So someone posted this earlier today on the Facebook page for The Catholics Next Door, which is a show I co-host with my wife that we rebooted as a podcast when our satellite radio show ended in October 2012:
“I am personally glad your show is off the air. The way you talked and treated alot of people was just down right rude and arrogant. When you started getting rid of people off your FB because you only wanted people on there that were only friends or ones you met was the last straw for most. You don’t make friends that way or keep a show but then I don’t think you are trying to make friends or be friendly which is probably why your show was not so popular and thus ended up off the channel. Your wife on the other hand every one found kind and enjoyable to listen to. She we miss.”
My initial response was, “Wow. Considering our show went off the air two years ago, I’m not sure what compelled you to write this now. I’m sorry if I (Greg) offended you so deeply.”
And that’s true. I am truly sorry for all the times I offended people.
But the rest of my response to this is varied and conflicted. I’m conflicted because I’ve tried hard over the last couple years to keep my mouth shut about the way our show ended on satellite radio, as well as our overall experience on satellite radio and how we were expected to act. I try to keep my mouth shut mostly because it’s the right thing to do, but other times I feel the need to set the record straight as there are still many misconceptions people have about how and why our radio show ended. I recently listened to a recording of our very last broadcast and couldn’t make it all the way through. A lot of listeners called in on that program, upset that our show was being cancelled, and we told them, “No, it’s okay, don’t blame anyone.” I can’t speak for Jennifer, but that’s not how I actually felt.
Now two years later, this person’s Facebook comment also comes at a time when lately, multiple things have come up in my life that make me think that maybe I should have been more honest not only about how things ended, but how things were when we were on the air.
One thing is the fact that this month does mark two years since our show ended, but also just yesterday I listened to Phil Vischer’s podcast about how he got outed from Big Idea Productions and had to give up control of the Veggietales characters he created in 1990, and I could relate to so much of the pain and anguish he described. Giving up our radio show was not necessarily something we wanted, but we’re glad it happened because God had other things in store for us.
But getting back to the Facebook comment, I don’t begrudge this listener for thinking of me this way, but I would like to clarify a few things. First off, I’m surprised she brought up how we “got rid of people” off of Facebook since we literally did that about five years ago. But in our defense, and to explain what she’s talking about, shortly after our show launched Jennifer and I each suddenly had over 4,000 “friends” on Facebook. Because of this, the statuses in our newsfeed drowned out all news from our actual real-life friends and family. The final straw for me was when a longtime friend not only announced he and his wife were expecting, but were expecting twins. I missed his announcement and subsequent updates for months. Because I don’t like being a slave to Facebook, and because we already had a TCND Facebook page, we removed over 4,000 “friends” from our personal feeds. To this day, I have kept my FB friend count to under 400, and FB is actually interesting and useful again.
Also, I sincerely doubt that us doing that was “the final straw for most.” What we did on FB had nothing to do with why our show was cancelled.
And honestly, to this day, I don’t even know exactly why our show was cancelled, and I’m not even sure what we’re legally allowed to say about the whole thing, which is a major reason why I’ve kept my mouth shut.
I can tell you my suspicion, though, of when it all headed downhill.
It started for me on June 28, 2012 when the Supreme Court came back in favor of Obamacare, which provided no conscience protection for medical care providers. Therefore medical care providers who were against abortion, contraception, and the like could all theoretically be forced to provide these services. This decision was announced within a couple hours of us going on the air, and rather than fake it, we shared our honest disappointment. To us, this decision equated to thousands of more lives that would be destroyed by abortion. That day, several supporters of Obamacare called in and we did indeed get into heated debates on the air.
A couple calls, in particular, did not go well.
That was a Friday, if I recall correctly. That night, Jennifer and I were still stinging from having to talk about that subject on the air. Keep in mind, this was radio and this was breaking news and the expectation given to us was that we would talk about breaking news. That was the job. If we had our druthers, we wouldn’t have talked about it. In fact, when we took the job, we had no idea we’d be expected to talk politics and be responsible for breaking news. Before that we were just goofballs who did song parodies on a podcast. But from day one we were told that that was expected of us, that we would talk about what was current and happening in the world as part of our job, so we did it. “Say what you think, be opinionated.” That was the job.
At this point I’d say, go back and listen to the podcasts we did before radio, then go back and listen to the podcasts after radio. Our podcasts are more who we are. Radio was not. We tried to be real on the radio, but it’s just not possible because every three minutes we’d have to remind you of our names, and the channel, and what we were talking about, and we couldn’t really just be us. On the podcast, we’re as goofy or serious or stupid as we want to be. That’s Greg and Jennifer.
One time our good friend Jeff told us he didn’t listen to our radio show, though he’d listened to all of our podcasts prior. “It’s just not the same,” he said, and I’ve always respected and appreciated his honesty.
50% of the things we talked about on radio? It was radio. We couldn’t have cared less, but we were paid to have an opinion and to publicly share it, so we did.
On faith issues, it was easy to be passionate, but on politics, not so much. In fact, since our show ended, I can’t think of a single political conversation in which I’ve engaged for two years now. I just don’t enjoy it, which is why I was always so annoyed when someone accused me of wanting to be another Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh. I just wanted to be Greg Willits from the Rosary Army podcast.
Going back to that Friday, we’d had a new boss for about three months. That night, just as Jennifer and I were heading out to dinner with our kids, he forwarded to us some scathing emails he’d received about us that day, with a note that just said, “FYI.” And this was some absolutely hateful stuff.
