The Busted Halo Show with Catholic priest Father Dave Dwyer, CSP, is an informative and entertaining take on the Catholic faith. Father Dave and team answer your questions of faith and tackle current issues in our world while having some laughs along the way! This podcast features excerpts from the show on The Catholic Channel -- SiriusXM, channel 129.

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Marie Miller is a folk/pop singer-songwriter and multi-faceted artist and speaker who weaves together music, humor, and storytelling to convey God’s love for us.  She stopped by the show to talk with Father Dave about her new EP, “The Way of Love.”  

Marie began making music as a teenager, and has enjoyed an almost-20-year career of radio, recording, and performing success, including opening up for The Backstreet Boys and the Wallflowers. She’s excited to be releasing her first Catholic album in a long time. “My heart just kept getting closer to Jesus,” Marie explains. “I want to talk about Jesus and who I love and what I love — the Lord, St. Thérèse of Lisieux  so the writing came very natural.”

RELATED: St. Thérèse of Lisieux: Inspiring Us to Share Our Faith Stories

Father Dave asks about the record being inspired by St. Thérèse of Lisieux.  

“She's the patroness of this album; she’s amazing“ Marie says. “The Way of Love, which is the title track, is inspired by a quote of hers: ‘How sweet is the way of love.' St. Thérèse talks about how even in our brokenness, and even when we make mistakes, God uses even those mistakes to pave the way of love. So when I was considering creating a Catholic album, I thought I can't do this. Catholic artists and speakers — they're all super holy and perfect. How am I gonna do this? And reading that quote, to me was like, hey, even in your brokenness, God will use it; he will use everything he can on the way of love — and so she became the patroness and inspiration for this record.” 

Father Dave and Marie look back at some of the highlights of her career, including sharing a stage with Andrea Boccelli and in front of Pope Francis. “That was so special. I've been blessed to get to do some really cool things, but you know, you hunger for more. So you compare yourself to other artists and think, ‘Wait, why did she get that tour?’ Right? But St. Thérèse of Lisieux, she wasn't trying to be the star. She was trying to make Jesus the star. And I love that and that's why I'm trying to follow in her footsteps.” 

LISTEN: Andrea Bocelli on the Faith Influence Behind His Music

Father Dave asks if it is more challenging to have a humble connection with God when you get more accolades and fame. “I wonder. Jesus has not made me very famous,” Marie laughs.  

Father Dave points out that although Marie is not “very famous,” there is an intentionality to that — that fame is not necessarily her life’s desire or goal. Marie says that while she occasionally has thoughts about greater success, “God knows who needs to hear my music and there's kind of a freedom in that, because if you give your music to God and you work as hard as you can, he knows where it needs to go. It's not just about me all the time.”

Direct download: BHS_MarieMiller_Podcast.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:47pm EDT

A listener named Sara emails Father Dave a question of faith: “First of all, I have listened since 2006. I love you all. Now you may find this crazy but I have been thinking about becoming Catholic since then! I am concentrating on the Eucharist because I get completely overwhelmed by the rules. Is this a sin? I feel it keeps me from Jesus rather than closer. I am in RCIA (Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults). I have a wonderful teacher. I probably would have come into the Church this past Easter but ran into an annulment problem.  So do you recommend me focusing on the Eucharist?”

Father Dave says that the teaching of the Church recommends that all Catholics focus on the Eucharist. “The Second Vatican Council, building on the teaching of 2000 years that came before that, referred to the Eucharist as the summit and source of our faith.” The summit is the peak of the mountain that we are all climbing towards, Father Dave explains, but it is also the source of our journey to the top of the mountain. “The Eucharist is not only the top of the mountain, it’s also the backpack filled with water and granola bars and what fuels us. It’s the summit and source.”

RELATED: Busted Halo’s Guide to the Eucharistic Revival

Father Dave acknowledges that there are a lot of “rules” to Catholicism that can seem overwhelming but makes the case that the rules are there because of the human condition and original sin. “It's not a defect of Christ himself or the Church. It's just that we're like Adam and Eve, we tend to choose the wrong thing just by design. And so those rules are there to help us keep on the straight and narrow so that we can be focused directly towards the summit and source of our faith — towards the Eucharist.”

Most of the rules, Father Dave adds, are about how we live with one another. “On the subway, you can’t have your boombox blaring. It's not because I don’t want that person to experience the music, it's because all the other people on the subway may not want to listen to the same thing. So that's what almost all rules in any walk of life for humans are about. And I would say that's the case with the Church as well, that most of the things in the Catechism, most of the things in Canon Law are about how we interact with one another.”

RELATED: A Beginner’s Guide to Eucharistic Adoration

Father Dave wonders if it is not necessarily all the rules that are overwhelming Sara from converting to Catholicism but just one or two rules that might be a sticking point for her. He encourages her to focus on the Eucharist, but also to lean on others that have converted that can be good sources of wisdom and information. 

“So yes, as someone coming into the Church, focus primarily on the Eucharist. But like many things I think you'll hear in the Catholic Church, It's not either or.  It's not either the Eucharist or all the rules. It's you focus on the Eucharist, but we need the rules too. It's what we call ‘both and.’ It's both of those.”

