13 episodes

Field Hospital is U.S. Catholic’s inaugural podcast, hosted by Jeannie Gaffigan, writer and executive producer of The Jim Gaffigan Show, and Mike Lewis, founder of the website Where Peter Is. Guided by Pope Francis’ vision of the church as a “field hospital” that continues to carry out the healing mission of Jesus Christ in the world, Gaffigan and Lewis speak with experts and Catholic personalities about important topics in the world today and how the church can meet hurt with healing.

Field Hospital U.S. Catholic

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.7 • 40 Ratings

Field Hospital is U.S. Catholic’s inaugural podcast, hosted by Jeannie Gaffigan, writer and executive producer of The Jim Gaffigan Show, and Mike Lewis, founder of the website Where Peter Is. Guided by Pope Francis’ vision of the church as a “field hospital” that continues to carry out the healing mission of Jesus Christ in the world, Gaffigan and Lewis speak with experts and Catholic personalities about important topics in the world today and how the church can meet hurt with healing.

    Christopher Lamb - The future of Francis’ papacy

    Christopher Lamb - The future of Francis’ papacy

    Throughout the podcast season, Mike and Jeannie have talked to different writers, church leaders, theologians, scholars, and activists about the many kinds of wounds the world experiences and how the church can help to heal these wounds. In this final episode of Field Hospital, they return to the theme with which the podcast opened: Pope Francis’ vision for reviving and reforming the church. 

    The guest for this episode is Christopher Lamb, Vatican correspondent for the Tablet. Whether reporting from Rome or accompanying Pope Francis on his world travels, Lamb has a unique perspective on the pope’s vision for reviving and reforming the church. He also has a close and incisive understanding of the various coordinated attacks on Pope Francis from media outlets such as EWTN, high-ranking members of the clergy, and well-funded influential Catholics.

    Lamb studied theology at the University of Durham prior to pursuing a career in journalism. He has worked as a journalist for the Daily Telegraph and for the Tablet in London before moving to Rome, where he now resides as a Vatican correspondent. He is the author of Outsider: Pope Francis and His Battle to Reform the Church.


    The Outsider: Pope Francis and His Battle to Reform the Church
    By Christopher Lamb

    Q & A: Christopher Lamb
    By Michael Sean Winters
    "Francis agrees with his critics: A pope can be wrong"
    By Christopher Lamb
    "Nice guy or tough guy? The two faces of Pope Francis"
    By Christopher Lamb
    "Yes, Pope Francis Is Developing Doctrine"
    By Grant Gallicho

    This episode of Field Hospital is supported by Catholic Theological Union.

    • 46 min
    Gloria Purvis - Anti-racism and the Christian life

    Gloria Purvis - Anti-racism and the Christian life

    The Catholic Church teaches that racism is an evil that must be eradicated from society and from the human heart. However, the institutional church, church leaders, and the faithful have not always lived in accordance with this teaching. At many times throughout history, Catholics have not only tolerated but enabled and fostered racism and white supremacy. 
    Author, podcaster, and activist Gloria Purvis has not been silent about the evils of racism, the obligations of Catholics to live out the church’s teachings on human dignity, and the reality of how the church has often failed. For Purvis, speaking these truths is part of what it means to follow Jesus, even when it means facing the animosity of the comfortable. In 2020, EWTN canceled Purvis’ radio show “Morning Glory” following her discussion of racial justice and the murder of George Floyd. But Purvis has continued to speak out prophetically, in articles and on her podcast, about the moral and religious obligation of Christians to oppose racism wherever it is found. 
    On this episode of Field Hospital, Jeannie and Mike talk to Purvis about her experiences as a Black Catholic, about the importance of anti-racism in our Christian life, and about the church’s shameful legacy in the history of white supremacy. If we believe in God and love Jesus. Purvis says, we need to speak the truth, and set captives free. We need to be able to rebuke the evil of racism. 
    Purvis is a graduate of Cornell University. She has worked in the mortgage industry and as a risk management director for a financial services company. Purvis has served on the National Black Catholic Congress’ Leadership Commission on Social Justice, as an Advisory Board Member on the Maryland Catholic Conference’s Respect for Life Department, and on the Archdiocese of Washington’s Pastoral Council. She is the host of The Gloria Purvis Podcast with America Media. 
    “We Need to Talk About Race: Lessons from ‘The Gloria Purvis Podcast’”
    By Gloria Purvis 
    “How race influences our Catholicism—whether we know it or not”

    “Fired EWTN host Gloria Purvis: 'I will never, ever, ever have regrets' for discussing race”
    By Mark Pattinson

    “A conversation with Gloria Purvis on the racial justice and pro-life movements”
    By Kevin Binrbaum

    This episode of Field Hospital is supported by Catholic Theological Union.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Phyllis Zagano - The role of women in the church

    Phyllis Zagano - The role of women in the church

    The Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination in the world. And it has almost no women in leadership roles. From the smallest parish to the Vatican, Catholicism is dominated almost exclusively by men. 

