91 episodes

Ask Fr. Josh is the podcast where I hear you out and do my best to help you navigate the tricky times in life when our Catholic Faith doesn’t give you an easy “fill-in-the blank” answer. On this show, we’ll listen to one another, problem solve together, and ultimately entrust everything to our Lord. If this is your first time tuning in, here’s how the show goes: Each episode, I'll address three to four of your questions. I’ll cover everything from Catholic teaching to moral dilemmas to relationship advice. I'm not perfect, and I can’t guarantee that my advice is going to make things easy, but I'll do my best to share what I've learned during my time as a priest, pastor, and friend. Email me your questions at askfrjosh@ascensionpress.com and find out more at ascensionpress.com/askfrjosh.

Ask Father Josh (Your Catholic Question and Answer Podcast) Ascension - The Leader in Catholic Faith Formation

    • Christianity

Ask Fr. Josh is the podcast where I hear you out and do my best to help you navigate the tricky times in life when our Catholic Faith doesn’t give you an easy “fill-in-the blank” answer. On this show, we’ll listen to one another, problem solve together, and ultimately entrust everything to our Lord. If this is your first time tuning in, here’s how the show goes: Each episode, I'll address three to four of your questions. I’ll cover everything from Catholic teaching to moral dilemmas to relationship advice. I'm not perfect, and I can’t guarantee that my advice is going to make things easy, but I'll do my best to share what I've learned during my time as a priest, pastor, and friend. Email me your questions at askfrjosh@ascensionpress.com and find out more at ascensionpress.com/askfrjosh.

    Sex in Marriage, Arguing about Contraception, and Recovering from Sexual Sin

    Sex in Marriage, Arguing about Contraception, and Recovering from Sexual Sin

    What kinds of physical acts are morally acceptable when it comes to sex in marriage? What do you do when one spouse embraces NFP and the other insists on using contraception? How can an engaged couple recover chastity and peace after giving into sexual temptation together? 






    *Disclaimer: Parents may want to listen to the podcast before sharing with young kids, as we discuss some very mature topics about intimate relationships.






    Snippet from the Show 




    "When you bring to the Mass all that you’ve experienced, you allow Jesus to redeem those things that are most dark, bitter, and painful by taking them into the mystery of his sacrifice and casting them into the ocean of his mercy."


















    Glory Story (3:55) 






    Feedback (9:26)






    Disagreement on Contraception in Marriage (11:33)






    Thank you for your podcast. It’s been a big help to me. My husband and I have been married for 18 years. We are now in our early 40’s. We have three wonderful kids who are 4, 6 and 8. We are both Catholic but experience our faith differently. One thing we have never agreed on is NFP/contraception.






    When we first got married I was trained and spent years charting and following my cycle using the symptothermal method. Since that time we have always abstained during my fertile period, but when we have sex my husband will still use a condom to avoid pregnancy. So I’ve basically been doing NFP on my own.






    He is a good man, and has his own journey with the Lord. But this has caused me much pain and guilt. We have always attended weekly Mass together, and with the children, and we do night prayers with the kids every night. I also attend daily Mass when I can, and regular reconciliation. My husband and I pray together sometimes but it’s not a daily habit. I pray a lot. I have kept bringing this to the Lord in prayer. And kept up a dialogue with my husband. I bring it to reconciliation.






    He doesn’t want any more children, and a big part of that now is because I become very unwell when pregnant and can’t function for a number of months. I am open to having more children if it’s God’s will, even though I’m a bit afraid of being so sick. I would do it though. After so long I have started to feel much fear, and sometimes hopelessness about this situation. At the worst times I worry that I am condemned. I feel powerless to change the situation. And an ultimatum doesn’t really seem like the right thing to do for our marriage. I have realised I basically try to avoid intercourse, but that’s not great for our marriage either.






    Do you have any advice that will help me to carry on in this situation, which doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon.






    - Sarah






    Oral Sex in Marriage (17:04)






    Hey Father Josh, 






    I looked all over the Ascension Press website for anything on this topic. 