Prior to that, with our original boss, we never once ever received a forwarded piece of hate mail. We got enough sent directly to us. Our original boss knew we didn’t need to receive more. He knew that in radio, especially Catholic radio, you were either too Catholic or not Catholic enough, and people feel like they need to tell you that, but that it wasn’t necessary to read every piece of negative email.
Again, this was a Friday night around 5:30PM, the beginning of the weekend. We started asking questions. Why in the world would our boss feel the need to send that email to us then? Was he trying to ruin our weekend? Was this a message with an agenda?
We were completely perplexed. Around the same timeframe, our friend who watched our daughter told us she wouldn’t be able to anymore.
So now we were getting hate mail forwarded from our boss, the new timeslot we were in was terrible for our children as they didn’t get their mom right away when they got home from school, and now we were going to have to put our daughter in a childcare center for the first time in our parenting lives.
That night, Jennifer started crying. Our family was open for public scrutiny (and still is, based on this Facebook comment).
I asked Jennifer, “Right now, if you could have whatever you want, what would it be?”
She answered right away: “I just want to be with the kids.”
No more deadlines, no more controversial topics, no more expectation to publicly live out our marriage.
A week later we told our new boss, who knew we were struggling mostly with our new timeslot, that if we couldn’t move back to our original 10AM-1PM EST time, that Jennifer would have to leave the show. We’d been asking our employers for six months to make that happen, and we simply were up against a wall. It was terrifying to bring this forward.
We fully expected to be told, “Fine. Your show is over. You’re both fired.”
Instead, blessedly, we were told that the show couldn’t be moved right away, but for me to host solo until the fall, when maybe a change could be made.
So for three months, I flew solo, sitting in a room in our house and talking to myself for three hours a day. When a show was over, I was pretty much useless. Being introverted, and having to expend every ounce of energy sounding upbeat and talking to myself nonstop for three hours a day, took a tremendous toll on me. Again, imagine going into a room with literally no one else there, no producer on the other side of a window, no soundboard operator, no co-host with whom you’d been hosting everything you’d ever hosted for seven years. I was literally sitting in a room above our garage and talking into a microphone for three hours a day.
I don’t blame people for not liking me when I was on the radio, because let me let you in on a secret: I didn’t much like Radio Greg, either. Because Radio Greg felt fake. Radio Greg had to keep the show moving. Radio Greg had to come up with 15 hours of topics every week and felt very, very alone in doing so. Radio Greg did 100% of the show prep, and was responsible for the direction of every show, and if someone didn’t like something Radio Greg did or said, Radio Greg was told what a jerk and how “rude and arrogant” he was. And yes, sometimes Radio Greg lost his patience.
Often, Radio Greg had to pretend to be someone who he is not. I feel like the rebooted TCND podcast is much more honest of who Real Greg is. Real Greg doesn’t have a lot of friends in real life, and never has. That’s not bad, but just how he’s wired. In fact, too many people trying to communicate with Real Greg sends Real Greg into a hole. Real Greg is terrible at answering voicemail messages. Real Greg usually keeps his opinions to himself and likes to sit silently staring out a window. Real Greg likes to read and drink coffee and hang out with cats and sit in the basement painting. He likes public speaking and producing media, too, but not in a way that requires 15 hours of talking and 40 hours of show prep every week.
The Facebook commenter is correct. I didn’t do radio to make friends or be friendly. I did it to share the faith with others, and to provide for my family. Having said that, I did make friends, despite myself.
Do we miss radio? Sometimes yes, but mostly no. Our show was unique in that we truly were a Catholic reality show, 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. We opened up the doors to our home to all of North America every day. Because we had to talk nonstop for 15 hours a week, a lot of the content came from us sharing our family lives. Most people don’t realize the arrangement Jennifer and I had while doing radio. Her focus was caring for the family and she counted on me to do all the prep for the show. A majority of days, she came into the studio about five to ten minutes before we went on the air, I handed her a stack of notes, and she counted on me to lead and she jumped in whenever she was ready. That worked well, but it was also very stressful for me. She made it clear right away that she had no intention or desire to ever host solo, and she never did, despite protests from our employers. I could not make the same declaration.
But the thing we miss the least about radio is the expectation that we’d live out the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony in an extremely public way. We don’t miss having conversations at night after the kids go to bed and saying, “Oh wait, let’s save this for the show.” Now we just live our marriage privately, and we have conversations the way couples are supposed to. And I like that. Because I’m selfish about sharing my wife and I did that for enough years.
I also don’t miss the negativity that was often directed our way from listeners, and a few times even from co-workers. We endured a lot of pain while on radio. There’s one person in particular that I’ve had to go to confession about several times because of the way that person hurt our family in very public ways and never apologized. I don’t miss stuff like that. And I don’t miss daily comments like the one that popped up today on Facebook, daily being told I’m rude and arrogant. I did develop a thicker skin, but you can only take so much of that from fellow Catholics.
I do miss the positive influence we sometimes had on people, though. I miss hearing from people who went to confession or got involved in their parish or with their family because of something we said or did. I miss giving unknown authors and people behind apostolates a way of sharing their work with the world. I miss praying with people on the air (this is one of the things we were told to stop doing, by the way). There are also some co-workers I miss. But, because of the constant painful reminders of what happened to us, I let those co-worker relationships drift away, too, as every time I heard from one of them, I was reminded of the way I was sent to the unemployment line after pouring out my heart, my life, and my very family for over four years, only to lose a job for it.
