A new podcast from Our Sunday Visitor will premiere later this month featuring Black Catholics interviewed by Sr Josephine Garrett, CSFN, a nationally known African-American religious sister serving in Tyler, Texas.
“Hope Stories with Black Catholics,” the latest offering in the OSV Podcasts lineup, was announced by Garrett earlier this year; a 30-second teaser was released on June 8. The new show will feature guests from around the country sharing “extraordinary stories of hope hidden within the ordinary lives we lead,” according to a description on the OSV website.
“Sr. Josephine sits down with friends and family to share stories of pain, struggle, consolation, and joy that encourage even the most downhearted to participate in the hope of Jesus Christ more fully.”
Known as a speaker and writer covering issues related to mental health, spirituality, and youth/young adult ministry, Garrett has been a vowed member of the Italy-based Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth since 2015. This followed her upbringing in Houston, a career in banking, and her conversion to Catholicism in 2005. Since entering religious life, she has served in her congregation’s vocations ministry and is currently a Catholic school counselor.
Garrett is also one of the most popular Black Catholic figures in the online sphere, boasting of roughly 24,000 followers across social media, and tens of thousands of views on various featured videos with the likes of OSV, Ascension Press, and the Word on Fire Institute.
She has also written for OSV and says her newest collaboration with the organization has been a fulfilling venture with a diverse array of interlocutors.
“It was a huge honor to serve as an interviewer and receive the stories of 17 Black Catholics from all over the nation who minister and serve in our Church as married, single, deacon, religious, priest, and even a bishop,” she told BCM.
“They are all gifts to the Church, their stories of faith and hope are beautiful, and I hope the listeners will be inspired by them.”
As indicated by its title, the podcast follows the theme of hope—a long-term focus for Garrett, who wrote on the topic for OSV in 2021, in an op-ed encouraging Black Catholics to be bold in passing on their legacies.
“We need to tell these stories so that the whole story is complete and has a voice in the places where there was not previously a voice. It is a part of participating in the hope of Jesus that we may be one,” she wrote.
“A key to unlocking the discernment on how we are each called to participate, I think, also lies in the treasure and talent of our stories. But we have to look at them in hope, no matter how painful.”
Garrett is also the author of an upcoming book entitled “Hope: An Invitation,” which will be available in paperback in early October. Like the podcast, it is being released by OSV, one of the largest Catholic publishers in the world.
The “Hope Stories” podcast is available now on all major streaming platforms and the first full episode will be released later this month.
Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger.