15 episodes

Presented by Grotto Network! On Good and Decent we will be sharing stories of ordinary people living in extraordinary ways. "We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it."-Laudato Si 229

Good and Decent Grotto Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 15 Ratings

Presented by Grotto Network! On Good and Decent we will be sharing stories of ordinary people living in extraordinary ways. "We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it."-Laudato Si 229

    Backstrokes and Headspins

    Backstrokes and Headspins

    In this episode, breakdancer Nimoy Vaidya and marathon swimmer Br. Matt Wooters, SJ, meet for the first time. We walk with them from a Chicago coffee shop, and then down to the lakefront, as they discuss their passions — and dive into how they started getting out of their comfort zones.


    Watch Nimoy's and Br. Matt's mini-documentaries below:


    This Young Breakdancer Found Healing in Hip HopAn 8-Mile Swim In Lake Michigan

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    • 48 min
    Reaching Out

    Reaching Out

    In this episode, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, the former captain of Notre Dame’s football team and an NFL hopeful, shares his journey through grief to find hope in his faith and caring for his mental health.

    Grotto producers Josh Long and Kevin DeCloedt talk about what it was like filming Myron’s story, and introduce a conversation Myron had with ND strength coach Matt Balis. Then we hang out with Myron and his roommate (and fellow ND teammate) Michael Vinson as they discuss grief, the pressures of college, caring for mental health, and finding faith as a glue to hold it all together. 

    Watch Myron’s story here: 
    Raiders Newcomer Advocates for Mental Health
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    • 57 min
    Is it Real?

    Is it Real?

    We’re deep into our storytelling edition where we wonder what else is out there, and this episode of Good and Decent explores everything from the mythical to the supernatural.

    Video producers Josh Long and Tara Kelly were curious about local cryptids — mythical creatures like Chicago’s Mothman — and so they set out to learn what they can. When Josh travels south on vacation, he begins to feel like he can’t get away from these mysterious creatures.

    Our editor, Josh Noem, brings in a respectable authority — Father Aaron Michka, CSC — who is both a priest and an anthropologist. Together, they discuss paranormal phenomena and UFO sightings, beginning with Father Aaron’s own encounter with “beings of light” that visited him for a time in his youth. Video producer Kevin DeCloedt chimes in with his own personal encounter with the supernatural.

    Read more from Father Aaron about UFOs: https://grottonetwork.com/keep-the-faith/belief/are-ufos-real/

    And read the full news story about Bigfood hunters in southern Alabama that Josh Long mentions: https://www.wsfa.com/story/34533043/evergreen-big-foot-capital-of-alabama/ 

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    • 47 min
    Going to the Margins: Hands and Feet

    Going to the Margins: Hands and Feet

    In this episode, Good and Decent is going to the margins — to two very different places and moments in history — to find the power in embracing the most neglected in our society.

    Grotto host Javi Zubizarreta speaks with reporter and author Michael O’Loughlin about the history of the AIDS crisis and the Catholic Church. Michael is the host of the podcast Plague: Untold Stories of AIDS and the Catholic Church and the author of Hidden Mercy: AIDS, Catholics, and the Untold Stories of Compassion in the Face of Fear. A gay Catholic himself, O’Loughlin’s powerful work brings together unimaginable stories of empathy, heartbreak, and grace from the LGBT+ community and the Church. He and Javi discuss the power of these stories, their impact on Michael’s own life, and how Pope Francis himself reached out to recognize this work.

    From Michael’s apartment on the north side of Chicago, Grotto then goes to downtown Cincinnati to meet Gary Short of Foot Care for the Souls, an organization reaching out to people experiencing homelessness. Every day, Gary takes the feet of countless unhoused people into his lap and makes sure they are clean, healthy, and cared for. It’s a powerful witness of serving and loving the most marginalized.

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    • 41 min
    From Old to New

    From Old to New

    In this episode, Grotto hosts Becky Rogers and Liz Colleran speak with Jacob Zumo, an artist from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

    Becky is Grotto’s art director and Liz is our assignment desk manager, so they’re pretty hands-on in our creative process — the conversation they share with Jacob digs into storytelling with art. Jacob says he wants to paint images that are arrestingly beautiful, and that cause people to wonder, “What’s the story behind that?”

    Jacob is a bridge-builder as an artist — he’s classically trained, but also does paintings for rappers and athletes. He talks about “pushing the sacred” whenever he can — he honed his craft in Florence, Italy but brings a modern take to sacred art so that people feel connected to his paintings, especially people from underrepresented communities.

    Watch more of Jacob’s story with this video documentary: 
    Louisiana Artist Modernizes Sacred Art

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    • 33 min
    New Beginnings

    New Beginnings

    How do we set out to find a new start? 

    Often, when we think of new beginnings, we imagine a new habit or goal that we want to establish. So we pick an objective and start incorporating it into our days. 

    But what about those moments when the new start you need is deeper and bigger than just a new workout routine? Like, when you need to change the direction of your life? 

    “A lot of times we think of the gym or starting a workout or running routine or reading and it’s this quick start,” says producer Josh Long in this episode. “What I like about Ian is that his new beginning is a soul-searching, long process — over the course of years.”

    Ian Shankster is a friend of Josh’s who had experienced a divorce and needed to start over. He wanted to see the country, but still had to pay off his student loans, so he took a job as a truck driver. 

    Josh got to ride along with Ian on a trip — in this episode, he reflects on that journey with Ian, which took place at a moment when Grotto was in a new beginning, too. His story is one of the very first stories we told. 

    Sara Thoms joins Josh for the conversation — she shares some insights about starting fresh from her own experience of moving across the country in the past few weeks to take a new job. Together, they reconnect with Jesse Woodworth to hear about how he decided to leave Denver for rural Indiana to take over a family farm. 

    Transitions take time, especially if they come from a wound or a place of deep conviction. And, as Sara notes, no one is expert at navigating those transition moments — there are a lot of bumps along the way. But if we stay in touch with ourselves — journaling and prayer work for Sara — we’ll stay grounded and authentic as we make our way.

    Watch these videos to ride along with Ian’s in a truck cab and watch Jesse fire up a giant old combine.


    Capturing Beauty Along American HighwaysMoving from Denver to Indiana to Support the Family Farm
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    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

kylo ren memes ,

Love it

Great podcast!

THEEAntonEgo ,

Great Podcast!

Awesome podcast full of great discussion as well as a great sound and production. This podcast is superbly edited and can’t wait for more episodes to come out! Keep up the good work.

NolesPack739 ,

You Grotto Listen To This Pod!

I listened to the first episode and it’s great! I’m familiar with a lot of stuff Grotto Network has done, and it’s all very well-made. It’s got a mildly religious flavor, but it’s not in your face. Just a lot of positive vibes. I can’t wait for more!

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