“It’s like sitting in God’s living room.” This episode of Open Door Policy is a season finale! Join hosts Emily Mentock and Fr. Patrick Gonyeau as they share their highlights from the previous season. Together they marvel at how God is alive and active in the life of each guest who has joined them. From storytelling to music, from mental health struggles to a new vocation to the permanent diaconate, each guest has exhibited how unique God’s plan is for each life. Your hosts share their dreams to see the Church alive with a new Pentecost and a Church filled with gratitude. Join Open Door Policy as we wonder at God’s power to change lives, and unleash the Gospel in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Take a listen!
(00:19) Welcome to Open Door Policy! Your hosts Emily Mentock and Fr. Patrick Gonyeau share their excitement over this episode to reflect on the previous season and how God has inspired them through the testimonies of the podcast guests.
(01:18) Emily shares that something she has enjoyed about hosting the show is that she is inspired by the many ways the Spirit is working in missionary disciples in Southeast Michigan. “It has truly changed my faith.” Fr. Patrick loves when he “goes off the rails.” These podcast testimonies are inspiring to him. Fr. Patrick encourages us to “look out for comparison. God made you to be you.” St. Catherine of Siena says, “Be who God made you to be and you will set the world on fire.” As we experience our identity in Christ, our desire should be to be fully us, and not someone else. Fr. Patrick loves the “dream question” that each episode closes with. God has made us for greatness, and these big desires for the future are good.
(4:50) Spotlight on guests: Dcn. Fred stood out to Emily. She loved his passion, and that he fulfilled the call to be fully himself. The episode with Jordan and Napoli Beachnau was very inspiring to Emily and she kept their stories of their journey as a couple with her. Curtis Simpson, Jr. was a memorable episode for Emily because of his energy, joy, and passion. The podcast has taught Emily that God works in our lives in so many ways. “Look at all these different ways God can be working in people’s lives.
(7:20) “Testimonies put the works of God on display.” Fr. Patrick loves testimonies because they give people the witness of the power of God. Emily makes the point that Unleash the Gospel places value on the power of witness. “Personal testimony has an indispensable role in evangelization. Testimony has a unique power to touch hearts, since it is almost impossible to ignore the witness of someone who has encountered Jesus personally and whose life has been transformed by him.”
(9:48) Fr. Patrick mentions Ricardo Hernandez’s testimony about having mental health struggles. “His testimony involved Jesus helping him come into a place of health, freedom, and peace.” Fr. Patrick mentions how bad thoughts can lead to bad actions, and bad actions can lead to a life separated from God. “The right mind is the mind of Christ for a disciple.” We are all tasked as disciples to steward our minds. Fr. Patrick mentioned Michelle Piccolo’s testimony and sums it up in four words: in love with Jesus. Finally, Chris Leach’s testimony touched Fr. Patrick. His testimony can be summed up in these words: “nothing is impossible for God.”
(14:05) Emily comments that the episode with Chris was interesting for her because she knew Chris before the episode- through working in the Archdiocese together. “You don’t have to go searching for the stories of how God is working in people’s lives. The people in the pews next to us all have their own stories of their encounters with Jesus and how they live that out now.”
(17:27) Who else touched your heart? Other highlights include: Josh Ross playing music on an episode, Fr. Jake VanAssche brought Spanish content to the podcast, and also, one of the great storytellers of the Archdiocese, Bishop Hanchon visiting the show.
(24:04) “What are your dreams, Fr. Patrick?” Emily poses their typical closing question to her fellow co-host, Fr. Patrick. “Full on participation in the New Pentecost.” First, Fr. Patrick wants to live consumed with the presence of God. Second, he desires to see the Church on fire for the Lord, with a greater devotion to the Eucharist. He wants to see the signs and wonders, healings, and prophetic words become part of the regular life of the Church.
(28:03) “What are your hopes and dreams, Emily?” Emily says she has loved doing the work of sharing the Gospel through her work with the Archdiocese. The book of Romans chapter 8 reminds Emily that her faith is a gift. She feels inspired by Bl. Solanus Casey to “give God thanks ahead of time.” She feels it has been so clear that God wants her to be unleashing the Gospel in the Archdiocese of Detroit. She says that praying with Fr. Patrick on the podcast has inspired a courage in her to pray with more of the Holy Spirit.
(32:39) Our hosts invite us to share with them what has inspired you! Tag @utgdetroit on social media and let them know what your dreams are for the future. Share how God is in your heart. If there is someone you know who has a story that is a powerful witness, reach out!
(34:20) Ron is the person behind the scenes for the podcast, and the hosts are grateful for his work to make Open Door Policy happen. Emily closes the podcast in prayer, expressing gratitude for the season’s guests and the audience. She asks that the audience would be blessed with the grace to share the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. Fr. Patrick wraps up the episode by blessing the listeners.
Thanks for listening!