Friars Cast A Wider Net with “Godsplaining”
An Interview with Fr. Patrick Mary Briscoe, O.P.
By Br. Pius Henry, O.P.
In August 2019, Frs. Patrick Briscoe, O.P., Bonaventure Chapman, O.P., Jacob Bertrand Janczyk, O.P., Joseph-Anthony Kress, O.P, and Gregory Pine, O.P. launched a podcast, “Godsplaining.” By Holy Week of 2021 the program surpassed half a million downloads. BlackFriars sat down with Fr. Patrick to discuss this thriving ministry.
The Province has been blessed with many fruitful ministries; what made you want to start a new one in the form of a podcast?
Dominicans are first and foremost preachers. Podcasting, a platform which is chiefly spoken word, seemed a natural home for the exercise of our vocation! But importantly podcasts have the potential to reach audiences we’re not already talking to. According to one survey, as many as 56% of young people aged 12-34 listened to a podcast this January (2021). We’ve got to use every available technological means to reach out to them.
How do you see Godsplaining as a Dominican ministry?
We chose the name of the podcast, because it’s an imitation of St. Dominic. It was said of St. Dominic that he always spoke “to God or of God.” Our principle desire has been to inject something of God into the clamor of daily life. The goal of the podcast is to help people to think about God and to pray well. This is the goal of Dominican preaching, the work of every preacher: to raise hearts and minds to God.
Why do you think people listen to Godsplaining?
I think people listen to Godsplaining because they want to hear a lively, jovial investigation into the faith. It’s the same reason why people like coming to dinner in Dominican communities: it’s fun to hear Dominicans talk. Godsplaining is theological and sometimes quite dense. Above all though, it is a fraternal project, one where our friendship can be seen and experienced.
Godsplaining hosted a retreat recently, what can you tell us about it?
This July we hosted a retreat for 70 young adults at the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, New York. The friar hosts all preached conferences, led the chanted Liturgy of the Hours, presided at Eucharistic Adoration, heard confessions, and offered Holy Mass. The retreat was a successful first event and paved the way for coming new initiatives! Godsplaining has already begun to prepare to lead pilgrims on the Camino next Spring!
With nearly 70 men in formation, we have the most successful men’s Catholic vocations program in America. YOUR support is needed to train these men to preach the Gospel as Dominican Friars!