NEWPORT, Mich. – When he grows up, third grader Teddy Howell, a member of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Newport, 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."
Michigan third grader launches 'Kid's Bible in a Year with Teddy' podcast
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.
Subscribers can listen to Teddy's podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other podcast hosting platforms.
If the youngster's podcast sounds familiar, that's because it's inspired by Father Mike Schmitz's chart-topping podcast, "The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)." The priest, of the Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota, created the Bible podcast with Scripture scholar Jeff Cavins with the backing of Ascension. Cavins is the author of the hugely popular "Great Adventure Bible Study Program" and "The Bible Timeline Learning System."
Although Teddy, the oldest of six children, wanted to listen to Father 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.
"Father Mike Schmitz gets a PG-13 rating, and Teddy was getting frustrated when we turn off Father Mike," Steffi Howell told Detroit Catholic, the online news outlet of the Archdiocese of Detroit. "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 Father 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 Father 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."
Gabriella Patti is a staff reporter for Detroit Catholic, the online news outlet of the Archdiocese of Detroit.