In September 2012, after hosting the show solo for three months, I wasn’t surprised when we got a call saying our show wouldn’t be moved back to our original time slot, thus Jennifer wouldn’t be coming back on the air, and thus our show was over. I was surprised, however, when I was told that I’d have to continue hosting for the next month solo without telling anyone that the show was ending. That was pretty much one of the top ten worst months of my entire life. I remember getting emails that month from people angry at repeats of the show on days I took a vacation day to go look for new employment. But I couldn’t say anything. The next month, I was hurt again when I learned that reruns of a different show were now airing in the original time-slot we were told was unavailable. So that wasn’t fun.
But, oh well.
This month now marks two years since we went off the show, and as evidenced by this Facebook comment, our time on satellite still haunts us from time to time. People still sometimes feel the need to tell me what a jerk I am, even if it was Radio Greg, a memory growing distant with every day. I can’t say I disagree. I am often a jerk. But I honestly try not to be. I try to honestly care about people. To the friends I have, I try to be a genuinely good friend. I spend my days trying to find ways of improving the lives of others, of bringing them closer to God.
But I’m still sometimes a jerk, despite myself. So let me say again, if you were hurt because you were once on my Facebook “friends” list, and I removed you, I’m truly sorry. If I ever said something on the radio that offended you, I’m truly sorry. If I ever hurt you because I never got around to answering your email, or for any other reason, I’m truly sorry. But if you just don’t like me because you don’t like me, I don’t know what to do with that.
Sometimes people ask me if we’d do radio again. I think Jennifer would automatically say no. I’d say I’d be open to it if I could actually be more like the real me, and if it wasn’t for 15 hours a week. I’d take a weekly show in a heartbeat, and a 1-hour daily would actually be really easy to do.
But Jennifer and I enjoy doing a podcast and the flexibility it offers. We’ve had a lot of family stuff going on recently so we just haven’t recorded anything lately, and we’re fine with that.
We don’t have as many listeners as we used to, but that’s not why we do it. We now have a few thousand listeners that genuinely consider us friends. They listen to every episode. And I daresay we now have very few listeners now that would consider me rude and arrogant. But if they do, perhaps we can grab a beer or cup of coffee together someday and you’d give me the opportunity to change your mind.
Thank you for sharing. I’m glad I got to hear you on the radio when you were on. Your faithful testimony helped me so much. Sorry for the negative experiences and glad you are in a much better place, for you, Jennifer, and your family.
Kristin – Thanks much for the kind words!
Wow, Greg. The hateful things that people say from the safety of their computers is unbelievable. I don’t have satellite radio so I never listened to the radio show, but I’ve enjoyed the Rosary Army podcasts, your appearances on other SQPN podcasts (including Catholic Weekend 🙂 ), and your books. I don’t know you as rude or arrogant, but just as Greg, family man who happens to do media work.
With regards to questioning why the thousands were unfriended on Facebook: I still shake my head at the huge entitlement complex people nowadays seem to have. I understand why one would want to thin out their Facebook friend list; I’ve done the same when I realised I was missing a lot of significant posts from close friends and family. One might say, well, you’re celebrities, and therefore, your life must be an open book to the gawkers. I would disagree with that assessment. People just need to get a life and realise that others have the right to share as much or as little of their lives as they wish, and that no one’s life is really an open book for the entire world to see, celebrity or not.
I have a lot of respect for you, Greg, and I hope that one day, our paths may cross, whether it be at a CNMC or some other related place. Many blessings be upon you and your ministry!
Lyn – I’ve no doubt that some day our paths will indeed cross. Thanks for the years of support.
Thanks for sharing. I know the radio experience had its ups and downs for you, but honestly, a little part of me was glad when the show went off the air. I came to Rosary Army late, but eventually listened to all the podcasts. I listen to the TCND reboot. But frankly, the radio show was like listening to totally different people, not the folks that I laughed and cried with. For totally selfish reasons, I’m glad you’re back.
Doug – You’re a superstar to have gone back to listen to all those podcasts! Glad you’re enjoying the new stuff. So am I.
I loved your show – it was my first experience of the Catholic Channel. I mainly listened on long car trips. I didn’t become a regular listener until you were off the air, but I was disappointed that your show was ending. There have been recent changes, including the cancelling of another spouse teamed show that was, in my opinion, the best show currently on the channel. I think that married Catholic perspective is important and one that is now largely missing from the channel. They have also rearranged the time slots such that one show replays during the entire time I can normally listen (morning and early afternoon). I know I am not the only one unhappy – I may cancel my Sirius subscription over it. I never heard “Radio Greg”, but I appreciated your perspective shared here and wanted to let you know that I enjoyed the show when you were on the air and I miss it. I particularly remember enjoying when you would pray the rosary on the air! God Bless!
Camille, thanks much for sharing this. I don’t have any clue what’s going on with the channel now as our account got cancelled a few months after our show did. 🙂
Thanks for sharing Greg, and I am so sorry to hear you had to go through all that, (and much more, I’m sure). I really enjoyed your show, much more when it was 2 of you. I think you did a great job, it was my favorite show on the channel. Need to learn about podcasts, I guess. God bless all of you, and I’m sure you will be successful in whatever you choose to do.
Nancy – It’s super easy to listen to a podcast, and you can do it directly from http://www.GregandJennifer.com
If you’ve never seen it, check out this video that shows how to listen – http://www.gregwillits.com/how-to-subscribe-to-a-podcast/
I understand completely and know that Real Greg and Real Jennifer have more friends than they think. they have. . 8^)
“Keep the Faith”
Appreciate it, Larry.
Thank you Greg (and Jennifer) for your honesty. Having met and talked with you in person, I think podcast Greg is the real you. I hope our paths cross again,since we are both in the Denver area. God bless you and your family.
Marguerite, thanks for the kind words. And on a personal note, thanks for all you do for the NFP community in Denver!
