Jerry, please share with us some background information about you.
Sure, I was born and raised in Oceanside, California which is a coastal city in North San Diego County. I have two older sisters, one of which I did not even know I had until 1987; turns out she was given up for adoption by my parents, but she found us in ‘87, she is my oldest sister. I grew up with my other sister, however she got married and moved away at a very young age.
So I was primarily an only child and being that both my parents worked a lot, I really do feel I raised myself in many ways. I went through many phases as a teenager as most teenagers do, and I really did not care for school at all. Surprisingly, I graduated high school one semester early, and failed only one class in all four years.
My parents divorced in my early teens and so I lived with my mother until moving away from home in my late teens, and have been a working adult ever since. I have spent the majority of my life in Southern California, but I also lived in Arizona for about four years.
Are you a Cradle Catholic or did you convert to Catholicism?
I’m a Cradle Catholic. Proud to be Catholic my entire life, I really did not have much interest in the Church though until my late teens when I felt God calling me. While my mom was Catholic, we simply did not have a religious household. I went to Catholic school for half a year in the sixth grade, and while I truly enjoyed learning about the Bible and our Church, I did not like having to go to the Boys & Girls Club after school, something I had to do because the school was not close to home and my parents worked so much. Eventually I was moved to our local public school so I could walk home after school.
I felt God calling me when I was around 17 years old, and that is when I really first started to take interest in the Church, and felt called to be closer to Christ. It hasn’t always been smooth-sailing through the years, and I still have a ways to go in terms of being the Catholic I truly want to be, but I’m getting there and I thank God so much for loving me and always looking out for me.
What do you like best about being Catholic?
Having the fullness of the truth! There is no doubt in my mind that the Catholic Church is the True Church, and I feel so blessed that God saw to it that I was baptized Catholic. I tell people that it was certainly no mistake that my parents chose to have me baptized, as God wanted me to be Catholic and wanted me to be an active Catholic,and I still have a ton of room for improvement, but I hear Him calling all the time!
Who was instrumental in your faith formation? Who are your heroes?
I would have to say God was the absolute most instrumental in my faith formation! Prior to feeling called by Him in my late teens, I really had no interest in the Church. I believed in God, and was more than proud to tell people that I was Catholic, but I had no desire to live a Catholic life or to avoid many of the sins that had been part of my life for much of my teen years. Yet, God called me in ways that He knew I would take notice, and He showed me how beautiful and even exciting the Church can be. My heroes here on earth are people like Kurt Warner who I feel is just a tremendous man who really demonstrated how a professional athlete should present himself, and how it’s so important to put God first in our lives.
Also Karen Carpenter is someone I admire greatly. She is my favorite singer of all time and while she battled and eventually lost her life to such a terrible eating disorder, she and her brother Richard Carpenter left us with such beautiful music. I imagine she is still singing like an angel up in heaven today. How can I not say that Christ is our Hero in Heaven!! I realize that being a hero wasn’t really the main purpose of His life and that He is much MORE than a hero, but I can’t think of a more brave and strong man than Our Lord and Savior! How blessed we are that God gave this world His only begotten Son!
How did you get your start in radio?
I became friends with Lisa Hendey on Facebook in 2009, and I noticed that she was the host of a very popular and successful Catholic podcast called “Catholic Moments.” For some reason I felt the desire to be a guest on her show, and so I contacted her and asked if she would consider inviting me on. I’m just an average guy, I’m not an author or a musician, and especially before I started my own show I was not that well known at all. She was gracious enough to invite me on, and we talked about my battle with anxiety and depression that I’ve dealt with my entire life, how I became close to the faith, and how it’s helped me. I returned to her show a second time in December of 2009. I was also a guest on a some pro-Sarah Palin internet radio shows in 2009 and early 2010.
When did you start hosting the Catholic Revolver?
In March 2010, so it’s still a rather young show. I look forward to many more years of The Catholic Revolver, and have great future plans for the show!
What was the genesis of the show?
Once I made the decision to start my own show, I narrowed it down to five possibilities. It was either going to be about Catholicism, conservative politics, health, music, or a combination of all of those topics. When I asked for some suggestions on Facebook for example, as you can imagine most of my Catholic friends suggested I make it a Catholic show, and most of my non-Catholic friends who are conservative suggested I make it a political show.
Once I thought about it, though, it was a no-brainer to me that it needed to be a Catholic show. God and the Church must come first, because really none of the other things matter without God to begin with. I have the flexibility to discuss other topics on my show from time to time and I do, but I’m so proud that it’s mainly a Catholic show that often discusses the beauty of our Church and also the things we must do as Christians in general to stand up for God and to put Him first in our lives.
Does a particular saint help you with your mission?
At this point in time I would have to say no, but keep in mind that doesn’t mean a saint isn’t helping me behind the scenes and I just don’t notice it yet. Perhaps saints I have prayed to for intercession in the past are coming through for me now in ways that I’m not noticing at the moment. I’d like to think that St. Benedict of Nursia may understand a lot of my personality and the way I try to live my life, which includes hosting my show. The Benedictines seem very organized, work very hard, and take pride in their work, and I think I’m very much that way in many things I do.
How did you come up with the name “The Catholic Revolver?” Wonderful logo, by the way.
I wanted to create a unique name for the show, obviously something that had not been taken already by another show or a website, blog, etc. I enjoy The Old West via many western movies, and some older western shows like “Bonanza” for example, and so for some reason while thinking of a name one day the word “revolver” came to mind, and I’ve always thought it was a catchy word.
