The Good Word

The Good Word is produced by St. Joseph College Seminary.

About St. Joseph College Seminary
St. Joseph College Seminary is the undergraduate seminary program of the Archdiocese of Chicago, affiliated with Loyola University and located on its Lakeshore Campus. Working together, our faculty, staff and college seminarians create a vibrant community centered in the mind and heart of Jesus Christ. Through programs of spiritual formation, apostolic work and academic study, college seminarians have an opportunity to develop into well-educated, well-balanced Catholic men as they discern their call to serve the Church and society one day as Catholic priests.

College seminarians earn a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Loyola University Chicago in conjunction with requirements of the Program of Priestly Formation. They also earn a special minor degree in communication for the new evangelization.

Visit us to learn more here.

Mary: Christ’s Mother and Our Mother

Thursday, May 3, 2018
On this month’s The Good Word we welcome our very own Fr. Mark Augustine, a formator at St. Joseph College Seminary and the priest advisor to The Good Word, to the show. We begin the show by discussing a little bit about Mary’s role in the history of salvation and of the early Church. Later, we talk about how important of a role model Mary is for each of us, and the unique role she plays for us as Mother of the Church and our own mother. Finally, we conclude by thanking our loyal listeners for their support over the past four years, as this is the last episode of The Good Word. Please see the seminary’s website ( for more information regarding new methods of communication, evangelization, and ministry in which the seminary community hopes to engage next Fall. Thank you.

The Gift of Easter and Divine Mercy

Thursday, April 5, 2018
This month on The Good Word we’re pleased to welcome a member of the Jesuit community at Loyola University, Fr. John Murphy, SJ. At the beginning of the show we explore the earliest origins of Easter and its various traditions. Fr. Murphy and our hosts, Joe Hinderer and Matt Pajor, discuss the importance and significance of the Paschal Candle, as well as what makes the commemoration of Christ’s Resurrection so special at Easter. Finally, we have a chance to hear a little about how time is uniquely sanctified in the octave of Easter, which concludes with Divine Mercy Sunday. Don’t miss out on this informative show!

The Theology & Experience of Lent

Thursday, March 1, 2018
Featured on The Good Word this month, along with our hosts Joe Hinderer and Matt Pajor, is Fr. Ken Simpson, the Vicar for Professional and Pastoral Development of Priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Early on in the season of Lent, we hear from Fr. Ken about the traditions of Lent and why the Church encourages her members to pursue certain penances such as fasting and abstaining from meat. Finally, Fr. Ken, Joe, and Matt discuss some of their own personal Lenten practices and some practical advice for keeping yours. Be sure to listen to this fascinating show!

The Presentation of the Lord: Prophecy, Promise, and Calling

Thursday, February 1, 2018
This month on The Good Word, our hosts Joe Hinderer and Matt Pajor invite seminarians Andres Tejeda and Max Rettler to the show to discuss the beginnings of their vocational callings. As we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, we remember the prophetic words of purpose and calling which Simeon speaks to Mary about herself and her Son, and so too for us does God speak. Andres and Max tell us a little about they have heard the voice of the Lord calling them in their lives, and what it was like to begin the process of priestly discernment in the college seminary program. You won’t want to miss this great show!

The Baptism of the Lord and Doing His Ministry

Thursday, January 11, 2018
As we arrive at the close of the Christmas season, The Good Word invites Fr. Mike Schershel and seminarian Kevin Tanel onto the show to explore the Baptism of the Lord and its meaning for our lives. We hear about the reasons why Jesus was baptized, and learn a little about the origins of the Sacrament in the Church. Later on, Fr. Mike and Kevin share their thoughts and advice for living out our baptismal commitments. Finally, Kevin and our hosts offer their reflections on how their own pastoral work this year is influenced by the Sacrament. Don’t miss this installment of The Good Word!

Advent: Traditions, Christ, and His Mother

Friday, December 1, 2017
Anticipating the beginning of Advent on December 3rd, The Good Word is joined by Fr. Lou Cameli for an in-depth look at the traditions and significance of the liturgical season which prepares us for Christmas. Fr. Cameli and our hosts offer a fascinating look at this history of the season, and some humorous stories of how certain traditions came to be. Later in the show, Fr. Cameli offers his thoughts on the Immaculate Conception, as well as some common misconceptions about the birth of Jesus. Be sure to catch this exciting show!

