68 episodes

A podcast about the Fathers of the Church—the foundational figures in Christian history. Hosted by popular Patristics author Mike Aquilina.

Season 1 covers all the Fathers in chronological order. Season 2 covers the Ecumenical Councils. Episodes without season number are miscellaneous topics.

A production of CatholicCulture.org.

Way of the Fathers with Mike Aquilina CatholicCulture.org

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.9 • 124 Ratings

A podcast about the Fathers of the Church—the foundational figures in Christian history. Hosted by popular Patristics author Mike Aquilina.

Season 1 covers all the Fathers in chronological order. Season 2 covers the Ecumenical Councils. Episodes without season number are miscellaneous topics.

A production of CatholicCulture.org.

    2.1 Where Councils Come From: An Introduction

    2.1 Where Councils Come From: An Introduction

    When the Church is in crisis, its bishops meet in council. Since the generation of the Apostles, this has been the customary way of settling major disputes over doctrine and discipline. In the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 15, the Twelve met with certain elders and chosen experts to exercise an authority that was different from the authority that any of them possessed individually. This established a practice for the ages to follow. The councils in the time of the Fathers—the first seven ecumenical councils—are considered authoritative by the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches. In this episode, we look at the pre-history of those councils and consider their definitions and authority.
    LINKS
    Cyprian of Carthage, On the Seventh Council of Carthage https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=1719
    Canons of the Council of Ancyra (A.D. 314) https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3802.htm
    Canons of the Council of Necaesarea (A.D. 315) https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3803.htm
    Mike Aquilina’s website https://fathersofthechurch.com
    Mike Aquilina’s books https://catholicbooksdirect.com/writer/mike-aquilina/
    Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed http://www.ccwatershed.org
    Donate today! https://www.catholicculture.org/users/donate/audio

    • 19 min
    Ep. 1 - First Steps on the Way of the Fathers

    Ep. 1 - First Steps on the Way of the Fathers

    With this episode author Mike Aquilina begins his twice-monthly series on the lives, times, and works of the early Church Fathers. The Way of the Fathers begins with answers to basic questions. What is fatherhood? And who are the Fathers?
    The answers come from sources ancient (Vincent of Lerins) and modern (Ratzinger) — theologians who draw from the still more ancient words and patterns of biblical religion.
    Mapping the Way of the Fathers, Aquilina touches upon the achievements of the early Christians, especially their establishment of the canons of Scripture, liturgy, and Church order.
    The Fathers made us who we are. This podcast begins our pilgrimage to give them the honor that’s their due.
    Links
    Buy Mike Aquilina’s book The Fathers of the Church https://www.amazon.com/Fathers-Church-Mike-Aquilina/dp/1612785611 
    Buy Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s Principles of Catholic Theology: Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology https://www.amazon.com/Principles-Catholic-Theology-Building-Fundamental/dp/0898702151 
    Follow Mike Aquilina on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMikeAquilina
    Works of the Fathers online https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/
    More Works by the Fathers http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/
    Contemporary Application of an Idea from the Fathers: The Catena https://www.beholdthetruth.com
    Mike Aquilina’s Website https://fathersofthechurch.com
    Mike Aquilina at Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Aquilina
    USCCB: “Praying with the Fathers of the Church: A Reflection per Day for Advent-Christmas and Lent-Easter,” by Mike Aquilina http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catechesis/catechetical-sunday/prayer/family-resources-mike-aquilina.cfm
    Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of http://www.ccwatershed.org.

    • 14 min
    Ep. 2 - The How and Why of Studying the Fathers

    Ep. 2 - The How and Why of Studying the Fathers

    In this episode we examine the history of the study of the Fathers since the Reformation. The field has enjoyed explosive growth since then. We live in a time when so many works by the Fathers (and about the Fathers) are freely available online.
    What drives people to read the Fathers?
    Well, they’re apologetically useful. The Fathers returned to vogue after the 16th century because both Catholics and Protestants believed the documents of the early Church would be useful in apologetics.
    And they are! They have inspired many conversions. But they’re more than that. They’re delightful to read. They fill us with hard-won wisdom. They tell riveting, dramatic stories. They show us how to keep a good sense of humor in the midst of great challenges.
    Best of all, they draw us closer to Jesus Christ.
    One of the exemplary students of the Fathers was St. John Henry Newman, and in this episode we examine the lessons he drew from their work.
    Links
    Buy Johannes Quasten’s four-volume set, Patrology https://www.amazon.com/Patrology-4-Set-Johannes-Quasten/dp/0870611410/
    Read St. John Henry Newman’s An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine http://www.newmanreader.org/works/development/index.html
    Read “Newman and the Fathers,” by Mike Aquilina https://fathersofthechurch.com/2011/01/26/newman-and-the-fathers/
    Works of the Fathers online https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/
    More Works by the Fathers http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/
    Mike Aquilina’s Website https://fathersofthechurch.com
    Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of http://www.ccwatershed.org.

