Brewing Faith, is a podcast where younger Catholics ask the questions and, together with the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and through a Franciscan lens, we look at the future of our Church.

Pope Francis warns us against “prepackaged answers and ready-made solutions” he encourages us to “set aside narrow preconceptions” and to listen “carefully to the young.” (Christus vivit, 2019)

Have questions you want answered on the Brewing Faith Podcast? Call the Brewing Faith Hotline to leave your questions to be aired on our show,  email

Brewing Faith Episode 14: A Multicultural Christmas

Christmas holds a special place in the hearts of Christians around the world.  The Christmas celebrations in our families, churches, and communities reflect and celebrate how the divine love revealed in Jesus Christ continues to become incarnate in our lives today. Join us for Brewing Faith, a podcast sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, where we enter into conversations about the past, present, and future of our Church.  In this third annual Christmas episode, Sister Diane Tomkinson, Sister Nelida Marrero and Sister Maria Anna Dela Paz share Christmas memories and explore how Christmas customs in various cultures invite us to recognize the face of Christ in the diverse faces of our sisters and brothers. Hosted by Sr. Diane Tomkinson, picking up from our previous hosts, Sara Marks and Sr. Marian Leaf.  So, grab a cup of coffee or tea, or whatever you like to brew, and take a listen.

Brewing Faith Episode 13: Exploring the Lord’s Prayer

The Our Father, also known as the Lord’s Prayer, is perhaps the most common prayer used across the entire Christian community among the various Christian denominations. Our discussion today, gleaned from various things I’ve read and heard throughout the years, will explore the question: is it only a prayer or is it a way of life for a disciple of Christ? Although I refer to it as a prayer throughout the podcast, my context of understanding is that it is more than just a prayer, it is the very model of true discipleship itself!

So grab your favorite cup of coffee or whatever you like to brew, kick back, and let’s get started.

Singing of the Lord’s Prayer at the end downloaded from: Andrea Bocelli – The Lord’s Prayer – Live From The Kodak Theatre, USA / 2009 Download

Brewing Faith Episode 12: The Notion of God

In an article entitled “The Notion of God”, on which this podcast is based; Richard Rohr highlights the anthropologist David Buchdahl’s view of the significance of our Notion of God since (and I quote) “the character of a culture is heavily influenced by the notion of God that predominates within it.” In this podcast I hope to explore our own understanding of God and how that shapes not only our own life, but impacts the very values and attitudes found in the larger society. So kick back, grab a cup of coffee or whatever you like to brew and let’s get started!

Brewing Faith Episode 11: Our Human Sexuality (Part 2)

Sexuality is a powerful/passionate force and that power/passion lies within us as humans. Sexuality is connected with God’s life and love. In fact, Fr. Rolhieser says, “sexuality IS God’s energy within us!” This podcast on sexuality is part two of our February podcast on human nature. I suggest you first listen to that discussion on our nature as both spirit and flesh, since understanding our human nature shapes our understanding of our sexuality. Much of this presentation is pulled from the writings of Fr. Ronald Hohlesier, OMI. So grab that cup of coffee or whatever you like to brew, kick back, and take a listen!

Brewing Faith Episode 10: Our Human Nature and Sexuality (Part 1)

This podcast is the first of a two-part series entitled “Our Human Nature and Sexuality.”  In this edition we focus on human nature, what makes us tick, who we are as human beings, what makes up our nature, and what makes us different from all other creatures.  We’ll look at how we understand, manage, and experience our unique nature. So grab a cup of coffee or whatever you like to brew, and take a listen!

Brewing Faith Episode 9: Incarnation, Discovering the Mystery

Join Sr. Marian Leaf, as she is joined by former Franciscan Volunteer, Sabina Marroquin for this episode of the Brewing Faith Podcast. Together, they dive deeper into the meaning of the Incarnation.  Most people in the world believe in God and most religions help direct their members to seek and serve this God according to their beliefs. Christianity is the only faith in which this God comes as one of us–to seek us out and share in our life. We name that coming 2000 years ago INCARNATION. But would it surprise you to know that our understanding of this Incarnational event has evolved throughout the centuries? Would you be surprised that many theologians and scholars today consider another event as the First Incarnation? Take a listen!

Brewing Faith Episode 8: St. Francis – The Transformation

Join Sr. Marian Leaf, a sister of St Francis of Philadelphia, as she follows Sara Marks, in bringing you these Brewing Faith podcasts. Learn about St. Francis and his life of transformation. Did you know that the young Francis dreamed of being a knight–a warrior going off to fight on the battlefields?  Instead he became a peacemaker, who lived in right relationship with others and all of creation! Let’s see how that happened.

Brewing Faith Episode 7: Discernment

In this episode we discuss Franciscan Discernment and the role that discernment plays in lives of young adults seeking meaningful work and the role organizations have in assisting with that process. We hear from Natalie, a former Franciscan volunteer with the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, who is now working in Corporate Social Responsibility.  We also talk to Zach, who is the co-founder of a marketing agency, that assists nonprofits in creating sustainable futures.  Grab a cup of coffee or tea, or whatever you like to brew, and take a listen.

Brewing Faith Episode 6: Welcoming the LGBTQ Community

The Catholic Church has a long tradition of caring compassionately for the poorest and marginalized of society. It should be no different with the LGBTQ community. Join us as we discuss inclusion of LGBTQ Catholics in our worshiping communities. A big thank you to Alyssa, a self-identifying queer Catholic, who was willing to share her story and offer insights to our listeners!

Brewing Faith Episode 5: Our Good Friday Moment

March 27, 2020

We are resurrection people living in a Good Friday moment. Jesus met many kind faces on the way to the cross. Who are the people in our lives helping, loving, supporting, and witnessing to goodness during these difficult days? Join us for a special edition of Brewing Faith to consider the pandemic and pray for those helping along the way.

Brewing Faith, Episode 4 – Sports and Spirituality

February 13, 2020

In this episode we will be sharing stories and conversation about Sports and Spirituality. I will be sitting down with Xavier, a sophomore communications major at Neumann University and Sr. Alice Klein, whose incredible story you will hear in just a moment. Sr. Alice was on her way to fame and fortune; however, after only two years of playing ball semi-professionally for Mr. Martin, of Lockheed Martin, she left it all. Alice now resides at Assisi House, the retirement convent of the Sisters of St. Francis, you see, Alice left it all to enter the convent.

Brewing Faith, Episode 3 – Christmas Magic

December 13, 2019
Take a listen to our special Christmas Edition of Brewing Faith in which we share some stories about the magic of Christmas through childhood memories and a special Christmas Story in the Franciscan Tradition. Grab your coffee or tea, or whatever you like to brew and take a listen.  Feel free to share: What is Christmas Magic for you?

Brewing Faith, Episode 2 – Belief and Community

November 19, 2019

Last month we discussed the changing dynamics of catechesis in the Church.  We talked about staying at the table and addressed relativism.  In this episode we dig a little deeper into the question of belief and community as we talk with two young women working on Red Hill Farm–Madison Rios and our Franciscan Volunteer, Katherine Stevick. We explore what community means and what it looks like to be a part of a faith community.

Brewing Faith, Episode 1 – Staying at the Table: The Shifting Dynamics of the Church

October 18, 2019

In this inaugural episode of Brewing Faith we discuss the changing dynamics of catechesis in the Church. We challenge relativistic views and discuss the Franciscan concept of ongoing conversion. Join us for story-telling and an interview with Sr. Kathy Dougherty, the congregational minister of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.