“They That Hope” Delivers Humor and Encouragement
New Weekly Podcast Co-hosted by Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, and Dr. Bob Rice
September 30, 2020

STEUBENVILLE, OHIO—Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, and Dr. Bob Rice of Franciscan University of Steubenville have joined forces on “They That Hope,” a new weekly podcast launched on September 30, 2020.

The co-hosts want to help listeners find “humor and hope in a crazy world” and to understand that “God is still present in the world and the Church is still holy and beautiful,” said Father Pivonka, president of Franciscan University.

Drawing on more than 20 years of friendship and decades of experience in Catholic ministry, he and Rice talk about sports, movies, politics, the Church, and their own lives, trying to find Christ in all things, even in the messiness of today’s culture.

In their first episode, “A Jar of Roses,” they discuss the friendship between Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the meaning of Christian hope, what can be learned from the calling of St. Matthew—and determine that Father Pivonka doesn’t know what a vase is.

Their second episode, “Let the Friar Fall,” touches on the Amy Coney Barrett nomination, high school football, and how Franciscans celebrate St. Francis.

“The podcast is a conversation between two friends who love being Catholic and see hope and humor in the world that we want to share with others,” said Rice, the director of Franciscan University’s Master of Arts in Catechetics and Evangelization Program.

Rice said the podcast’s title comes from Isaiah 40:31: “They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.”

“Our goal is to renew our listeners’ strength so they can go back into a crazy world more confident of God’s love for them and more hopeful about what he is doing in their lives,” Rice explained.

“They That Hope” is available here and on most major podcast apps.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Father Pivonka was elected the seventh president of Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2019. An international speaker, he directed Franciscan Pathways, hosting The Wild Goose video series on the Holy Spirit, a documentary on St. Francis of Assisi, and Metanoia, a 2019 video series on conversion. He has also written six books, including Hiking the Camino: Five Hundred Miles With Jesus, Breath of God: Living a Life Led by the Holy Spirit, and Sign of Contradiction.

Dr. Bob Rice is a professor of catechetics at Franciscan University and well-known speaker and musician who leads worship for thousands of people every year, mostly through the Steubenville Adult and Youth Conferences. His books include A 40-Day Spiritual Workout for Catholics. He recently helped create Franciscan University’s Music Ministry Minor Program.

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