Despite this, Schmitz thinks that "we still have this hunger to know," and that many people are discouraged by the "daunting" nature of the Bible. He hopes his podcast, with its unique formatting of salvation history with a timeline, changes this perception.
"So the appeal, I think, of a Bible in a Year podcast is not only, you're going to be able to go through the entire Bible in one year, but then secondly, is it's going to be in bite size chunks. And third, you're going to have some kind of guidance," he said.
"And I think that that for a lot of people just makes something that might seem inaccessible, accessible."
The success of the podcast took both Schmitz and Matthew Pinto, CEO of Ascension Press, by surprise. Schmitz said that he has been warned by his friends and family to "not let (the success) go to his head," something he says never even occurred to him.
"I'm thinking like, 'well, I'm literally reading the Bible.' So I don't know how much that could go to my head," said Schmitz.
"I think that it's, it's very clearly less about me, and the fact that it's me reading the Bible, and far more about, I think, people's hunger" for God's word, said Schmitz.
Pinto was willing to credit Schmitz with at least some of the show's success.
"We knew it was going to be a great program, but clearly this has struck a nerve beyond, really what we expected," Pinto told CNA in a phone interview Jan. 7. "Our first thought
was that, for some reason, God has anointed this particular project."
Pinto credited the "charism of Fr. Mike and the uniqueness of the Bible timeline" as two of the factors behind the success of the show--along with God's blessing, of course.
The success of the show caught Ascension "flat-footed," said Pinto, and The Great Adventure Catholic Bible, which the show is centered around, sold out. Pinto told CNA it should be available again to order in the coming months.
God has, said Pinto, given the podcast "a special grace that is beyond simple human explanation."
(Story continues below)
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"And, so it's our hope that we will just be good stewards of it, and really use this as an opportunity to expand and reach, even more. So we're not going to stop at really where it is," said Pinto.
"We're going to ask God for additional blessing, and work as hard as we can to, to get the Word of God out to as many people as we can using this most unique method."