I thought at the time that Cardinal Dolan and Father Morris were making a pretty huge programming blunder. For a couple years Catholic radio was really good. They haven’t since had the morning to evening quality line up they had before you guys left. I check in from time to time, but they’ve never really recovered and I don’t listen much anymore. Still, the podcast works better for me and I’m glad it works better for you. You do good stuff. Given its timing, I’d say the writer is using your show to vent some other hurt. Sometimes you just have to shake it off and go on.
Bill, thanks for taking the time to listen to the podcast. We’ll get back into the swing of regular shows again soon.
I remember the day I found your show…you were talking about planting trees and your dog digging them up. I laughed so hard I cried as I could relate. I told my family all about you at dinner. I remember when you unfriended us, and I was not the least bit bothered as I understood. I loved when you prayed the rosary and was quite annoyed when you had to stop. Did I always agree with you. No. (Do I always agree with my husband? No!) But, I can appreciate your views and your passion. God has a reason for everything, even if we do not see it at the time. You are where you are supposed to be. I miss hearing you everyday, but I am glad you are happy. Good bless you both.
Cindy – you made me laugh! I forgot all about Jody going after the trees. I might have to go back and try to find that.
In approximately 2008 Satellite radio was a Christmas gift for my desk as any other radio reception was non existent in the building I worked. Within days, I found the Catholic channel. I can very, very much relate to your feelings about “on air Greg” vs. “introverted Greg” as I too, am very introverted. Yet, your passion for God, Jennifer and your children is always genuine. So many of the challenges Jennifer and you shared with us listeners — finding a larger home in Atlanta near a great school only to discover the value of your existing home wasn’t enough, the struggles with the schooling available for your autistic boys, your forays into gardening, your bravery attending Mass as a family, your intense joy during Jennifer’s pregnancy with Ellie and your awe and wonder during adoration. Occasionally I wrote and yes, one time you had the chance to answer and sympathized and offered to keep my family in prayer as we struggled with lung cancer.
The awkwardness you describe yourself feeling on the radio is part of your charm Mr. Willits. And yes, its true, you do better when Jennifer is with you but I am sure you already knew that and that’s a big reason why the two of you are ‘Practicing the sacrament of Matrimony”.
Yes, the station isn’t the same without you. But so much of life is doing our best in the situation we are in now and then doing the best we can in the next and then the next. We keep moving and have to let go of what we can’t control.
But, let me assure you, the impact you made reverberates today. In my own life, I am now teaching catechism, co-facilitating my parish’s brand new 6 week Bereavement Support Group and often think of both of the Willits when I go to adoration.
Many, many times you talked about how Rosary Army survived week to week by donations that would arrive exactly at the right time. Or your struggle to take the much lower salaried job in radio but your conviction that God had led you to that choice. Similarly, in my life as a caregiver I felt led at the perfect timing of a specialist in the next room, a stranger in a SSDI office instantly wielding the Red Tape Scissors, or a Hospice home aide who went above and beyond to make sure this sick man he had just met was bathed and in clean clothes because family was due in town in just hours .
The frustrations and heartbreaks mask the journey towards the next challenge until we look backwards. You did the best you could. And you know, Jennifer did too.
It’s so hard to hear criticism. Why someone would wait 2 years makes me wonder but its obvious they listened at least to a couple of dozen shows. It’s hard to know that you can’t please all the people all the time. Your post today is thoughtful, fair and calm. I remember a time on your show when you were justifiably angry because a listener had criticized Jennifer. Its a testament how we will vehemently defend others yet not ourselves.
You won’t have to change my mind but next time we’re both in the same part of town, I’ll take you up on that offer of coffee.
Kaye – You’ve no idea how much I appreciated this.
Sorry I called Lily by the wrong name. Please consider it a senior moment!
I knew who you were talking about 🙂
Dear Greg & Jennifer . Wow! I never knew you were under such stress – especially since it was a “Catholic Channel”, and you were both so good. I loved your show, and I could listen to it while on my way to my volunteer position with Birthright – a pro-life national organization. You had so much going, and you took calls, you talked with people, you had time for family – which I surely thought was awesome. Jennifer wanted to be a mom -and be there for your children. I admire that.
As mentioned before, I am not that happy with Catholic channel anymore. The programs on Catholic channel were the reason I came to really like Sirius. Now not so much. It is not as much fun anymore, and taking away several good Catholic couple shows does not help either.
Guess everything has to have politics involved in some way. And sometimes those politics are unfair. It makes me happy to hear you like where you are at this time in your lives. You have heard me say before how much I like Colorado – though it is becoming congested more all the time too. So I will stay contented in my little community in ND. I also say your aunt here not long ago.
I do miss your show, and I am glad to catch you occasionally on FB. Four thousand (4000) “friends” on FB??? No way can you be expected to maintain that volume. You had the courage to downsize. God bless you both and your family. May you continue to succeed in your present spot in this vast crazy loud world – where people can be so crude, and yes hateful because they hide behind the cover of their words. No face to face challenges. That is the way of a coward.
I’m kind of jealous of your little community in ND. 🙂
I loved listening to you and was sad, first when they changed your time slot, and then when you went off the air. You always made my day and you truly did and do, what God asks, to spread the Gospel. I wish you all the best and hope you have found what makes you happy.
Thanks, Susan! Good to hear from you again.
Let me begin by saying that I listened to you and Jennifer from day 1 on the radio. Loved every minute of it! Never once did I get the feeling that you were rude. I always felt like a friend and was amazed at the similarities of our families. Our children are almost identical in age (with the exception of Lily). I loved hearing about your family. I loved learning more about my Catholic faith.
