We were honored to host the very first priest to bless the Battle Rations podcast, Fr. Claude Burns aka Fr. Pontifex.
It was on phatmass that I first met and developed a friendship with Fr. Burns nearly 20 years ago. In my early twenties, like so many others, I found myself searching for a community of Catholic brothers I could connect with and I eventually found what I was looking for in a special corner of the internet: phatmass.com.
Phatmass was a special place for me. Founded in 2000, phatmass serves as a central hub for Catholics and non-Catholics alike to share stories, latest news and pictures, debate, learn, and most importantly – connect with others…pretty much everything Facebook and social media is today.
Through the efforts of Dustin Seiber aka Dust, phatmass was responsible for producing Massmatics: Catholic Hip-Hop Volume 1. Released in 2001, it was the first Catholic hip-hop compilation album ever created. And Fr. Burns? Not only did he immediately make an impact on phatmass as a Spiritual Director, but he would also be one of the better rappers on the album.
Ordained in 2002, and currently serving as Pastor of two dynamic parishes in Indiana, Fr. Burns has since released 4 albums: Ordained in 2011, The Symphony and the Static in 2013, The Invincibles in 2015, and Letters from the Wasteland in 2017.
It’s clear that Father’s been blessed with the gifts of poetry and song and the way he’s embraced both through hip hop and spoken word continue to inspire. I can testify that – more than once – it’s his art and his creation that has served as my personal battle cry.
In 2012, a video was shared on YouTube called, “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.” A misguided, misinformed, and ultimately – sad response to a complete misunderstanding of religion, the video has nearly 35 million views.
In response to the video, Fr. Burns partnered with Spirit Juice Studios based out of Chicago to record the truth: “Why I love Religion and Love Jesus.” The purpose of the video was to offer a response to the misinformed video from a Catholic perspective, in a spirit of love, but also with a spirit of passion to defend our Mother the Church.
Check it out:
On today’s episode, our conversation includes:
- Why & how Fr. Burns adopted the alias, “Fr. Pontifex”
- How Fr. Burns balances everything in his life, including his priestly vocation, leading two parishes, earning his Master’s Degree, releasing multiple records, and more
- How Fr. Burns’ parents, Scott Hahn’s works, St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, and being in the right place at the right time led to his reversion
- What moved Fr. Burns to pursue the priesthood including his fear of following God’s invitation and being a priest
- Father’s first experiences as he entered Mundelein Seminary
- What Fr. Burns has found in his 16 years as a priest
- How encouraging your priest and giving him the benefit of the doubt is one of the most important and appreciated things you can do
- Fr. Burns’ devotions to St. Padre Pio, St. John Paul II, St. Damien of Molokai and his favorite prayers
- Fr. Burns’ favorite sacramentals including his Total Consecration bracelet, a bracelet that reminds him of being courageous, and his St. Michael ring
To learn more about Fr. Burns aka Fr. Pontifex, visit frpontifex.com.