Direct download: BHS_Podcast_Eucharist.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:49pm EDT

A listener named Julianne writes to Father Dave with a question of faith.  “I’m a mom of two very active children who love playing and watching sports. Recently at a basketball game, my 11-year-old son turned to me and asked whether booing was a sin. I thought it was a really insightful question that recognized that the opposing team players (and referees/umpires!) are people, and that this is just a game; the booing or jeering is part of the performance of the sport. Or is it? As much as we may not want a team to succeed, we don’t actually wish ill will on them. This question is more directed toward behavior at a professional sports game versus a youth sports game (where spectators usually cheer for both teams, or at least keep things positive – can’t speak for everyone here, but that’s what we do). Could you help clear this up for us please?”

Father Dave points out that if you were to say derogatory things or jeer or boo at someone you don’t know, that would be uncharitable and therefore sinful. “Jesus gives us the big bullseye and that is, ‘Love everyone. Pray for your enemies. Do good to those that hurt you,” Father Dave says, “but is there a difference between genuinely meaning ill will, and kind of being swept up in the game?”

LISTEN: Ernie Johnson Talks Sports and Faith

Father Dave talks about how he’s been to college and pro sports games and heard fans yell terrible things at the players.  What he heard was sinful, but he acknowledges that context makes a difference. “I think it's different how we frame it for an 11-year-old,” Father Dave says.  “I think it's an important formative time to be teaching kids about good sportsmanship and morality, and Julianne's doing something right because if her son’s asking the question, he's getting some good moral formation either in the home or at church or wherever.”  

Father Dave also suggests fans can be just as passionate cheering positively for their team without ever having to jeer at or boo the other team. 

“Maternity Leave Matt,” who is a father of three kids, says that when it comes to his 7-year-old’s soccer and softball teams, kids are encouraged to cheer for their own teams, but some light “ribbing” is OK as long as it is not mean spirited or an attack on any other player. 

RELATED: Pray for Us Complainers: Transforming Our Word From Protest to Praise

Father Dave talks about the distinction between hoping the other team loses so your team wins versus attacking another individual. “In the Church, we'd use the Latin term, ad hominem,” Father Dave says. “Ad hominem means towards the person…so I think we can maybe draw the same analogy back here into this arena for Julianne. If the other team scores, and we let out a sound of disappointment, and it's a boo, I would be reluctant to call that a sin, versus somebody yelling out something personal about another player.”

Direct download: Podcast_070224_BooingASin.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:10pm EDT

Friend of the show, Jesuit priest, author, and editor-at-large of America Media Father James Martin stopped by Father Dave’s radio studio to discuss his recent meeting with Pope Francis, what it was like being at the Vatican with a number of famous comedians, and more. 

On Friday June 14, Pope Francis met with a number of comedians from multiple countries including Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, and Jim Gaffigan to name a few.  The meeting, according to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication, was intended to “establish a link” between the Catholic Church and such artists and aimed to "celebrate the beauty of human diversity ... [and] promote a message of peace, love and solidarity." 

LISTEN: Catholic Comedian Judy McDonald on Humor in Difficult Times

Father James Martin is a consultor to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication and explains to Father Dave how he became involved.  “I knew about the comedians thing about two months before they met with the pope,” Father James says.  “It was organized very quickly.  They wanted to do it before the Synod in October. The Dicastery for Culture and Education put it together, and I helped them out with the U.S. comedians.”

Father Dave asks, “So they are over there in Rome and they think to themselves, who knows comedians over in the states? Boom, Father Jim Martin.” “Pretty Much!,” Father Jim replies.

Father Jim explains that the Dicastery for Culture and Education initially sent him a long list of over 50 comedians and humorists and asked him to narrow it down. “I talked to Stephen Colbert and Jim Gaffigan, who I know, and I said help me pick the people who are really kind of the most respected among your peers because we had to narrow it down, and then the Vatican approved it.”

Father Jim adds that there was no litmus test for the comedians who were picked.  They did not have to be Catholic; it didn’t matter if they had said negative things about Pope Francis or the Catholic Church.  It was more about the biggest names who are most respected in their field. 

RELATED: Misheard During Mass: Parents Shared 

Despite the gathering’s quick organization, Father Jim was very happy with how it all worked out. “One of the things that was very moving for me was everyone was really honored and happy to be there.  Comedians can be a little cynical sometimes, but they were really happy to be at the Vatican meeting with the Pope and were all quite moved.”

Father Jim also spoke with Father Dave about his one-on-one hour-long meeting with the pope while he was in Rome.  “We talked about two things which I can say. We talked about his comments about gay priests, which were very much in the news, and we talked about the U.S. Church.”  

Father Jim continues, “We had a very open and honest conversation about his comments about gay priests and one of the things I wanted to share was at the comedians meeting, everybody went up and shook his [Pope Francis’] hand and I went up to him, and I posted a video of this, and I said, thank you very much. And he pulls me back and he says, ‘Thank you for that conversation the other day. I really appreciated it.’ And I thought, now that's really unusual, like, thank you for a conversation that was difficult and challenging. He didn't have to say that. So I just think that's a sign of how open he is. He's learning. He listens.”

Direct download: Podcast_FatherJamesMartin.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:09pm EDT

Father Dave welcomes author John Stansifer to the show to talk about Father Emil Kapaun, the most decorated chaplain in U.S. military history. John has written over 20 screenplays, specializing in biopics and historical true stories. He spent six years in the Kansas Army National Guard as a mortar gunner and served alongside Vietnam War veterans, whose stories further developed his interest in military history. His latest book is called “No Bullet Got Me Yet: The Relentless Faith of Father Kapaun.” 