    Church leaders and apologists will hasten to explain that this does not mean that the Catholic Church is misogynistic. The church, they say, has always defended and protected women’s rights. St. Pope John Paul II wrote in his 1995 Letter to Women that “the Church desires for her part to contribute to upholding the dignity, role and rights of women.” Many will point to the church’s veneration of Mary of Nazareth as evidence of a pro-woman ethos.

    But Catholic tradition is not exclusively patriarchal. Other threads of tradition wind back through church history to its very beginning, traditions in which women did hold positions of leadership and responsibility. The early church had women deacons. Women religious often held positions of influence. And today, under Pope Francis, doors may be opening to women to reclaim some of these positions.

    In today’s episode of Field Hospital, Jeannie and Mike discuss the role of women in the church with internationally acclaimed scholar Phyllis Zagano, who has written extensively about women in church history, especially women deacons. Zagano has also advocated tirelessly for the restoration of the woman’s diaconate—often in the face of harsh criticism. 

    Some of Zagano’s books on the topic of women in the church include Holy Saturday: An Argument for the Restoration of the Female Diaconate in the Catholic Church (2000), Women & Catholicism: Gender, Communion, and Authority (2012), Women in Ministry: Emerging Questions about the Diaconate (2012), Women Deacons? Essays with Answers (2016), Women: Icons of Christ (2021), and Women Religious, Women Deacons: Questions and Answers (2022).

    Zagano has won numerous academic awards, and has taught at Fordham, Boston, and Hofstra Universities and at the Yale Divinity School. 

    In 2016, Pope Francis appointed her to the initial Papal Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women. She was nominated by the International Union of Superiors General. She continues her research at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.


    “Women and authority in the church”
    By Phyllis Zagano
    “What’s the problem with women deacons?”
    By Phyllis Zagano
    "Is the Catholic Church ready for women cardinals?"
    By Phyllis Zagano 
    “A Tale of Two Deacons”
    By Phyllis Zagano
    “Are women involved in a toxic relationship with the church?”
    By Phyllis Zagano
    “Women Deacons 101: Final Exam”
    By Phyllis Zagano
    “Look up at the altar, where are all the women?”
    By Phyllis Zagano
    “New Vatican constitution will create more space at the table”
    A U.S. Catholic interview
    "Interview with Dr. Phyllis Zagano on Women in the Church"
    Where Peter Is podcast with Mike Lewis and Dan Amiri
    "Spiritus Domini: Development in Continuity"
    By Rachel Amiri 
    "Pope Francis takes concrete steps for women in the C

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Cardinal Blase Cupich - Our duty to end gun violence

    Cardinal Blase Cupich - Our duty to end gun violence

    Gun violence has become an epidemic in the United States, with an average of one mass shooting a day since the start of 2022. The month of May saw two especially violent and horrifying mass shootings: on May 14 ten Black people were murdered in a racially-motivated attack in a grocery store in Buffalo. On May 24, a gunman murdered 19 children and two teachers in a school in Uvalde, TX. 
    Following the Buffalo shooting, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago issued a statement, in which he posed this question: “Who are we as a nation if we do not act to protect our children? What do we love more: our instruments of death or our future?” This was not the first time Cardinal Cupich addressed the issue of gun violence. In the past he has spoken out strongly on the need for our nation to take strong action, including legislation to regulate gun access.
    On this episode of Field Hospital, Jeannie and Mike talk to Cardinal Cupich about the importance of a consistent ethic of life, our responsibilities to protect the vulnerable, and how the Church can help heal the wounds of the world inflicted by gun violence. 
    Cardinal Blase Cupich was born in Omaha, Nebraska and ordained a priest in 1975. In 1998 Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota. Then, in 2010, Pope Benedict appointed him Bishop of Spokane, Washington. Pope Francis appointed him Archbishop of Chicago in 2014, and elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 2016.
    Since he became a bishop, Cardinal Cupich has served as Chair of the USCCB’s Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People and as Chair for the National Catholic Educational Association from 2013–2015. Currently he serves on several USCCB committees and is a member of the Vatican’s Dicasteries for Bishops and Divine Worship and the Vatican Congregation on Education.
    “Statement of Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, on the racist mass shooting in Buffalo, NY”
    “Statement of Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, on the massacre of children in Uvalde, Texas”
    “Cardinal Cupich calls on lawmakers to act to combat gun violence”
    By Doug Finke

    “The church’s future depends on mission, not maintenance.”
    A U.S. Catholic interview.