The Communion of Saints and Saintly Relics

Friday, November 3, 2017
This month the show takes a look at some of the key features of the month of November for Catholics. Remembering that November is sometimes known as “The Month of the Dead,” The Good Word sits down with Fr. Dennis O’Neill to discuss the communion of saints and saintly relics. Fr. O’Neill explains what the communion of saints is, and how it is important for those of us who are part of the Church here on earth. Later, he also tells us about the rich Catholic tradition of relic veneration, drawing on his experience as the pastor of St. Martha Parish, which is home to a collection of over 1500 saintly relics. You won’t want to miss this great show!

Introducing the Liturgical Calendar: Importance and Impact

Friday, October 6, 2017
This educational show features an in-depth look at the importance of the liturgical calendar (our theme for the year). Fr. Dan Flens, Director of Liturgy and Pastoral Formation, joins us for a fascinating explanation of the difference between the secular calendar and the Church’s calendar, showing us how important it is for all Catholics. We also welcome Zel Salazar to the show for the first time, as he explains the joy that comes from being the head sacristan for the seminary chapel. Joe and Matt also discuss what they feel are the most important moments of the calendar for them; come hear what they have to say on this wonderful show!

Good and Holy Discernment: The Call Changes Throughout Our Lives

Friday, September 1, 2017
This exciting show features a look at various stages of discernment from two of our seminarians. Jose Sandoval, a sophomore student who transferred to St. Joseph discusses the beginning of his call to the priesthood, as well as challenges and aspirations for his first year in seminary. Later, our very own Joe Hinderer talks with Fr. Chris Gustafson, the pastor of Our Lady of Ransom, the site of Joe’s summer apostolate. Finally, Joe and Matt have an opportunity to discuss what elements of seminary life have been most impactful for them. You won’t want to miss this great show!

Catholic Schools and Vocations: Involvement and Impact on Discernment

Friday, August 4, 2017
As we begin a new season of The Good Word and look forward to the beginning of the new academic year, we have the chance to learn more about how Catholic Schools can influence a young man’s discernment in profound ways. We welcome Dr. Jim Rigg, Superintendent of the Catholic School System in Chicago, who offers insight into a school’s role in promoting and supporting vocations. Later in the show, we are also joined by Deacon Charlie Plovanich as he shares his story of discernment throughout a lifetime of Catholic education; join us for this fantastic show!

What’s So Scary About Seminary

Friday, June 2, 2017
Why are more young men shying away from seminary than in the past? What is it about seminary that seems to be scaring men away? A lot of misconceptions about seminary and the priesthood. We are joined by Fr. Brett Brannen, author of Who Will Fill These Shoes, a book about discerning diocesan priesthood, to talk about some of these misconceptions and how we can help the young men in our families and parishes answer God’s call with courage and fearlessness.

Behold Your Mother; the Seminarian-Mother Relationship

Friday, May 12, 2017
As we celebrate Mother’s Day on The Good Word, we have an in-depth conversation about the role mothers have played in the discernment of the priesthood. We welcome Michael Lawinger ’17 to the show to hear him talk about his relationship with his mother, Anne Lawinger, who also joins us on the show to share her thoughts on having a son in seminary. We love our mothers at St. Joseph College Seminary, and we definitely our mother Mary as well! Listen to this wonderful show!

Priest as Mentor

Friday, April 7, 2017
A parish priest, a man who himself has gone through seminary, can have an immense impact on a young man’s discernment of the priesthood, especially when that priest is a young man’s pastor. Chicago seminarian Micah Ventura ’19 joins Matt and guest host and producer Adam Gonzalez on the show along with his pastor, Fr. Rich Simon, to talk about how they have built a relationship through the years that helped make decide to come to seminary. Listen, also, to hear more about the wonderful vocations event, Who Will Fill These Shoes, happening at St. Joseph College Seminary on Saturday, April 29th. It’s sure to be an exciting show!