“No Bullet Got Me Yet” is a collection of letters written by, to and about Emil Kapaun, a Catholic priest and army chaplain in the Korean War. Archived by the Father Kapaun Guild, the letters comprise the record of Kapaun's heroism in the 1st Cavalry Division in Korea in the summer of 1950, and the sacrificial service he provided fellow POWs after he was captured by Chinese troops in November. He died at POW Camp in 1951 and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in 2013.

RELATED: Spirituality and the Soldier

Father Kapaun, John explains, had been a priest for about a year when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941, and joined the Chaplains Corp in the aftermath. He served as an auxiliary chaplain at a military airbase in the United States for two years, and after D-Day, June 6, 1944, decided he wanted to serve overseas alongside American soldiers. He was sent to the China-Burma-India Theater of the war in 1945. 

Father Dave asks, “What do you think, having investigated his life, was so compelling for him about serving in the military as a chaplain? Why was he so attracted to that?”

“He felt like he needed to protect his boys in a spiritual way,” John responds. “And he was aware of martyrs and proto-martyrs, and he had been training for the Church since age 7, so it was obvious where his life was going to lead.”

After World War II, Father Kapaun obtained a master’s degree in education at Catholic University before rejoining the military as a chaplain in 1948. He was eventually sent to Korea in 1950. “It was the rise of communism that spurred him on," John says, “He thought the Nazis were nothing. He thought that communism was going to be the bigger threat. Turns out he was correct.”

RELATED: Learning About Grace and Thanksgiving From a Veteran

John goes on to discuss Father Kapaun’s capture, heroics, and time in a Chinese POW camp in the winter of 1951 before his death. “The survivors that knew him,” Father Dave comments, “describe him as a joyful, faithful presence during those dark times.”  

“He never stopped.” John says. “He got up before dawn and scrounged for food — never for himself, it was only to share with other people.  He constantly offered prayers, helped other POWs with their wounds and sickness. He was tireless with it.”

Father Dave asks John about the title of the book, “No Bullet Got Me Yet.” 

“Father Kapaun was a frequent letter writer,” John says, “and in one of his last letters Father Kapaun actually wrote- ‘No bullet got me yet, although machine gunners sprayed us with bullets, but the prayers of our loved ones helped us escape.’ When I heard that phrase, ‘no bullet got me yet,’ I knew that was the title of the book — that represents to me a philosophy that you keep the faith until your enemy kills you, and you keep going until you achieve your goal.”

Direct download: BHS_JohnStansifer.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:27pm EDT

While Busted Halo Show producer Krista LePard is out on maternity leave, our temporary producer, “Maternity Leave Matt” has some questions of faith for Father Dave:

Matt asks, “When you became a priest, did you stop being Dave Dwyer and become [solely] Father Dave? Do your friends or family call you Father Dave or are you still Dave to some people?”

Father Dave first answers this question from a broader theological perspective. “The Sacrament of Holy Orders is for a deacon, a priest and a bishop; you'd have Holy Orders for all those three. We believe that, like the Sacrament of Baptism, it does make an indelible change.  So we would call it an ontological, meaning at the very essence of a human person, an ontological change, which cannot be undone or reversed.”

WATCH: Holy Orders in 2 Minutes

In other words, even if someone leaves the priesthood or if a layperson decides to leave the Catholic Church, the Sacrament of Holy Orders and the Sacrament of Baptism cannot be undone.  Father Dave adds, “The sacraments leave an indelible mark on the souls when we talk about Baptism and when we talk about Holy Orders; it’s an ontological change. So in some ways, yes, I ceased being the prior version of me and I'm now a different me.”

Father Dave is still, however, Dave to good friends and family members.  “In fact, my sister and my mother were really the only people in my adult life who called me David, because that's leftover from back when we were all much younger.”

Matt’s second question is, “What brought you to be a Paulist – and what’s the difference between Paulists, Jesuits, etc.?”

Father Dave responds, “The jargony word we would use in the Catholic Church is called “charism:” Each of the different orders have a slightly different way, mission, approach, origin story, and all that kind of stuff. In the same way that you might say, ‘What's the difference between all the superheroes?’ They all like fight crime and save the world, but they each get a little different origin story and a different uniform, and, you know, that kind of thing.”

RELATED: What Is a Charism? Understanding Our Holy Traditions

Father Dave gives a few examples of some of the different orders but reminds us that these are broad brush strokes.  Franciscans are living out the vow of poverty, Dominicans are the Order of Preachers and tend to be fairly academic and intellectual, and Jesuits usually work in universities and tend to also hold other roles, like professors, physicists, or astronomers, in addition to priesthood.   

The Paulist Fathers are missionaries who take a vow of stability, meaning they're going to stay in one place and stay connected and rooted there. Father Dave was drawn to the Paulists because of their reputation of working in media.  He’d been working in television and radio and wanted to continue doing that when he became a priest. 

Father Dave reiterates, “The charisms are really different ways in which people can serve the Church; different ways in which people can live out their Catholic faith. In the same way that Catholics who have not joined a religious community might prefer parish A over parish B, because parish A has a lot going on with social justice and serving the poor and parish B has a great music ministry and a Latin Mass – there are always going to be different things that are under the big tent of Catholicism that will connect or be more attractive to someone, whether you're talking about just a Catholic in the pews, or someone that's living out there life.”

Direct download: Q_of_Faith_Matt.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:49pm EDT

At the start of a recent homily, Father Dave addresses two things from the Gospel of St. Mark that Catholics and non-Catholics alike often have questions about.  