    “Cardinal Cupich calls for action on gun legislation”
    By Heidi Schlumpf

    “Amid rising gun violence, Chicago’s Cardinal Cupich calls for solidarity—not retreating to safe spaces”
    By Michael J. O’Loughlin

    “Dear Catholics, now is an acceptable time for gun reform,”
    By Patrick Saint-Jean, S.J.

    “A Mercy and Peacebuilding Approach to Gun Violence”
    This episode of Field Hospital is supported by Catholic Theological Union.

    • 44 min
    Kim Daniels - What synodality means for the church

    Kim Daniels - What synodality means for the church

    Pope Francis clearly considers synodality to be crucial for the reform of the church. Since his election, he has convened two synods on the family, the synod on Youth and Young People, and the synod on the Pan-Amazon region. And now he has called for a synod on synodality.
    But what is a synod? And what is synodality?
    According to Kim Daniels, co-director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University, and a member of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication, synodality has to do with listening, coming together, and accompaniment. These are all ideas that have been central to Pope Francis’ ministry and leadership.
    In today’s episode of Field Hospital, Mike and Jeannie talk to Kim about what synodality means for the church, and how parishes are putting it into action. They also discuss the backlash against, and misunderstandings about, synods and synodality in the Church today.
    Woman to Know: Kim Daniels
    "Want to understand synodality? Look to Africa"
    By Mike Lewis

    “For the synod to succeed, the church must listen to all of us”
    By Milton Javier Bravo 

    “Panelists say solidarity, synodality can heal divisions in US Church”
    By John Lavenburg

    "US Bishops Speak on the Synodal Process"
    By Rachel Amiri 

    "Synodality: A New Way of living as a Church"
    By Daniel Amiri

    This episode of Field Hospital is supported by Catholic Theological Union.

    • 57 min
    Sam Rocha - Racial justice and critical race theory

    Sam Rocha - Racial justice and critical race theory

    While plenty of Catholics will agree that racism is a moral evil, many white Catholics view it as a problem that existed mostly in the past. So, when non-white Catholics talk about the problems of racial injustice, the history of racism, and how the church has been complicit, some white Catholics get uncomfortable. They experience this kind of conversation of divisive.
    Now there’s a new phrase we’re hearing often, in discussions of race: critical race theory, or CRT, which looks at the way racism is woven into our nation’s social institutions and systems.
    Critics of CRT assert that it is divisive anti-American discourse, that it villainizes white people and indoctrinates young minds. And Catholic critics of CRT say it is that it is incompatible with church teaching.
    In today’s episode of Field Hospital, Mike and Jeannie talk to Professor Sam Rocha about critical race theory, what it really is, and whether it’s compatible with the Catholic faith.
    Sam is an associate professor in the department of educational studies at the University of British Columbia, host of the podcast Folk Phenomenology, and writer in Catholic media such as America, Commonweal, Our Sunday Visitor, and Church Life Journal.
    You can learn more about critical race theory, read Sam’s writings, and access other resources relevant to this topic through these links:
    “What Barron Gets about CRT”
    By Sam Rocha
    “What critical race theory is—and is not”
    By Brian Fraga
    “Critical Race Theory”
    By Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic
    “A Lesson on Critical Race Theory”
    By Janel George
    “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
    By Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Sam Rocha’s Substack
    Field Hospital is sponsored by Catholic Theological Union

    • 1 hr 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
40 Ratings

40 Ratings

chylandpax ,

Practical Advice to Fight Guns

Thank you! Your podcasts are excellent. Cardinal Cuciph is so right on. Let’s recognize our common humanity and protect our kids. We are swamped with guns. Common sense regulation is urgently need. Second amendment rights do not trump any child’s right to live. Non negotiable. We,as church, must demand gun reform. Now.

yepyepyouknow ,


Amazing! So grateful for the clarity that this brings to Pope Francis’s thought and vision for the church

Crypt0qu33n ,

My heart is filled with joy and energy

I am so happy and excited to hear this podcast and I have waited so long to hear the faith- the simple faith- I grew up with again. Siding with the poor and the down trodden. That you so much !

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