By Mike Jordan Laskey
February 3, 2020 — A great part of my job is that I get to talk to Jesuits and Jesuit-connected people about fascinating stuff like the writing of Flannery O’Connor or baseball and the spiritual life, record the conversations and post them on the internet.
I do this as the host of “AMDG: A Jesuit Podcast,” which we’ve been producing for about a year now. The podcast’s title borrows the Jesuit motto ad maiorem Dei gloriam — “for the greater glory of God” — because our goal with the show is to seek God in all things, just as Jesuits have been doing since the time of St. Ignatius.
So, any topic that might bring folks into deeper relationship with God is on the table. For example, here are a few episodes on church architecture, how Ignatian values guide a former Twitter executive and the Jesuit who swam six miles for charity without training.
If you haven’t heard the show yet, I’d love for you to check us out.
You can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen.
Here are five conversations I really loved:
- Malcolm Gladwell on Thinking Like a Jesuit. When I heard that best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell was doing his own series of podcasts on thinking like a Jesuit, I just had to ask him some questions. Like, why? One fascinating thing he shared was that he was inspired to do a series lifting up some great things in the Catholic Church because he felt like the oft-justifiably negative media attention on the church these days was obscuring some of the great things we have to offer the world.
- Fr. James Martin, SJ, on the Daily Examen and His Audience with Pope Francis. Fresh off his personal audience with Pope Francis about Fr. Jim’s ministry to the LGBTQ community, Fr. Jim called in to talk about the experience and the Daily Examen prayer practice.
- Global Basketball Superstar Sr. Jean Schmidt on Turning 100. Sr. Jean was thrust into the spotlight a couple of years ago as the chaplain of the Cinderella Loyola University Chicago men’s basketball team. She is warm, funny, faith-filled, wise and generous.
- Here I Am, Lord: 50 Years of Music with the St. Louis Jesuits. This was a great walk down memory lane with Dan Schutte and Fr. Roc O’Connor, SJ, two of the most prominent church music composers of the past century. I loved hearing how Dan’s classic “Here I Am, Lord” came together in a matter of hours in a frantic rush to prepare a song for an ordination.
- Ignatian Tips for 2020 Resolutions with Spiritual Author Vinita Wright. From guest host Eric Clayton: I knew that creative self-expression was tied to spirituality, but Vinita Wright so eloquently expressed this truth, connecting the creative process with the spiritual journey, that I'm still reflecting on how God works through the creativity inherent in each of us. Whether you're a musician, writer, filmmaker or someone who keeps a personal journal, there's something in this episode for your consideration.
A few more fun episodes are on the horizon, so subscribe today and don’t miss out! Again, you can find us wherever you listen to podcasts, and if you could leave us a nice review on iTunes, that’d be great.
Mike Jordan Laskey is senior communications manager for the Jesuit Conference in Washington, D.C. He is the author of "The Ministry of Peace and Justice" (Liturgical Press) and lives with his family in Maryland. Follow him on Twitter at @mikelaskey.