In the Gospel of St. Mark and in a few other places, we hear about Jesus’ brothers and sisters. Father Dave explains that those who translated Gospel texts from the original languages wanted to keep  faithful to the language. In the culture of Jesus' time, immediate and extended family were considered almost the same, to the degree that they would actually use the same word for “brothers” and “cousins” – two family members that we would have distinct names for in today’s culture.  

RELATED: Learning About Sacrifice, With the Help of St. Mark

The Greek term Adelphos used The by St. Mark in his Gospel is an ambiguous word that could mean either brother or cousin. This passage could actually say that Jesus had blood brothers and sisters, or it could refer to cousins or more distant relatives, common parlance in Near East family descriptions. 

“So we're left with a big shrug, right?” Father Dave says. “Which is why many of our Christian brothers and sisters would adhere to the fact that Mary was a virgin when she gave birth, but not necessarily after that, whereas we, from our sacred Tradition, have always believed and always taught that Mary is blessed Mary ever virgin, and that she did not give birth to any more children. So for us, our faith always comes with a balance of Scripture and Tradition. And tradition isn't simply, well, we've always thought that so I guess it must be right. It is, we believe, Holy Spirit- inspired sacred Tradition, in a similar way, that the Scriptures are inspired.  So for us, if we take those two together, we know that we must be talking about cousins, and not literal brothers and sisters here.”

The second question Father Dave answers comes from the Gospel of St. Mark when Jesus refers to the ‘Unforgivable Sin.’’  He begins with Jesus’ own words, “All sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness.”  

LISTEN: Are Any Sins 'Unforgivable’?

“What does that mean?” Father Dave asks.

Father Dave notes that St. Pope John Paul II’s encyclical about the Holy Spirit specifically addresses this concept.

“Scholars and official Church teachings have been unable to really pinpoint exactly what Jesus means by that. St. Pope John Paul II said that it really emanates from God's gift of free will –that God desires that all be saved and offers forgiveness. But he doesn't ever force it down our throats. So in that sense, John Paul II defined this ‘blaspheming the Holy Spirit’ as a complete, utter rejection of God with our own free will. So it's not that God can't, but that God won't force it on us.” 

Father Dave goes on, “So is there an unforgivable sin? Is there some secret list somewhere, like the secret menu at a fast food place? No. There's not something that you can utter by mistake or even intentionally that will cast you away from God if you seek God's forgiveness, which is what we're encouraged to do all the time. There's also not one particular thing you or I could ever do, that God wouldn't forgive if we asked.”

Direct download: Podcast_06-12-24_AdamWhereRU-long.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:33pm EDT

Eric Groth, president of ODB Films and executive producer of “Wildcat” stops by the show to talk about the film about the late Catholic author Flannery O’Connor. ODB Films is an award-winning not-for-profit Catholic film company whose mission is to foster an encounter with Christ through artfully made, spiritually rich films.  Their newest movie, “Wildcat” was written and directed by Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke and details O’Connor’s struggle to publish her first novel. 

Flannery O’Connor was a devout Catholic living in the Jim Crow Era south in the 50s and 60s.  When she was 23 years old, she began writing, hoping to leave her home in Georgia and see the world. At age 25, she was diagnosed with Lupus. Over the next 14 years O’Connor wrote “A Prayer Journal,” more than 30 short stories and two novels. 

Eric explains why he believes her writing was so important.  “She was addressing a very contentious, racist south.  As a Catholic, she was really calling out a lot of Protestant brothers and sisters -- she was calling out the church that would be worshiping Jesus on Sunday and wearing the Ku Klux Klan hoods on Monday, and the culture of white supremacy that was masked as Christian ethics.”  

“She wrote a lot about grace and her stories were tough, because we want heroes in stories and in her stories, [we wonder] ‘Who's the protagonist? Who's the antagonist?’” Eric continues. “But she showed how God delivers grace, however God wants to deliver grace, and we as humans often resist grace because it can be painful.”

Father Dave and Eric discuss the origins of this movie and how it began 10 years ago with Ethan’s daughter, Maya Hawke.  “This really started with her,” Eric says. “She was 15 and going to Catholic school in New York and she read Flannery’s “A Prayer Journal” and fell in love with this woman.” Maya would later go on to ask her dad to write and direct a movie about O’Connor that she could star in.  Eric and ODB films were eventually approached for financing and a producing partnership.  Eric tells Father Dave what attracted him to the film: “I love my Catholic Faith. I Love our stories and telling great stories and she [O’Connor] was a bit of a mystery.”

“This film was super special for a lot of reasons,” Eric says. “Flannery was a devout Catholic, so we could bring the beauty of the Catholic faith naturally and organically in telling the story without ever having to force it in any way.”

Direct download: BHS_Podcast_061124_EricGroth.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:42pm EDT

Father Dave welcomes Clare McCallan, founder and creative director of St. Joseph’s Home for Artisans, TV and podcast host, and spoken word poet, to the show to discuss her new book, Courage to Create: Unleashing Your Artistic Gifts for Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.

In her book, Clare and her artist friends ask the question, “How do you own your identity as an artist for Christ?” Through a series of stories and lessons, they share their wisdom for overcoming obstacles in the creative life to help artists fulfill their callings and serve the Lord.  

Clare begins her discussion with Father Dave by highlighting the final three words in the title of her book: “Truth, Beauty and Goodness.” Clare defines each term by posing a reflection question. “Truth – is something in accordance with reality? Beauty -- does it point to the divine and eternal? And goodness - "does something accomplish its purpose?”  She goes on to say, “Art as just mere self expression is really the lowest kind, but art that meets those metrics of truth, beauty and goodness, are really the only thing worth accepting in and outside of religious spaces.” 

