The New Vision

Have you had your, uh, Catholic vitamins today?

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Deacon Tom Fox and his wife Dee initiated a program called “Catholic Vitamins” to help bring the faith to Internet users.

By DEACON TOM FOX

Special to The New Vision

 

It was an evening in 2004. The telephone rang and the call was from our grandson Brody in Missouri.

“Papa… would you like to buy my iPod? I won a new one in a contest at school.”

I had heard of the device called the iPod. I knew you could listen to music on it. But what would I do with it? How would I learn to use it?

Long story shortened, I did buy the mysterious iPod from our business-oriented grandson. With some research, I found that Apple Computer has a free program called iTunes. You can load it on any type computer. I soon learned how to download music, and then other things.

I did a search for the word ‘Catholic’ and I found out there were perhaps a dozen people doing radio-type programs that you can load onto an iPod and listen to regularly.

There was an English-speaking priest in Holland, Father Roderick, who did a program called The Daily Breakfast. The slogan for this faithful priest was: “Have Breakfast with a Priest – a wonderful reminder of the Mass.”

There was a couple named Greg and Jennifer Willets from Georgia with a program called “The Rosary Army.” And there were more real Catholic people living and loving the faith on the internet!

Now coincidentally, for years I had been saving my homilies on the Internet. They were (and still are) stored at www.deacontomonline.com.

Within a few years, I was getting requests to do “reflections” and recorded messages on other sites, including www.catholicmom.com  and www.catholicfamilypodcast.com and www.paulsmen.com, all Catholic programs with good content and audience focus.

Two years ago, my wife Dee and I attended a Catholic New Media Conference in San Antonio. We left convinced we could do a show, but what to call it? What to do with a show? Who would listen? After taking these questions to prayer, we came up with a program idea called “Catholic Vitamins.”

Catholic Vitamins? What in the world is that about? Each show would be oriented to a faith “vitamin.” As we began to plan shows, Catholic Vitamin A was for ADORATION. I interviewed a vibrant young priest who had been ordained only some 60 hours. Father Mark had had a powerful experience at a Franciscan University youth retreat as a teenager attending Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

That was the first Catholic Vitamins show and comments came in from California, Georgia, Colorado and Canada. How were people finding us so quickly?

We began to realize there was a hunger for passionate Catholic faith stories, ideas and practices. Vitamin B was for Beauty in the Catholic Church. C became a show on Conversion. That show featured a convert to Catholicism, Bishop James Conley of the Archdiocese of Denver.

Later, Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas was a guest as the show focused on Obligations towards visitors, especially migrant workers in our country.

“People can listen to our show right on their computer by going to our website, www.catholicvitamins.com, said co-host Dee Fox. “We do the show each week, and have been through the alphabet four times. We always seem to find guests related to our ‘faith vitamins.’

“Guests have included priests, deacons, nuns and authors,” Dee said. “We particularly enjoyed famous Catholic singer Danielle Rose. She has performed at World Youth Days and met with Blessed John Paul II when he was Pope. The popular show with Danielle focused on Obedience.”

In August, “Catholic Vitamins” was awarded “Most Spiritual Podcast” by a nationwide vote tabulated by the Catholic New Media Awards folks.

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