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. 16, 2019 show

Claire Culwell, keynote speaker for the March for Life Chicago set for Jan. 11, joins Bob to talk about her experience of meeting her birth mother in 2009, who told her she survived the surgical abortion that took the life of her twin brother. Next, Meghan Goodwin of USCCB and Leila Nimatallah of Catholic Relief Services talk about the Global Child Thrive Act currently before Congress. Then, Deacon Alfred Coleman, director of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Zacchaeus House, talks about the ministry that offers a safe place for single, homeless men looking for a fresh start. Finally, Christopher Orlet, editor of The Messenger, the newspaper for the Belleville diocese, talks about his and his wife’s emotional journey in adopting a baby girl — an experience he recently wrote about in a touching column.


Nov. 18, 2019 show

Dr. Richard Mantoan, a dentist who owns his own practice in Flossmoor, discusses the complaint he filed against the Reproductive Health Act with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. Mantoan, who is being represented by The Thomas More Society, does not want to provide health insurance that includes abortion to his employees, which is required by the RHA. Next, Jackie Ingram and Janice Oda Gray, parishioners at St. Agatha’s parish on Chicago’s west side, talk about their efforts to bring mental health services to the community in the form of the recently-opened Encompassing Center. Residents of four west side neighborhoods voted to increase their property taxes to fund the new center. Then, Kayla Jacobs, director of programs for the new Laudato Si’ Ministries of the Joliet diocese, talks about what prompted the creation of the new ministry. Finally, Bonnie Engstrom, a resident of the Peoria diocese, wrote “61 Minutes to a Miracle” to document the experience of her newborn son surviving over an hour without a heartbeat or breathing. Bonnie, family and friends prayed to Archbishop Fulton Sheen for her son’s healing, and he is now a normal 9-year-old. The miracle of his healing was approved by the Vatican this summer, and Sheen is expected to be beatified soon.


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.