Spirituality in the Seminary

Friday, March 3, 2017
While seminarians are quite busy studying, doing acts of service, and building a meaningful community, our day is structured around growing closer to Christ through everything we do, but especially through prayer. Hear from Rickie Jacob ’18 about the blessing spiritual formation at St. Joe’s has been, and Fr. Bob Flack, Director of Spiritual Life, about how he helps the seminarians to always keep Christ as their center. This is definitely an enriching show!

All in the Family; A Look at Community Life in College Seminary

Friday, February 3, 2017
Why is it so important for seminarians to live in community? What is it like living with other men discerning the priesthood? These and many other questions about the community life at St. Joseph College Seminary will be answered in this show! Our hosts are joined by Wally Ferrara ’17 and Joshua Abraham ’20, two of our Peer Ministers, to hear about their experience in the community and the special role they play in helping bring the seminarians together.

The Alumni Show

Friday, January 6, 2017
Hosts Joe Hinderer and Matt Pajor welcome back two St. Joseph College Seminary and The Good Word alumni, Hank Lyon '16 and Theo McManigal '16. Hear what they have to say about their decision to come to St. Joe's, what they learned while they were here, and how they've taken that into Mundelein Seminary. This is a fun show that you'll want to hear!

It’s All Academic Part II: The Core and Beyond

Friday, December 2, 2016
We’re back to talk more about the intellectual formation our young men receive at St. Joseph College Seminary. Hear from Joyce Knight, assistant dean of Loyola University’s College of Arts and Sciences, and Seminarian Andy Matijevic about the exciting opportunities our students have to study at a top-notch university. Listen now!

All About Academics Part I: Philosophy

Friday, November 4, 2016
Ever wonder what seminarians study in college and why? Hear from Ariel Orozco, junior at St. Joseph College Seminary, about his time studying philosophy and how it has changed the way he thinks about things, including his vocation. Also, hear from Dr. Alberto Bertozzi, philosophy instructor at Loyola University, about why philosophy is an important area of study and what he enjoys about teaching seminarians. All this and more in the first part of this series on academics. Stay tuned for part two!

Duty to God and Country: The Boy Scouts of America and the Seminary

Friday, October 14, 2016
Believe it or not, there is a very important connection between scouting and vocations to the priesthood. Today, Joe and Matt talk with two living examples of that connection: Fr. Mark Augustine, formation director and assistant director of vocations at St. Joseph College Seminary, and Dominic Lazzaroni, a freshman seminarian from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. We also hear from John Panek, an active scout leader and member of the Chicago Catholic Committee on Scouting, about the religious formation that the Boy Scouts offer to young men. You won’t want to miss this!

A Shepard’s Heart; Pastoral Formation at the College Seminary

Friday, September 2, 2016
An integral part of priestly formation is in forming men into servant-leaders. Hosts Joe Hinderer and Matt Pajor sit down with Fr. Dan Flens, director of Pastoral Formation at St. Joe’s, and Benjamin Grey, junior from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, to talk about the various aspects of pastoral formation, both during the academic year and during summer break. Tune in for all of this and for conversation on a very special event that took place this summer and how it fits into pastoral formation.

The Quigley Scholars Show

Friday, August 5, 2016
What does the Archdiocese of Chicago offer for young men in high school thinking about seminary? The Quigley Scholars Program. New hosts Joe Hinderer (’19) and Matt Pajor (’19) chat with Fr. Mike Scherschel, director of recruitment at St. Joseph College Seminary, as well as Jorge Quiroz and Gabriel Donnelly, two Quigley Scholars, to talk about the program and the wonderful things it is doing for young men from across the Archdiocese.

Our Fathers

Friday, June 3, 2016
Join us this month to celebrate Fathers! Theo and Dylan sit down with their Dads and ask for their perspective on what it’s like to have a son in seminary. Hear what these inspiring Fathers have to say about the joys of fostering their children’s vocations, and how children begin their journey with Christ at home.

You Did It for Me: The Corporal Works of Mercy

Friday, May 13, 2016
Dylan and Theo are talking about the Corporal Works of Mercy this month. Hear from two of St. Joe’s very own freshmen, Matt Pajor and Joe Hinderer, about their work with the poor. Matt talks about how he joined forces with Holy Trinity Mission to provide some of the homeless of Chicago with a much needed but often forgotten item essential during the winter. Joe talks about his experiences of helping the poor in several ways while at St. Joe’s and how that has shaped his world view. Also, hear the big news that Theo and Dylan have to share at the end of the show about The Good Word!