    I have read Song of Solomon and there are lots of thought provoking ideas within the scripture. My question is, what are the Catholic teachings on what is appropriate acts of "foreplay" before having intercourse, for a married couple. To be more specific, could you also elaborate on the Catholic teachings of oral sex. I have listened to your potato analogy for same sex relationships, but am wondering the thoughts for a married male and female, as the Song of Solomon hints at some of this.






    Thanks in advance!






    - Anonymous






    Recovering from Sexual Sin (25:14)






    Hey Father Josh,






    I have a question I’ve been wrestling with for a few weeks now. I recently got engaged,  and we are both Catholic and are active in our church. We both agreed to wait until marriage to have sex, but one evening we went out of town to attend a wedding and it was our first time sharing a hotel room. We had spent the night in the same bed once before about 6 months prior, but that was

    • 33 min
    Fear of the Lord, Explaining the Eucharist to Children, and Baptizing a Grandchild

    Fear of the Lord, Explaining the Eucharist to Children, and Baptizing a Grandchild

    Father Josh answers questions about fear of the Lord, explaining transubstantiation to children, and whether a grandparent should secretly baptize their unbaptized grandchild.




















    Glory Story (2:49) 






    Feedback (6:32)






    Baptizing a Grandchild (11:15)






    Hi Fr. Josh! Thank you so much for your priesthood and your ministry via this podcast. It has been so encouraging to me and many friends too!  Here’s my question—my oldest daughter is married to a very nice Jewish man and now has a one year old baby boy. For a while she was attending a nondenominational church but now is not going to church at all, and they have not baptized the baby. I asked her once if she would consider baptism, and she said she would think about it. That was months ago, and she hasn’t brought it up again. Do you have any suggestions for how I can encourage her to come back to church and baptize the baby? My husband and I are heartbroken about this. A friend said I should take some holy water and baptize the baby myself the next time I go and see them. Should I consider doing this? I would appreciate any words of wisdom you might have.






    - Shannon






    Fear of the Lord (19:35)






    Hi Fr. Josh!






    I’ve always wondered about verses in the Bible which discuss fearing the Lord. For example, the Bible references that we’re “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) or that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 111:10). To me, the word “fear” doesn’t seem like a word we should use when describing who God is or how we should feel towards Him. Can you help a girl out?






    You’re DA BOMB!






    - K-Dawg






    Explaining the Eucharist to a Child (23:43)






    My son is 6 years old and wants to be a priest when he grows up. He absolutely loves all things regarding the Church and especially our priests. Today at Mass he asked me about consuming Jesus. He sort of understands that the bread and wine turns into the Body and Blood of Jesus but how do I explain to him that this miracle is not “disgusting” but a beautiful opportunity he will be able to receive next year? I believe it is the Body, Blood, soul and Divinity of Christ but how do I explain to a 6 year old (or a 14, 9, and 4 year old) that this is not cannibalism but a miracle? I hope this question makes sense.






    Thank you Fr. Josh, I have learned so much from your podcast about our beautiful faith. I am always praying for you and welcome your prayers for myself and my wonderful children I have been blessed with.






    - Christina






    Resources: 






    Preorder Pocket Guide to Adoration by Fr. Josh JohnsonEmail your questions and feedback to Fr. Josh at askfrjosh@ascensionpress.com Text “askfrjosh” to 33-777 to subscribe for the chance to win a free copy of Fr. Josh’s new book!Broken and Blessed by Fr. Josh JohnsonSong: “Nothing Else” by Cody CarnesBelonging: Baptism in the Family of God by Fr. Mike Schmitz Unabridged Christianity: Biblical Answers to Common Questions About the Roman Catholic FaithCode of Canon Law on Baptism1 Peter 3:21 - Salvation of those baptized General Audience of Pope Francis on Fear of the LordHoly Bible – The Great Adventure Catholic Bible

    • 30 min
    All About the Priesthood: Women Priests, Married Priests, and Flawed Priests

    All About the Priesthood: Women Priests, Married Priests, and Flawed Priests

    Fr. Josh answers three questions about the priesthood: Why can’t women be priests? Why can’t priests get married? And how can you look past the human flaws of the priest when he is acting in persona Christi?


