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In the harrowing world of digital media, it can be hard to find the light. The dangers of digital media for children and teens are well-documented, many and extreme. But it’s also become ubiquitous and seemingly inescapable, so for parents navigating a host of screens that they didn’t grow up with, setting up protection, creating boundaries and scouring for wholesome content can be dizzying. 

But there are small corners of the digital world where the Good News has snuck in. We surveyed parents in the Archdiocese of Detroit for their (and their little ones) favorite digital Catholic content and have rounded up a few recommendations for parents looking to make the digital world a little more “beautiful, good, and true.”

The Best Listening:

The Saints Alive Podcast

A fan favorite of metro-Detroit parents, the Saints Alive podcast “tells the stories of the saints for young saints in the making.” Geared toward kids ages 5-12, this radio theater podcast aims to bring the heroism, adventure, virtue and humor of the saints to life and the hundreds of positive reviews on Apple are a testament that they’re doing it well. “I love to listen to this more than anything and I want to listen to this forever,” says one 8-year-old reviewer, “I love it so much, I would rather do it than other things like Minecraft. I hope there are more to come,” says a 10-year-old. 

The husband/wife creative team behind the Saints Alive Podcast bring their creative backgrounds in writing, acting, filmmaking, editing, and storytelling to tell the stories of Joan of Arc, Padre Pio, Josephine Bakhita, St. Bernadette and more in 20-30 minute episodes that are perfect for listening on the road, during lunchtime, or as a family for prayer time. Listen to the podcast here

Saint Stories for Kids

Need something saint-focused for younger children with shorter attention spans? The creator of Shining Light Dolls hosts a podcast that offers charming and informational 5-minute episodes that allow children and parents to learn from the “holy men and women who have come before us.” The weekly episodes are timely (usually occurring around the saint’s feast day) and encourage children to embrace the rich tradition of the Catholic Church.

Catholic Sprouts Podcast

Host and mother of five, Nancy Bandzuch, created this daily podcast to “plant one little seed of faith each and every day.” Through short 5-minute daily episodes, the podcast covers a little of everything from feast days to sacraments, morality to Catholic theology and more, and concludes with a daily challenge to help young listeners grow in virtue. By exposing kids (created for listeners 5-12) to big topics through bite-size lessons, Bandzuch hopes to help parents “build and lead their own Domestic Church.” Give it a listen.

The Best Viewing:

Juice Box

From the Emmy award-winning production firm, Spirit Juice Studios, comes  Juice Box, a newly launched ad-free Catholic YouTube channel featuring high-quality entertaining and educational videos to bring the Catholic faith to life for children and families.

Each Friday, a new episode will use toys, stories, games, crafts, and more to introduce faith-based topics in a way that young children will understand, enjoy and remember. Your Lego-fanatics will love the Confession, Advent, and First Communion Lego-building videos. Your crafty child will love learning how to make their own rosary, or Christmas tree. Want a little kinetic sand with your Lauds or Magnatiles with Church objects? This is the channel for you. 

Benjamin Cello

One of the oft-lauded favorites of Metro-Detroit parents is Benjamin Cello. Streaming on Formed or available for purchase, this video series created for children 4-7 follows a winsome country gentleman, as he leads his friends on song-filled adventures through the Land of the Baptized Imagination. “It’s like stirring a spoonful of Mary Poppins into Mr. Rogers Neighborhood,” described one father of five. 

Whether it’s dancing in Pennywhistle Park, hearing the hallelujah hoedowns of the animal puppets in the Big Ol’ Barn, or reading deeply in the mysterious Book Endless Book Tower, this wildly talented family of Catholic musicians and actors will captivate your children with the beauty and purity of a God-breathed imagination! “Our children deserve the best. They also deserve the truth,” explains the creator of the show, mother and grandmother, Robin Donaca Wolaver, on the website “The truth about Jesus, the truth about God, and the truth about who they are created to be. And the best way to instill that truth is through beautiful images, great music, and fresh storytelling that inspires wonder.”

What about for parents?

Check out the ‘Beyond Sunday’ podcast! The demands of the different roles of Catholic spouses, parents, and working parents, can sometimes derail even the best of intentions quickly. That’s why this podcast is all about how parents can be more intentional in recognizing God at work in our lives, and how families can go deeper into relationship with him.

Tune in each week, as hosts Nicole and Rakhi talk, laugh (and sometimes cry), about their experiences in striving to weave the Sunday experience into the everyday moments of our lives.