Vatican Insider

Direct from the Eternal City, EWTN’s Joan Lewis speaks with Vatican officials and visitors about events affecting the Church and the world.
In the interview segment of “Vatican Insider” this weekend, I offer a special I’ve prepared on The Lazy, Hazy Days of Ferragosto. On Monday in Italy we celebrate the biggest holiday of the summer season “Ferragosto,” the name Italians give to the August 15 solemnity of the Assumption. Ferragosto refers to the feriae augusti, meaning “holidays of August.” I look at the origin of the word ‘ferragosto’ and also at how the expression ‘the dog days of summer’ was born. I’ll also tell you how the ancient Romans beat the midsummer heat! I think you’ll learn a lot and have a few laughs at the same time so tune it for that after news and the Q&A. Italy in August: Closed for Vacation
Tune in for a surprise this weekend when we offer a “best of” Vatican Insider: one of my stories on the Vatican Observatory (1st segment of the show) and A Visit to Rome (second segment), a conversation with the postulator of Saint Mother Teresa’s cause for canonization. No news summary or Q&A this week!
This Sunday, July 24, the Church marks the Second World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly. And this weekend, in the interview segment of “Vatican Insider, I replay my conversation of last July with Catherine Wiley, grandmother and founder of Catholic Grandparents Association (CGA) and Marilyn Henry who coordinates CGA in the United States. Both women are grandmothers and both have exceptional lives and stories Catherine was truly the catalyst for this now annual World Day. For years, she had an idea, a dream that, after meetings with Vatican officials and Pope Francis, culminated in last year’s First World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly. A great story of love and determination! And teamwork with Marilyn at her side!
In the interview segment this week, my guest is Jesuit Fr. Michael Maher. Father is a native of Milwaukee, a scholar and an expert on the Belgium-based Society of Bollandists. Named after the Flemish Jesuit Jean Bollandus, the Bollandists are an association of scholars and historians who since the early 17th century have studied the lives of the saints. This week in Part II, Father and I talk about research, how to distinguish between fact and legend and the challenges that must be overcome in research such as knowing ancient languages or even penmanship, and the amazing, unique Bollandist library. By the way, as I mentioned last week in Part I, he is a friend of EWTN’s Fr. Mitch Pacwa (another celebrated Jesuit).
I hope you can join me on “Vatican Insider” on what seems to be another scorching weekend in much of the northern hemisphere but don’t worry, just relax a bit, sip a cool drink and enjoy the news segment and then my special guest in the interview segment, Jesuit Fr. Michael Maher. A native of Milwaukee, he is an expert on the Belgium-based Société des Bollandistes, the Society of Bollandists who, as their website explains, “For almost four centuries … have been at the forefront of hagiographic research, that is, preparing biographies of saints and ecclesiastical leaders.” We learn that the Society of Bollandists “is a unique institution renowned for its comprehensive and specialised library, with many ancient and rare works and manuscripts among its 500,000 volumes. Saints are inspirational, though some may belong more to the realm of folklore or even invention. For twenty centuries they have been influencing our world, our culture and our thinking in ways few people realise.” Father Maher talks about that work, about how to separate fact from legend in a saint’s life, the need for scholars to know ancient languages for this work, and what we can learn about societies from reading the lives of the saints. A riveting conversation about a unique institution! He’ll be back next week for Part II of our conversation.
Back for Part II, my guest this week in the interview segment of “Vatican Insider” is Blythe Kaufman. Many of you know Blythe as the founder in 2011 of Children’s Rosary®, an International Prayer group movement for children. She is also a wife, mother of three, endodontist, and Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine! Blythe was recently in Rome with her son Asher to speak to Vatican officials about the Children’s Rosary International Prayer Group and, along with the rest of the family, they participated in the 10th World Meeting of Families in Rome from June 22 through the 26th. This week Asher explains how a parish can set up a Children’s Rosary group.
My guest this week in the interview segment of “Vatican Insider” is Blythe Kaufman, Many of you are probably familiar with Blythe, a wife, mother of three, endodontist, and Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. If that was not enough, she founded Children’s Rosary® in 2011, an International Prayer group movement for children. Blythe is in Rome with her son Asher to speak to Vatican officials about the Children’s Rosary International Prayer Group that she founded in 2011. They will also participate in the 10th World Meeting of Families in Rome from June 22 through the 26th. This week and next, we talk about that as well as the Children’s Rosary, when founded, how it has spread, etc., and Asher explains how a parish can set up a Children’s Rosary group.
My guest this week in the interview segment of Vatican Insider is once again EWTN’s chaplain to staff, Fr. John Paul. He spends several weeks each year with the Rome bureau staff and last week he spoke about that visit and being a Missionary of Mercy. This week in Part II, he has especially meaningful words on being a confessor that will give you a new and wonderful idea about confession.
My guest this week in the interview segment of Vatican Insider is EWTN’s chaplain to staff, Fr. John Paul. He spends several weeks each year with the Rome bureau staff and this week and next, he’ll talk about that as well as his life as a Missionary of Mercy, with especially meaningful words on being a confessor. It will give you a new and wonderful idea about confessor priests. Next week he will tell us about the third international meeting of missionaries of mercy with Pope Francis.
This week, Joan begins with the news of the week from the Church around the world, including the announcement of the selection of new cardinals around the world and the Holy Father's visit to St Mary Major for the feast of the Visitation during which his Holiness prayed for peace in the Ukraine. After the news, we have the second part of Joan's conversation about the conference on St John Paul's legacy and natural human rights.
Joan Lewis goes Warsaw attending a conference that focused on Pope St. John Paul’s Natural Law Legacy and International Human Rights. Her guests are John Czarnetzky, CEO and dean of the Ave Maria Law School, and Ron Rychlak, vice chair of the Board of Governors of this pre-eminent Catholic law school.
This week Joan Lewis presents a really special edition of Vatican Insider. Joan interviews Susan Ferandin of the Augustine Education Foundation whose mission is to work to make Catholic education more available to the families of Hawaii.
In this week's Vatican Insider, Joan Lewis updates us on the recovery of Pope Francis and tells us about his calendar from the precious week. She describes how the pope met with wives of soldiers fighting in Mariupol and Phan Thi Kim Phuc who broke into the world's consciousness as the subject of a Pulitzer Prize winning photo as she desperately fled down a road while she was covered in napalm. After much more news from the Vatican, Joan discusses Joseph Dutton, a veteran of the American Civil War who eventually served as a missionary with St Damien of Molokai, whose feast was May 10. Listen to hear all this and much, much more!
Tune in to hear the second part of Joan's interview with Brad Hahn of Solidarity Health Share which helps members afford quality health care. Joan starts off the show with updates on the comings and goings of Pope Francis, as well as news of the Church around the world and in the Vatican.
This week, Joan Lewis gives the latest news from Rome; including, but not limited to an update on Pope Francis' health, Pope Francis's Easter greetings to the Orthodox, and details on the Divine Mercy Celebration from the Vatican. Following the news, Joan begins her interview with Brad Hahn of Solidarity Healthshare, a ministry which helps people afford health care treatment.
Return to Schedule

Click on episode title from list to start listening.