Co-hosting “In the Heartland”


Bishop Pates, Cardinal Arinze and myself after the show. Photo by Lisa Bourne


Nicholas and Dad in 2009. Photo by Lisa Bourne

When I lived in Iowa, I served for three years as a co-host on a weekly radio show with Bishop Richard Pates which was aptly called, “In the Heartland with Bishop Pates.” The show was a real growing experience for me. I had zero interest in being a co-host when the Bishop asked me, but was grateful for the opportunity.

There were some embarrasing moments and some euphoric moments. Among the high points were interviews with the late Francis Cardinal George, Francis Cardinal Arinze, JP2’s close friend Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, and the day when my son Nicholas came to co-host with me at the Iowa State Fair while Bishop was away. My most embarrasing moment was on our fourth show, when Bishop Pates spontaneously asked me to explain my doctoral dissertation to listeners. I was thrilled as I had defended only a few weeks before. As I began to describe the dissertation thesis, the Bishop began to make frantic hand gestures toward me. Later I would discover that he was attempting to tell me I was speaking too loudly. Because his animated gestures continued throughout my whole explanation, anyone listening would have wondered how I got a PhD.

One of my favorite shows was a 2012 interview we did with a friend of mine, Dr. Damon Cudihy, Ob/Gyn. His personal story is a stark witness to the real costs associated with accepting and carrying out his call to holiness as a Catholic layman striving for moral and professional excellence. He’s a personal hero of mine. And he’s got an amazing family.

I include here the first 15-minute segment of the show. Pray for him and his family. Here’s his private practice in Louisiana. Listen here:

2 comments on “Co-hosting “In the Heartland”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Wow! Dr. Cudihy’s testimony and faithfulness are extremely powerful. I love that it was while he was sitting on the fence about becoming an OB/GYN that God used his colleague’s words intended to discourage him as a powerful confirmatory call to this practice. It seems to me to say so much about God’s love that he would help Dr. Cudihy to have a foretaste of the cross and the challenges he would face and also about Dr. C’s extraordinary character to have responded as he did. Incredible. I am just humbled to dust thinking of his courage and faithfulness.

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I will remember to pray for Dr. Cudihy and all the health care and other professionals who are powerfully standing up for life for the love of God and His most vulnerable in the face of persecution and ostracization. Wow. I am so moved by this! I’m shaking. Dr. Tom, please pray for me that I could be so bold and courageous in defending life and truth with love in the face of detractors. I fail miserably.


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