RELATED: How Artwork Opens Me Up to God’s Handiwork

Father Dave invites Clare to share a little bit of her own journey as an artist and asks what ultimately led her to writing this book.  She explains that she went to school at Franciscan University and ended up in Calcutta with the Missionaries of Charity.  While in India, she became very sick.  While she was bedridden, she discovered spoken word poetry and decided that when she returned to the United States, she would move to New York City and give it a shot. “And so I moved to New York,” she says, “I got on the scene, and you’ll find in the book a lot of my stories of starting out as a fledgling artist with no guidance, no roadmap, which is really what this book is intended to be - the roadmap that I needed at 22.”

Father Dave says, “Maybe some of our listeners are thinking, ‘Sounds like a book for artists - I know some artistic people, but that’s not me.” Clare responds, “You're a craftsman made in the image of the creator, and so if you are created in the image of God, you have those creative qualities and talents, and so it's up to you to find it. You don’t need to be fantastic at painting or writing. It's much larger than that.”

Father Dave points out that often in society, artists are not looked upon the same way as a doctor or lawyer, and we often get messages that suggest having a backup career or only pursuing art as a hobby.  “How do you address those that have felt discouraged from using their gifts?” Father Dave asks. 

RELATED: Using Art as a Path to the Holy Spirit

Clare responds, “I think that that's going to be a paradigm shift that we're going to see, especially as Catholics start to mourn a culture that maybe used to serve us in our beliefs, but doesn't anymore. And we can see that we really need to be making active changes in the culture. And those shifts in culture that we want to see are going to come from arts, and so it's very important that we're basically missionaries to truth, beauty and goodness.”

Father Dave asks if every Catholic who is an artist needs to produce exclusively Catholic or ‘Gospel-ly’ looking or sounding art. “No,” Clare says, “I would actually say that in the current climate, it's probably more powerful and effective to create allegories and to dabble in storytelling.  What I tell everybody is if you are regularly receiving the sacraments, it will be infused in your work.”

Direct download: BHS_Podcast_060624.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:55pm EDT

Do you remember the last conversation you had that challenged your way of thinking or inspired you to act? A conversation that changed your mind, your heart, or maybe even your life?  To help us have more meaningful conversations more often, Father Dave welcomes Dr. Christopher Reed to the show.  Dr. Reed has a Ph.D.. in human communication and believes that dialogues that transform hearts and strengthen relationships are sacred and he shares a blueprint for having more meaningful interactions in his new book, “Sacred Conversations: How God Wants Us To Communicate.”

Dr. Reed begins by explaining his “Sacred Conversations Model to Father Dave:” The model itself is laid out like an Ikea set of instructions, do step 1 before you do step 2 and the components are invitation, we can open ourselves to those invitations, we can open ourselves to the spirit, invite people into them. Intention, what is the aim of the conversation.  Inquiry, very powerful, Jesus was a master of inquiry.  Illumination and integration. And at the center, the sixth component is love. It all starts with love and compassion for the other person, the face of Christ that we see in them right in front of us. If we start with love, we can't go wrong.”

RELATED: 7 Steps for Navigating Crucial Conversations

Dr. Reed explains that part of the reason he wrote the book is because there are many secular books on having tough conversations, but there haven’t been any simple, accessible, well-researched books on Catholic dialogue and how Christians should engage in dialogue with one another.  He says, “Sacred Conversations” is a “blending of science and Scripture” that can be used for all of life’s moments. 

Father Dave points out that the book is also drawing on the Word of God, sacred traditions and Jesus’ model of living.

Father Dave and Dr. Reed go on to discuss the chapter called “Rules of the Road” which highlights some of the rules of sacred conversations, like having compassion and not forcing a conversation. Father Dave asks about the rule, “follow through on your good intentions.”

LISTEN: Jonathan Merritt on Sacred Language

“Commit to the process,” Dr. Reed responds. “See it through. A sacred conversation is a ‘helping’ conversation; it’s a build-your-brother or- sister-up conversation…and so all other intentions beyond that should be questioned and reflected upon, and then once we commit to that ‘helping’ or ‘seeking’ conversation, follow the process through, see what emerges, ask for guidance (which is another rule).  Then, when we get to that moment of grace, follow it through - what do you want to do with that? What small steps could you take toward a better outcome, a better version of yourself, a better relationship?

Father Dave wraps up by wondering what happens if the other person in the conversation doesn't want to give anything, “Doesn’t it take two to tango?” he asks.

“This is a conversational dance. It's like improvisational jazz,” Dr. Reed explains.  “But we have to learn how to play our scales before we can truly gracefully improvise together. You know, we have to learn the basic steps of a dance before we can, chacha and Samba and move fluently together.”

Direct download: Podcast_BHS_060424_SacredConversations.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:37pm EDT

Anna-Lissa from Texas calls in to ask Father Dave a question of faith: “There are two specific times in the Mass that we bless ourselves, and that is at the beginning of Mass and then at the end. And so I have heard that those are the only two times we’re to bless ourselves; that we're not to bless ourselves any other time during the Mass. Is that correct?”

“Yes,” Father Dave responds.  “Those are the two proper times that we bless ourselves, but I would also say that it is not some great violation to make the sign of the cross at other times.” Father Dave explains that in the 1950s and 1960s, there would have been more times that even the priest who’s leading prayer would have made the sign of the cross.  This practice was revised in the early 1970’s after the Second Vatican Council when the Church took out all those extra blessings and changed it to, a blessing on the way in and make a blessing on the way out. 

