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.


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


June 17, 2019 show

Juan Rangel, strategy director for Empower Illinois, the organization that awards Tax Credit Scholarships to most of the Catholic schools in Illinois, joins Bob to talk about the complete funding of the program in the new state budget despite earlier threats to diminish it. Next, Pat Winn, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rockford diocese, talks about the scourge of human trafficking and how his organization is fighting it on a county-by-county level. Finally, Ralph Rivera, lobbyist for Illinois Right to Life, joins Bob to talk about the final version of the “Reproductive Health Act” that was signed into law last week.