I am truly sorry that you are still dealing with hate 2 years later. I understand how hard that is. My oldest child was bullied at school, to the point that we pulled him out and have been homeschooling for the 5 years. After 2 years we had a child approach our son and say he was still the most hated boy in the 8th grade. Very hurtful and not necessary.
Please remember that not everyone feels hurtful and hateful toward you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us..
Carrie – First off, wow! Thanks for the years of listening and support. That should get you some time out of purgatory. 🙂
Secondly – I hate hearing stories of bullying and am so, so, so sorry you are dealing with that in your own family. I’ll never understand how people develop characters that can be so spiteful.
Your post makes me very sad. I loved the program you and Jennifer had on satellite radio and miss it still. All the best to you and your family.
Betty – I didn’t mean to make you sad! And I hope I didn’t make it sound like all of our experience was difficult. There were definitely huge blessings as a result of the show and I certainly don’t want to minimize those.
I enjoyed your show. I cancelled my satellite radio subscription because I didn’t feel comfortable supporting other shows that didn’t fit my Cathilic values. I missed some of the shows like yours. Many Cathilics miss out because they can’t afford cable and satellite service. I pray that a Catholics will build stations on am and fm radio and on antennae television . I cancelled all my cable and satellite services and no longer have the negativity in my life. God bless you and your wife.
James, just keep praying that people with the wallets will pay for those services and the people with the talent will show up to run them!
Greg, after reading this I have a great deal of mixed emotions. First and foremost, it’s important to remember all good things come to an end. And the radio show was an amazing evangelical event. I am sad a really good thing has caused you pain, and a senseless person on Facebook opened wounds. But God calls us to do uncomfortable things, and sharing God’s love 15 hours a week to North America shouldn’t be viewed as a low point (even with office politics)! I always found strength in your honesty about married life, sharing the birth of your daughter and all the other crazy things we everyday Catholics deal with. My guess is you miss it, because you know you made a difference.
For me, I find the Catholic Channel very vanilla now. But if it makes a difference, you helped this truly quiet introvert do something way outside my personal comfort zone. And that was creating videos for our Church. You answered a few of my e-mails (not all), and that outcome was amazing. If I recall, our efforts landed us in Chapter One of your most recent book!!
So I am not suprised at the underscore of your story, the politics of radio and office dealings; humans are stupid sinners.
But as Catholics, we need to endure. Sucks to work in the Church Office, sucks to be a deacon with no pay, sucks to be on the financial council for a school that can’t pay it’s bills. It sucks doing the right thing… And on that day, when Obama Care was solidified; you all did the right thing.
If you get the chance to do radio again, I hope you both consider it. It’s hard I am sure, but you were real.
So there.. Get over yourself and keep making a difference. Because you impact people, and you can’t do that hiding in your house with the cat!
God Bless – Bob from Bettendorf, IA
Thanks for the encouragement, Bob. Nevertheless, I’m going to keep trying to figure out how to impact people while also hiding in my house with a cat. 😉
Dear Greg and Jennifer,
I was a loyal listener to you on the Catholic Channel. Bought both of your books while I was listening and have continued with the podcast.
I am sorry that there are people so full of anger out there as demonstrated by that post. We need to pray for Peace for these people.
I think that you guys did a great job and I was extremely upset and disappointed when your show was cancelled. I knew that it was not your decision but God leads us where he feels we need to be.
I am not going to reiterate the course of the channel since you left but suffice it to say that they are under addressing marriage, female voice and family overall.
Sounds like you were lucky to be out of a toxic environment and you and Jennifer have always kept your family front and center. I commend you on that.
Know that there are people out there who benefited from TCND ministry on the radio. I, for one, miss the time you were on the air.
Prayers and blessings to you and your family!
Denise, thanks for your kind words. Let’s keep the channel in our prayers no matter what.
I’m sure its incredibly frustrating to still be receiving hatemail all this time later!
Always enjoyed your show on the ole satellite radio. I discovered it one day and made it a point to listen on a regular basis (travel a lot for work).
What you and Jennifer brought was a unique perspective to the channel and to radio in general. It was a way to look into what a Catholic family is with the challenges facing you from day to day, week to week et al.
It’s funny, when you would go on about politics on the show, is when I least liked the show, get it now when it was forced by the bosses! The non political segments were much, much better!
Everything happens for a reason, glad all is well with you and your family in Denver.
Talking about politics was also what I liked least 🙂
Greg and Jennifer,
I could go on and post a long, long post about how grateful I am for those four years of your show, but I’ll just say this: because of you two, I now pray the Rosary every day and have been doing so for almost three years. Thank you.
Now I need to find those podcasts. I miss you guys!!!
Michelle – YES! You need to find the podcasts! You can listen directly from our website at http://www.GregandJennifer.com. Just click an episode, go to the very bottom and look for the triangular PLAY button. Click it. That’s all! I think you’ll enjoy them much more than the radio show.
Wow! Sorry to hear about this-I can truthfully say I never once heard you being rude in any context!
I “discovered” Catholic New Media in late 2007 after seeing Fr. Roderick on EWTN- which led me to listen to the Daily Breakfast and Rosary Army, as well as Catholic in a Small Town, the Saint Cast and Catholic Under the Hood (memory lane, huh?) . I even had the pleasure of eventually meeting all of you from the different shows at CNMCs! I am so appreciative of your work for SQPN and was happy for you when new opportunities came. It is indeed sad that your radio show had to end that way. I think the Catholic Channel has unfortunately just lost some if its focus. Thanks for posting your thoughtful response to that email and best wishes for the future!