RELATED: Learning About Unity Through the Three Cross Prayer

“The rule of thumb,” Father Dave says, “is if we hear the priest sing, ‘In the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit,’ that’s the time we would bless ourselves because we're being led by the priest.”

Father Dave adds that he’s barely old enough to remember that prior to Vatican II, it was very common for the priest giving the homily to make the sign of the cross at the beginning and end of the homily.  “Part of that was the theology that the homily was sort of an interruption of the Mass therefore outside of the Mass; part of it was because the rest of the Mass was in Latin, and oftentimes the homily was in the language of the people . . .Vatican II, sort of corrected that aberrant notion that the homily is not outside of the Mass.  We don't sort of take a commercial break and then come back in.”

LISTEN: Why Are There Multiple Eucharistic Prayers?

Father Dave also mentions there is one version of the Eucharistic Prayer where the priest personally has the option to make the sign of the cross multiple times.  He explains this is an ancient prayer held over from Vatican II.  

Father Dave clarifies that he is talking about the typical Roman Catholic experience . . .”in other Eastern churches within the universal Catholic Church, as well as Orthodox Christians; they make the sign of the cross a lot more times throughout their liturgies.”  Anna-Lissa points out that often she sees people bless themselves after they receive the Eucharist.  “I did that when I was a kid,” Father Dave says, “and honestly, when I receive communion in line, I still revert to being a kid and I do that myself.”

Direct download: BHS_Podcast_052824.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:33pm EDT

On Intinction: What Are the Rules Around Dipping the Consecrated Host into the Precious Blood? 

A listener named Alan asks Father Dave if he did something wrong at Mass the other day when he ‘dunked’ the host into the wine. He says, “I don't know why I can't do it. . . I thought when I was getting communion in the 70s and 80s they had these things (Intinction Sets consisting of a plate or bowl with a matching cup) made just for that, so I'm calling you to ask, what's the proper protocol? Are there rules against it?”

Father Dave responds by saying there was a time in the past, as recently as 2010, when the act of dipping the host into the consecrated wine was an accepted practice.  “The term that we use with respect to the Eucharist is called intinction,” Father Dave explains, “which is just a fancy word that means you take the host and dip it in the consecrated wine.” 

Father Dave explains that intinction was broadly used from the time after the Second Vatican Council until recently, when changes were made, but is no longer allowed to be done by the communicant (the person receiving communion). He clarifies that priests, however, are allowed to intinct the host.

Alan explains that he was scolded by the Eucharistic minister at Mass for doing this and told he can’t do it because his hands are dirty and they shouldn’t touch the precious blood.  

Father Dave explains that the Eucharistic minister was correct in telling him he is not allowed to dip the host into the wine, but was wrong in his reasoning. “The danger that the Church would like to avoid is that if you intinct the host into the chalice with the precious blood, there's still a fair likelihood that a drop of the precious blood would hit the floor. That's what we don't want. That's why that's not allowed.”

One other reason Intinction is not allowed, Father Dave continues, “is because many parishes these days are more concerned about somebody just not consuming the host right there after you've received it from the communion minister – because of the possibility of somebody taking it back to their pew or taking it home for sacrilege or whatever . . . I've even seen parishes where next to the communion minister is an usher, making sure somebody consumes right away.”

Direct download: BHS_Podcast_Clip_QofFaith-Intinction.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:23pm EDT

It’s confirmation season, and perhaps you or someone you know are struggling with coming up with a confirmation saint name! So, we asked friend of the show, Catholic speaker and author Meg Hunter- Kilmer to help us out.  Meg was an itinerant missionary for 12 years, currently works in campus ministry at the University of Notre Dame and has written several books about saints, including, “Saints Around the World,” and “Pray For Us: 75 Saints Who Sinned, Suffered and Struggled on Their Way to Holiness.”

Meg begins by explaining what she does when helping kids pick a confirmation name, “I say, okay, tell me what kind of saint you're looking for. What are some of your passions? What are some of your hobbies? Do you have an idea of what kind of career you feel like the Lord might be calling you to? What are your family difficulties, your mental illness you struggle with, or chronic illness that you struggle with or disability? Anything that you're like, you know, what, here's a significant thing about me. And some kids come with a list of things that matter to them, and I can say, well, here's the saint who checks a couple of those boxes.”

WATCH: Sacraments 101: Why We’re Confirmed

Meg recommends doing some research on saints to see if there is a saint that really sticks out to you or has some attributes that you identify with. Meg goes on to say, “But if you've got a saint you just love and there's no good reason, that's a pretty good reason to pick them for your confirmation.”

Father Dave shares his experience of choosing a confirmation name when he was 13 years old., “Meg, I have to tell you, that when I was 13, and had to pick my confirmation name, I did not have the resources at my disposal . . .so here was my whole discernment:  At the time, I wanted to be a doctor and I heard that Thomas Aquinas was a Doctor of the Church, so I picked Thomas Aquinas.”  

RELATED: A Year in the Word: Journaling With the Bible With Meg Hunter-Kilmer

The Busted Halo’s Show’s producer, Krista, and co-host, Brett go on to share their silly reasons for picking their confirmation saint names.  Krista picked St. Angela Merici because she liked the way it sounded in her name. Brett chimes in, “Mine is even dumber and I wish I had the opportunity to go back and change it. . . at the time, people kept asking me what Brett was short for and I would tell them that it was short for Bartholomew, so I just chose St. Bartholomew.”

