Every year I organize my homilies into an album. The name of the album reflects what is on my mind and on the mind of my community, and some of the themes that the homilies will carry for the year. Probably the biggest thing on my mind for the coming year is rebuilding a school damaged by fire. But it is not enough to build the building; we also must build a sense of community among all three parishes. It will be important to base that community on Jesus Christ the foundation and "stone rejected" that has become the true Cornerstone. Inspired by 1 Peter 2:5, the new podcast album for 2013 will be called Living Stones. For the first time ever, the new album has its own custom artwork. Check it out:

Photo courtesy of Fr. Benjamin Sember with edits by William Sember

More changes to the Podcast

I have made a number of other significant changes for the coming year. First, you must understand that the new Church year begins with the first Sunday of Advent. That means that we have already started the "year of grace" 2013. So this post is really talking about what I have been doing since December started. You also have to know what a Podcast is.

What is a podcast?

A podcast is a pod-broadcast: a way of receiving a show on a media player like an iPod. Individual audio or video files are collected into a web feed. You can subscribe to the feed using a multimedia program on your computer which will download new shows automatically when they become available and transfer them to the media player when you connect it. Voila! Each new show gets from my computer to your iPod. That's a podcast.

The end of Holy Wordcast

My web feed was created by a blog called Holy Wordcast. The name was a double play on the words Podcast and Holy Priesthood (our old blog before Brother Priests). You would never know it existed unless you had stumbled on it by accident. I had to double-enter every homily, once on Brother Priests and once on Holy Wordcast. I had invented little cryptic abbreviations like Adv for Advent and Ord for Ordinary Time; these proved to be confusing for users. They have now been replaced with episode numbers keyed to the year; all the episodes in 2013 will begin with the number 3. There has been a corresponding change in the filenames for each episode. The old file name were things like 2012adv1.mp3; the new filename format looks like BP303advent1.mp3 (BP for Brother Priests). I can now send the feed directly from Brother Priests and eliminate Holy Wordcast entirely. Not that you care -- it's hard to care about something you didn't know existed, and these changes are likely things you will never see. But you will notice a number of improvements.

Changes you Will See

If you listen the podcasts on BrotherPriests.com, you'll notice a simpler format for each post and a new flash media player at the top of each episode which displays file size and duration. If you download each episode, the meta data (Author, Title, etc.) now display correctly in Windows Explorer.

If you listen to the podcasts in iTunes everything is different. The podcast is now called Brother Priests (instead of Holy Wordcast), and the posts have a new format. New homilies will appear more quickly. The file duration now displays correctly, and the show has the new artwork as its icon. The show can be found here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/brother-priests/id298007979

If you listen on another music player, you should change to the new feed. The web feed is now created directly by BrotherPriests.com. You can subscribe with any multimedia program like Rhythmbox using this new web feed address: https://cms.pilgrimpriest.us/feed/podcast

Updated Download Statistics

Top 10 Episodes of all Time by total number of downloads as of 12/15/2012

Downloads Name Release Date
659 Ord29 - True Greatness 21 Oct 2012
375 Ord31 - Seeing like Jesus in the Voting Booth 31 Oct 2010
335 East3 - Seeing Jesus in the Wounds 8 May 2011
324 Pentectost - The Spirit moving on Pilgrimage 13 Jun 2011
308 Ord31 - Introductory Rites of the new Mass 30 Oct 2011
304 Easter Sunday - Nourish the Bread of Life 29 Apr 2011
299 Ord33 - New Mass: Please Respond 13 Nov 2011
297 Ord23 - If my brother sinst against me 4 Sep 2011
295 East6 - You're not good enough to go to Heaven 29 May 2011
287 Ord33 - Captain Savior from Planet Perfect 14 Nov 2010
I was shocked when I looked at my statistics and realized that True Greatness was the most popular homily of all time. It was the only homily from 2012 to make it on the list, and it easily blew out the competition. In fact, it singlehandedly improved downloads for the months of October and November. I collected all the stats per month since September (when my host started new stats collection). You'll notice that popularity peaked at the end of 2011 and then dropped off dramatically. The lowest month of all time was September 2012. I have no idea why (homily quality slipping?). Maybe it will improve again. Thanks to all of you who listen; I hope your lives are better because of this podcast. Happy listening!

Number of total downloads per Month organized by year as of 12/15/2012

Podcast Stats by Month (15 Dec 2012)