Being Church

Inspiring and Encouraging our St. Louis Community

About the show

A podcast about Catholic culture and the life of our parish.

Being Church on social media


  • Episode 51: Why Gratitude Makes You a Better Person

    November 21st, 2018  |  21 mins 29 secs

    Happy Thanksgiving! This week, Alissa and Tom talk about gratitude and its relation to humility. When we try to see all things as a gift, we are overwhelmed by the truth that we are not self-sufficient beings. And that's a good thing.

  • Episode 50: Choosing to be Holy

    November 14th, 2018  |  25 mins 48 secs

    We talk about holiness a lot. But it's so often an esoteric discussion; we don't give concrete approaches to being holy people. We try to give a bit more substance to the holiness discussion in this episode. How do we actually become holy? What does it mean to be a priest by our baptism? And what does one have to do with the other? God has called us first, but how do we respond?

  • Episode 49: Vocations Start with Family

    November 8th, 2018  |  32 mins 35 secs

    Catholics LOVE the word "vocation" and this week the Church worldwide is asking all the faithful to consider their vocations--what they're called to do to serve God in the world. How do we begin to hear what God wants from us? Alissa, Will, and Tom say it starts in the family, and break that down a bit in this episode.

  • Episode 48: To See God As He Is - Reflection by Seminarian Will

    November 1st, 2018  |  13 mins 43 secs

    Seminarian Will shares his reflections on this Solemnity of All Saints in this BONUS EPISODE of the Being Church Podcast.

  • Episode 47: Making Peace in a Violent World

    October 31st, 2018  |  30 mins 29 secs

    Last week our nation endured three violent situations that gained national news attention. We know, however, that violence happens every day, all over the world. So what is a Catholic Christian to do in a culture of violence? What should our attitude be in times of despair? Tom and Alissa take a stab at what it means to make peace happen as Christ commanded.

    "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."

  • Episode 46: Here's Why We Go to Mass

    October 23rd, 2018  |  25 mins

    People know that Catholics go to Mass, and some Catholics even know good theology for why they should go to Mass. But when we get beyond the obligation, what's our real reason for going every week or more? Tom and Alissa try to put some everyday words to explain the depth and necessity of their weekly ritual.

  • Episode 45: Tom & Alissa Go to Dinner

    October 17th, 2018  |  32 mins 23 secs

    If you could invite any three Catholics (alive or dead) to dinner, who would they be? Tom and Alissa discuss the motivation behind their top three choices in this episode. It was really interesting that we invited people whose gifts are not our own, and they challenge our lived faith. The Church is full of holy people, and we don't all look the same!

  • Episode 44: The World Needs (Your Name Here)

    October 10th, 2018  |  25 mins 48 secs

    God has given us all unique gifts that He wants us to use to build one another up. In this episode, Seminarian Will, Alissa, and Tom talk about how we can identify unique gifts in ourselves and one another and how we can put them to use. Because the world and the Church need you to be you for the glory of God.

  • Episode 43: Division in the Church

    October 3rd, 2018  |  23 mins 50 secs

    The Catholic Church professes that it is a Church united in Christ, but its members are so often divided. We expect division in our political landscape and in our secular social lives, but no one wants a divided Church because it hinders our mission and harms the Body of Christ. Tom and Alissa discuss the toxic effects of division in the Church in this episode and discuss what it means to be united in the face of differing opinions and ideas.

  • Episode 42: Creating and Consuming

    September 26th, 2018  |  22 mins 57 secs

    Tom's been thinking about the interplay of consuming and creating for a while. In this episode, he and Alissa discuss how we spend most of our lives consuming: books, Netflix, podcasts, documents, articles, fake news, real news... But how much of our lives do we spend creating? Creating is a spiritual experience, a gift from God. But do we ignore this great gift to satisfy our base, consumerist desires?

  • Episode 41: Why We're Called Being Church

    September 19th, 2018  |  23 mins 26 secs

    Fr. James joins Tom and Alissa to explain what he means when he says "We aren't called to play Church. We're called to be Church." What's Being Church all about and why did we name the podcast after it? Hear what our awesome pastor has to say about it all.

  • Episode 40: The Shoutout Episode

    September 11th, 2018  |  35 mins 48 secs

    Being a Catholic young adult in a modern city like Austin is TOUGH. Trying to be a faithful person in a career-driven, socially confusing culture means that young adults need their Church to be holy, transparent, and authentic. Alissa and Tom chat with Erica and Megan to discuss the current state of ministry to young adults both at St. Louis and the Church at large.

  • Episode 39: The Man in Flip-Flops: A conversation with Shannon Swenson

    September 4th, 2018  |  32 mins 26 secs

    After being drawn into the beauty of the Catholic faith by way of his wife and the baptism of his children, Shannon Swenson really put down roots in this St. Louis community. In this episode, he shares about the power of a loving and faithful community, the importance of sharing our gifts with our parish, and the reason he tells couples in marriage prep to "go make babies".

    A humble man of action. A man of his word. Turn it up for Shannon Swenson.

  • Episode 38: Seminary Formation with Deacon Henry

    August 28th, 2018  |  26 mins 14 secs

    Deacon Henry was gracious enough to spend some of his final day on campus with Alissa and Tom to talk about the formation he has received as a seminarian. It's great to hear that our Austin seminarians receive a well-rounded, spiritually and intellectually stimulating education as they prepare to serve the People of God as priests of Jesus Christ.

  • Episode 37: Processing Pennsylvania

    August 22nd, 2018  |  25 mins 1 sec

    If you've been present to the news this last week you know that a grand jury investigated 6 of the 8 dioceses in Pennsylvania, finding allegations and evidence of abuse from 300 priests between the 1940s and early 2000s. Even though the Church has taken steps to prevent abuse, this report rocked the faithful, leaving us angry and sad and motivated to do something about the injustice. But what can we do? Tom and Alissa are trying to figure it out just like you.

  • Episode 36: Alissa's Mid-Life Crisis

    August 14th, 2018  |  26 mins 15 secs

    For some reason, Alissa comes to Tom with some big questions this episode, and their answers go to the heart about our true human identities. Who are we really? And how can we know who we really are?