Last month, Pope Francis Generation passed the first anniversary of the podcast and now we’re beginning Season Four! This felt like a good occasion to revisit our mission and pillars.

A few weeks ago I was listening to another Catholic podcast and they had a guest on who was reflecting on her experience of Catholics on social media at the beginning of the pandemic. She talked about how someone she’d worked with before, someone who she thought was reasonable, posted something comparing COVID lockdowns to Jewish ghettos during the holocaust. She talked about how she felt shocked that he would say something like this. She went on to describe, without using these exact words, the experience of feeling alienated from Catholic circles and relationships that she once felt comfortable in.

Over the past year I’ve had several listeners reach out and share similar experiences. Whether it was triggered by Catholics supporting Donald Trump, by Catholics being suspicious and hostile towards the pope, by the pandemic, by the 2020 election conspiracies, or by growing Traditionalism — I’ve heard several stories from Catholics who woke up one day and realized that they felt alienated from the Catholic communities they had once called home.

These stories have resonated with my own story over the past several years. I suspect they resonate with some of your own stories as well. So that’s what I wanted to talk about today.

This episode is available on Youtube and in your favorite podcast app.

Welcome to the first episode of season four! To kick the season off, we revisit the vision and pillars of Pope Francis Generation. At the core of our mission is the desire to present the goodness, tenderness, and love of God to folks “who feel like they might not belong in the Church anymore.” Paul and Dominic share about their experience of the times when they felt alienated in Catholic circles where they once felt at home. They then talk about the kerygma, theosis, and the teachings of Pope Francis as experiences of God’s love and goodness that have sustained them in their faith.

“Your earthly father may have been distant or absent, or harsh and domineering. Or maybe he was just not the father you needed. I don’t know. But what I can tell you, with absolute certainty, is that you can find security in the embrace of your heavenly Father, of the God who first gave you life and continues to give it to you at every moment. He will be your firm support, but you will also realize that he fully respects your freedom.” (Christus Vivit 113)

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ABOUT DOMINIC DE SOUZA SmartCatholics founder, Dominic de Souza, is a convert from radical traditionalism – inspired by WherePeterIs, Bishop Robert Barron, and Pope Francis. He is passionate about helping ordinary Catholics break the ‘bystander effect’, and be first responders. “We don’t have to be geniuses. We just have to show up with witness and kindness. Christ does the rest.” Today he hosts the SmartCatholics community.

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Paul Faheylives in Michigan with his wife and four kids. For the past eight years, he has worked as a professional catechist. He has an undergraduate degree in Theology and is currently working toward a Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling. He is a retreat leader, catechist formator, writer, and a co-founder of Where Peter Is. He is also the founder and co-host of the Pope Francis Generation podcast. His long-term goal is to provide pastoral counseling for Catholics who have been spiritually abused, counseling for Catholic ministers, and counseling education so that ministers are more equipped to help others in their ministry.

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