Thanks for a Great Year!

Greetings from the Brother Priests Preaching Podcast! First of all, "Thank You" for listening: you have made 2015 a very good year for my podcast. The new church year begins in Advent. It's kind of like car models - the 2016s are out already. Right away last Advent, I saw a big jump in downloads per episode. And that increased popularity continued all year. Of the top 10 most downloaded episodes of all time, 7 of them were released in 2015. At the end of the post I will include a chart to of the most popular episodes.

The Long Tail of Podcasting

When looking at the stats from last year, I noticed something else: the "long tail" of podcasting. The so-called "long tail" means that an episode is downloaded a lot right away, but continues to be downloaded for months and even years after it is released. I always assumed that the homily I recorded and posted today would continue to get listened to for a few weeks or months. I had no idea that my audio recordings had such a long shelf life. Let me give you an example. Our busiest day last year was February 19, Ash Wednesday, which featured a whopping 267 downloads.* As you might expect the most popular homily was the Ash Wednesday homily which accounted for 24 downloads. But a total of 112 different homilies were listened to that day, some from as far back as 2009. Literally years after a homily is recorded people are still pulling them off the shelf and listening to it.

What's New In 2016

Today I'm introducing the new album for 2016: UN/BELOVABLE. I know it's a little bit of a pun, but I think it captures perfectly what I want to say. The deepest source of drama in my life is the struggle with being lovable, or with believing that I am lovable and living that way. I know that goes for so many of my listeners too. Think of all the wars, the grasping for power, the putting down others, the grasping for wealth and pleasure and friendships -- all these things are ways of insulating ourselves from the fear of loneliness and ways of proving our worth. But If we are loved, really and truly, we don't need any of them. God loves you, and there's nothing you can do about it.

I've been reading Henri Nouwen's book The Return of the Prodigal Son, which is based on Rembrandt's masterful painting of the same parable. We see the younger son who fears he is un-lovable and the older son who cannot truly admit that he is beloved. But we also see the father whose love is so generous, it's unbelievable. UN/BELOVABLE captures the heartache of fearing we are unlovable, our unwillingness to love, and a God who just keeps loving unconditionally. My daily prayer for you and for all the people I serve is that you can come to know how much God loves you. May this year be the year you discover God's love is unbelievable.

Thanks so much for listening. If you just listen casually, consider subscribing. If you listen through iTunes, please review the podcast. It helps other people find us. Visit to add your comments or send a donation. Most of all, just let God's love flow into you and through you. Have a beautiful year!

Top Ten Most Downloaded Homilies of All Time (at least since February 2009)

Downloads Episode Title Release Date


Ord29 - True Greatness 2012-10-21 22:45:16


Your Mamma Is So Beautiful (#508, Mary the Mother of God) 2015-01-01 20:27:55


Handy Guide to Keeping the Faith (#511) 2015-01-30 13:51:30


A Truth to Guide You in the Desert of Doubt (#514, Ash Wednesday) 2015-02-19 03:00:29


Homily for Fathers Day by Fr. Joel (2010ord12.mp3) 2010-06-21 01:50:40


Jesus Sets Us Free - Here's Where to Find Him (#512, 4th Sunday) 2015-02-01 21:55:13


Homily for the 31st Sunday by Fr. Joel (2010ord31.mp3) 2010-10-31 21:05:00


How To Respond When God Calls Your Name (#509, 2nd Sunday) 2015-01-19 18:51:25


Your True Identity: Beloved Children on the Road to Resurrection (#516, Lent 2) 2015-03-01 21:53:42


Grandparents in the Family of God (#507, Holy Family) 2014-12-29 19:06:33

*PS: This just in, the busiest day is now November 25, 2015 with 305 downloads (121 different episodes downloaded).