Podcast with Jerry Weber, December 2010

Below is a podcast we recorded for My Catholic Blog in December 2010 with Jerry Weber, host of The Catholic Revolver.

Jerry discusses all things Catholic. Guests will often be invited to participate on the show. Whether they have a conversion story to share, an inspiring life story, or just have a great passion for Catholicism in general, they will be the heart of the show. The Catholic Revolver will also at times branch out to other topics such as Pro-Life issues, Conservative Politics, Health & Well-Being, Music, etc. One thing is for sure though, the show revolves around Catholicism and will always return to discussing the beautiful Catholic Church one way or another.

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Interview with Jerry Weber

Meet Jerry Weber — host of the integrated Catholic radio program, The Catholic Revolver.

First of all, we’re big fans of The Catholic Revolver.  We especially like the integration of various topics (such as politics and health & wellbeing) into the show.  Why do you feel its important to discern a tangible connection between the secular and religious?

Well first let me say thank you very much for being fans!!  When I decided to create The Catholic Revolver I wanted to keep the option open of discussing various topics because we all have different interests and hobbies outside of our spiritual life.  I make it clear though that God and his Church come first and that will always be the primary focus of the show overall, but it’s nice that I can have guests on to talk about music or sports for example as well.  God is perfectly fine with us having interests outside of the Church, as long as our interests are moral and don’t go against his word or the Church’s teachings.  And so I feel that having flexibility on my show regarding topics helps to make it a more well-rounded show and ultimately a more successful one.

Along these same lines, what do you hope to accomplish through The Catholic Revolver?

To simply provide good quality Catholic radio on the internet.  Ultimately it doesn’t matter to me if my show becomes the biggest or the best, because I don’t feel Catholic Radio whether it’s on the traditional airwaves or on the internet should be about competition, but rather it should be about helping eachother grow as Catholics and hopefully bringing Non-Catholics home through the process.  I want my show to help educate, touch, or inspire at least one person, and if it does that then it is all worth it to me.  A huge bonus has been having my faith grow through the process of this show, I get to interview such great guests from all walks of life, and I learn so much about Catholicism and about being a better Catholic.  I even learn from those guests who aren’t Catholic, but simply shared their story or whatever it was that they were passionate about.  There is always room for improvement in our faith, for each and every one of us.

We understand that around your late teens you experienced a change in perspective, lifestyle, and behavior.  Can you explain a little bit more to us about the role faith has played in altering your life?  Why do you think, though you have been a Catholic your whole life, your faith was strengthened as this particular point in your life?

Yes, I lived a very different lifestyle in my teens which often included sex, drugs, and rock & roll.  Of course I don’t see anything wrong with the rock & roll part depending on the artists, but the other two of course were big no/no’s.  I felt God calling me when I was 17 to change my life, and to begin to obey his word, and become a better Catholic.  I answered his call and began to take interest in Catholicism, and did what I could to turn my life around and grow closer to Christ.  It wasn’t smooth sailing from that point forward or anything, as much as I tried I often fell away from the faith in my twenties even though deep down I always had the desire to return to the Church to be a better Catholic.  I think my faith has strengthened at this point of my life because with age comes wisdom, and I feel I’m at that point of my life where I’m much more grounded and know what I’m hoping to achieve out of life.  And ultimately I realize that without God not only will I never achieve true happiness, but my soul would remain dead just like branches on a rotting tree.

You’ve openly stated that depression and anxiety have been prevalent forces throughout your life.  Do these ever test your faith?  How do you maintain conviction of belief in the face of them?

Yes, all the time!  Included in my battles with anxiety has been Social Anxiety, and let me tell you this form of anxiety is tougher than most people realize.  And this really kept me away from Mass for many years because dealing with crowds of people has never been something I’ve been comfortable with.  Both anxiety and depression seem to enjoy becoming masters of your whole being, in other words if they can take full control of your life and dictate what you can and can’t do they certainly will.  I would say my faith in God has done more for my battle against anxiety and depression then anything else ever has.  I understand that it is my part of the Cross to carry, and that God has allowed me to deal with this for a reason.  At the same time, it’s with my faith that I truly believe the day will come in my lifetime where I will be free of these mental disorders.  And yes I said FREE!  I believe this because I feel through the Grace of God I have learned so much about what causes these problems, I’m very much into natural-healing and I don’t subscribe to the theory that western medicine does when it comes to mental illness.  And I feel that in due time I will be taking care of my body in the right way through diet, nutrition, the proper supplements, cleansing the kidneys and liver, etc.  I’m very confident about the success this will have, but the credit will go to God for giving me the strength and wisdom needed not only to make it happen, but to continue to strive at dealing with these disorders presently.

You’ve also mentioned that you thoroughly enjoy music, especially artists/bands such as Jimi Hendrix, The Carpenters, and the Doors.  Besides Karen Carpenter, any other all-time favorite artist?  What about song?  What is it about music that resounds so strongly with you?

I would rank my favorite artists as follows; The Carpenters, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Doors, & Bob Marley & The Wailers.  I have many other favorites, but those have always stood out to me and I never tire of their music.  Some will say that as a Catholic it might not be moral to listen to a band such as The Doors because of the destructive lifestyle that Jim Morrison lead for example, but in listening to the music it’s not condoning the lifestyle of a band member, it’s appreciating the creativity that the musicians had.  For example I was not in Morrison’s shoes, it would be easy for me to sit back and say he should have done this or that, but he had his own personal battles like many of us do.  His life doesn’t change the fact that he was a gifted Poet who really helped change the face of Rock & Roll with his words and theatrics on stage.

Now in terms of songs my favorite song of all time is from my favorite band of all time The Carpenters, and that song would be “This Masquerade”.  Although not originally written by Richard & Karen Carpenter, their version of this lovely song to me is simply amazing.  It showcased Karen’s angelic voice, and Richard’s brilliant arrangements as good as any song they ever did.  Also, I think the song in many ways could relate to Karen’s short lived marriage, it was also fitting that they played this song in the 1989 made for TV movie “The Karen Carpenter Story” during the scenes of Karen and her husband’s troubles.

Music is a form of art, and I’ve enjoyed music ever since I was a kid.  I personally feel it is a wonderful way of expressing one’s self, and can also teach you more about yourself as well.  And if you want to talk about music from a Catholic perspective, there are some tremendous Catholic musicians out there who have created some beautiful Catholic music over the years.  I’m personally not a big fan of traditional Christian music, but genuine Catholic music from Catholic artists to me is absolutely Heavenly!

And finally, what is next for Jerry Weber?

Well I began RCIA in September of 2010, and I’m so pleased that this journey has finally begun for me.  I’ve been Catholic my entire life, but never received my First Communion, and so I have been wanting to join RCIA for many years, but put it off constantly due to the things in life that often pull us away from our faith to begin with.  So if all goes well I look forward to officially entering the Church on Easter of 2011!!

I’m also looking at relocating out of California probably in the next 2-3 years.  I truly love it here and it will always be home, but long term it just doesn’t offer the kind of living that I’m seeking.  Things have gotten out of hand here with high taxes and ridiculous laws, etc.  At this point I see myself ending up either in Arizona where I spent about 4 years living before, or in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas.

Thanks so much for this opportunity, it was great speaking to you!!

Thank you, Jerry!