logo-ascension-newThe Faith Formation Leader
For Immediate Release

“I Am Finally Home”—New Converts Cite “Bible in a Year,” “Catechism in a Year” as Encouragements on Their Journey to the Catholic Church

[Exton, PA, April 18, 2024—]

The 2024 Easter Vigil saw many heartwarming conversion testimonies pour into Ascension’s Bible in a Year and Catechism in a Year Facebook Groups.

Easter Vigil is one of Cami Berthiaume’s favorite times of year to be the chief moderator of Ascension’s two large, nearly-200,000 member Facebook groups. Each year, Cami and her colleagues at Ascension have the honor of receiving beautiful “glory stories” from group members who are becoming Catholic and receiving the sacraments for the first time—or for the first time in a long time.   

“It’s so incredible to see,” Cami shares. “God is working in the lives of these people over years and even decades, and then we get to credit The Bible in a Year (BIY) or The Catechism in a Year (CIY) as being a final piece of that journey home to the Catholic Church. It’s so humbling.”

In what is now an annual tradition since the launch of Ascension’s The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)™ podcast in 2021, many Facebook group members thanked Fr. Mike Schmitz, the podcast production team at Ascension, and their Facebook group companions for prayers and encouragement as they journeyed toward the sacraments of initiation in the Catholic Church this Easter season.

Below, converts share in their own words how the In a Year podcasts, Fr. Mike’s media content, and Ascension’s Facebook groups helped to nurture their growing faith. Quotes have been edited for clarity.

“I Am Finally Home” – Cheryl C., Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

“I’m Catholic! ♥️After many years of God slowly bringing me in, 12 years married to a Catholic husband, and a year of reading, studying, going to Mass and RCIA, last night I was welcomed into the Catholic Church. Thank you also to Fr. Mike Schmitz. So many of his videos and explanations in the Bible in a Year helped me in my formation, answering questions and helping me see things in a new light. I really am home.” (Link) 

Cheryl is pictured above in blue with Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City. Photo credit: Cheryl C.

“Having Fr. Mike not only read the Bible and the Catechism out loud, but then also… explain… is exactly what I needed” – Tamara H.

“I have been listening to Catechism in a Year and Bible in a Year simultaneously with Fr. Mike Schmitz since December 2023, shortly after starting RCIA. I felt lost in my RCIA class because I had no knowledge of the stories in the Bible as my previous religion [Jehovah’s Witness] was not keen on open discussions as you were supposed to just follow what you were told to do without question.

Having Fr. Mike not only read the Bible and Catechism out loud, but then also go into further detail and explain what he just read in modern terms is exactly what I needed.  There are days when I don’t want to stop listening to his podcasts because his passion for Jesus gets me so emotional and I don’t want it to end.” (Link)

Tamara is pictured above in a white shirt. Photo credit: Tamara H.

“I never would have… decided to take the leap if not for Father Mike and all his encouragement for us and his prayers for us.” – Trudy V., Diocese of Lansing, MI  

“I made it through my first Bible in a Year!!!  I am now on day 11 of my second year.. and I am just a very few weeks away from my Confirmation into the Catholic faith!!!! I am so excited, this OCIA has gone by so fast. I started following Fr. Mike and his podcast a few years ago.  I have wanted to become Catholic for a few years. I have had a lot of ups and downs in life and sometimes even wondered how God could love me because my life’s a mess. During Covid was when I really got serious about my desire to become Catholic, but everything was shut down.   But I found Fr. Mike who inspired me to pursue my dream.   Then I found BIBLE IN A YEAR!!  It  was amazing and Fr. Mike never made me feel bad if I missed a day or three.  He always sent out lots of motivation.  Then I found The Catechism in a Year and I did that and it motivated me to find a Catholic Parish. I attended for 6 months before OCIA began and fell completely in love with the Mass!!

Last Saturday was our Easter Vigil. I was confirmed and accepted my first Holy Communion.  The Eucharist… I can’t even describe how wonderful that first communion was. I did shed some tears.  This group has been such a supportive group for my study and I am so grateful for you all. I never would have made this or even decided to take the leap if not for Fr. Mike and all his encouragement for us and his prayers for us. He motivated me so much, and I have wanted to join the Catholic church for a few years. Never give up on your dreams. 

I am a 66 year old woman who most likely never would have had the courage to finish this dream without the encouragement from Fr. Mike Schmitz and you, Ascension!  Thank you so much for all you do with Fr. Mike and your videos on YouTube. Fr. Mike I thank you SO MUCH!!!” (Link)

“I finally made it to Confession after 30+ years!” – Chanda R., Diocese of Columbus

“Well, I finally made it to Confession after 30+ years thanks to God’s grace and guidance! My mother did also 😁 Last Easter we were mourning the loss of my father and her husband. This Easter we will be celebrating the resurrection in full communion with the Church!🙏🥰” (Link)

What’s next after CIY? “For me, it’s going to be to enroll in RCIA.”

Another group member, whose name has been removed for privacy, indicated that the Easter Vigil 2025 might see a similar harvest of new convents:

“What a beautiful 365-day journey of discovery this year has been. Thank you Fr. Mike and the entire Ascension team for making CIY available and so accessible. Many listeners have pondered, ‘What’s next for them after CIY?’ For me, it’s going to be to enroll in RCIA. I believe that through CIY God has confirmed this to be the right next step for me.”  – Anonymous CIY Group Member, December 2023

About The Bible in a Year Podcast

The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)  podcast is the most successful religious podcast of all time. It hit #1 on Apple Podcasts in all categories twice (January 2021 + January 2022), holding the #1 spot for a total of 24 days. It has consistently been Chartable’s #1 Global Podcast in Religion & Spirituality since 2021, has been downloaded over 700 million times, and has been covered by media outlets including CBS, FOX, New York Times Magazine, and The London Times.

Press kits for BIY & CIY here.

About Ascension

Ascension is a multimedia network and the leader in Catholic faith formation and digital content. Over the past 25 years, Ascension has helped nurture the faith of over 10 million Catholics through award-winning books, the chart-topping Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)® podcast, more than 50 unique faith formation programs, and the Ascension Presents media and YouTube platforms.