Exploring faith through authentic conversations in new ‘Around the Archdiocese’ podcast

November 14, 2023

Sean O’Driscoll, at right, interviews members of the Office of Vocations for an upcoming podcast episode of Around the Archdiocese, a new podcast produced by the Office of Communications. (Photo by James Ramos/Herald)

HOUSTON — In the ever-evolving world of technology and media, the Office of Communications of the Archdiocese is pioneering a new way to engage with its community — the “Around the Archdiocese” podcast. Launched in early October, this popular platform seeks to foster authentic conversations about the Catholic faith, the local Church and its profound impact on people’s lives.

“The podcast is designed to share information, stories and insights about our Catholic faith here in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston,” said Sean O’Driscoll, senior communications manager and the host and producer of the podcast. “It is an opportunity to discuss a broad range of topics while providing a format that allows us to dive more deeply into areas that will help the faithful grow in their understanding of the local Church, her teachings, and how the faith is lived day-to-day.”

O’Driscoll said that almost half of all Americans, ages 18 to 54, have listened to a podcast in the last month. Whether they are driving in their car, working out or simply doing chores around the house, podcasts have become a common way for people to access engaging and entertaining content. The primary target audience for this podcast extends to anyone looking to learn more about the Catholic Church in Galveston-Houston.

“The local Church works hard to bring Jesus Christ to our area through our ministries, our services and in our daily lives,” O’Driscoll said. “We want to offer information, tools and encouragement to those who want to deepen their understanding of our faith and its impact on our community.”

The official launch of the Around the Archdiocese podcast included two episodes covering the preparation for the World Youth Day celebration this past summer in Portugal. A recap of their youth’s journey with Auxiliary Bishop Italo Dell’Oro, CRS, and Angie Pometto, the director of the Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry, followed.

“We have had amazing conversations about a variety of topics,” O’Driscoll said. “We spoke about the new St. Joseph Foster Care Ministry with the Office of Pro-Life Activities. We talked about catechesis and sacramental preparation for persons with disabilities with staff from the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis. And I had a great discussion about the misconceptions regarding divorce and annulments with Father Luke Millette from the Metropolitan Tribunal.”

New episodes of the Around the Archdiocese podcast are released every Monday, and each episode is approximately 45 minutes long. The podcast can be found on the Archdiocesan website at archgh.org/podcasts and is promoted weekly through social media.

“Like all the great evangelizers throughout history have modeled for us, we need to go out to where the people are,” O’Driscoll said. “For us, this is an opportunity to share the Gospel through a new medium that reaches people who may not read the Texas Catholic Herald or visit our website.”

O’Driscoll’s journey toward the mission of effective communication and evangelization began in high school when he chose St. Paul as his Confirmation name. He believes that God had a plan for him even back then.

“I attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a degree in public relations,” O’Driscoll said. “In short, how to get the right message to the right people in a way that they will respond to it. To me, that is the goal and the challenge of evangelization.”

O’Driscoll has worked for the Church for more than 20 years in the Archdiocese of New York and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, having served in both parish and diocesan roles.

About a year ago, he was given the new title of senior communications manager, a role that reflects his commitment to spreading the Gospel message through innovative means.

O’Driscoll has a particular affinity for the medium, especially during his daily commute to downtown Houston. He has been a podcast listener since the early 2000s and currently subscribes to over 100 podcasts.

“The ability to listen while doing something else allows me to be more productive,” O’Driscoll said. “The unscripted nature of shows like Around the Archdiocese podcast allows for more genuine and honest conversations. You get to hear the passion, their energy and their love for Christ and His people.”

O’Driscoll said the first season of episodes will focus on introducing the various ministries and offices of the Archdiocese.

“In talking about the work that they do, we hope to share the impact of the Church in our local communities, as well as discuss issues and answer questions that we often receive at the chancery,” O’Driscoll said.

For additional details about the Around the Archdiocese podcast and to listen to the most recent podcasts, visit www.archgh.org/podcasts.

To share podcast ideas that can enhance the understanding of the local Church, its teachings, and daily faith, contact Sean O’Driscoll via email at sodriscoll@archgh.org. †