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Archives Participate in this Lenten mission anywhere

February 17, 2021

By Darcy Fargo

TICONDEROGA – It’s the Lenten parish mission you can participate in from your home, on your daily walk, while jogging on the treadmill – from anywhere.

Father Christopher J. Looby, pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Ticonderoga, is working with Father J. Roger McGuinness, a retired priest of the diocese, to create “The Father Rodger Podcast,” a six-week series of mission talks focused on the Lenten Gospel readings. The series is scheduled to begin on February 16.

“I was here visiting Father McGuinness, and he was telling me about some of the writings projects he’d been working on,” Father Looby said. “I knew he was a great retreat and mission leader and speaker. I thought we should do a podcast for a Lenten mission. Since the pandemic has made it difficult to have a traditional parish mission, we thought, ‘let’s reach people in their homes, in their cars – wherever!’ We’d done an Advent podcast together maybe five or six years ago, and this seemed like a good time to do one for Lent.”

For the unfamiliar, Father Looby noted that a podcast is “an audio program you can download onto any device – computer, laptop, cell phone, tablet – and listen to it anywhere.”

“The Father Roger Podcast” will feature six episodes, each about 30 minutes in length.

“When I do mission talks, I don’t go very long,” Father McGuinness said. “If you go too long, you’ll lose people’s attention. A mission talk should be longer than a typical Mass homily, but not more than around half an hour. I prepare an outline. I have points I plan to make, but I leave room for the Holy Spirit, too.”

While most episodes will focus on the Lenten Gospels, Father McGuinness noted he also plans to devote one episode to another topic that’s close to his heart.

“I want to do one on St. Joseph,” he said. “I’m going to hit that one hard. I’m very glad the Holy Father chose to make this Year of St. Joseph. It’s good for people to focus on him. With St. Joseph, we may not have a lot of history, but there’s a lot of substance there.”

Father McGuinness is also looking forward to the last episode in the series – the episode focused on Holy Week.
“I could probably talk for three to four hours on Holy Week,” he said, laughing. “(Father Looby) may have a lot of editing to do that week.”

Father McGuinness, age 81, has been a priest of the diocese for over 50 years. He has served as a pastor, seminary and university professor, retreat master, college chaplain and vocation director. Now retired from active ministry, he continues to write and give spiritual direction.

“(Father McGuinness) and I have been friends for almost 40 years,” Father Looby said. “He taught in the diaconate when my dad was going through the program. We’ve been friends ever since. I spent a summer with him at Our Lady of Victory in Plattsburgh, too. That solidified our friendship.”

The podcast can be found at route74catholics.org/fatherroger. It can also be downloaded from Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

For more information, contact Father Looby at 518-585-7144 or pastor@route74catholics.org or contact Father McGuinness at 518-569-2785.


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