    Snippet from the Show
    Jesus Christ was radical, he broke many customs. If he had wanted women to be priests, he would have chosen them to be priests … Mary [Mother of God] was far holier than Peter. Mary Magdalene showed up to the foot of the Cross. Guess who wasn’t at the foot of the Cross—Peter, Thomas, Matthew. Many of these women were far holier than the first priests. However, in God’s will, he chose men to be the matter for the sacrament of priesthood.


    SHOWNOTES
    Glory Story (3:05)


    Women Priests (7:49)


    Hi Father,


    I know you mentioned before you wanted to do a themed show. So I recently heard you speak on church tradition, and the difference between big “T” and little “t” tradition which I’m sure you would elaborate on, maybe even sing about. I wanted to suggest that as a possible theme for the show. I had a specific question pertaining to this topic, and was hoping you’d speak on this: are male only priests a little “t” tradition or a big “T” tradition? I’ve recently been challenged on the church’s position on men as priests and found myself stuck when trying to engage in dialogue on the matter. I’m somewhat familiar with the theology on this but any clarification and insight would be fantastic. Thank you for all you do as a servant and radical disciple of our Lord, for your continued “yes” in answering the call, and example of servant leadership. You are constantly in our prayers.


    – Shanna


    Married Priests (21:02)


    Father Josh,


    Yesterday my family and I had an interesting debate over Sunday dinner on our faith and the Catholic religion. To give context, my father is a 7th Day Adventist and my mother is Catholic, which provided an interesting decision for my parents to decide which religion my sister and I would grow up with. Ultimately, my parents decided to raise us in the Catholic Church. My sister and I went to Catholic school all of our lives and have been committed to the principles of our faith through our adult lives. In recent years, our faith has been challenged with exposure to other religions through friends and even through our father’s side of the family. We will be asked questions about traditions within the Catholic faith and we would not have the proper response other than, “this is just the way we’ve done it for years.” Of course this is mainly our fault for not asking these questions about various traditions, but in many instances we feel that some of the traditions within the Catholic religion are lost in translation by being passed from generation to generation without explanation. This has a compounding effect in generations like the true knowledge or intent of many Catholic traditions. Our discussion became further involved when my father brought up an article entitled, “Catholic bishops approve proposal allowing some married men to be ordained priests in the Amazon.” In my opinion, it is well known for the intent and reason that a priest should not be married but this has always been a determining factor for young men that seek the priesthood. There are only a select few that have the gift and dedication such as you to connect with this church family in an effective way, and willing to dedicate the rest of his life to the Lord. I’ve only had the privilege to experience a priest through one possibly two of my church communities in my life. I think that one of the reasons is this tradition. Curious to hear your thoughts and if this is approved, what would be the potential impact for the greater Catholic community?


    Keep up the good work, love listening to your podcast. I’m a Houston native, Lafayette raised, and wor

    • 39 min
    All about Being Pro Life: Abortion after Rape, Excommunicating Politicians, and Single Motherhood

    All about Being Pro Life: Abortion after Rape, Excommunicating Politicians, and Single Motherhood

    Glory Story (2:39)
    Feedback (6:16)


    Rape and Abortion (10:50)
    My name is Brianna and I live in Kyle, Texas! I absolutely love your podcast and a lot of your episodes have brought so much clarity to my life and helped me grow in my faith, so thank you!


    My question is, with new abortion laws being made, particularly making abortion illegal for women who have been raped, how do we react to such situations with grace? I’m honestly torn on how to feel about this issue because as a woman, I couldn’t imagine being raped and then having to bear that child. I feel women may view having to give birth as a punishment, instead of a good thing. I was wondering what your views on this very sensitive issue are?


    Thank you for your time!



    Brianna


    Excommunication of Pro-Choice Politicians (19:40)
    First, I just wanted to thank you for the work you are doing with your podcast. So many times it has felt like you have been talking directly to me. I am so thankful for all you are doing and for your YES to be a priest and help so many strive to become saints. Your podcast has been such an instrumental part of my faith development especially through this past year when I first fell in love with the Lord and my Catholic Faith.