Hey Mary, good to hear from you! And yes, I miss Catholic Under the Hood (Father Seraphim – WHERE ARE YOU?)!
I am so sorry that someone could be so rude to you. I know I didn’t write the comment but there is no reason to verbally assault you and it makes me sad that a Catholic could act so poorly. Obviously this person has issues beyond what she stated in the email since she waited 2 years to send it to you. Don’t take her email to heart.
Your show entered into my life and helped me and countless others find our way through the faith in a family atmosphere. You and Jennifer made us feel like we were sitting in your little room with you and I want to thank you for the impact you have made. Mother Mary obviously knew that you would help gather the sheep for her beloved Son. You also helped her gather me to Jesus via consecration. I know a peace and love that I never thought possible.
May God bless you and your family.
Teresa, when I hear people have made their consecration after hearing us talk about it, that is one of the most satisfying things I ever hear. Congrats for doing that!
I’m so glad that y’all we on the radio, that’s where I found you! I was sad when you left, but I love the podcasts so much! I have learned so much from y’all.
Greg, I’m an introvert as well and have had plenty of my own “hate mail” from people, even family members, over the years. So I feel your pain! And I think you do a fantastic job, radio and podcast! 🙂
We had a miscarriage around the same time y’all had that you talked about on the radio and I felt like I had a friend who completely understood what I was going through and it helped so much, so thank y’all for being so open and honest and being you!
And PS my kids and I love the Rosarycast Scriptural Rosary, so thanks so much for that too!! 🙂
Erin, I hate to hear that you’ve had to deal with nasty letters, too, but I always enjoy hearing from fellow introverts.
Sorry to hear about your miscarriage, as well. It always amazes me how many people have reached out to us over the years because of that common suffering.
I really enjoy the new podcast. It does not matter if it comes out every week. You have a full time job and a family to help raise. You will never be able to please everybody and if you are able to help one person then it will all be worth it. Glad to have you here in Colorado.
Tim, thanks for being patience with us! And we’ll try our best to get a batch of new shows out soon!
Wow. I’m not sure what to say, except a huge Thank You. Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing so much of yourself, both here and in your shows. Thank you for persevering through some truly difficult situations. Thank you for years of *great* radio and *great* podcasts that have entertained and inspired. And thank you for lighting a fire under this little, rural pastor to get much more involved in ministry through new media. Thank you!
And thank *you* for listening and answering God’s call in more ways than one!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I loved your show. I loved your book.
When I moved into my new parish in 2009 and got a car with XM Radio, I quickly found the Catholic Channel and your program. I listened whenever I was in my car and enjoyed you and Jennifer do your thing. Yes, the format was distinctly different from your podcasts. But, I understood that. I was proud to know that you were now reaching so many people and sharing your faith. As it would turn out, the Catholic Channel was was the only station among the hundreds available that I listened to. Along with Lino Rulli and Cardinal Dolan , you and Jennifer brought Catholic media to a new level of realism. However, when finally your show ended, I canceled my XM subscription. It was hard to describe why I did it, but looking back and reading this blog entry, I think I can say that your show was the glue of normal Catholic life that kept everything else in perspective and in balance on the station. Think of it, how many married couples actually do national shows and have a family without farming them out to daycare? How many shows, in general, have a Catholic couple sharing their faith which never deviates from Church teaching?
I was also proud to hear you speak up about the controversial issues; You were right on target regarding the HSS Mandate controversy as well as other issues that you had to speak on. Given that it was breaking news, you handled yourself well. It is a heated topic. I don’t know when I have ever heard from a Catholic on a national media venue so passionately defend the faith so well. Both of your perspectives made it even more powerful. Clearly, your faith was and is before politics. Bravo!
I applaud your decision to put your wife and children before the radio show! I must admit, of course, having begun podcasting around the same time as you two and being a long time subscriber to the Rosary Army Podcast, I was and continue to be biased. I just think you guys are just wonderful. I was thrilled to learn about your moving West and becoming the Director of the Office of Evangelization & Family Life Ministries. The Archdiocese of Denver struck it rich when they found you, Greg! Keep up the good work, and pardon if this dates me, but… keep it real, dude!
Fr. Bill, though we haven’t talked in years, I’ve always appreciated your friendship and this meant a great deal to both of us.
I enjoyed your show. I liked hearing your stories about your struggles – your real struggles. Losing your patience, getting excited over a topic, stories about your children, issues with employment, the never-ending balancing acts — your common themes all revealed your devotion and love for God. And above all, you were always HONEST. That is a rare gem in media nowadays. Keep up with good work!!! Find your niche and keep on sharing all your creativity. And remember, we should not be overly concerned of how others judge us – but we should consider what God thinks of our actions. I wish the two of you and your entire family nothing but the best.
Dr Cheryl Lango Mader
Dr. Cheryl, I think your second and third sentence summed up exactly what we were trying to achieve. Thank you for listening and for that acute synopsis.
Greg, I truly loved your show and could relate to so many of the thing you two discussed. You two did a great job every day and I used to marvel that with your large family and working out of the house, that you were able to come across as sincere each and every day. I used to wonder if those 3 hours were in some way a respite from the daily grind, forgetting that it was not just a 15 hour a week gig. The channel is definitely not the same without TCND.
Don’t let the negative people rattle your cage. You and Jennifer gave much to many and now channel that love and integrity in other ways. Many blessings to you and your family
Thank you, Gina, for your very kind words.
Wish I had a life so devoid of daily strife that I could take the time to complain about a radio show two YEARS ago!!!! Sheesh, I’m jealous 😉 God loves you and how you serve Him. God loves Captain Complainer too; may He be granted introspection & repentance and peace. And may I be granted an easier life so I too can focus on life’s minor irritations. LOL
I think Captain Complainer would have been a good segment for our radio program.