Meg responds by saying, “Here’s the beautiful thing, you can pick a confirmation name for a real dumb reason and you're still going to end up with someone awesome.” 

 

Direct download: BHS__Podcast_052124.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:38pm EDT

A listener named Mark asks Father Dave, “How do you keep your faith when a parent’s health gets worse and looks to be permanent?”

Direct download: Podcast-Parent-Decline__1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:28am EDT

Learning lasts beyond our days in school, and Father Dave welcomes Angela Santomero, creator of seven award-winning children’s educational shows, including “Blue’s Clues” and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” They discuss her new book for adults is called “Life Clues: Unlocking the Lessons to an Exceptional Life.

Direct download: Podcast_Santomero.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:44pm EDT

A listener named Darby asks Father Dave if those with mental or intellectual disabilities are permitted to receive the Eucharist. She says, “I was told it's up to the priest to make that decision…I have also been told that [those with low cognitive ability could be denied] because of their non-understanding of the concept and importance.”

Direct download: Podcast_Disabilities.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:14pm EDT

A listener named Jim asks Father Dave about the Last Supper and the Eucharistic Prayer. Jim says, “In the Eucharistic prayer it says, ‘He took bread and gave thanks, broke it and gave it to his disciples.’ Why doesn’t it say apostles? I always envisioned the last supper the way Leonardo da Vinci painted it. Were there more disciples there than the apostles?”

Direct download: Podcast_Disciples_Apostles.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:45pm EDT

As the world loudly clamors for our attention, Father Dave welcomes Father Boniface Hicks, OSB to discuss the role of silence in our faith. Father Boniface’s new book is called, “The Hidden Power of Silence in the Mass: A Guide for Encountering Christ in the Liturgy.

Direct download: Podcast_Hicks_Silence.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:45pm EDT

Editorial note: The following podcast contains a discussion of pregnancy/infant loss.

We cling to our faith in times of joy and sorrow, and Father Dave welcomes Dr. Abigail Jorgenson to discuss her new book “A Catholic Guide to Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss: Compassionate Answers to Difficult Questions.” Abigail is an assistant professor of sociology and healthcare ethics at Saint Louis University, as well as a certified doula and childbirth educator.

 

Direct download: Podcast_Jorgenson.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:28am EDT

A listener named Christina asks Father Dave about a difficult situation regarding a blessed item. She asks, “What do you do with an engagement ring that's been blessed when the engagement ends?” Christina continues that her former fiance ended their relationship and will no longer speak to her. She says, “We had a priest bless us and the ring when we got engaged, which was such a beautiful moment. I'd prefer to return the ring to him, but am struggling to figure out the best way to proceed.”

 

Direct download: Podcast_Engagement_Ring.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:52pm EDT

There are many inspiring vocation stories, and Father Dave welcomes Sister Julia Walsh to discuss her unlikely path to becoming a nun as detailed in her new book, “For Love of the Broken Body: A Spiritual Memoir.” She is a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration and hosts the “Messy Jesus Business” podcast and blog.

Direct download: Podcast_Sister_Julia.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:02pm EDT

A listener named Laurie asks Father Dave a question of faith about baptism. She asks, “Can an individual who is a faithfully practicing Catholic be a godparent if they have recently become divorced due to their spouse cheating on them? This individual has not been in any other relationships and currently remains single since the divorce.” Laurie notes that this person is currently going through the annulment process.

Direct download: Podcast_godparent.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:52pm EDT

Easter is more than just one day, and Father Dave welcomes back Catholic speaker Mari Pablo to share how she is celebrating all 50 days of Easter.

Direct download: Podcast_Mari_Pablo_Easter.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:00pm EDT

Many students and teachers are on spring break this time of year, and Father Dave welcomes middle school teacher and author Amy Cattapan to discuss her new book, “A Saint Squad for Teachers: 45 Heavenly Friends to Carry You through the School Year.”

Direct download: Podcast_Cattapan.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:42pm EDT

The latest English translation of the Roman Missal was introduced in 2011, and one listener asks Father Dave about one particular change to the prayers at Mass. Derek takes issue with the latest translation and says, “What I dislike the most is the change of the words during the Consecration. In the old version, Jesus tells us ‘this is the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven.’ The new translation says that Jesus' blood was shed for many. Since ‘many’ is not ‘all,’ and I was always taught that Jesus suffered and died for all of us, who is being excluded?”

 

Direct download: Podcast_Many_vs_All.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:32pm EDT

Father Dave welcomes back Catholic composer and singer-songwriter Francesca LaRosa to help prepare our hearts for Holy Week with a live music performance.

 

Direct download: Podcast_LaRosa_2024.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:06pm EDT

Lent is a fitting time to reflect on life’s struggles, and Father Dave welcomes Dr. Mark Giszczak to discuss his new book “Suffering: What Every Catholic Should Know.” Dr. Giszczak is a professor of Sacred Scripture at the Augustine Institute Graduate School of Theology.

Direct download: Podcast_Suffering.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:42pm EDT

Father Dave welcomes former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon to discuss her new book, “In the Courts of Three Popes: An American Lawyer and Diplomat in the Last Absolute Monarchy of the West.

Direct download: Podcast_Glendon.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:27pm EDT

Friday, March 8 is International Women’s Day, as well as the release date of a new movie all about the Italian-American saint, Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini. The film “Cabrini” portrays the immigrant’s mission to secure housing and healthcare for New York City’s most vulnerable and stars Cristiana Dell'Anna, David Morse, and John Lithgow. Father Dave welcomes producer and screenwriter Rod Barr to discuss bringing Mother Cabrini’s life’s story to movie theaters nationwide.