Studying the Catholic Faith

Friday, April 1, 2016
This month Dylan and Theo dive into the exciting studies of Catholicism. They not only look at the teachings of our faith, but how Catholicism has impacted literature, philosophy, art, culture, and much more. Hear from Dr. Michael Murphy from Loyola University of Chicago who helped developed the Catholic Studies Minor at Loyola, which engages students in the various subjects influenced by our faith. Theo and Dylan sit down with their brother seminarian, Michael Malucha, who sits on the Student Advisory Board for the Minor. They chat about what they have learned from the minor and from their discussions with other Loyola students about their faith. You won’t want to miss this month’s latest installment of “The Good Word”!


Friday, March 4, 2016
Dylan and Theo sit down with Sr. Alicia Torres, Franciscan sister of the Eucharist, who was the winner of the Thanksgiving special episode of Food Network’s Chopped. Hear about her adventures on set and what it was like to compete on a national television show. It’s amazing what wonderful and unexpected adventures God takes us on when we trust in Him! Also, hear about the fun that St. Joe’s seminarians cooked up as a special tribute to Sr. Alicia’s victory.


Friday, February 12, 2016
Join Theo and Dylan this month as they chat with Fr. Richard Simon, a.k.a. Rev. Know-It-All. Learn how Fr. Simon felt God calling him to the priesthood. Fr. Simon then shares with Dylan and Theo his tips and joys of being both a Pastor and the host of his very own radio show, “Fr. Simon Says.” Finally, hear what it was like to be in the seminary during the 60s from Fr. Simon himself.


Friday, January 8, 2016
Join Theo and Dylan as they speak with the Daughters of St. Paul. Hear how Sr. Jackie and Sr. Catherine Roberts responded to God’s invitation to evangelize through the media. Learn how they have been sharing their talents at the Pauline Bookstore on Michigan Ave, and the ministry the Daughters of St. Paul carry out throughout the world. Celebrating their 100th anniversary this past year, learn about their order’s history and inspirational founder, Bl. James Alberione.


Friday, December 4, 2015
Hear from Chicago’s very own Fr. Greg Sakowicz about his journey from the pulpit into the studio. Plus Dylan and Theo get his impressions on Pope Francis and how he has engaged the world through the media. Finally, catch Dylan and Theo’s reactions to the Pope’s visit to America, and how Pope Francis’s example has motivated them.


Friday, November 13, 2015
Why study philosophy? Hear what Ruben Chaidez, a senior at St. Joe’s has to say as he starts his fourth year studying philosophy. Then hear what the experts think. Dylan talks with Fr. James Murphy SJ who teaches philosophy at Loyola and is an accomplished writer. Still not satisfied? Theo and Dylan discuss some compelling reasons for why philosophy is not just important for seminarians, but for everyone!


Friday, October 2, 2015
Learn how our seminarians are exploring new ways for sharing the Good Word. John Pham, St. Joe’s Digital Content Producer, joins Theo and Dylan to discuss his interest in communications, and how he’s been bringing social media into the seminary. Then, Dr. Don Heider—Dean of the School of Communication at Loyola—talks with Dylan about the communications minor he designed for seminarians. Then hear how Dylan and Theo are developing their own communication skills in creative and interesting ways.


Friday, September 4, 2015
Theo and Dylan talk about how mentors support us in our lives, and how we are formed to be mentors to others through our own life experiences. Hear from Fr. Peter Snieg, Rector of St. Joseph College Seminary, on how his variety of ministries within the Archdiocese has shaped him to be a mentor to others. Get an insight into spiritual direction from Fr. Bob Flack, SJ about the wonder of walking with someone as a spiritual mentor. Then hear from the priest who walked with our beloved Cardinal George for twelve years of his life, Fr. Dan Flens. Hear about his new assignment and his new role as a mentor to others.