I can only reiterate what so many have said here before, your radio show was wonderful and your podcasts are wonderful, repeat ad infinitum. When I got the Sirius subscription and I stumbled upon your show, it was unique and unlike anything I had ever listed to, so much so I thought it was all fake and made up. How could a married couple be so funny, so entertaining, so loving, so real and yet be Catholic? Nah, I said, they must be scripted or acting or whatever. Truly, I was that flabbergasted. I was so amazed and intrigued and heartened when I found out it was all real. I became a true Greg and Jennifer junkie.
After reading this post, all I can say is wow. You’d guys were really mishandled by the powers that be over at the Catholic Channel. And I get the sense there’s a lot more you are not saying. You’ve shown admirable restraint and professionalism and I commend you for it. I guess I will have to wait for the tell all book written by your adult kids after you become rich and famous, to find out what REALLY happened!
Mari, this cracks me up. If someone had written a script only to create a couple like us, they’d need to consider another career choice!
Wow! So sorry to hear of the negativity expressed towards y’all. I can say that I truly miss having the CND on the Catholic Channel. You definitely helped me at a dark time in my life. Our oldest was diagnosed with ASD about the time I started listening to you. And I have to say you and Jennifer gave me hope that the diagnosis was not a bad thing. Listening to your family adventures made my life more “normal”. I called in a few times and was always treated respectfully. Now that I have 2 officially diagnosed ASD, I often think of y’all and wonder how the boys are doing. I’ve never been into podcasts, but I will have to go hunt yours down. I pray that God continues to lead you down His path for you. Just know that along the journey there are many that you touched in a personal way.
The catholic channel hasn’t been the same since your show was canceled! It was hands down the ABSOLUTE best show on the catholic channel and I miss it everyday! I’m so sad to hear the way you were treated, especially by fellow catholics. I need to subscribe to your podcast.
Hi Maureen! Yes, please go check out the show and let me know if you have any difficulty in listening. I’d be glad to help.
Oddly, I don’t think I’ve listened to more than one of your podcasts, but I think I heard most of your radio show! I know I missed most of your tough last month, but for the most part, I was a regular.
Despite your own misgivings, I loved your show. It was fantastic hearing from other Catholic people…real people…about how they live their Cathloic lives, raise Catholic kids, and get by in a tough world. You and Jennifer were often a daily inspiration for me. Thank you for that.
I know the hate-mail is hurtful, but don’t sweat it. You’ve done far too much good to let some bad mojo get you down.
Good luck and God bless your family. I know He does.
Time to go get caught up on the real TCND….
Hey Kent, appreciate the kind words. And like I’ve said to others, if you liked the radio show, you’ll probably really like the podcast. Let us know what you think.
Dear Greg – I’m late to the party on this thread, but no less blown away, as are the others who really adored TCND. I became a TCND “junkie” too … fitting you in at lunch time. Now that you have a podcast, it’s so much easier to catch up and be blessed and encouraged – often as I start my work day I can play the latest podcasts. On the radio, you were opinionated; aren’t we all? On the radio, your passion for Catholicism and raising a great family in the face of public and media pressures to be “ordinary” was insightful and encouraging.
You and Jennifer and the kids were and are amazing! As another true-blue introvert with a job that requires the introversion be stuffed down, locked up, and ignored on a daily basis – your pain makes me cry and pray for you. To tell the truth, it always has. Media and being in the public eye is so hard for introverts, and those who bravely slog through, acting “as is” we are extroverts, are simply exhausted. But it’s done out of passion and conviction.
Thanks for letting listeners like myself come to “know” all of you, as much as you could. I had no right to expect that of you, but, Boy Howdy!, did I ever gain blessings, grace opportunities, and Catholic knowledge. I don’t think anyone has mentioned this – you and Jennifer are fonts of information and knowledge about Catholicism. Thanks to you both, despite an entirely Catholic education (from birth through college), I finally learned about and even bought a catechism and a concordance! I’m just saying, your passion and knowledge made an impact – and still does. Look at the ways you reach out and Evangelize. That’s amazing and so are you both. You’re travelling the world, fulfilling dreams for Jennifer, and your audiences!
I haven’t had the opportunity to talk about you, not Radio Greg, but Artist Greg. What amazing new ways to spread the faith!
Yes, I miss you on the radio. Yes, I love the new podcasts. Yes, I’m a better Catholic due to the two of you. Yes, I wish people were more open-minded! Yes, I wish you knew what you gave to all of us as a model for really defending, teaching, living, and exploring the faith. Yes, you show(ed) us all how to do that without becoming “sappy,” “plastic,” “scripture parrots,” and “preach-y.” TCND deftly avoided the traps of “Religious Media” by being “real,” “frustrated,” “enthusiastic,” and yes, “opinionated.”
Your faith has led you to a position where “Real Greg” is best, clearly. I’m so happy for you and the family! Just remember what you would tell folks on TCND, maybe not directly, but clearly – the better the job we do as Catholics, the more mud we step in and get thrown our way. You’re all fighters in the New Crusade/Evangelization and soldiers get scarred up. Glad you are now at ease or “parade rest.”
Thank you and blessings to your introverted soul – refresh yourselves and remember, those who love you and TCND or whatever you do, we just want to say THANK YOU!