 

Direct download: Podcast_Cabrini.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:40pm EDT

A listener named Barbara asks Father Dave for clarification regarding the “seven deadly sins.” She says, “I have a question about the seven deadly sins and how they relate to mortal versus venial sins. I usually consider pridefulness, for example, a venial sin, in that I confess it but don't abstain from receiving Communion for this sin – otherwise, I guess I would never receive Communion! But when does pridefulness become mortal or deadly? Is it only when pridefulness causes me to commit another mortal sin?”

Direct download: Podcast_7_Deadly.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:46pm EDT

Father Dave welcomes back speaker and author Eric Clayton to discuss his new book “My Life with the Jedi: The Spirituality of Star Wars.

Direct download: BHS_Clayton_Podcast.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:16pm EDT

Some people focus on physical fitness during Lent, and Father Dave welcomes back Colleen Scariano and Deanne Miller, the founders of SoulCore, to discuss integrating soul and body in our Catholic faith. Soulcore began in 2012 as a Catholic fitness apostolate that combines the prayers of the Rosary with core strengthening, stretching, and other functional movements. 

Direct download: Podcast_SoulCore.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:47pm EDT

If part of your Lenten promise is to spend more time with Jesus, you’ll enjoy Father Dave discussing Eucharistic Adoration with Father Tim Anastos! Father Tim is the assistant chaplain at the St. John Paul II Newman Center at the University of Illinois–Chicago and author of “Jesus, Make Me Fully Alive: 30 Holy Hour Reflections.

Direct download: Podcast_Anastos.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:05pm EDT

A listener named Phillip asks Father Dave a question about guilt while grieving the death of a loved one. He says, “My grandpa Oscar passed away a couple months ago. I administered chest compressions, and it did not help. I feel guilty. He was 92, but I really tried to save his life. My question is, if it's God's will, why do I feel guilty?”

 

Direct download: BHS_guilt__grief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:37pm EDT

As Lent approaches, a listener named James asks, “Ash Wednesday falls on the same day as Valentine's Day this year. How do I observe the fast while still celebrating the holiday? I'm not just talking about dinner out with my spouse, I'm a big fan of chocolate too. Can I just start my Lent a day later?”

Direct download: Podcast_VDay_Ashes.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:07pm EDT

If you’re looking for personal retreat inspiration this Lent, you’ll be excited to hear journalist and papal biographer Austen Ivereigh discuss his new book, “First Belong to God: On Retreat with Pope Francis” with Father Dave. Austen is the author of two biographies of Pope Francis, and he and the pope co-wrote a book called, “Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future.

Direct download: Podcast_Intro_Ivereigh.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:57pm EDT

A listener named Susan asks Father Dave a question about personal prayer. She wonders, “What’s better: praying for something specific, or praying for God’s will?”

Direct download: Podcast_Gods_Will.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:46pm EDT

Father Dave welcomes Catholic professor and author Dr. Jim Papandrea back to the show to discuss a different approach to prayer in his new book, “Praying the Psalms: The Divine Gateway to Lectio Divina and Contemplative Prayer.”

 

Direct download: Podcast_Papandrea_Psalms.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:26pm EDT

In this recent Deep Dive segment, Father Dave examines the wording and usage of Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation II during Mass. He explains how this prayer is not used often, but he felt compelled to choose it for daily Mass on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Direct download: Podcast_Euch_Prayer_Deep_Dive.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:46pm EDT

While we often avoid thinking or talking about death, having open and honest conversations about mortality is essential to prepare for the end of life. To help others navigate this  challenging topic, Father Dave welcomes Dr. Stephen Doran to the show.  Dr. Doran is a permanent deacon and bioethicist for the Archdiocese of Omaha, and highlights hope in his book, “To Die Well: A Catholic Neurosurgeon’s Guide to the End of Life.

Direct download: Podcast_Doran.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:17pm EDT

A listener named Lenny asks Father Dave about the Church’s teaching of transubstantiation. “I went to Catholic High School, and we learned that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient,” he begins. “[Regarding] transubstantiation, we understand that the priest is bringing God or Jesus into the host. My comment, or my ignorant question is, wasn’t he already there? Like if he’s omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, isn't it already that way?”

Direct download: Podcast_Omniscient_Transubstantiation.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:59pm EDT

As we enter into Ordinary Time, a listener Karen asks Father Dave about these weeks. “We just went over the liturgical calendar in RCIA, and I'm wondering why there are two ordinary time periods. It's confusing to go from one holy period, to Ordinary Time, to another holy period in such a short time toward the early part of the year,” she says. “I can understand the big Ordinary Time period, but the few short weeks thrown in elsewhere seem like a letdown to get ready for the next time.”

Direct download: Podcast_Ordinary_Time.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:25pm EDT

As the world navigates new developments in artificial intelligence, Father Dave welcomes back friend of the show and ethicist Dr. Charles Camosy. In his new article for The Pillar, Dr. Camosy explores the pros and cons of Artificial Intelligence, and explains how AI is not necessarily something to fear. 

Direct download: Podcast_Camosy_AI.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:38pm EDT

A listener named Terrie asks Father Dave about the vestments he wears at Mass. “I’ve recently watched the livestream during the week from St. Paul the Apostle, and I noticed that your vestment is not as decorative as the other priests who have celebrated Mass during the week,” he says. “Do you all have your own vestments to wear?”

Direct download: Podcast_Vestments.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:34pm EDT