Fr John Riccardo is truly a priest of the New Catholic Renaissance, and the New Evangelization. If Bishop Robert Barron is the first podcasting priest, then Fr John Riccardo must be the second.
He was ordained in 1996 by Pope Saint John Paul II, and serves in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
In addition to being a prolific podcaster, he’s a voracious reader – that can really make some profound teachings of others accessible. What do I mean? He draws from a wealth of some of the most brilliant Catholic (and non-Catholic) intellectuals but helps to repackage the gems he finds in a way that doesn’t lose the casual listener. In his brilliantly engaging catechetical talks, he will offer bibliography resources and encourage the listener to dig deeper, and do some reading themselves – but he wets your appetite.
Fr John has a way of taking the same old stories, the ones that are “too familiar” and giving them a depth of context and meaning that make them come alive like never before. This is a great audio clip to help illustrate the exact point utilizing the Prodigal Son:
There’s a wealth of insight and experience Fr Riccardo offers. He’s been a man that will admit growing up he did not live particularly well. He’s been blessed to see both miraculous healing, and “suffering well”. He’s not afraid to convict himself (with us other sinners) in shortcomings, and offer hope and insight to living a better life.
Fr John was once headed towards marriage, but through the years of his calling and his priesthood explains that it wouldn’t have been enough for him – he wants thousands of children. His current vocation has afforded him that – but he’s got a lot of great insight in marriage too.
He is absolutely passionate about the dignity of the human person – at all stages of life. St John Paul II’s theology of the body might be said to be a cardinal wind in his priesthood. But my words can’t do justice to this great (truly fatherly) priest. He’s a mix of tender and practical – that can cut right to your heart – and a brilliant theologian that makes ancient texts exciting. Please take the time to listen to him. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Fr John Riccardo is available at iTunes and he also has a podcast page of his own. He can be found at Ave Maria Radio for his show Christ is the Answer. For local readers (Northern Michigan) Christ is the Answer airs on Baraga Radio from 11am to noon. You can listen live online, or tune in to one of Baraga’s station frequencies.
Be sure to check out his current parish website at Our Lady of Good Counsel. There’s a lot of print resources available, including things that he references in his talks like bibliographies and prayers.
I also stumbled onto a great topical outline a few years ago compiled by Mary Wagner, an Ohio Catholic homeschooling mother. This topical outline is part of Catechism tool Mary put together called FULLEST ACCESS: CATHOLICISM, utilizing Fr Riccardo and Peter Kreeft.