    • 13 min
    Ep. 3 - Clement of Rome: The Earliest Christian Author after the Apostles

    Ep. 3 - Clement of Rome: The Earliest Christian Author after the Apostles

    Clement of Rome led a church in turmoil. Its people were deeply divided. The secular culture was hostile to the faith. Across the ocean from the Eternal City the laity were rising up in rebellion against the clergy. And it was only 67 A.D. St. Peter was hardly cold in his grave on Vatican Hill. How should his successor lead in such a crisis? Clement healed the Church in the way of the Apostles: by writing a winsome, reasonable, gentle letter — which is the subject of Episode 3 of “The Way of the Fathers” with Mike Aquilina.
    Clement’s Epistle to the Corinthians is, says Johannes Quasten, “the earliest piece of literature outside the New Testament for which the name, position, and date of the author are historically attested.” It provides us a snapshot of Church life as the first Christian generation turned over to the second. And it reveals the origins of so many doctrines: apostolic succession, Roman primacy, the papal office, and the unity of the Old Testament and the New.
    Christians today don’t fully understand the achievement of the Apostles unless they understand the work of their immediate disciples. Clement knew both Peter and Paul and carried their mission forward according to their model and instructions. His words are useful for our own time of crisis.
    Links
    Buy Kenneth Howell’s new edition and translation of Clement of Rome’s Epistle. https://www.amazon.com/Clement-Didache-Early-Christian-Fathers/dp/0983082979/
    Read Clement in the context of the other Apostolic Fathers. https://www.amazon.com/Early-Christian-Writings-Apostolic-Fathers/dp/0140444750/
    Compare Clement’s letter in Greek and English. https://www.amazon.com/1-Clement-Readers-Theodore-Bergren/dp/0813232368/
    Read a recent study of Clement’s Letter, by a respected scholar and official of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. https://www.amazon.com/Clement-Early-Church-Rome-Corinthians-ebook/dp/B004OEIWGC/

    Clement’s First Epistle to the Corinthians online https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=1608
    More Works by the Fathers https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/
    Mike Aquilina’s Website https://fathersofthechurch.com
    Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of http://www.ccwatershed.org.

    • 21 min
    Episode 4 - Ignatius of Antioch: To Know "Jesus Christ Our God"

    Episode 4 - Ignatius of Antioch: To Know "Jesus Christ Our God"

    St. Ignatius of Antioch is the first of the Fathers to leave us abundant writings. His seven letters are passionate — warm, yet authoritative — spontaneous, but doctrinally rich. Written in 107 A.D. as the aged bishop traveled from Antioch to a martyr’s death in Rome, the letters give witness to many of the early Church’s beliefs and practices: Jesus’ true humanity and true divinity; his real presence in the Eucharist; and the universal hierarchy of bishop, priest, and deacon. The host of this podcast, Mike Aquilina, confesses Ignatius to be his favorite among the Fathers.
    Links
    Buy Kenneth Howell’s new edition and translation of the letters of Ignatius of Antioch https://www.amazon.com/Ignatius-Antioch-Polycarp-Christian-Fathers/dp/0980006651/
    Enjoy a dramatic, novelistic retelling of the story of Ignatius  https://www.amazon.com/Four-Witnesses-Early-Church-Words/dp/0898708478/
    Learn from a recent study of the life and work of Ignatius, especially in regard to Jewish-Christian relations https://www.amazon.com/Ignatius-Antioch-Parting-Ways-Jewish-Christian/dp/0801047579/
    Browse the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch online (free text) https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/#
    Hear the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch online (free audio) https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/category/audiobooks
    More Works by the Fathers https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/
    Mike Aquilina’s Website https://fathersofthechurch.com
    Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of http://www.ccwatershed.org.
     

    • 23 min
    Episode 5 - St. Polycarp and the Social Network

    Episode 5 - St. Polycarp and the Social Network

    St. Polycarp of Smyrna was a man with many connections. He knew the Apostle John, and St. Ignatius of Antioch, and St. Irenaeus of Lyon, and Pope Anicetus, and the arch-heretic Marcion. He also sought the company of many elders who had heard Jesus and witnessed the Lord’s miracles. Polycarp led a long and fascinating life, and he died a martyr’s death. In this episode we tell his story through his many relationships — his social network in the infant church, which like an infant child was rapidly growing in 150 A.D.
    Links
    Kenneth Howell’s new translation of ancient works by and about St. Polycarp https://www.amazon.com/Ignatius-Antioch-Polycarp-Christian-Fathers/dp/0980006651/
    St. Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=1626
    The Church of Smyrna’s account of Polycarp’s martyrdom https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=1627
    Audio of the ancient works related to St. Polycarp https://www.catholicculture.org/search/search.cfm?searchgoals=6&andsearch=Polycarp%20audiobooks
    More Works by the Fathers https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/
    Mike Aquilina’s Website https://fathersofthechurch.com
    Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of http://www.ccwatershed.org.

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
124 Ratings

124 Ratings

Aleshnor ,

Dive right in!

This was just what I was looking for to learn about the fathers in chronological order. Mike Aquilina has been studying and writing about church history for over 20 years and is a great educator. Thank you!

chulo0o12 ,

This is a pod cast

Don’t read to me from a script

Andrew from New Hampshire ,

Great overview of a neglected topic

Mike Aquilina gives excellent synopses of critical figures in church history. Despite being a history major and a Catholic I knew little about the Church Fathers so this served as a great introduction. Occasionally I disagree with his opinions but this is trivial in comparison with the knowledge gained. Thank you for all you do!

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