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. 18, 2017 show

Nate Kellum, chief counsel for the Memphis-based Center for Religious Expression, joins Bob to talk about the amicus brief filed on behalf of 479 creative professionals in support of the Colorado cake baker at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court case that was argued a couple of weeks ago,  Masterpiece Cake v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Next, Ramona Trevino, keynote speaker for the March for Life Chicago set for Jan. 14, talks about her experience as the manager of a Planned Parenthood abortion-referral facility in Sherman, Texas for three years. In 2011, she resigned her position, citing inspiration from a local Christian radio station and a 40 Days for Life campaign, as well as God’s grace. Her resignation resulted in the closure of the clinic. Finally, Luke Niforatos, special assistant for policy at Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), talks about the organization founded by former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy  and conservative journalist David Frum and the work the organization does in highlighting the negative effects of marijuana. Luke offers a unique perspective, since he lived in Colorado before, during and after that state’s recent legalization of marijuana.


Nov. 20, 2017 show

Mary Massingale, CCI's director of communications, fills in for the vacationing Bob Gilligan. Dan Lesser from the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law joins the show to talk about the Congressional tax reform bill passed by House Republicans last week. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has come out against the measure, called it "deeply flawed" since it will raise taxes on the working poor while giving large tax cuts to the wealthy. Next, Dr. Jim Rigg, superintendent of the Archdiocese of Chicago's Catholic Schools, discusses the upcoming rollout of the Tax Credit Scholarship and his office's outreach efforts. Then, Father Larry Dowling, pastor of St. Agatha Catholic Church in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood, talks about The News School sponsored by the parish. The program gives budding high school journalists the opportunity to hone their skills. Finally, Marie Jochum of Catholic Charities of Chicago encourages listeners to get involved with the organization's annual Celebration of Giving, which provides Christmas presents to needy families.


Oct. 16, 2017 show

Jak Tichenor, interim director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, joins Bob to talk about the political fallout from Gov. Bruce Rauner's decision to sign into law legislation that authorizes taxpayer-funded abortions after pledging to veto it. Next, Tony Cube with the USCCB’s Justice for Immigrants talks about the latest developments on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Then, Joyce Duriga, editor of the Chicago Catholic, discusses her new book – “Helen Prejean: Death Row’s Nun.” Finally, Susan Walker talks about the McHenry County nonprofit organization she founded called Rest in His Arms, which provides funerals and burials for abandoned and deceased infants. 


Aug. 28, 2017 show

Mary Massingale, CCI's director of communications, fills in as host since Bob Gilligan was in Springfield lobbying for the Scholarship Tax Credit. Sarah Brune, executive director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, joins Mary to talk about the especially large number of state legislator retirements being announced ahead of the 2018 legislative campaign season. Next, Greg Dolan, associate director for public policy for Catholic education for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, discusses the preliminary details of the Scholarship Tax Credit currently being sought by CCI and expected to be voted on tomorrow in the Illinois House. Then, Tom Olp and Stephen Crampton, attorneys with the Thomas More Society, talk about their latest legal move in trying to burst the city of Chicago's bubble zone. Finally, Sue Barrett, executive director of Aid for Women, the leading pregnancy resource center in Chicagoland, joins Mary to talk about the organization's annual fundraising dinner set for Sept. 14, featuring political columnist/commentator Cal Thomas.