    My question for you deals with excommunication, especially in regards to public officials who claim to be Catholic yet condone and encourage grave evils like abortion. I am a high school teacher at a Catholic high school in Michigan and I am getting a lot of questions from my students as to why an official like Andrew Cuomo is not being excommunicated from the Church after he championed a law like the “Reproductive Health” Act. For as much as I love the discussion and time to discuss the evils of abortion this topic brings, I find myself unable to articulate what the actual teaching on excommunication is or how to appropriately respond to the question a student posed, “How can the church excommunicate someone when we are told that there is nothing God cannot and does not long to forgive. Isn’t excommunicating someone a human judging another and condemning them to Hell?” I understand excommunication is supposed to be used as a call to repentance, but I do not think my explanation to my student was anywhere near adequate for a complete understanding and I didn’t want to fall into a trap of letting my anger over the evil of the law get in the way of the truth of the church’s teaching. Any guidance you could provide would be greatly appreciated!!


    Thank you so much for your time. I’m really working being more committed to praying intentionally everyday and keeping you and all of our amazing priests in my prayers has been such a great motivator. It’s a work in progress but please know I’m trying. Thanks again!



    Anonymous


    **How to Talk About My Mistakes to My Daughter When She’s Older (29:57)
    **Hey Father Josh!


    I love listening to your podcast! Your answers are always so helpful and have gotten me back in touch with my faith on a daily basis. Love listening while I’m doing chores around the house or in the car! My question has to do with children born outside of marriage. I became pregnant with my daughter when I was 19 (outside of marriage). It was a moment of weakness for me, and one that I have been to confession for and am still forgiving myself for. When I found out, there was never a question of “What am I going to do?” I knew I was having my baby and abortion was never a thought in my mind. I knew it would be hard, but I come from a long line of strong women and I can do all things through Christ. I wanted to get your opinion on how to address this topic when my daughter is older. I’m raising her Catholic but I don’t ever want her to think that she was a mistake. I also don’t want to be a hypocrite when teaching my daughter about our faith and its views on sexual re

    • 36 min
    All About Living a Chaste Life (Even after Lost Virginity)

    All About Living a Chaste Life (Even after Lost Virginity)

    In today’s episode, Father Josh answers questions about the call and the challenge to pursue a chaste life. He answers a question from a mother who suspects her son is gay, a young woman who wants to enter the religious life but lost her virginity in college, and a listener looking for recommended chastity speakers.


    **Snippet from the Show
    **There’s no person in this world that can ever satiate the infinite ache that exists in your heart—only the infinite God can quench that thirst.


    **My Son Might Be Gay
    **Father Josh,
    We love our son unconditionally. The struggle is not our love for our son but the struggle he will have. We suspect that he is gay. He has not told us, but we don’t want to confront him, but do not want him to feel he has to hide. We raised him Catholic and know he has an incredible love of people and is so kind. My fear is the teaching of the church will push him away from it.
    He deserves to be loved and have a family. Besides loving him how can we help him and walk with him?
    He is a good beautiful man.
    Thank you


    **Are there any Catholic African American speakers who speak about Chastity?
    **I want my grandchildren to see people who look like them speak about the call to chastity. Do you have any recommendations?


    **Which John Wrote the Book of Revelation?
    **Dear Father Josh, Which John wrote the Book of Revelation? John the Baptist, John the apostle? My brother and I were discussing and weren't sure if the Catholic Church specifically states which John wrote it. Thank you for all you do to spread the Good News!! Your choice to do so is a blessing! Thank you, Anonymous.


