by Denis Grasska
SAN DIEGO (CNS) — In October 2014, pro-life advocate Timmerie Millington was serving as a guest host on the Diocese of San Diego’s weekly radio program, “Setting Things Right.”
One guest was Trent Horn, a staff apologist for Catholic Answers, one of the largest lay-run apostolates of Catholic apologetics and evangelization in the United States.
The young Catholics — Millington, 23, and Horn, 30 — had such good on-air rapport that day that others in the studio suggested that they should have their own program.
The result was “Hearts and Minds,” which debuted last April in San Diego and airs every Tuesday at 11 a.m. to noon local time on Immaculate Heart Radio-San Diego, broadcast on KCEO-AM 1000. Thanks to its podcasts — at www.catholic.com/hearts-and-minds/podcast — it also enjoys an international reach.
Horn described “Hearts and Minds” as “the show where we take on timely issues from an eternal perspective.” Among other things, Horn and Millington have discussed abortion, marriage, atheism, dating and even the controversial killing of the Zimbabwean lion Cecil.
“If something is a big deal in the world,” Horn said, “we’re going to look at it through a Catholic lens,” regardless of whether the subject is “directly related to the faith.”
Millington said people are sometimes surprised by the breadth of topics they are able to discuss on a Catholic radio program. She told The Southern Cross, San Diego’s diocesan newspaper, that she especially enjoys talking about the church’s teachings on sexuality, which she sees as an important topic but one from which “people often shy away.”
“I think more and more people are becoming voiceless right now,” said Millington, noting that there is reluctance to speak up about some hot-button issues and uncertainty about how best to express the Catholic view on them. “People have no voice on so many issues, but Trent and I are both people who are willing to talk.”
She said she has heard from listeners that the back-and-forth between the two co-hosts — an engaging discussion rather than a monologue peppered with rote quotes — has shown them how to converse about these issues with friends and family.
On the occasions when they disagree about a particular topic, Millington said, it shows listeners that they can still talk about their faith with someone who has a different perspective.
Horn said the most rewarding part of his involvement with the show is “to see that it’s equipping people to engage our culture, that we’re not just doing radio for fun here.”
The show’s title, Horn said, reflects the co-hosts’ desire “to reach people at their deepest level” and to help listeners speak to others “on the heart level and the head level.” Millington agreed, adding the title also serves as a reference to faith and reason.
The co-hosts believe their show is unique in that it gives two younger Catholics an opportunity to represent the church. Millington admitted that there is “definitely a big age gap” between them and some other Catholic radio hosts. She expressed hope that, through their presence on the radio, she and Horn might inspire their Catholic peers.
Horn became a Catholic in high school. As a college student, he was active in youth and pro-life ministry, and later began speaking and writing extensively about the faith. He has been a full-time staff apologist with Catholic Answers since late 2012.
Millington, a Catholic since birth, has been actively involved in the pro-life movement since age 13 and recently earned a master’s degree in biblical theology at John Paul the Great Catholic University, which she hopes will help her to better articulate the reasons behind the church’s teachings.
Their similar backgrounds in pro-life activism, public speaking and debating moral issues, as well as their shared willingness to engage the culture, are key to their on-air partnership, Horn and Millington said, but each is convinced that the other brings something unique to the show.
Horn credits Millington with bringing to the show “an authentic female perspective that’s not compromised by worldly standards.” Though he feels that she gives the show “a bit more of its heart,” he notes that she also has a strong theological background.
Meanwhile, Millington praises her co-host for not only having “a deep heart for these topics” but also being a wealth of knowledge thanks to his full-time work as a Catholic apologist.
Horn said he hopes listeners come away from the show with a “good answer here and there” that they can use to show others how “the Catholic worldview provides a secure and fulfilling way of understanding the world around us.”