Friday, August 7, 2015
Recent graduate Melvin Paul talks about his evangelization project which brought seminarians and Loyola college students to the hungry and homeless in downtown Chicago. Then Sr. Alicia Torres of the Franciscans of the Eucharist talks about her journey from Loyola University to the convent and into the inner city. Finally, Theo, Dylan and Carlos share their own insights and experiences of working with those in need as part of their life at St. Joe's.


Friday, June 5, 2015
Theo, Dylan and Carlos discuss the role of their fathers in their lives. The guys also talk with seminarian Adam Gonzalez and his father Deacon Joe Gonzalez. Hear what it's like for both a father and son to discern a religious vocation and even one day possibly share in the sacrament of Holy Orders.


Friday, May 1, 2015
St. Joseph graduates Fr. Pawel Komperda ('02) and Dominic Clemente ('12) join Theo, Dylan and Carlos to talk about their time in the college seminary when it was located in Campion Hall on the campus of Loyola University. Hear what seminary life was like during those years and what they valued about their time at St. Joe's. Learn what helped shaped them into who they are today.


Friday, April 3, 2015
Monsignor Dennis Lisle and Mr. Mike O'Neill--graduates of Niles College--join Theo and Dylan to compare notes about the college seminary then and now. Niles College closed in 1994 when the college seminary was moved to the lakeshore campus of Loyola University and renamed St. Joseph. Learn what's the same and what's different.


Friday, March 6, 2015
Dylan talks with Loyola student, Nicholas Albin, about why he's currently discerning priesthood for the Society of Jesus. Afterward, Theo interviews fellow seminarian Israel Jimenez who has been spreading the word about a new website created by St. Joseph College Seminary: Finally, Theo and Dylan react to some of the interesting stories and content on this website, which provides a forum for what's on the minds of Chicago priests.


Friday, February 13, 2015
This month on The Good Word, we talk to Fr. Steve Bauer and Hank Lyon and how each made the transition from a college campus to the seminary. Hank is now a Junior at St. Joseph and Fr. Steve is a formator for the seminary. Fr. Steve will explain how his own life experiences have also helped him to minister to college students, as well as help people discern their vocation. Hank talks about his own college experience and his transition into St. Joseph College Seminary. Finally we will hear Dylan and Theo talk about a retreat they were both able to experience. All this and more on the Good Word.


Friday, January 2, 2015
We usually look pretty hard at our lives at the beginning of the year to see what we should do to change or improve. We do this for our bodies and minds, but also need to do it for our soul. There’s nothing healthier than the hope and grace that comes from being forgiven and forgiving others.In the studio this show is seminarian Oswald Avile who grew up here in Chicago at Assumption parish. We’ll talk about the success of his senior project, which was to address the powerful role that healing and reconciliation bring not only to our spiritual life but psychologically, too. Fr. Arturo Perez pastor at Assumption Parish and Director of Kolbe House—will join us. Jesus told us when we visit people in prison, we visit him. Fr. Perez will take us into the little known world of prison ministry at Cook County Jail and the power the gospel has to set prisoners free.


Friday, December 5, 2014
In this episode, Dylan Conover talks with seminarian Nick Baumgartner about why he felt college students could benefit from knowing what the Church teaches about our Blessed Mother.Then, Theo McManigal chats with Fr. Jim Presta about Marian devotions. Fr. Presta is Vice-Rector of Mundelein Seminary and an expert and professor in the field of Mariology.Finally, the conversation gets going as Dylan and Theo share their own thoughts and perspectives about why it’s important to have healthy relationships with women on and off campus.


Friday, November 14, 2014
Senior Matthew Montgomery and Deacon Glenn Tylutki join hosts Theo McManigal, Dylan Conover and Hernan Cruz for a lively discussion on why it's important to spread the news about respecting the body after death. Then, Theo and Hernan talk about parish priests who have encouraged them to consider priesthood and fill their shoes one day. The "Who Will Fill These Shoes" event will take place November 28 at Mundelein Seminary.


Thursday, September 25, 2014
In our premeire show, discover how producing a radio show and being a seminarian go hand in hand, why the Rector at St. Joe's is encouraging seminarians to stay connected on-line, and what college seminarians are looking forward to in the new Archbishop of Chicago.