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.


Oct. 21, 2019 show

Barbara Lyons of the Patients’ Rights Action Fund joins Bob to talk about the National Council on Disability’s recent report on assisted suicide and its impact on the disabled community. Next, Jim Geoly, partner at the Chicago law firm of Burke, Warren, MacKay and Serritella, discusses the civil rights cases argued a couple of weeks ago in front of the U.S. Supreme Court that could affect religious freedom concerns: Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia; Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda; and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Then, Brad Cole, executive director of the Illinois Municipal League, explains the initiative his organization is supporting during the upcoming fall veto session that would consolidate the more than 650 downstate and suburban police and firefighter pension funds. Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s task force on the issue recently issued a report recommending consolidation. Finally, Rebecca Anzel, a journalist with Capitol News Illinois, gives a preview of the veto session set to start Oct. 28.


Sept. 16, 2019 show

Megan Gilbert of Catholic Relief Services joins Bob to talk about the distinction among migrants, asylum-seekers and immigrants, as federal officials discuss lowering the cap on migrants seeking entry to the United States. Then, Frances Jimenez of Aid for Women, the leading pregnancy help center for the Chicagoland area, notes that Obianuju Ekeocha from Culture of Life Africa will speak at the organization’s annual benefit dinner on Sept. 25. Next, Sr. Rosemary Connelly, executive director of Misericordiatalks about her 50th anniversary overseeing the organization that provides care to the intellectually and developmentally disabled. Finally, Sr. Jess Lambert talks about giving up a lucrative career in engineering to take her final vows as a Franciscans of the Eucharist to serve at Mission of Our Lady of the Angels on the west side of Chicago.


Aug. 19, 2019 show

Dr. MaryClare Birmingham, executive director of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Kolbe House jail ministry, joins Bob to talk about the crucial importance of the first 72 hours after an inmate’s release. Then, Sr. JoAnn Persch, a Sister of Mercy, talks about her recent arrest in Washington, D.C., during the Catholic Day of Action for Immigrant Children. Finally, Natalie Jackson, research director for the Washington, D.C.-based Public Religion Research Institute, discusses the organization’s report released last week detailing American opinions on abortion and contraception.


July 15, 2019 show

Les Bernal, national director of Stop Predatory Gambling, joins Bob to talk about the deleterious personal and societal effects expected from the massive gaming expansion passed by the legislature this spring – up to six new casinos, including one in Chicago, slot machines at race tracks, legalized sports betting, and a possible “racino” (horse racing track/casino) in the south suburbs. Then, Dr. Paul Berkowitz, chief medical officer/vice president and chair of the psychiatry department at Sinai Medical Group, along with Dennis Ryan, vice president of mission and external affairs at Holy Cross Hospital, talk about Holy Cross’s recent grand opening of its 24-hour Crisis Stabilization Unit. The new unit offers immediate behavioral care, especially for those individuals who are often arrested for petty offenses and placed in jail, when what they really need is psychiatric care and treatment. Finally,  Sr. Donna Markham, OP, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, joins Bob to talk about the agency’s humanitarian aid to sites near the border dealing with a larger-than-usual influx of migrants. Sr. Donna herself will be visiting the Laredo, Texas, Catholic Charities on July 22. All contributions for this effort go to meet basic needs and ensure that children are being treated with care and kindness. To donate, go to