What’s your favorite podcast? These days, most of us have one. We listen while we’re working out, cleaning the house, or even while we’re driving. Podcasts have become a favorite pastime for many. If that’s true for you, check out Pastors of Payne — you won’t regret it!
In 2018, Fr. O’Brien and one of his good friends, Fr. Kerry Wakulich, were discussing ways in which they could reach people “in between Sundays” as it were. They both have a heart for bringing people to Christ, and they wanted a way to do so throughout the week. As they talked, they both recognized their own interests in podcasts. They, like many of us, consume content via podcasts regularly, and they knew that the podcast platform would offer a particular opportunity for them.
“The podcast and radio format allows for an extended dive into topics that a homily or teaching a class may not offer,” Fr. O’Brien says. “It also lets us cover timely topics or go into a topic super in-depth.”
So, Pastors of Payne was born! The two friends of over 20 years dove head-first into a format of evangelization that neither knew much about. They were eager to connect with people and ready to learn!
“We were both active on social media but had no idea — still don’t — about how to record,” Fr. O’Brien admits. “So we used the station equipment at PETE 94.3 along with a producer there.”
So the two went to work!
Over the past few years, the podcast has grown, both in listenership and in production value. In 2022, the parish bought podcasting equipment for the two co-hosts, and today, Fr. Kerry and Fr. O’Brien host the show every week from the comfort of their living room with the recording help of parishioners Jackson Howell and Rob Ponce.
What do they talk about?
“We cover a lot of ground,” Fr. O’Brien says. “It’s always theological in some way. Sometimes it’s straight theology, like a recent episode on the Early Church Fathers and the Eucharist. Sometimes, we talk about something cultural, like the overturning of Roe v. Wade.”
But no matter the week’s specific content, the episodes always feature a dose of friendship and fun as both priests converse in a jovial and loving manner.
“We try to make it upbeat and funny, even while we’re covering serious topics,” Fr. O’Brien says.
They are successful in this effort! The podcast offers us an opportunity to connect with these two beloved priests while also growing in our understanding of the Catholic faith in a whole new way.
Fr. O’Brien says that he has been amazed at the way many have connected with the podcast, and he is hopeful that this will continue.
“We hear feedback all the time from people who were challenged in their faith or grew in some way,” he says. “We see people coming back to the faith, growing in their faith, or becoming Catholic because of the podcast.”
What’s more, Fr. O’Brien says it is not just listeners who have benefitted from this ministry — he has changed because of it, as well.
“Fr. Kerry is a man of deep prayer, and he’s very knowledgeable,” Fr. O’Brien says. “Dialoguing with him makes me a better disciple.”
Indeed, that is the case for many of the podcast’s listeners. They walk away more knowledgeable and committed to the faith. Take a listen and find out!
Podcast episodes drop every Thursday at 9 p.m. There is currently a library of over 250 episodes for you to hear, with more being released weekly. Do yourself a favor and tune in!
You can access Pastors of Payne episodes anywhere you get your podcasts.