Now obviously a revolver gun has nothing to do with the Catholic Church, but I thought of what else “revolver” means. Realizing that I wanted my show to be primarily Catholic, I thought how neat it would sound because it could mean that my show “revolves” around the Catholic Church. I wanted the flexibility to branch out to other topics from time to time, so I have guests who at times talk about sports, health and well-being, music, etc., but the show's main topic WILL always be Catholicism. So the name “The Catholic Revolver with Jerry” just clicked to me instantly!
Thank you so much for your compliment on the show's logo, I’m certainly no expert on digital art or anything, but the Holy Spirit really flowed through me and I was able to create a very beautiful logo.
What is the mission of your show?
To help either inspire, inform, and or educate anyone that’s listening. As proud as I am about the gifts that God has given me, as well as the resources I have to host the show, I want my guests to be the focus of the show over myself. When my listeners tune in to any episode, I want them to feel like they learned a lot about that particular guest, and to perhaps feel like they may have even just listened to that guest speak to them in their own living room.
There are some other internet radio shows and podcasts out there that require their guests to be either well known or famous, and I don’t believe in doing that. I like to provide a format for anyone who truly has something they want to express and share. They may be passionate about something, or be very educated in a certain topic, and to me they often make better guests than those who might be famous. That’s not to say I have not had famous guests though, or that I would not continue to invite them on the show. My point is that you don’t have to be a name that everyone recognizes in order to be a fantastic guest on The Catholic Revolver.
What do you enjoy most about hosting a radio program?
I get to connect with people that I otherwise would not have been able to. I enjoy learning about all my guests, it doesn’t matter to me if they are either an author of many books, or a stay at home mom that is just passionate about being a wife and mother. I simply love hearing their stories and also being able to make friendships with them in the process.
In your opinion, what are the greatest challenges people face in our modern era?
I think many of the challenges I notice really stem from living in a Godless society. This is a day and age where so many people and institutions have gone out of their way to remove God, and to promote a New Age lifestyle. I can only imagine what a beautiful world this would be if we all turned back to God, and even more so if we turned back to HIS Church!
I think right now in this country so many are caught up in politics and I think it’s good that many are angry at what is going on in our wonderful country right now, but often politics can pull us away from God and replace Him with a political party. I have been active at times politically, I even attend Tea Parties from time to time. What I realize though, is that many of the political problems we face today are a result of people turning their back on God and allowing evil to claim victory in their lives. I could never imagine anyone ever being pro-choice for example if we were all living Godly lives. We must put God first, not a political party or any politician!
What are your aspirations for the future?
First and foremost to do what God wants me to do, and that might be entirely different from what I want, but I know whatever He asks of me will keep me the most happy and fulfilled because it will ultimately be serving Him and living for Him.
In terms of what I desire though, I can see myself being a husband and father (neither of which I am yet), and I’d like to live in a rural area, perhaps on a few acres of land. I enjoy hard work around the house, and I would love the yard work that comes with owning a few acres, it’s very healthy for me, too. In addition to that, being the best husband and father I can be if I happened to be married and have children, and doing everything we can as a family to be active and strong Catholics, and doing all we can to serve God here on earth. Those things would definitely make me happy.
I really have no desire to travel the world, or to be extremely wealthy, or to be famous. I just want to live a happy and often quiet life in the country. I actually find it interesting hearing myself say that when I’ve been a city boy my entire life.
Please tell us what your hobbies are.
I love watching sports, listening to music, playing pool, sometimes playing video games (mostly sports games), and home improvement projects! I have a fairly nice music collection that I will continue to add to as long as I live. I especially enjoy collecting hard to find oldies but goodies, and even rare gems from some of my favorite bands. And how can I not mention my internet radio show as a huge hobby in my life now, as well as listening to other Catholic radio shows on the internet, or tuning into Catholic radio stations via the internet.
Do you have any favorite causes?
I really like Kurt Warner’s First Things First Foundation. For those that don’t know, Kurt Warner is a former NFL Quarterback who retired this year. He and his wife Brenda are very strong Christians and do tremendous work with this foundation. I also like Priests For Life which does such great work for the pro-life movement, and of course Fr. Frank Pavone is doing wonderful work with this ministry along with all of the other things he currently does to defend life! There are so many great causes out there, but those two really come to mind the quickest for me.
Here are the links to both:
My children are curious if you like sports and if you have any pets.
I love sports! Baseball is my favorite (Go Padres!), football comes in second, with hockey and basketball taking the final two spots. I don’t care for golf or tennis, not that I don’t think they have talented athletes; those sports just don’t interest me.
Currently I don’t have any pets. I love dogs though, and my favorite breed is Chihuahuas. I had a Chihuahua for a short period of time named Bella. I loved her so much and still miss her a lot! I imagine I will have another dog or two one day when the time is right!
Please share anything else that you would like people to know about you, your show, and/or your mission.
I would say that I’m a great example and reminder of how God really can call all of us to do his work if we are open to hearing his call. I have no professional training in hosting a show, currently I’m out of work and so finances are very limited, and I’m certainly far from being as knowledgeable on the faith as let’s say someone like Archbishop Fulton Sheen is! I still pronounce the names of certain saints wrong on my show sometimes, or have my facts wrong from time to time.
Bottom line though is I’m still learning much about being Catholic, and I’m still a work in progress, as we all are! Still, I know God appreciates my efforts and will continue to mold me into what He wants me to be, and I know that my hosting abilities will improve over time because of Him.
We don’t have to be perfect at doing things right away, and the fact of the matter is we will never be perfect at anything, but when we continue working hard at what God wants us to do we can be assured that we will succeed because He will equip us with the tools we need to get the job done. And that doesn’t mean it will always go smoothly, or that we will never make mistakes, but God never calls us to do what we aren’t equipped to do!
To listen to past and current shows,God is at work in you, Jerry!
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