Interview with Patrick Coffin – On Fulton Sheen, Humane Vitae, and How to Share Your Faith

One of my favorite things to do in my portable monastery is to listen to Catholic Answers Live. Each week I download the podcast and find loads of advice on how to explain and defend our faith.

A key reason the show is so good is because of the host, Patrick Coffin. Patrick is extremely witty, intelligent, and remarkably well-read. However, long-time listeners know that his greatest virtue is kindness. Patrick understands that evangelization isn’t about winning arguments–it’s about winning souls to Christ and his Church. That goal requires charity as much as brilliance, and Patrick exhibits both.

Patrick recently sat down with me to talk about his conversion to Catholicism, our mutual hero, Fulton Sheen, the art of apologetics, Humanae Vitae, his favorite books, and much more.

Watch, stream, or download the interview below:

(And please forgive the echo and periodic lag. Our network connection was fairly bad that day.)


Download the mp3 here (21 minutes)

Topics Discussed:
1:30 – What drew you to the Catholic Church?
5:00 – Patrick’s discovery of Fulton Sheen
8:35 – Advice for Catholics who feel unprepared to share their faith
10:12 – The grounding for Catholic apologetics: paradosis
13:20 – Why did you write Sex Au Natural and what’s it about?
17:21 – The new respectability for Humanae Vitae
18:05 – Books that have had the biggest impact on Patrick’s life

Here were the books mentioned in our conversation:

Q: What were some of the major lessons that Archbishop Fulton Sheen has taught you?

His approach to evangelization and to life was, and I don’t throw this term around a lot, holistic. He was open to truth wherever it was. He had a way of marrying strands of thought like insights from the Gospel, literature, history, and psychology, and he put them together in this power-packed way.

Be sure to follow Patrick through his blog, and tune in to Catholic Answers Live each week. You can listen live on weekdays from 6pm-8pm ET or download the podcast and listen at your leisure.

If you liked this interview, check out my other discussions with people like Fr. Robert Barron, Christopher WestMarc Barnes, and more. And be sure you don’t miss future interviews by subscribe via feed reader or email.

How do you think Catholics can become better evangelists?