Nine-year-old Teddy Howell wants to be a podcasting priest like Fr. Mike Schmitz in the future — and he's off to a running start
NEWPORT — When he grows up, St. Charles Borromeo parishioner and third grader Teddy Howell wants to be a podcaster and a priest. At 9 years old, he already has achieved one of those goals with the recent launch of his podcast: “Kid’s Bible In A Year with Teddy.”
In each 10-minute episode, released Sundays and Wednesdays, Teddy leads his listeners in prayer and through a series of Bible verses. Teddy has been given permission by Ascension Press to use the Catholic Bible Chronicles as his reference.
If Teddy's podcast sounds familiar, that's because it's inspired by Fr. Mike Schmitz’s chart-topping podcast, "The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)."
Although Teddy, the oldest of six children, wanted to listen to Fr. Schmitz's podcast along with his parents, the series contains some material that isn't suitable for young children, said Teddy's mother, Steffi Howell.
“Fr. Mike Schmitz gets a PG-13 rating, and Teddy was getting frustrated when we turn off Father Mike,” Steffi Howell told Detroit Catholic. “He first had the idea about two years ago to make his own (podcast), and it finally came to fruition.”
Teddy writes his own scripts, including an intro, prayer, Bible verses he wants to highlight, and a conclusion to each episode. His parents help him type it out, and he records each episode using a microphone hooked up to his father's computer or his mother’s cellphone.
At the time of Detroit Catholic’s interview with Teddy, he was unsure how many followers he had; however, he has had 323 episode plays total for his five first episodes with listeners in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Great Britain.
Once this podcast is over, Teddy hopes to make another and another — eventually becoming a podcaster priest like Fr. Schmitz.
“I love God … and I want to grow in the virtue of God with other kids,” said Teddy, who attends St. Charles Borromeo Academy in Newport.
Although Teddy’s podcast is geared toward other children, he thinks it could benefit adults as well.
“(If adults listen to it) maybe if they're not Catholic, they could become Catholic,” Teddy added.
Already, Teddy’s grandmother opts to listen to Teddy over Fr. Schmitz because she appreciates the short length and doesn’t like the “nitty gritty,” said Steffi Howell.
Teddy’s goal for the podcast is just for people to listen to the word of God.
“I like to read about the Bible, and I pray,” Teddy said. “If you want to follow me, you can subscribe if you want.”
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