    **
    Can I be a religious sister if I lost my virginity? **
    Fr. Josh!!! First things first I wish I could've run into you at SLS because I wanted to personally thank you for all of the things that you do for your podcast and all the things it’s done for me. It is crazy how God uses you, like literally whenever I get a question in my head about our faith, usually the next episode is the answer, or the person is going through the same thing as me, like the scrupulosity episode. You’re so cool dawg!! Anyway, my question involves religious life. Personally I feel that God has sent me an invitation to be a sister since I was 6, but I have never really accepted the call until now at 22. However in college I made bad decisions involving the use of drugs and alcohol, but my biggest regret of all was a relationship where I gave away my virginity. Although for the past 2.5 years I restored my faith in Jesus Christ and completely changed my life—surrendering it to him, I still find myself in the heap of regret, and somehow it will prevent me from entering into religious life. I feel like giving away my virginity prevents Christ from entering into divine intimacy with me fully. I feel as if my chances of being a sister are almost gone, if that makes sense? I am still discerning married life as well, but this invitation draws me more than ever before. I just have so much fear that my mistakes messed up everything. Anyway, GO TIGERS AND YOU ARE SUCH AN AMAZING LIGHT!! Keep singing!!
    -Hannah

    • 25 min
    Be My Guest: Andy Lesnefsky on Catholic Community, Tattoos, Fitting in, and Avoiding Burnout

    Be My Guest: Andy Lesnefsky on Catholic Community, Tattoos, Fitting in, and Avoiding Burnout

    Andy Lesnefsky from Vagabond Ministries joins Father Josh to discuss how to find/build Catholic community, being judged by Catholics for having tattoos, why you shouldn’t worry about fitting a perfect Catholic mold, and how to avoid burnout when you’re always serving others.


    Today’s podcast was recorded live last week in Phoenix Arizona at the FOCUS Student Leadership SLS conference. Tune in to hear the first ever glory stories from audience members and a even a question from the audience. thank you for all your prayers for this incredible conference and all the young Catholics who attended!


    Glory Story (0:45)
    **
    **Fitting a "Catholic Mold" (12:07)


    Hello Father Josh,
    I want to thank you for your podcast. I appreciate how you bring your full personality to each recording. It has been especially helpful to me because I often get this sense that I need to change and fit some mold in order to be acceptable or rather leave behind my culture and my personality and become a woman who is meak, quiet, and soft. This is an ongoing struggle for me though to understand how to sanctify our culture and personality traits rather than just trying to become someone I’m not. What are your thoughts on this? I often see examples of women promoting strong Catholics who dress and talk alike. I wanna find myself in Christ, but that does not mean just conforming right? I’m hoping you can catch what I’m trying to ask. Thank you so much for this podcast and even reading this email I appreciate the ministry.



    Nkeka


    Being Judged by Older Catholics for My Tattoos (17:13)
    I’m a 27-year-old guy with 3/4ths sleeve of tattoos. It shows how God has helped me through my childhood struggles and how he made me stronger because of it. Through my tattoo I’ve been able to bring a few people back to God and knowing his love for us. I feel that it’s my way of evangelizing. Some people in leadership at my parish, they know my story and they’re excited about my tattoo, and they’re excited that it’s my way of evangelizing. These same adults encourage me and other young adults to go out and evangelize others. Yet and still, I’ve also been told by them that I have to wear long-sleeve shirts to cover up my tattoo whenever I’m on the parish grounds. How do I approach this?



    Anonymous


    Avoiding Burnout While Serving Others (22:52)
    How can one lead a community while still being a part of the community? Myself and a few of my good friends are the leadership team at my university's Catholic center. We do not have a campus minister or any missionaries, so a majority of the ministry falls upon the shoulders of myself and the rest of the officer team It’s been incredibly difficult to live in the community while also leading it. We became exhausted over the past semester, constantly pouring into the community, and the community not pouring back into us, and all of our relationships with Christ have suffered. Over the break the Lord restored us greatly but how do we keep a repeat of last semester from happening again?



    Michaela


    *Lack of Young Adult Catholic Community (30:55) *
    Thank you very much Father. I am here (SLS 2020) with the Archdiocese of Military Services and I’m in the Coastguard stationed in Valdez, Alaska, and there’s a small parish there but generally I feel pretty darn isolated in terms of young adult Catholics, on fire with the faith. I haven’t been super stellar at keeping the march going if you know what I mean. What advice do you have for Catholics, military or otherwise, who are generally isolated? I know the calling is to be that leader, start that young adult community, I know that answer, but the truth is it’s just really difficult to connect with people who, even at the parish, don’t get it, if you know what I mean - you just don’t have that connection with them. I feel like I’m really fallin

    • 39 min

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