Ascension Press, the company behind the hit podcast “Bible in a Year,” has announced it will advertise the podcast on a billboard in New York City’s Times Square during the busiest part of the Christmas season.
The announcement was made on a virtual press conference call, reports the National Catholic Register. The billboard ad will promote “Bible in a Year” from Dec. 19 through Jan. 9.
Since its inception in early January, “Bible in a Year” has maintained significant popularity. Except for a brief stint at No. 2, it has remained Apple Podcasts’ No. 1 Podcast in Religion and Spirituality throughout 2021.
“Bible in a Year” is a joint venture of Fr. Mike Schmitz and biblical scholar Jeff Cavins, both of whom reside in Minnesota. Fr. Schmitz has been following a 365-day reading plan outlined in Ascension’s “Great Adventure Catholic Bible.”
Episodes typically last 20 to 25 minutes, featuring the day’s readings and a few minutes of reflection from Schmitz. On occasion, typically before a new major theme of readings, Schmitz and Cavins will record a longer episode on historical and scriptural background.
“I’m just reading the Bible to them and trying to proclaim God’s word,” said Schmitz on the virtual call. “And hopefully, God has that word of consolation, that word of encouragement, that word of strength, and they respond in faith.”
Fr. Schmitz added that “through distraction and distress, our culture has lost a hopeful, historical biblical worldview — but by the grace of God, this podcast has helped thousands rediscover it.”
Speaking to National Catholic Register, Cavins said one of the podcast’s aims is to evangelize. He implied that much of its success comes from Catholics sharing it with non-Catholic family and friends.
“We have just thousands of people who shared it with people who weren’t Catholic. And they absolutely loved it,” he said.
The decision to take out a billboard ad in Times Square, where people from all over the U.S. and world are found, is thus the latest step in bringing the Gospel message to as many as possible.
A whopping 330,000 people pass through Times Square on a daily basis, though that number increases to 460,000 on its busiest days, some of which include the peak days of the Christmas season.