CCI Radio Hour

CCI Executive Director Robert Gilligan hosts the Catholic Conference Radio Hour on the third Monday of the month on Relevant Radio. Gilligan discusses current public policy issues affecting the Church with experts and newsmakers.


Dec. 19, 2016 show

Bill O'Keefe, vice president of government relations & advocacy for Catholic Relief Services, joins Bob to talk about the organization's efforts to help the residents of Aleppo, the war-ravaged city in Syria. State Rep. Tom Morrison, R-Palatine, shares the next segment with Illinois Citizens for Life lobbyist Ralph Rivera about the potential for culture wars returning to the Illinois legislature as a pushback response to any success at the federal level of restricting abortion. Mary McWilliams, an estate planning attorney for the Chicago firm of Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, talks about the need for advance directives and CCI's new publication on that topic, "Encouraging End-of-Life Conversations: A Catholic Perspective on Advance Directives." Finally, Dawn Fitzpatrick of the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Human Dignity and Solidarity and Kevin Grillot of Students for Life of Illinois join Bob to talk about the upcoming March for Life Chicago set for Jan. 15.



Nov. 21, 2016 show

Joyce  Duriga, editor of the Archdiocese of Chicago's Catholic New World, talks to Bob from Rome about Saturday's ceremony that elevated Archbishop Cupich to cardinal. Bob then talks about the outcomes of the recent state, federal and presidential elections. Switching up gears, Fr. Burke Masters, vocations director for the Joliet diocese, talks about his side job as the chaplain to the 2016 World Series Champions Chicago Cubs. Finally, Jennifer Nelson, head of the Life & Family Evangelization office at the Rockford diocese, talks about the brainstorm she had in producing a priestly take-off of James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke" with Bishop Malloy and Fr. Keith Romke of St. Bridget Catholic Church in Loves Park and Fr. Kyle Manno of St. Patrick Parish in St. Charles. Watch the video here.



Oct. 17, 2016 show

Dr. Jonathan Reyes, executive director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, joins Bob to talk about Faithful Citizenship in light of this very challenging presidential election. Scott Kennedy, creator of the Illinois Election Data website, talks about the huge amount of money being spent in Illinois legislative and statewide races for the upcoming Nov. 8 election. State Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, talks about Senate Bill 3368, which streamlines the process of getting a state identification card for just-released inmates. Elizabeth White, director of the Archdiocese’s Office of Evangelization and Missionary Discipleship, joins Bob to talk about the partnership between the Archdiocese and the Art Institute of Chicago to create a special Art Tour to celebrate the Year of Mercy.


Aug. 15, 2016 show

CCI Executive Director Robert Gilligan is joined by Illinois Catholic Health Association's Patrick Cacchione to address the controversy over Senate Bill 1564, which the governor recently signed into law. The new law, which modifies Illinois’ Health Care Right of Conscience Act, takes effect Jan. 1. CCI and ICHA took a neutral stance on the legislation, after negotiating a less harmful version of the legislation. Next, Sister Ann Scholz, SSND, Associate Director for Social Mission of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, talks about the letter the organization sent today to the presidential candidates, their running mates, and their party chairs asking for civil discourse as we approach the Nov. 8 election. Nearly 5,700 Catholic Sisters across the nation signed the letter. Then, Jim Ennis, executive director of Catholic Rural Life, offers a Catholic perspective on a recent 4-part investigative series the Chicago Tribune produced on mega-hog farms in downstate Illinois. The stories touch on abuse to the animals, abuse to the environment, abuse to nearby neighbors because of the overwhelming stench, and the hard-scrabble life of contract farmers who raise the hogs for a small, set price. Next, Bryant Jackson-Green of the Illinois Policy Institute talks about a recent public opinion poll commissioned by IPI that shows the public wants bold reform of the state’s criminal justice system. Finally, Pat Shehorn, a board member of Aid for Women, a  crisis pregnancy center with several offices in the Chicagoland area, talks about the organization’s annual dinner on Wed., Sept. 21 at the Union League Club. The keynote speaker will be Jim Towey, president of Ave Maria University, and legal counsel and close friend of Mother Teresa, who will be canonized on Sept. 4.