually show them what a life transformed by Christ looks like to actually.
Emily: Actually the, on that note, the, the, um, this is from the USCCB. I don’t know if it’s in other languages, um, like around the world, but they have a Catechism for adults. Yeah. Um, sort of a version of the Catechism. Um, and interestingly, every section of that particular Catechism includes the story of a life of a saint. Yes. Um, so there’s, there’s no teaching, that’s included that doesn’t have a saintly sort of like companion to go with it.
Edmund: And there are so many saints that no matter what doctrine, no matter what part of the Catechism, I’m pretty confident you could find a saint that could be an example of what you’re trying to, to talk about or, or teach or, or pass on. And, hopefully we put that in show notes, but that’s a beautiful idea that, that there are so many saints that we could show an example of, you know, we’re talking about the Immaculate Conception, let’s show the life of someone who is really radically transformed by devotion to Mary or something. Right, right. Um, it’s very, very powerful. That’s a good catch. Good, good resource for people.
Emily: That’s awesome. Well, great. Well, we’re coming to the end of our time. Um, but maybe we can share just about one exciting update that’s coming up.
Edmund: Oh yeah. What’s going on in September, Emily?
Emily: So in September, um, a group of people who work on this project are gonna be traveling to Rome for the International Congress for Catechists, which is a gathering of people, you know, bishops and catechists from all over the globe, to gather together and talk about innovation in catechesis and share about their work. And as part of our meetings that we had in Rome earlier this year including with Archbishop Fisichella who heads the all the evangelization for the global Church, he invited us, uh, back to speak at this event coming up in September. So we’re really excited, especially to be able to engage with a global audience since we’ve, um, it’s always been on our hearts that this project be as global and universal for the Church as the, the book Catechism itself or as our faith. Um, I think our two presenters for that event will be Edmundo Reyes, who is our co-founder for this project. And, uh, Julianne Stanz, who is one of our advisory team members for the project as well. So really excited about that. We would appreciate your prayers as we prepare for this event. And, um, we’ll share more with you about it when we get back.
Edmund: Yeah. I’m excited about that. I’m excited about the global nature of the project, and this is another reminder that like, like we’re doing something that’s really meaningful and I’m really grateful for all the people that are like involved and supporting and these opportunities.
Emily: Yes. And it again just ties all of that is just, to help carry out the mission that we have for this project, which is to transform our church teaching into a living voice for the modern world through inspiring beautiful, captivating video content, and this podcast. So thank you so much for listening. Um, a friendly reminder that this project is available in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. So in anticipation of our sort of global presentation, we would appreciate you helping us spread the word. And thanks again for listening.
Emily: Yeah. Thanks so much to you guys. See you next time.
Edmund: This is the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
It’s the official summary written by the Church of everything Catholics believe. So it just sits on the shelf collecting dust. But if the contents of this Catechism are unlocked, it can change the world. We believe the Catechism isn’t a dry, dusty textbook. It’s a gift. It’s the fateful echo of a God who desires to reveal himself to us. The heart of the Catechism is Jesus and Jesus changes people. We just need to retransform the Catechism into a living voice that people can hear. So we’re setting out to help unlock the Catechism. We’re transforming the letter into a living voice for the modern world.
We’re creating videos, stories, animations, podcasts, social media. We’re creating content that’s relevant, watchable, the type of content you want to share with your friends and all of this will be free to the world and translated into multiple languages, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, to help people fall in love with the Catechism, the Church and the heart of the Catechism: Jesus. Visit realtrue.org and join the movement. Join us and help unlock the Catechism for the world. Join in the project to retransform the letter into a living voice.
Would you prefer to listen to this instead?
Our Celebration series is also available as a podcast! Subscribe to bring R+T into your favorite listening app.
Also available on
U.12 — CCC 988-1065
This is Real+True’s final unit and podcast for the first section of the Catechism! Emily and Edmund dive into this mystery through exploring what the Catechism says about forgiveness. They…Watch
U.11 — CCC 976-987
In this podcast, we explore the concepts of mercy and forgiveness, how the Church can forgive sins, and how to offer and receive forgiveness.Watch
U.9 — CCC 748-975
Join Emily and Edmund as they dive into the mystery of the Church! Unit 9 is all about the Church as one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. This episode breaks open…Watch
U.8 — CCC 683-747
Join Real+True as we explore God’s breath and how we are transformed by the Holy Spirit. Edmund gives us a new tool for teaching about the Holy Spirit. Emily shares…Watch