CHRISTOPHER closeup PODCASTS
Christopher Closeup encourages people of all ages and from all walks of life to use their God-given talents to make a positive difference in the world. The weekly half-hour series regularly introduces listeners to individuals - some famous, some not so famous - who are using their gifts, talents, and abilities to create a better world.
Kristin Chenoweth – the Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award-winning singer and actress discusses her new album “Happiness is…Christmas,” the joys and losses that inspired her choice of songs on the album, how she keeps Christ a part of the season, and why she teaches young people pursuing careers in the entertainment industry that learning from your failures is just as important as embracing your successes.
Dolly Parton – the country music legend discusses Christmas growing up in the Smoky Mountains, why she feels her Christian faith is deeply embedded in her spirit, and why she considers God her "co-writer" on all her songs and her "co-pilot" in life.
Josh Swickard – the actor who plays Detective Harrison Chase on “General Hospital” discusses how he learned the lesson that joy is a choice – and how his Christian faith was shaped by his grandfather throughout his life, but most recently through Bible studies they did together over FaceTime.
Michael Patrick O’Brien
Michael Patrick O’Brien – the author discusses his memoir “Monastery Mornings,” which was inspired by the friendships he and his mother formed with Trappist monks when he was a child – and how those friendships positively shaped Michael’s life and faith.
Laura Sobiech – the author whose memoir about her son Zach inspired the Christopher Award-winning movie “Clouds” discusses Zach’s battle with osteosarcoma, the way in which his faith sustained him as he faced his final days, and the ways in which his hit song “Clouds” continues changing lives for the better.
Jeannie Gaffigan – the wife and writing partner of comedian Jim Gaffigan discusses her new memoir “When Life Gives You Pears,” the pear-sized brain tumor that upended her life, how the Catholic faith in which she was raised became a powerful force in her life, and why she believes that God gave her some new commandments to follow after she survived her ordeal.
Harry Connick Jr
Harry Connick Jr. - is a man who’s always on the go, be it as a singer, musician, composer, actor on stage or screen, host of a Youtube show, or humanitarian. He believes he gets his drive from his father who, at age 95, is working on building a chapel dedicated to the Holy Spirit.
Patricia Heaton – the Emmy Award-winning actress (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle”) and author of “Your Second Act” discusses surrendering to God’s will and redirecting your life after unexpected challenges occur, how sacrificial living can redeem suffering, and what traveling the world on behalf of the anti-poverty organization World Vision has taught her about life and faith.
Kate Bowler - the Christopher Award-winning author discusses her latest memoir “No Cure for Being Human,” her search for realistic hope and peace while facing down cancer, how we can all learn to live with the hardships and strife that life sometimes brings our way, and how she dealt with being bitten by a venomous copperhead snake.
Adrienne Bankert – the ABC News correspondent and author of “Your Hidden Superpower: The Kindness That Makes You Unbeatable at Work and Connects You With Anyone” discusses how kindness has been the key factor in her personal and professional success – and how all of us can more intentionally practice kindness in our own lives.
Jim Wahlberg, Part 1 – the filmmaker and author of “The Big Hustle: A Boston Street Kid’s Story of Addiction and Redemption” discusses the reasons he started drinking alcohol at age eight, and how encounters with a wise priest and Mother Teresa while he was in prison served as a conduit of God’s grace in his life.
Jim Wahlberg, Part 2 – the author of “The Big Hustle” further discusses his recovery from addiction, how God’s love helped him forgive his father’s shortcomings, and how he responded when he learned that his own son was an addict.
Ashley Eckstein – the voice of Jedi-in-training Ahsoka Tano in the animated “Star Wars” series “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels” discusses her faith, what it’s like portraying a character who is a role model to many, her dedication to removing the stigma from mental health challenges, and why she is so committed to promoting kindness after being cyberbullied several years ago.
Bonnie Hunt, Part 1– the actress—known for films including “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “Jumanji,” and “Return to Me” —discusses her life growing up in a large Catholic family in Chicago, why she pursued a career as a nurse, the devastation she felt after her father’s sudden death at age 50, and why she interpreted an unexpected encounter with a patient she was caring for as a sign from her father in heaven.
Bonnie Hunt, Part 2– the actress, writer and producer recalls her award-winning film “Return to Me,” her friendship with actor Carroll O’Connor who starred in that movie, and the selflessness she learned from her mom Alice, which continues to inspire her.
Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt
Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt - Like a lot of people, Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt grew up thinking that forgiveness required the actions of two people: 1) the person who hurt you apologizing for what he or she did – and 2) you, who would grant that person forgiveness. But what Katherine came to realize as she got older – and especially during the writing of her New York Times best-selling book “The Gift of Forgiveness: Inspiring Stories From Those Who Have Overcome the Unforgivable”.
Gary Sinise – the acclaimed actor and humanitarian discusses his memoir “Grateful American,” his dedication to helping disabled veterans and first responders, his conversion to the Catholic faith, and the gratitude that motivates his life and charity work.
Maurice Benard, Part 1 – the “General Hospital” star discusses his longtime mental health advocacy grounded in his own diagnosis with bipolar disorder earlier in life, his recent battle with suicidal inclinations due to anxiety and depression, and how he was saved through a combination of God, family, therapy, and medication.
Maurice Benard, Part 2 - the actor who plays Sonny Corinthos on "General Hospital" and who authored the Christopher Award-winning memoir “Nothing General About It: How Love (and Lithium) Saved Me On and Off ‘General Hospital’” further discusses his mental health struggles and his efforts to bring hope and healing to others enduring similar struggles.
Scott Hamilton, Part 1 – the Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater discusses his new podcast “Live Your Days,” how he went from an adopted child with low self-esteem to a confident athlete, how he came to be a Christian believer as an adult,
and how his faith helped him through battles with cancer and three brain tumors.
Scott Hamilton, Part 2 – the award-winning figure skater and TV commentator shares the story of him and his wife adopting two children from Haiti.
Spencer Christian – the former weatherperson and anchor of “Good Morning America” discusses the gambling addiction that almost ruined his life, the ways in which God helped him to overcome it, and the reasons he grew up an optimistic and hopeful person despite experiencing racism in the Jim Crow-era South of his youth.
Paula Faris part 1 - the Emmy Award-winning ABC News anchor and correspondent discusses her new “Journeys of Faith” podcast in which she interviews newsmakers about their spiritual beliefs. She also talks about her personal faith and the way in which a “season of hell” in her life led her to step back from some of her professional responsibilities to focus more on her family.
Becky Eldredge, Part 1 – the spiritual director discusses the family crisis that inspired her book “The Inner Chapel: Embracing the Promises of God” and offers suggestions on ways that we can find the sacred space inside ourselves that allows us to connect with God during both good and turbulent times.
Becky Eldredge, Part 2 – the author of “The Inner Chapel: Embracing the Promises of God” shares her insights on how we can discern God’s will in our lives, why receiving God’s love can be a challenge for some people, and what spiritual lessons she learned from watching her grandmother make Crawfish Étouffée.
Megan Alexander – the “Inside Edition” correspondent discusses how she maintains and shares her Christian faith and stays true to her beliefs in a secular industry. She also talks about the two books she has now authored: “Faith in the Spotlight” and a children’s book entitled “One More Hug.”
Josh Turner – the country music superstar discusses his first-ever gospel album “I Serve a Savior,” the way he maintains his integrity in the entertainment business, and the ways that faith, family, and fatherhood keep him grounded in life.
Jen Lilley, Show #1 - the actress known for her work on “General Hospital” and “Days of Our Lives” discusses her Hallmark Channel romantic comedy “Harvest Love,” why she is deeply devoted to charities that help vulnerable children, why she and her husband recently chose to become foster parents, and how her Christian faith influences her career decisions.
Jen Lilley, Show #2 - the actress and singer discusses her single “King of Hearts,” the way the proceeds helped save the life of a child, how the experience of foster parenting has changed her, and why she was drawn to starring in the Hallmark Channel Christmas movie “Mingle All the Way.”
Victoria Arlen – the Paralympic gold medalist, former “Dancing with the Stars” competitor, and ESPN personality discusses the illness that left her in a vegetative state for two years beginning at age 11, how she maintained hope during her darkest days, and how prayer and faith moved her toward healing and recovery.
Colleen Carroll Campbell
Colleen Carroll Campbell – How the Saints (and One Heretic) Taught Colleen Carroll Campbell That God’s Idea of Perfection is Different Than the World’s.
Peggy Weber - the author and veteran Catholic journalist discusses her book “Enough As You Are: Overcoming Self-Doubt and Appreciating the Gift of You,” the dangers of comparing yourself to others, and the power of small kindnesses in changing a life.
Chris Edmonds – the author discusses the biography he wrote about his father Roddie Edmonds’ acts of heroism during World War II, the way in which he saved the lives of Jewish American soldiers in a Nazi POW camp, and how his Christian faith was a motivating and unifying force in his life.