by Meghan Ascher
Special to The Leaven
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — “I knew there was already a ton of Catholic ‘stuff’ out there, but there was nothing exclusively about the Eucharist in this type of platform,” said Lee McMahon, consultant for evangelization for the archdiocese and the weekly host of the New Manna podcast.
The podcast was created to offer an in-house substantial resource to parishes and parishioners as the archdiocese begins its third year of Eucharistic Amazement. The first two years of the initiative began nationally with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and then moved to the diocesan level. In this third year starting in June, it will focus on the parish level to promote opportunities for a greater love for the Lord in the Eucharist.
McMahon brought several years of podcasting experience to the project, helping create and organize a podcast for St. Paul’s Outreach of Kansas City and 50+ of the “Greater Works” podcasts.
In each episode, McMahon interviews two featured guests. A number of archdiocesan priests have already shared their love of the Eucharist on this platform; lay leaders throughout the archdiocese have also been invited to share how the Eucharist has impacted their lives.
Father Joel Haug, associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Shawnee, is one such priest who shared his testimony in the Feb. 12 opening episode of the New Manna podcast, along with Father Luke Doyle, associate pastor of St. Michael the Archangel in Leawood and associate vocations director for the archdiocese.
“I was happy to do this podcast because of my friendship with Lee and Father Luke, and my love of Jesus in the Eucharist,” said Father Haug. “Anything I have gained from my experience with the Eucharist, I want to share if it can help others grow in their relationship with Jesus.”
McMahon’s casual, friendly voice can be heard directing the conversational, usually hour-long podcast. He approaches each episode with the goal of soliciting the answers to three main questions from each of his guests:
1. What is your personal relationship with the Eucharist?
Each podcast begins with a personal testimonial of how the hosts have encountered the Eucharist and been changed by it. “The minute someone starts telling their story, people just quiet down and listen,” said McMahon.
2. What is your lived relationship with Jesus each day?
The point of the second question is to allow the host to describe how the love of Jesus in the Eucharist impacts their everyday lives.
“Nothing is worse than going to church and receiving communion but being disconnected from the people before and behind you,” said McMahon. “Real communion happens through shared life.”
3. What is your response to people who are unconvinced about Jesus in the Eucharist?
After the hosts have presented their testimony, they spend a moment in direct evangelization, offering advice as to how one can encounter Jesus in the Eucharist for oneself.
“It’s set up,” said McMahon, “so that both those who are catechists and those who don’t totally have their head wrapped around the idea of the Eucharist. Young and old alike will receive something out of the program.”
The New Manna podcast airs weekly on most podcasting websites and apps, including Apple Podcast and Spotify, and can also be found on the archdiocesan website at: https://archkck.org/eucharistic-revival/new-manna.
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