Know that I keep you all in my prayers as I imagine there are more stresses, strains, and sadness than we ever knew/know and never had/have a right to knew/know. I’d love to meet you in person. More than that, I’m hoping we run into each other in Heaven. (I’m always doubtful I’ll get there but I am sure you will! You’ve got stars in your crown like the tiaras of the UK Royals sizes!) That, my media friend, would be the best story end, don’t you think? A TCND reunion in Heaven?
Sending you peace and encouragement and quiet joys – Elizabeth
Elizabeth – For this and the years of support, thank you!
I was also disappointed when the radio show was cancelled. I looked forward to your show every morning. I never once thought that you were rude or arrogant. Jennifer made us all feel great and normal too. I need to tune in to your podcast. I know it’s hard to ignore the hate mail but there are people out there that feel the urge to bring other people down and hurt them. For some reason it makes them feel better and superior. We need to pray for them that they find peace in their soul to share kindness with others not hate. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”… not a bad way to live our lives by. God bless you and Jennifer. How are the kids? What are their ages now? I remember when Jennifer was pregnant w/the princess. Wishing you all the peace and happiness in the world. You all are doing great work. Keep it up.
Diana – Yes, please go check out the podcast. I think you’ll very much enjoy it. If you remember when Jennifer was pregnant with Lily, you’ll love the fact that Lily regularly pops up on the show to say hello.
Greg, I am so sorry that you went through all of that. I remember the facebook thing, and you explained, at the time, why you did it. The reason was definitely not to piss anyone off. It was to gain back control of your private friend and family life. No one should have faulted you for trying to put your personal life back in focus. I have always known from your program that your family was so important to you. You put all of those struggles out there for all to see. You were very courageous for doing that.
I liked when you prayed with people. How can we not know and understand what our fellow man is going through if we don’t do things like that? You gave us a very good example to follow by doing that.
I will offer some prayers for you and your family the next time I am at adoration. May God’s grace abound in your life, and may He give you comfort and peace.
Eric – You have no idea how much we appreciate those prayers for our family during adoration. Many, many thanks for that.
Oh my gosh! I feel horrible for just feeling like “Well Greg unfriended me so i guess that’s that”. I do so appreciate you guys and you shows. As a lapsed Catholic who bears no ill will towards the faith, i always enjoyed your shows. When you guys went to radio it was a different show and even though we had satellite radio, i became a lapsed listener. I always admired your commitment and always wished i could embrace the faith as fully and with as much gusto as you do and indeed as all Catholics should. My faith journey goes on and now i will be listening to you guys again and looking forward to catching up. Stay strong and I’ll check your webpage for your address to send you some comics. They are building up!
Tony – GREAT to hear from you! I’m sorry if you felt snubbed in any way by the changes I made to Facebook. If I had to do it all over again today, now there are better technologies built into FB that I would have just created 2 separate Greg Willits accounts. One would have real-life friends and family just so I can more easily follow their feeds, and the other would be to stay in contact with my virtual (or future real-life) friends. I’ve actually contemplated doing that (setting up a second FB account) but for now the TCND FB account works well.
On a personal note, I actually think of you quite often as I still have a box full of comics you sent me over the years. Now as my kids are getting older, from time to time I go digging in that box for age-appropriate reads for them. I’ll always be appreciative of the generosity you showed my family in the simple act of doing something like sharing comic books with us.
well I am glad I could share them with someone who enjoyed them! If you email me a po box i can send some more. since my son moved out so i often end up throwing them away. I am the anti-pack rat and I only keep ones I truly love or that do not come out in trade.
Dear Greg please ignore the haters. Thanks to you & Jennifer you have brought me closer to my faith.
Thank you Louise! Praise God for your continued faith journey.
Greg and Jennifer
I have been listening to you for years. You guys ROCK. PERIOD. Dont look back.
You have meant so much to me spiritually
Love. A faithful listener.
Greg (and Jennifer), I have listened to both of you for almost five years now, starting with your radio show released in podcast form and now listening to the rebooted TCND podcast. I stumbled across the podcasts of your radio show when I was searching for ways to deepen my Catholic faith and I began listening to both you and Jennifer and the Barrons as well as Catholic Answers. Catholic podcasts truly helped me in my journey to fully embrace my Catholic faith.
I am thoroughly enjoying the rebooted podcast and do agree that you both seem more spontaneous and natural than you did on the radio show podcasts.
Thanks for sharing these insights.
Good Lord. After reading that guys comments I have so much respect for you. I would have been responding back with language not suitable for everyday use. I love you guys and have followed you all over from Rosary Army to the CND podcasts and your new podcast. Ignore the haters, don’t apologize for being yourselves, and keep going. Praying for you guys!!
It’s truly amazing what goes on behind the scenes. When I’m not driving my truck I play music on the side and I know from professional music experience that many times some very negative things go on behind the scenes and yet you’re expected to put on your game face and go out and perform. Many times you have had very hard topics to deal with and knowing now what was going on behind the scenes, makes me respect you and Jennifer even more. Sometimes I wonder if people know what it’s really like to raise a family and have all sorts of responsibility. Much less doing that and having to keep up a radio show! I thank God for you and Jennifer. You kept me entertained and educated as I drove the highways of this nation. (not to mention even keeping me awake at times!!) I feel that what you did on your radio show was a true gift you gave to the audience of seeing how a Catholic family deals with issues of everyday life. That is very valuable in this age of diminished morals and self expression. Sooner or later we will meet in person, I’m hoping although I don’t get out to Colorado that often. God bless you and your family and keep up the great work. I listen to your podcasts all the time!! …….Trucker Steve
I have told you before, but it begs mentioning again here. Your very public marriage taught me things that helped me save my marriage. Listening to Jennifer and you has made me a better person.
Thanks for everything!
Peace be with you,